By on April 3, 2020

Mirroring its southern neighbor, Canadian auto sales took a dive last month as measures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 went into effect across the country. First-quarter volume, as a result, fell roughly 20 percent across the industry, with March’s decline pegged at 48 percent by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (via Bloomberg).

Still, amid all the gloom were statistical bright spots. (Read More…)

By on March 31, 2020

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is deferring 20 percent of salaried workers’ pay until June while CEO Mike Manley endures a 50-percent cut to his annual earnings. With the pandemic still attempting to grip more of North America, this was to be expected. Other domestic nameplates have already issued notices of deferred payments to executives staffers, noting that additional measures would likely need to be taken if COVID-19 fails to recede in the coming months. Seeing the writing on the wall, FCA seems to have jumped straight into phase two.  (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2020

peugeot

Following reports from France that the merger between PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could be upended by the coronavirus, PSA announced that the media got this one all wrong. While the French automaker admitted that economic problems stemming from the outbreak are indeed concerning, it reiterated its commitment to safeguarding employment while adding that a merger makes even more sense now than before.

Still, there are valid reasons to question the current state of the merger agreement established in December via a memorandum of understanding. COVID-19 has sent global markets into a tailspin, with PSA and FCA seeing their share prices seesawing in the wrong direction over the last two weeks.  (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2020

fca

With Ford looking to get pickups rolling off the assembly line again by April 6th, where does its rivals stand?

The list is far from complete, and schedules for resuming production are fluid as a 1950s executive’s lunch, but there’s details to share on when certain U.S. autoworkers might be headed back to the factory. (Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

cami assembly factory

Much talk has been made over the past week of turning the auto industry’s manufacturing might into a so-called Arsenal of Health. In the U.S. and Canada, federal governments have turned to automakers for production of much-needed ventilators to save lives of coronavirus patients. Meanwhile, breweries and distilleries have swapped to hand sanitizer production.

Turning on a dime to crank out ventilators and face masks isn’t an overnight proposition, but an emergency effort to expand the availability of life-saving supplies would go a long way to save lives. The Detroit Three are already on it. Tesla, too. (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2020

2018 Ford F150 assembly line -Image: Ford

Ford Motor Company says it plans to idle all North American plants by end of day Thursday, keeping those facilities offline until the end of the month in an effort to cleanse them of coronavirus. General Motors is following suit, though Fiat Chrysler has yet to detail its near-future plan to protect workers and tailor production to reduced consumer demand.

The details come after the Detroit Three automakers agreed to a partial shutdown of U.S. production after advocacy from the United Auto Workers. (Read More…)

By on March 16, 2020

Domestic automakers are enamored with the full-sized pickup segment because it’s a reliable way of securing hundreds of thousands of sales in North America on an annual basis. Here, Ford’s F-Series reigns supreme. That might not always be the case, however, especially with younger buyers opting to purchase their pickups at competing brands.

Last month, Edmunds released a study claiming Ram is leading the charge with buyers under 35 — saying the brand had won over “the most coveted section of the market.”  (Read More…)

By on March 16, 2020

Most white-collar types working for domestic automakers will be able to limit exposure to the rampaging coronavirus by sealing themselves off at home, relying on computers, phones, and Skype to carry on the business of making cars. But those whose livelihoods involve the physical building of cars are a different story; they have to come into work, so long as the plant stays open.

With this in mind, the Detroit Three and the United Auto Workers joined up to create the COVID-19/Coronavirus Task Force — an effort to lower the risk posed to assembly plant workers. (Read More…)

By on March 13, 2020

The domestic auto industry is quickly shifting into self-isolation mode as best it can, knowing full well that assembly plants can’t churn out shiny new automobiles with line workers sitting in their living rooms.

As North America moves into a new phase of the emerging pandemic, automakers are taking precautionary measures, all the while wondering how long the lights will stay on. (Read More…)

By on March 13, 2020

2016 Dodge Durango Grille and Badge, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Model names usually remain the property of their original owner. The trademark gets renewed again and again, long after the vehicle bearing the name shuffles into retirement, lest it fall into someone else’s hands.

In this case, three automakers have placed the name somewhere on a vehicle.

That name is Hornet, and recent U.S., Canadian, and Mexican trademark applications show that Fiat Chrysler — and especially the Dodge brand — wants to keep it secure. But why? (Read More…)

By on March 12, 2020

FCA

A day after the World Health Organization declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, an employee at Fiat Chrysler’s Kokomo Transmission Plant in Indiana tested positive for the virus.

This marks the first time a Detroit Three autoworker has contracted the illness, though the automaker claims the plant remains up and running. The employee, who remains unidentified (The Detroit News claims it’s a salaried UAW member), is reportedly receiving medical treatment. (Read More…)

By on March 12, 2020

In what is perhaps the shape of things to come here in North America, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has decided to temporarily close several Italian factories in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Closures will be enacted at Pomigliano d’Arco, Melfi, Atessa and Cassino — with each factory stalled for several days between Wednesday and Saturday.

This comes after FCA took steps to limit the number of people passing through the doors of its Italian offices and factories. Late last month, the automaker issued a letter to suppliers and prospective visitors explaining that it would refuse anyone who recently visited Asia or any of the Italian municipalities initially affected by the virus outbreak. It then set up sanitation sites to encourage employee hand washing while staff attempted to sterilize their respective workplaces — a valiant effort that was probably doomed from the start.  (Read More…)

By on March 11, 2020

General Motors Renaissance Center

Fiat Chrysler wants to see General Motors’ racketeering lawsuit dismissed, but the automaker’s crosstown rival isn’t in a charitable mood.

GM contends that bribery of United Auto Workers officials by FCA over years of contract talks left that automaker sitting pretty, with extra labor costs dumped on its Detroit competitors. While FCA claims GM can’t prove it’s a victim, The General says otherwise. (Read More…)

By on March 10, 2020

fca

Not long ago, Subaru announced its intention to bring transmissions to Indiana. Now, Fiat Chrysler plans to replace some of its tranny-building capacity with engine production. Either way, it’s good news for the Hoosier State.

Lost in the shuffle late last week was news that FCA intends to spend $400 million converting the shuttered Indiana Transmission Plant II in Kokomo to a home for the automaker’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. (Read More…)

By on March 4, 2020

fca

There’s no mistaking the vehicle you see here. It’s undoubtedly a Fiat 500, and a cursory glance leaves the impression that it hasn’t changed much.

It’s true, some things haven’t changed: the next-generation Fiat 500 is still small, still a two-door, still comes in hardtop or cabriolet form, and it still wears the overall design of the previous one, albeit with subtle alterations. And yet there’s a serious change afoot here, hiding beneath a vehicle that has, actually, grown a little. (Read More…)

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