By on March 1, 2019

Today’s Rare Ride is the European luxury sedan you’ve never heard of. Plush, brown, and boxy, it’s the Talbot Tagora from 1982.

(Read More…)

By on June 5, 2017

2017 Mirage Mitsubishi, Image: Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi’s new ownership spells big changes for the automaker’s product future, but the controlling stake recently purchased by Renault-Nissan also means the newly joined automakers will partner on financial services.

As such, buyers in three markets will soon be able to turn to Nissan for a loan on a new Outlander or Mirage. Sorry, Americans — there’s good reason why Mitsubishi’s U.S. financing arm is staying put for now. (Read More…)

By on April 5, 2017

Toledo Ð August 23, 2010 Ð Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne, center, Complex Manager Mauro Pino, right, and more than 800 UAW-represented employees welcomed Vice President Joe Biden, left, to Chrysler's Toledo Assembly Complex, home of the new 2011 Jeep¨ Wrangler, Image: FCA

About half a decade ago, FCA honcho Sergio Marchionne welcomed then-Vice President Joe “Lunch Bucket” Biden to the Jeep Toledo plant to celebrate all things Jeep. It was rather warm August day outside, but even hotter in the assembly plant where everybody’s favorite “uncle,” hair plugs and all, was decked out in a suit and tie. Marchionne, on the other hand, was “sporting” his signature blue wool sweater.

I was writing a politics blog for the Detroit News at the time, and I urged Mr. Marchionne to give his sweater shtick a rest. Why? Well, when the “Number Two” for the United States shows up in a suit, you look disrespectful in a sweater … even if it is from Nordstrom. Worse yet, I pointed out, it had to be hotter than hell in a wool sweater in an assembly plant humming with new vehicle production.

Up to that point, I was duly impressed with the Canadian-Italian and his rescue of my former employer. He was smart, funny and all-too-quotable. Most importantly, he had asked his Chrysler colleagues to work their butts off to save the company, and his minions quickly saw nobody worked harder than Sergio as he chain-smoked his magic on the often down-and-out company.

Marchionne did what former CEO Bob Nardelli couldn’t do in the former Home-Depot-throw-off’s two-year “Reign of Error.” Marchionne didn’t just lead the members of his team. He got in the trenches and inspired them.

Fast forward to late 2016 through today, and I’m asking myself: Is Marchionne a “loon” or a “boon” for FCA’s future?

(Read More…)

By on October 12, 2016

2013_Toyota_NDM_Akio_Toyoda_002

This could be the start of a beautiful business partnership.

After its romance with Volkswagen AG ended in a bitter breakup last year, Suzuki is considering hopping into bed with the world’s largest automaker.

Toyota and Suzuki issued a joint press release today announcing their intention to get together and see where it goes. (Read More…)

By on May 13, 2016

2016 Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X Grille, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Yesterday’s news that Nissan will buy a 34-percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi for $2.2 billion was the latest win for Carlos Ghosn, the man behind the Renault-Nissan Alliance of 1999 and possessor of many fingers in many pies.

Ghosn, CEO of both Nissan and Renault, inked the agreement with Mitsubishi as the other automaker battles a misleading gas-mileage scandal. At a price of 468.52 yen/share, Ghosn’s purchase of new shares was a smoking deal. Mitsubishi shares traded for 1,100 yen just last December.

What becomes of the two companies now? And how will Ghosn’s world-straddling empire benefit by snapping up beleaguered Mitsubishi? (Read More…)

By on May 12, 2016

Subaru badge

Subaru’s parent company plans to change its name from Fuji Heavy Industries to, simply, Subaru Corporation. Why? Because #branding, of course.

In an effort to leverage the recognition of its Subaru brand, the transportation giant says the move away from its long-winded company name will help grow Subaru as a distinctive global presence in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Fuji Heavy Industries currently has four divisions: Automobile, Aerospace, Industrial Power Products, and Eco Technology.

(Read More…)

By on December 3, 2015

Sergio Marchionne at the Italian Embassy in DC Circa February 2012

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles won’t attempt to takeover General Motors anytime soon, FCA chief Sergio Marchionne told investors Thursday according to Reuters.

Speaking following a shareholder meeting, Marchionne said that finding a partner for FCA wasn’t “life or death” for the automaker group. Reportedly, FCA will delay launching several of their cars — including the Alfa Romeo Giulia for six months — as the automaker shores up its $52 billion investment plan.

“We are not choking. We are in relatively decent shape,” Marchionne said.

(Read More…)

By on September 6, 2015

Sergio Marchionne - FCA

Speaking at the Formula One Italian Grand Prix this weekend, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne told Reuters that a merger with General Motors was at the top of his list.

“That discussion remains a high priority for FCA,” Marchionne told Reuters. “We consider it to be the best possible strategic alternative for us and for them. General Motors does remain the ideal partner for us and we represent a not easily replaceable alternative for them.”

(Emphasis mine. But what are the other “strategic alternatives?”)

(Read More…)

By on September 1, 2015

FCA US LLC HQ WTFBBQ

Mergers don’t excite me.

I’m not excited about the prospect of walking in to my neighborhood Jeep/Chevy/Buick/Dodge/GMC superstore and thumbing through the soul-less car stocks like a weekend trip to Costco.

Bark makes a good business case that Mazda and Subaru could help each other in worldwide sales, and brings up some interesting short-term mashups: rotary engines with all-wheel drive, a boxer in a Miata, et al. All those things sound fun like monster trucks and cans of Pabst on a Friday night.

But in reality, despite repeated calls from automakers that consolidation will mean the car business can stay “in business,” mergers don’t make better products — but they try to make shareholders happy, if they can even do that (see: Suzuki-Volkswagen, page 231 of your textbook). Shared R&D is often synonymous with “badge engineering” (Cimarron) and when it’s not, well, just look at Saab.

If history has taught us anything, mergers simply leave car people left out in the cold.  (Read More…)

By on July 11, 2015

sergio-marchionne

Speaking to reporters in Toronto on Friday, Fiat Chrysler Automobile chief Sergio Marchionne said the official filing to spin off Ferrari could happen within the next few days.

“We are days away from filing the prospectus,” Marchionne said, according to the Detroit News.

The future standalone supercar maker will make available 10 percent of the company through its initial public offering, which is widely expected in October. The remainder of the company will be held by Fiat investors and Enzo Ferrari’s son, Piero Lardi Ferrari, who is vice chairman of the company.

(Read More…)

By on April 23, 2015

2016 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus

Though FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is still looking to merge his company with another automaker, no one is all that willing to tie the knot.

(Read More…)

By on October 9, 2014

Sergio Marchionne - FCA

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne — who will be retiring from the company after the next five-year plan runs its course after 2018 — believes mergers between automakers will one day result in a new No. 1 automaker.

(Read More…)

By on November 2, 2010

Nobody knows for sure how many automakers China has. The guesses were somewhere between 60 and 120. Now we have it official: It’s “more than 130 big and small companies in 27 provinces,” writes China Daily. But it looks like a lot of them need to seek other employment. After having made consolidation noises for more than a year, the Chinese government is about to bring their car companies down to a manageable number. (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2010

Here is one sad aspect to the inevitable consolidation of the wild and wooly Chinese car industry: It will reduce the amount of humorous material. Case in point: Zhejiang Gonow Auto, known as the creator of such memorable cars as the „Gonow Aoosed GS” will most likely not grace us with more unforgettable nameplates. True to its name, Gonow is gone. Well, not really. (Read More…)

By on April 13, 2010

If there’s a single phrase dominating the imaginations of auto executives right now, it’s the infamous neologism of “too big to fail.” Whether executives justify their obsession with consolidation with their fear of a Chinese planet, efficiency-standard ramp-ups, or mere groupthink, there’s no doubt that consolidation is currently the name of the game. And it should be, not only for these reasons, but also because the last several years have proven that the car game is no industry for small companies. Nothing illustrates this quite like the US government’s “bailout” of auto industry supplier firms, which ended on April Fools Day.
(Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • Gedrven: While the loss of jobs is a side effect that of course needs to be addressed, in itself it is no reason to...
  • Corey Lewis: Congrats on your purchase!
  • Mike-NB2: My first car was a 1978 Honda Accord that I bought in 1984. I live in an area that uses lots of salt on the...
  • Art Vandelay: The subdued flag on the fender is a nice touch for those that wore that in combat. Not my bag really,...
  • Art Vandelay: I’d have paid extra for that color too

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States