By on September 7, 2018

2019 Ram 1500

After the sudden illness of industry titan Sergio Marchionne in late July, Fiat Chrysler enacted some quick changes in order to name a new CEO. Mike Manley, who had helmed powerhouse FCA brands, was installed into the role on July 21st, just four days before Mr. Marchionne’s passing.

Reuters reported this morning that Manley will announce his new team during an event towards the end of this month. Until now, little else has been said about the remainder of FCA’s management roster. In a post-Sergio world, who will head up each of the company’s brands?

(Read More…)

By on July 27, 2018

marchionne, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died Wednesday at the age of 66, underwent treatment for a serious, unspecified illness for more than a year, a Swiss hospital revealed Thursday.

The sudden change in the executive’s health threw Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari into a frenzied search for new CEOs on Saturday. It’s reported that Marchionne hadn’t informed either automaker of his condition, with their boards of directors only finding out from Marchionne’s family on Friday after his condition rapidly deteriorated. (Read More…)

By on July 25, 2018

With his passing, the auto industry returns to being a sea of suits. Sergio Marchionne, the outspoken, sweater-wearing former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and newly spun-off Ferrari, has died following complications from a recent surgery. The Italian-Canadian industry titan was 66.

Marchionne had been expected to retire from FCA in the spring of 2019, but his rapidly failing health saw the boards of FCA and Ferrari assemble on Saturday to choose successors and issue notes of condolences. Jeep and Ram brand boss Mike Manley took  the helm of FCA by day’s end. Late Tuesday, an Italian newspaper claimed Marchionne suffered an embolism following a high-risk cancer surgery, falling into a unrecoverable coma.

How does one remember such a colorful figure? With cars and quips. (Read More…)

By on July 21, 2018

sergio-marchionne

Louis C. Camilleri was named the next chief executive officer of Ferrari N.V. on Saturday, succeeding former CEO and chairman Sergio Marchionne, whose health has taken a turn for the worse.

As head of Fiat Chrysler, Marchionne orchestrated the successful spin-off of Ferrari beginning in 2014, completing the process in 2016. While the executive had planned to stay on as chairman of the Italian luxury sports car brand after his scheduled retirement from FCA in April of 2019, fate intervened. Jeep brand head Mike Manley is now CEO of FCA, while Camilleri — who arrives with an impressive background in big business — has taken the helm of Ferrari.

In the chairman’s seat now sits John Elkann, head of the Agnelli family’s Exor holding company, which holds a controlling stake in FCA and Ferrari. (Read More…)

By on July 21, 2018

marchionne, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Several news agencies are reporting that Sergio Marchionne, the colorful chief executive who returned Fiat, and then a combined Fiat Chrysler, to profitability, might not end the day as CEO.

Marchionne, who took the helm of Fiat in 2004, was due to retire next April, and recently unveiled the automaker’s upcoming five-year product plan. Two sources told Reuters that Marchionne suffered “massive” complications from a recent shoulder surgery. According to those sources, the boards of Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, and CNH Industrial are all meeting Saturday to name a successor. (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2018

2018 Chrysler 300 Limited - Image: FCA

Rampant speculation on the Chrysler brand’s demise was premature. During a Q&A session in Italy on Friday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that the brand has a future, but it won’t be as big as it once was.

Already, the brand pales in comparison to even the recent past. In 2005, Chrysler sales in the United States topped 600,000 vehicles (we all remember those Sebrings), and the brand plateaued above 300,000 annual sales in the period spanning 2012 to 2015. Last year’s tally? Just over 188,000 sales — not surprising, given its lineup now consists of a single, aging large sedan and a modern minivan. U.S. sales are down 9 percent over the first five months of 2018.

Marchionne’s remarks proved an earlier Bloomberg report true: Chrysler will become a North American brand. And Fiat? Sorry, it doesn’t look like it’s going to work. (Read More…)

By on May 30, 2018

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, due to retire in less than a year’s time, will lay out the automaker’s future on Friday. Well, the next five years of its future — and we all know how malleable those plans can be.

According to a Bloomberg report, sources with knowledge of the plan say the near future contains far fewer Chryslers for those living outside the U.S., and no Fiats for those who are. (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2018

sergio-marchionne

Ten automotive executives met with President Donald Trump this week, hoping to find ways to increase domestic production and mitigate the coming changes to corporate fuel economy regulations. The meeting, held in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, included General Motors’ Mary Barra, Ford’s Jim Hackett and Fiat Chrysler’s Sergio Marchionne. While a large portion of the event was spent discussing the administration’s attempt to roll back established fuel economy rules, Trump was focused on returning manufacturing jobs to the United States.

The president noted that FCA’s decision to spend $1 billion in order to expand truck assembly in Michigan made Marchionne more appealing than his contemporaries. “Right now, he is my favorite person in the room,” Trump said.  (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2018

Candid as always, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne let off some steam during a first-quarter earnings call this week. The chief executive, due to retire early next year, revealed the launch of the next-generation 2019 Ram 1500 was not the smoothest process in the world, with the company taking on additional costs to get the pickup out the door.

Despite these troubles, the Ram 1500’s launch is nothing compared to the debut of the Maserati Levante SUV in 2017, which hit the market with a whimper. That launch straight up “sucked,” Marchionne said. (Read More…)

By on February 7, 2018

marchionne, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

The future is going to be absolutely terrible. Everything is going to be so sterile and automated that humans won’t have anything to do between mealtimes but eagerly anticipate their own death.

At least, that’s the picture being painted by experts. We’re probably further out from autonomous cars, world peace, and robotic butlers than society’s “thinkfluencers” want to admit, but be that as it may, the times are changing and some of this is coming down the pipe.

Automakers are all about the “nextification” of the industry; always promising technological marvels at an accelerated rate. However, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne now claims most visions of the future lack an essential element — any semblance of style. (Read More…)

By on January 25, 2018

2019 Ram 1500

Sticking with its bullish profit predictions for 2018, FCA announced today its fourth quarter earnings for 2017 in which net profits nearly doubled to almost a billion dollars.

With a new Ram 1500 waiting in the wings, the old Ram set to print money while selling alongside the new one, and a healthy Jeep brand serving a public thirsty for crossovers, FCA’s cupboard seems particularly full right about now … so long as the company keeps its focus.

(Read More…)

By on January 17, 2018

Ferrari portofino 2018

Despite referring to the mere notion of an electric Ferrari as “obscene” in 2016, chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne is now saying the brand is obligated to build one. The situation is familiar to what happened with the brand’s upcoming sport utility vehicle — Sergio claimed it would never happen and, roughly a year later, flipped the script.

The SUV is supposed to reach the public by late 2019 or early 2020. However the battery-electric Ferrari won’t come until the brand has established a few hybridized powertrains first. Marchionne claimed that “going from there to an electric is easy,” prefacing the plan with “We do it because we have to do it.” (Read More…)

By on January 16, 2018

jeep renegade grille

Last year, following several fruitless attempts to find a merger partner, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles found itself on the business end of a pretty shocking rumor. Apparently, several Chinese automakers were lining up for a chance to buy FCA. Not so, said those automakers, though Great Wall Motors mentioned it totally wouldn’t miss a chance to steal the Jeep brand away from its parent.

While the thought of such an acquisition no doubt inspired nightmares among Jeep fans (and FCA accountants), it was not to be. Not only is the automaker determined to keep a firm hold on its most valuable brand, it’s not planning on offloading any division, CEO Sergio Marchionne now claims. (Read More…)

By on November 11, 2017

F1 Nov 2017 Redbull

Last week, Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne expressed his distaste for what he perceived as a less-than-desirable update to Formula One’s engine rules. He even suggested the brand might remove itself from the sport if Liberty Media doesn’t reconsider some of its proposals for 2021.

“I understand that Liberty may have taken these into account in coming up with their views,” Marchionne said. “But I think it needs to be absolutely clear that unless we find a set of circumstances, the results of which are beneficial to the maintenance of the brand, and the marketplace, and to the strengthening of the unique position for Ferrari, Ferrari will not play.”

Still in the midst of discussions, Formula One took time to defend itself against Ferrari’s claim that the new rules would make it the global equivalent of NASCAR. (Read More…)

By on November 6, 2017

marchionne, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Apparently, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne had an extended chat with authorities at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in downtown Detroit one year before the $4.5 million corruption scandal involving the automaker’s training center was made public.

Marchionne and his lawyer participated in a private meeting in July 2016, discussing the alleged corruption between FCA executives and high-ranking members of the UAW with investigators. One year later, former Fiat Chrysler Vice President Alphons Iacobelli was indicted and accused of funneling kickbacks to UAW officials. (Read More…)

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