By on November 13, 2019

There was a flurry of speculation earlier this year about a traditional people hauler, with whispering voices claiming that, in a bid to boost demand, Fiat Chrysler was prepared to offer an all-wheel drive version of its Pacifica minivan. Minivan sales aren’t doing too hot, as you know. Crossovers and the like…

While the automaker’s minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario did get a funding top-up in April, thus far the only byproduct of that $355 million cash dump was the creation of a new/old nameplate — Voyager — to stand in for lower-trimmed Pacificas. A new bit of evidence, however, does point to an eventual AWD Pacifica. (Read More…)

By on November 12, 2019

A yet-to-be-revealed engine that’s kept the rumor mill in Mopar circles churning continues to make its possible presence known. It’s an engine supposedly tapped for a new line of Fiat Chrysler products, and might find a home in existing vehicles, too.

It’s an engine that comes to the table with (arguably) the sexiest cylinder layout on the market: six of ’em, all in a row. (Read More…)

By on November 12, 2019

Certain Fiat Chrysler dealers aren’t happy with the inventory buildup that took place over the summer, claiming the automaker is headed back to the bad old days with the creation of a sales bank.

FCA, which just sealed a merger agreement with France’s Groupe PSA, claims its inventory is under control, touting a significant reduction in unsold vehicles during the third quarter. (Read More…)

By on November 11, 2019

As we told you last week, the Alfa Romeo brand’s near-term future contains far less excitement than initially thought. In Fiat Chrysler’s third-quarter earnings report, the automaker revealed a severely pared-down product portfolio for the struggling Italian brand. Gone are plans for a new 8C and GTV.

As the product picture becomes clear, it seems Alfa has even fewer items to dole out than once believed — which might be just the thing for a brand that’s struggling to leave the launch pad. (Read More…)

By on November 5, 2019

FCA

Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Fiat Chrysler and chief of the mighty Ram brand, has withdrawn a lawsuit against his employer in the hopes of gaining whistleblower protection.

The top FCA executive filed the suit in June after the automaker allegedly made him take the financial fall for dodgy sales practices that preceded his tenure. Bigland, who was on the short list of possible successors for late CEO Sergio Marchionne, claimed FCA withheld bonuses and severely cut his pay — payback for a federal probe that forced the company to revise its sales history.

The lawsuit will be back on come December. (Read More…)

By on November 1, 2019

2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio badge

Sports car fans had best brace themselves for a big letdown. Fiat Chrysler, currently pursuing a merger with France’s Groupe PSA, has given investors a peak at future high-end product, and two anticipated models seem to have fallen off the drawing board.

Those products would be the reborn Alfa Romeo GTV and 8C, which are nowhere to be seen in the brand’s near-future product timeline. However, if crossovers are your thing, you’re in luck. (Read More…)

By on October 17, 2019

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is facing a $79 million civil penalty over its inability to adhere to fuel economy requirements in 2017. Considering the automaker was already hit with a $77 million fine for 2016 model year requirements, the announcement is not unexpected. FCA’s domestic lineup is also loaded with large vehicles featuring sizable motors, a status quo it hopes to offset by buying carbon credits from Tesla.

In fact, the company appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach in regard to pursuing greener automobiles. While it continues to maintain its $10 billion commitment through 2022, aimed at delivering more hybrid and electric vehicles, the automaker’s established strategy involves eating whatever penalties it incurs via federal economy requirements or attempting to pay them off in advance.  (Read More…)

By on October 16, 2019

Jeep and AM General are joining forces to build a military-spec pickup, drafting the Gladiator into active duty. Though we suppose this is more of a reunion than a team-up, as both companies (and their most iconic models) owe their existence to Kaiser Jeep and Willys — if you go back far enough.

Called the Gladiator XMT (Extreme Military-Grade Truck), the concept exists so AM General can address its need for a new light tactical vehicle. Apparently impressed with the civilian model’s off-road prowess and tow ratings, the manufacturer reached out to Fiat Chrysler to see what could be done with the 4×4. The duo plan to shop the XMT around to militaries around the world, but claim their chief concern remains its suitability for those marching (er… driving) under the American flag.  (Read More…)

By on October 7, 2019

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The Environmental Protection Agency has gotten around to tinkering with Ram’s latest EcoDiesel V6, and its early findings should put a smile on the faces of the folks in Auburn Hills. However, the estimated fuel economy of the latest (and totally legal) 3.0-liter diesel comes with an asterisk.

While the oil-burning Ram 1500 does seem to beat out Ford’s 3.0-liter Power Stroke both in terms of power and efficiency, both Ford and Ram take a backseat to General Motors. (Read More…)

By on October 3, 2019

Never have pickup trucks mattered more to an automaker, especially domestic automakers. As sedans and coupes fall off, trucks make up an ever greater percentage of a company’s sales, and the greater (and quickly rising) average selling prices of these hulking family vehicles means there’s a pot of gold waiting for those who succeed.

While the full-size pickup front-runner hasn’t changed since the early 1980s, Ford’s F-Series faces growing competition from two traditional foes. Both Fiat Chrysler and General Motors have newer pickups on the market, and it’s eating into the popularity of the untouchable F-Series. (Read More…)

By on October 2, 2019

1982 Dodge Aries Wagon in Colorado Wrecking Yard, front view - ©2016 Murilee Martin

Millennials find themselves at a societal crossroads. Wage growth isn’t ideal, living (and certainly education) costs are rising faster than their paychecks, and technological advancements are rendering swaths of middle-class jobs obsolete.

Which is why, in this author’s opinion, it’s time for Aries. (Read More…)

By on September 30, 2019

Hauntings normally don’t cost the homeowner $40 million, but that’s what Fiat Chrysler faces after over-reporting monthly vehicle sales for a period of several years. Late last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hit FCA with a fine for its now-corrected sales reporting practices, claiming the automaker misled investors.

FCA’s sales reporting trickery is also behind a lawsuit filed against the company by one of its top executives. (Read More…)

By on September 25, 2019

While the proposed merger between Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was stymied after the French government refused to sign off on the deal without support from Renault’s Japanese partners, Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard has indicated he’s still keen on the idea.

Nissan’s reluctance to endorse the arrangement last June may have queered the deal, but things are evolving. The Japanese automaker has strived to reduce Renault’s influence in the automotive alliance, especially since the November arrest of Carlos Ghosn. Unfortunately for Nissan, ex-CEO Hiroto Saikawa was also caught up in the financial scandal — forcing him to resign. The Japanese automaker is now seeking a permanent replacement while CFO Yasuhiro Yamauchi runs things in the interim.

While it’s unlikely to make Japanese shareholders supportive of French involvement, it does provide an opportunity for Nissan to find a new chief executive who’s a bit more sympathetic to Renault’s desires.  (Read More…)

By on September 25, 2019

Image: 2017 Dodge Journey SE, via FCA

We’ve already looked at the Nissan Sentra today, so it’s time to focus on the Dodge Journey. Yes, we’re all about the common man here at TTAC.

If it somehow escaped your attention, and we’re not sure how it could, we’re here to tell you that the Journey will stage a return for 2020, continuing a lineage that’s attracted only minor changes since the model’s appearance at the tail end of the Bush administration. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but Fiat Chrysler has a way of changing plans at the last minute. (Read More…)

By on September 25, 2019

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel, Image: FCA

A senior manager who led the team of diesel engineers behind Fiat Chrysler’s maligned EcoDiesel V6 has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of conspiracy to mislead U.S. regulators and the public.

Following an investigation by the Department of Justice, Emanuele Palma, FCA’s senior manager of diesel driveability and emissions, faces multiple charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., wire fraud, and violation of the Clean Air Act. He’s also accused of lying to the FBI and Environmental Protection Agency investigators.

All of this stems from the EPA-led outcry over auxiliary emissions control devices found on the company’s previous-generation 3.0-liter diesel truck engine. (Read More…)

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