Sergio's Crystal Ball: FCA Boss Doesn't Think EVs Are the Future

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne likes to keep people guessing, which is no surprise to those following the rapid-fire product changes at his company.

With his company’s fortunes buoyed by sales of thirsty Ram and Jeep vehicles, Marchionne remains fascinated and distrustful of electric automaker Tesla, telling Britain’s Car Magazine that the future of propulsion likely lies somewhere else.

The question is, what’s Marchionne doing about it?

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Fiat-Chrysler Could Partner With Uber on Self-Driving Cars: Report

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne could be on the cusp of a new (corporate) romance.

The automaker is talking with ride-sharing megaprovider Uber about join forces on a self-driving vehicle venture, according to Automotive News. Sources close to the matter say those talks are in the early phase, but a agreement could be announced before the end of the year.

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2016 Chrysler 300C Rental Review - The Best Car Money Can Rent

Greatness isn’t always universal. Being a great sprinter doesn’t make one a great marathoner. In fact, exhibiting greatness in one sense will often make for a fatal flaw in another. If you need any proof of this, simply pick up the closest Greek tragedy and read it.

The same can be be said of rental cars. The qualities that make a car a great rental don’t necessarily translate into a great daily driver. That being said, after four days in Northern California, I’m prepared to remove the Chevy Impala from its lofty perch as the best rental car money can buy (or rent) you.

The 2016 Chrysler 300 C is the best rental car in the world.

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Sorry, Sergio - Google Has No Plans to Expand the Relationship

It looks like the fling between Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will end up being a brief affair.

Despite partnering with FCA to test autonomous technology on a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids, the tech giant says it has no plans to take it further with the automaker, according to Reuters.

Really, it doesn’t mean anything, Google wants other companies to know. Just two self-driving Pacificas passing in the night.

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Dodge Grand Caravan Given a Stay of Execution: Report

Production of the world’s most recognizable minivan might not end next year after all.

If a report published by the Windsor Star is correct, the Dodge Grand Caravan will see its lifespan extended until 2019, all thanks to delayed plans for a Chrysler Pacifica-based crossover.

The Star quotes John McCabe, president and CEO of AutoForecast Solutions, who claims Fiat Chrysler Automobiles got cold feet about building a new crossover at its Windsor assembly plant.

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Walter P. Chrysler Museum to Reopen to Public

Just two days after Cadillac announced opening up what they hope will be an au courant coffee shop on the ground floor of its trendy lower Manhattan digs, Fiat Chrysler announced it will reopen the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, on the grounds of Chrysler’s campus in slightly less trendy Auburn Hills, on June 4th.

The museum, which first opened in 1999 when Daimler owned Chrysler, has displays that cover the history of the current Chrysler brands along with the company’s former nameplates, starting with a 1902 Rambler from the Jeffrey company (the progenitor to Nash) and American Motors.

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Is Sergio Cooking Up a Chrysler 300 Built on the Pacifica Platform?

Is Chrysler’s LX platform doomed to meet the same fate as the beloved Panther?

Replacing the aging Chrysler 300’s rear-wheel-drive architecture with that of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan is one idea festering in the mind of Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, judging by recent comments published by Automotive News.

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Open-Minded Sergio Willing to Stick With Tech Partner; Could Play the Field, Though

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne can see a beautiful future with partner Google, but there’s plenty of fish in the sea, you know.

Speaking in Windsor, Ontario, where Chrysler Pacifica minivan production recently kicked off, Marchionne called FCA’s Google fling the “first phase” of their relationship, but admits to wanting to keep his options open, Automotive News reports.

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Strange Bedfellows or: How Sergio Got His Way and Created a Fleet of Robot Pacificas

A dream collaboration has finally become a reality for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne.

After angling for a partnership for over a year, FCA has announced a joint venture with Google’s Self-Driving Car Project. This is the first time the mega company has worked directly with an automaker to test its shadowy autonomous vehicle technology.

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Junkyard Find: 1984 Chrysler Laser XE Turbo

The K-platform-based Dodge Daytona was built for the 1984 through 1993 model years and sold pretty well; we’ve seen a few of them in this series. The Daytona’s Chrysler-badged sibling, the Laser (not to be confused — though many do — with the Mitsubishi Eclipse-based Plymouth Laser), was sold only for the 1984-1986 model years and is a bit harder to find.

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Fiat-Chrysler Earnings Rise Sharply; Ram Production Coming to Sterling Heights

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has a good morning today, after FCA announced boosted profit and earnings spurred by healthy sales in the U.S. and Europe.

First quarter net profits were up from just above the break-even point a year ago to 451 million euros ($539.4 million), according to The Detroit News, with pre-tax earnings up 88 percent to 1.3 billion euros ($1.6 billion).

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2016 Chrysler 200 Limited Rental Review - An Appreciation Of An Extraordinary Automobile

A few months ago, my esteemed colleague Ronnie Schreiber found himself in possession of a McLaren 675LT for the week. Not having a tremendous amount of personal experience with supercars, and not in a position to kill $10,000 worth of consumables in a single day at Thunderhill, Ronnie decided not to write a conventional review of the 675LT. Instead, he wrote an “Appreciation” of the Macca, eschewing the world-weary, seen-it-all shtick of the print-rag supercar review for an honest description of what it’s like to be a regular fellow who just happens to be holding the keys to something truly outrageous. Check it out, if you haven’t already read it.

Last week, I had the occasion to put 515 miles on a rented close-to-base-model Chrysler 200 in about a ten-hour period. It’s safe to say that most of you don’t like Chrysler’s entry-luxury take on the Fiat Compact platform. As a matter of fact, the 200 is currently a strong contender for Mr. Stevenson’s reanimated TWAT awards.

I’d like to see if I can change your mind about that.

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Roll With It: FCA Voluntarily Recalls 1.1 Million Models With Confusing Gear Selector

Like an unoccupied Dodge Charger stuck in “Drive,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ gear selector controversy was rapidly building momentum before yesterday’s announcement.

Responding to numerous instances of runaway vehicles and an expanding National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation, FCA voluntarily recalled 811,586 vehicles in the U.S. and 52,144 in Canada, and a further 265,473 in Mexico and overseas.

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Tesla Model 3 Nears 400,000 Orders; Sergio Disses Musk

Orders of the life changing, marriage-saving Tesla Model 3 are poised to hit 400,000, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne doesn’t think they’ve got the right stuff.

Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice-president of business development, confirmed the number of orders at an electric vehicle conference in Amsterdam yesterday, two weeks after the low-priced model’s glitzy unveiling, Electrek has reported.

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Come Dance With Me: Fiat-Chrysler Makes Another Pitch for a Partner

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chairman John Elkann, like the company’s sweatered CEO, is making come-hither eyes in the hopes of luring a suitor.

FCA needs a partner to turn its lofty debt pile into capital, so Elkann wants other automakers to know just how thrilled he’d be if they helped FCA save $10 billion a year, he told shareholders of the investment company controlling FCA (via Bloomberg).

The problem, he lamented, is that other automakers are all wrapped up in trying to develop autonomous technology, often with outsider help. Like a wallflower with a heart of gold, FCA feels ignored despite having a lot to offer.

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Brighten Your Wednesday With a Glimpse of Glorious K-Car America

Hump Day can be a drag, but nothing puts a smile on the faces of hard-working Americans like value-laden Chrysler Corporation compacts and telling OPEC to go screw themselves.

While diving deep into the YouTube wormhole the other day, a promotional music video for the 1981 Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries twins reared its patriotic head.

It needs to be shared.

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Jim Gaffigan Wants to Boost Your 'Dad Brand' With the Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler needed a pitchman who could rally a nation of parents around its all-important 2017 Pacifica minivan, so it called on Jim Gaffigan.

In a series of new commercials released by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the deadpan “everyman” stand-up comic talks up the Pacifica’s ability to improve one’s “dad brand.”

Gaffigan, known for refraining from profanity while practicing the time-honored art of observational humor, comes across as vaguely narcissistic and aloof in the ads, often forgetting the names of his own kids and watching video clips of himself on the Pacifica’s flip-up seatback monitors.

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BREAKING: FCA Sterling Heights Shift Cut Will See 1,420 Laid Off Indefinitely

The Sterling Heights, Michigan facility that manufactures the Chrysler 200 will have its output halved this summer, with about 1,420 workers laid off indefinitely as a result, reports the Detroit News.

Both production lines of the midsize sedan were idled for nine weeks earlier this year to compensate for an inventory glut and low demand. Now, only one line will stay open, employing about 1,900 workers.

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TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen's Plans Paltry Payout, Sergio Talks up Players, and a NASCAR Driver's Busted
Volkswagen shareholders are wondering if they’ll be receiving a lump of coal in their dividend stocking this year.That, Sergio is seeking a partner (but not those French guys), NASCAR’s Derek White is in trouble north of the border, GM seals the deal with a startup, and no Baby Buick for you … after the break!
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2017 Chrysler 300S - Murdered Out Modern Muscle Fights Malaise

Chrysler’s venerable 300 has seen its fair share of wardrobe changes since debuting for the 2005 model year, and it’s now come back from the closet with more.

Not wanting to be absent from all the action happening at the New York Auto Show, Chrysler dutifully showed up to display the interior and exterior Sport Appearance Packages that will come standard on the V8-powered 2017 300S.

Dressing up a model that’s already been refreshed once since its second generation bowed five years ago can be a challenge, but the 300 is the torchbearer for the brand’s scant lineup and needs to stay visible.

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TTAC News Round-up: Millennials Love Ford, Silverado Sprouts Cameras, and Chrysler Finds a Stash

Millennials are buying Ford SUVs like it’s going out of style, no doubt dismaying the friends who like to lecture people about their lifestyle on Facebook.

That, Chevrolet offers a voyeur package for its full-side pickup, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles grabs a stack of cash with both hands, Mercedes-Benz gives its midsize SUV the AMG treatment, and two more automakers eye the Formula E grid … after the break!

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Plant Shutdown Extended as Chrysler 200 Continues to Be Unpopular

The midsize sedan that can’t catch a break is continuing to darken a plant where workers can’t catch a shift.

The Sterling Heights, Michigan assembly plant that produces the Chrysler 200 will remain closed for another three weeks, Automotive News reports, extending the temporary closure to a total of nine weeks.

Slow sales and a steep inventory glut are to blame for the shutdown, which was needed for supply and demand to regain equilibrium.

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Chrysler 200 Demand Dries Up As FCA Tries To Clear 200 Inventory Glut

The plan was straightforward. With demand for conventional midsize cars gradually decreasing and buyers in Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. showrooms increasingly turning to flexible Jeep SUVs, Chrysler 200 production would be temporarily shut down. Inventory was piling up. Inventory needed to be cleared out.

Rather than build more sedans, which would simply be piled up on top of existing unsold 200s, a six-week production hiatus would allow time for 200 supply and demand to realign at more realistic levels.

But the clear-out of those existing, unsold 200s — Automotive News says Chrysler had a 217-day supply of 47,000 200s at the beginning of February — isn’t having any measurable impact on 200 sales. In fact, while FCA wants to see 200s leaving showrooms in order for space to be created for new 200s once production is reignited, demand for the 200 is drying up.

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Could Jim Morrison Make a Smaller Ram Happen?

Is there a chance that a leadership change at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported by Automotive News could lead to an often-speculated new pickup truck?

Jeep’s longtime director Jim Morrison is leaving that post to head the Ram pickup and commercial vehicle division, replacing Bob Hegbloom, who is leaving for the global shores of Ram International.

Ram and Jeep are by far FCA’s biggest moneymakers these days, and under Morrison’s watch the Jeep brand took on new prominence by expanding its range of models, even if it meant adopting architecture sourced from (sacrilege!) Fiat.

The news of Morrison’s switch to Ram raises the question, “Is this the person who will take the Ram brand in a smaller direction?”

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TTAC News Round-up: Tesla Stocks S(t)ink, Chrysler Takes Out an Ad, and Concept Car Anger

If you live in the north, you might consider taking your kids tobogganing on Tesla’s NASDAQ trend line.

That, GM wants less rentals, “Imported from Detroit” becomes “Deported from Auburn Hills,” automakers fear the Brexit, and rage grows around pointless concept cars … after the break!

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TTAC News Round-up: Honda Separates the Kids, Toyota Funks It Up, and the Costs Are Too Damn High at FCA

The CEO of Honda is pulling the car over and giving a stern lecture to the kids in the backseat.

That, a Scion gets a corporate makeover, Google goes in for autonomous feng shui, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is drowning in modules and a famous British racetrack could get even Britisherafter the break!

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Junkyard Find: 1989 Plymouth Horizon America

The Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon (collectively known as the Omnirizon) was based on a Simca design originally intended for European use and was Chrysler’s first American built, front-wheel drive, economy car. The Omnirizon was cheap, got the job done, and sold very well, staying in the American marketplace from 1978 through to 1990 with few major changes.

We’ve seen an early Horizon and now I’ve spotted this late one in a California self-service yard.

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Who Will Build Sergio's Next Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200?

FCA’s sweater-in-chief Sergio Marchionne has a plan to turn around the debt-laden and ailing automaker: stop building cars that lose money. That sounds like common sense, so long as oil prices stay low and the demand for trucks, SUVs and crossovers remains high.

But that plan introduces a new set of problems, chief among them the fact that ditching the car market leaves FCA exceptionally exposed to future volatility in oil prices. Crude prices affect prices at the pump, which affects the demand for certain types of vehicles. Sergio is betting oil prices will stay low by focusing on vehicles with ever-increasing price tags and ever-growing gas tanks.

Still, there will always be some demand for small cars. It was true in 1950 and it is true today. So what will Mr. Sweater do to meet that demand? Simple: he’ll buy those vehicles from another automaker and badge engineer them the old-fashioned way.

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Dart, 200 On The Way Out; Wrangler Truck, Wagoneer On the Way In

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne on Wednesday said the automaker would rely more heavily on profitable Jeeps and Rams in North America and Europe to help its business remain profitable in other sagging areas and regions.

“We are not of the view that this industry is facing an impending demise,” Marchionne said before announcing FCA’s adjusted earnings of $1.78 billion in the fourth quarter.

Marchionne and CFO Richard Palmer said Jeep’s success in North America and Europe led the company last year and would be the “bedrock” for the automaker’s future. The automaker laid out specific plans to bring forward a Jeep pickup and Wagoneer, and let wither less-profitable models such as the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart.

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TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen Finished Second in China, Big Trouble for Takata, and Apple's Longtime Car Guy Gone

Volkswagen’s chief in China says they’re probably not retaking the crown from General Motors there anytime soon.

That, Apple’s lead car guy is gone, Takata’s in trouble and more … after the break!

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TTAC News Round-up: Let's Talk Carbon Emissions, Volkswagen's Bigger Headache, and Plug-in Porsches

FCA has to clean up its act in a hurry, or pay a lot more to sell cars in the future.

That, Europe wants Volkswagen to treat its owners the same as American owners, General Motors’ lawyers get down and dirty and Porsche’s plug-in 911 … after the break!

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FCA Hybrid Chief: Pacifica Will Be Largest Hybrid Vehicle

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ global hybrid chief said that the newly announced Chrysler Pacifica minivan will be the largest vehicle for FCA’s new hybrid powertrain and that the gasoline and battery combo will be scalable to smaller cars.

“This’ll be the largest footprint — in the Pacifica,” Michael Duhaime told us last week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “As we get into the smaller vehicles, basically what we’ll do is put smaller electric motors. The power electronics is part of the transmission … all that stays consistent. We’ll just go with smaller motors, and then the final drive will change with the different vehicles.”

So … Jeep Cherokee Hybrid?

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TTAC News Round-up: Investors Latest Headache for Volkswagen, New E-Class From $50K, and Dealers Surprised That You're Surprised

Investors say Volkswagen should have told the world they were cheating earlier because then they could have bought more Apple stock.

That, Mercedes-Benz prices new E-Class in Europe, BMW’s bigger i3 battery and Jeep soars in Europe … after the break!

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TTAC News Round-up: Infamous GM Engineer Speaks, You Only Get One With Dinner, and Hydrogen's Hedged Bet

The man in the middle of GM’s faulty ignition switch has finally spoken, and the word “mistake” came up at least twice.

That, does anyone have the number for Google, GM and Honda may join forces, and take a cab … after the break!

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Fiat Chrysler Rebuffs Claims of Falsifying Sales

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday released a statement strongly denying claims made by a Illinois dealer that the automaker was strong-arming its dealers into reporting bogus sales and illegally paying complicit dealers to continue its long-running sales growth.

This lawsuit is nothing more than the product of two disgruntled dealers who have failed to perform their obligations under the dealer agreements they signed with FCA US. They have consistently failed to perform since at least 2012, and have also used the threats of litigation over the last several months in a wrongful attempt to compel FCA US to reserve special treatment for them, including the allocation of additional open points in the US FCA network.

So, you’re saying it’s going to get ugly?

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Dealer Accuses Fiat Chrysler of Falsifying Sales

An Illinois dealer said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, through its regional sales offices, was intimidating and bribing dealers to report bogus sales at the end of the month to reach inflated sales targets. Automotive News reported first on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed by dealers of the Napleton Automotive Group accuses FCA of conspiring to inflate sales numbers through payments of tens of thousands of dollars to the dealer in co-op advertising accounts to disguise the practice. The lawsuit says FCA uses bogus third-party data from J.D. Power and Urban Science to falsely “verify” the sales figures and report publicly that the automaker has continued monthly sales growth since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009.

The news of the lawsuit and its allegations sunk shares of Fiat so far that trading on its stock was halted in Europe, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Digestible Collectible: 2001 Chrysler Prowler

I’ve a little confession to make: I’m not really a big fan of hot rods. Some of that may be my age, as I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, when imported sports cars were generally a preferred means of automotive expression.

Alternatively, the overall “ People of Walmart” vibe I get when attending any sort of hot rod event has, by juxtaposition, possibly soured the entire genre for me.

So, count me among those who didn’t drool over the Prowler when it was released in 1997. An overstyled modern interpretation of a ’32 Ford roadster, powered by a Chrysler V-6? In the immortal words of Lisa Simpson, meh.

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NAIAS 2016: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica - This Is (All of) It, a Caravan for Town & Country

Persistent rumors of the Chrysler Town & Country’s demise have proven true. Going further, the House of Marchionne has dug through its list of historical nameplates to pick a moniker for the minivan’s successor

Chrysler is resurrecting the Pacifica name to affix to the derriere of the next-generation people hauler, a name we last saw on the short lived three-row crossover from 2004 to 2008. Thankfully, the new Pacifica shares nothing with its earlier namesake, and only the good stuff with its Chrysler and Dodge predecessors.

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TTAC News Round-up: 2016 Detroit Auto Show Preview, VW's Mller to Attend NAIAS, and Dealers Force Infiniti QX30 Name Change

This Saturday is the calm before the storm.

While the Los Angeles Auto Show is the opening act of the North American auto show season, Detroit is the main event. Here’s what to expect at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, which begins this Monday.

That, Herr Müller is planning on visiting Detroit and U.S. regulators, and the Infiniti QX30 name change was forced by dealers … after the break!

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Fiat Merger Won't Happen Under Marchionne's Watch

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief Sergio Marchionne told Bloomberg on Monday that his company likely wouldn’t merge with another automaker before his tenure is up in 2018.

The chief executive publicly courted General Motors in 2015 to merge two of the Big Three. GM CEO Mary Barra publicly refuted that partnership, and Marchionne seems to have gotten the hint.

“I met Mary Barra less than a month ago in Washington,” Marchionne told Bloomberg. “I don’t think I will have another coffee with her. It won’t happen again in the future.”

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Analyst: Tesla and FCA Wouldn't Weather 'Mild Recession'

Business Insider transportation editor Matthew DeBord (formerly of Jalopnik too) said Tesla and Fiat Chrysler’s stock show both companies’ susceptibility to market volatility and that each automaker could be in dire situations if a mild recession were to rear its head again.

(Although he does note that the best return on an investment this time last year would have been a few hundred bucks into FCA’s stock.)

Tesla may have more in common with FCA than it likes in terms of market unpredictability, which could raise the specter of a merger if its Model 3 isn’t on time or if the economy takes a dive, DeBord writes. As long as Musk doesn’t talk openly about hugging Mary Barra, he may have a decent shot.

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Junkyard Find: 1979 Chrysler Cordoba

Examples of the Chrysler Cordoba continue to show up in the self-service wrecking yards I frequent, though I tend to skip the ones that are particularly wretched and break out my camera only when I’m in the presence of a Cordoba that still has a certain personal luxury aura.

So far in this series, we’ve seen this ’76, this ’78 (which provided me with a classy Corinthian Leather couch), this ’79, and this ’80, and now we have this fairly straight ’79 that I saw in an icy Denver yard last week.

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TTAC News Round-up: Takata Can't Silo, Porsche's New Production Boss, Suppliers Love Each Other

Who would have known that one of the largest parts supply recalls in U.S. history could poison the well for the rest of your business?

That, and Jeep needs you to keep it dry for a minute, Porsche pulls another player from Volkswagen’s bench and how big does Magna International’s yacht need to be anyway, after the jump.

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Weekend News Roundup: Leaf Sprouted? Volkswagen and North Korea; Fancy Fiskers

Here’s some of the news you may have missed if you were out fighting the holiday crowds and spreading some of that Yuletide cheer by burning the hell out of some cookies you were planning on giving the neighbors.

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Allpar: Chrysler Model Mix "Under Re-evaluation"

According to a report from Allpar, Chrysler’s model mix might be getting a major re-shuffle compared to Sergio Marchionne’s much touted five-year plan shown in 2014. While Allpar doesn’t list a source, a recent investor presentation marked Chrysler’s future lineup as “under re-evaluation”.

The five-year plan called for a new C-segment sedan, which was dubbed Chrysler 100, and a slew of other new product.

With fuel prices expected to stay at their current level until at least 2020 and the market eschewing smaller cars for crossovers, the time may not be right for the Chrysler 100 in North America, reports Allpar.

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Feds To Fine Fiat Chrysler Automobiles $70M For Under-reporting Death, Injuries

Federal regulators Thursday fined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles $70 million for under-reporting death and injury claims from vehicles as far back as 2003, officials announced in a statement. The fine is related to a September announcement from the automaker to the Transportation Department that the automaker had violated terms of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act.

The automaker issued a statement saying it would accept the penalty and agree to a consent order that would require FCA to submit crash data from the cars.

“FCA US LLC accepts these penalties and is revising its processes to ensure regulatory compliance. However, FCA US is confident that it identified and addressed all issues that arose during the relevant time period, using alternate data sources,” the company said in a statement.

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Swimming Upstream: The Final Hurdle

Since the last installment in this series, my attempt to get the family Town & Country officially licensed here in Japan has slogged relentlessly forward.

After a week of such little progress that I saw no need to report upon it (action was limited to the receipt of my official approval from the recycle bureau), I can begin this by saying that over the past week important things are once again happening. Notice that I didn’t write: “Important progress has been made…”

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Recalling 900,000 More Cars for Bad Brakes, Airbags

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Friday that it would recall nearly 900,000 cars worldwide — including more than 550,000 cars in the U.S. — for defective airbag and brake systems.

The company said some 2003 Jeep Liberty and 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee models were fitted with faulty airbags that could deploy. The automaker acknowledged that seven injuries had been caused by the airbags, which were not made by Takata. In all, 284,089 cars are affected by that recall.

Additionally, the company said more than 275,000 Dodge Journey models from 2012-2015 may have defective anti-lock brake systems that could fail due to excess moisture.

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Former Transportation Secretary to Lead Fiat Chrysler Recall Compliance

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration selected former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater as an independent monitor over Fiat Chrysler Automobiles safety compliance, the automaker announced Friday.

Slater was transportation secretary under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001. After his federal post, Slater has held a slew of automobile safety-related posts including his recent appointment as special counsel to Takata.

Slater was the first black director for the Federal Highway Administration and the second black transportation secretary.

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Viper Ends Production in 2017; Fiat Chrysler Plans For New Cars, Engines at Its Plants

The Dodge Viper will end production in 2017 when the current model expires, according to approved language included in the United Auto Workers’ contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

According to Automotive News, the Conner Avenue plant, which makes the sportscar, doesn’t have future product planned beyond 2017, effectively sealing the fate for the flagging car. The Viper was re-launched in 2011 after a three-year hiatus and has struggled ever since.

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Union Workers Approve New Contract With FCA

United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plants voted to overwhelmingly approve a contract with the automaker three weeks after turning back its first proposal, the union reported.

According to a statement posted on the UAW’s website, 77 percent of hourly production, 72 percent of skilled trades and 87 percent of salaried bargaining unit workers approved the contract.

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Fiat Chrsyler May Double Use of Temp Workers Under New Deal

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may double the amount of temporary workers it uses under a new deal negotiated with the United Auto Workers, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).

The negotiated terms include a provision for the automaker to use the workers any day of the week, instead of the previously allowed Monday, Friday and weekend shifts.

According to the report, the terms may have been negotiated as a way to keep labor costs lower and offer more workers raises. Temp workers are hired at rates lower than any of the tiered-pay scales. Temp workers can be terminated at any time by the automaker.

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Fiat Chrsyler Union Workers Given More Time To Review Proposed Deal

United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles facilities will vote next week on a newly proposed contract to cover 40,000 workers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Workers will have until Oct. 20 to review the proposed deal, which was reached last week before a threatened strike. According to the report, workers will vote on the deal Oct. 20-21. Roughly 65 percent of workers reportedly voted down the first deal between the automaker and the UAW because of concerns over its tiered pay structure, health care co-op and lack of communication from union leadership.

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FCA and UAW Reach Deal in Final Hour, Avert Strike for Now

On Wednesday night, as the deadline for strike action came closer and closer, the United Auto Workers-Fiat Chrysler Automobiles National Bargaining Committee announced they had “secured significant gains” over the last proposed tentative agreement that was widely rejected by UAW membership.

Details on the new agreement were not published.

The new proposed agreement averts a strike — for now — and will be sent Friday to local union leaders that comprise the UAW National Chrysler Council for discussion and voting.

“We heard from our members, and went back to FCA to strengthen their contract,” said UAW President Dennis Williams early Thursday morning in a statement. “We’ve reached a proposed Tentative Agreement that I believe addresses our members’ principal concerns about their jobs and their futures. We have made real gains and I look forward to a full discussion of the terms with our membership.”

FCA acknowledged they reached a new proposed tentative agreement with the union, but declined to give specifics due to the pending vote by UAW members.

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BREAKING: Union Workers Prepare to Strike at Fiat Chrysler Plants

United Auto Workers at a Kokomo, Indiana plant have given notice to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that it would strike Wednesday night, Automotive News reported. The notice is reportedly being used at other plants.

The automaker acknowledged the notification via a statement released Tuesday:

FCA US confirms that it has received strike notification from the UAW. The Company continues to work with the UAW in a constructive manner to reach a new agreement.

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Workers Reject Union Contract

United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles officially rejected a proposed contract that would have raised wages for workers, but didn’t eliminate the tiered pay system for veteran and newly hired workers.

Reuters reported that 65 percent of the 40,000 union workers voted against the contract. Reports said that workers voiced concerns that the contract didn’t raise wages enough; created a lower-paid, “third” tier for parts and axle operations workers; and few details were provided for the health care co-op.

FCA relies heaviest among domestic automakers on lower-paid Tier 2 workers. Approximately 45 percent of hourly workers at FCA plants are Tier 2 workers.

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FCA Wins, Volkswagen Loses in Average New Car Price During September

The average transaction price for a new car edged up slightly August to September from $33,563 to $33,730, researchers at Kelley Blue Book said Thursday.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posted the largest gain over the same month last year, as the automaker increased its average transaction price 4.1 percent to $34,809. Unsurprisingly, Volkswagen was the only major automaker to post a loss in the report, losing 1.6 percent from August to September this year, and 0.1 percent from September 2014.

Ford, General Motors and Kia/Hyundai all posted gains over 3 percent, year-over-year. Overall, the industry average for new car transaction prices rose 2 percent from September 2014 to September 2015. Toyota was the other automaker to fall below the industry average for gains. Its average transaction price increased by only 0.6 percent.

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FCA-UAW Contract Sees Trucks Coming Home, Cars Going to Mexico

Ram production will be coming back to the United States and car production moving to FCA’s Mexican operations, Automotive News is reporting citing anonymous sources.

The news comes just days after FCA and the UAW tentatively agreed to a new national contract while locals continue to hammer out the finer details at the plant level. According to the report, there will also be some movement of products within U.S. borders between FCA plants.

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Fields Are Fertile For Now, But Marchionne Has a Long View

Farmers are the ultimate craftsman when it comes to small-scale production. The level of management needed to stay competitive and above the high water line is, simply put, astounding. Consolidation in certain areas of agriculture has lead to factory farming, the widespread adoption of automation and genetically modified seeds that keep seed producers competitive. Private farmers are constantly at war with the market and their own budgets.

The agriculture industry has wholly transformed itself over the last 100 years. The automotive industry, which has only really existed for that same period of time, has seen similar levels of change. We are now building more cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, trikes and quadracycles than ever before, just like we are growing more food than we’ve ever seen in human history.

But, there’s one major stumbling block ahead — and Sergio Marchionne sees it.

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Fiat Chrysler Reportedly Showing Dealers Impossibly Fun Cars That We May Never See

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may be showing off a Dodge Barracuda convertible, a next-generation Charger, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and a Grand Wagoneer — they probably put root beer in the fountains too — according to multiple media reports.

At the dealer meeting in Las Vegas, FCA executives outlined the future for the brands (Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Fiat) that may include up to 30 new or refreshed products within two years.

According to reports, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne also addressed reports that the automaker was seeking a merger with another automaker, and any potential deal would be “to strengthen the competitive position of the companies involved,” he said according to Automotive News.

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  • KOKing I car-sat an A32 while its owner was out of the country, and the then whiz-bang VQ motor was great, but the rest of it wasn't any better than a XV10 or XV20. Definitely the start of its downward slide, unfortunately.
  • Norman Stansfield Why are leaf springs still a thing on this truck?
  • Syke The expected opening comments. Have had mine for two years now, the car has done exactly what I want out of it, and a little better. I'm quite happy with the car, haven't had to adjust my driving style or needs in the slightest, and . . . . oh, did a mention that I don't give a damn what today's price at the pump is?Probably going to go for a second one in the coming year, the wife's happy enough with mine that she's ready and willing to trade in the Nissan Kicks. Eventually, the not often used van will end up getting traded on a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, basically ensuring that we don't use gas for anything except the occasional long trip.And the motorcycles.
  • Bobbysirhan I've never found the Allegro appealing before, but a few years of EV rollouts make it seem downright desirable.
  • Scoutdude I know that dealership. Way back when my friend's grandfather was that Turner that owned the Chrysler Plymouth International dealer, in MacPherson. Of course the International was dropped when they didn't deem the Scout reason enough to keep the franchise. I moved from there in late 1978 so it is possible I saw this running around town way back when.