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More UAW, FCA Officials Sentenced in Bribery Scandal

Borman declared no leniency for defendants.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.07, 2018

The UAW long tried to maintain a squeaky clean reputation, but the scandal has sorely tarnished its image.

Two former Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. officials and one former leader of the United Auto Workers have been sentenced to prison terms, ranging from 12 months to 15 months, for their part in a conspiracy to violate federal labor law.

The sentences imposed on FCA’s Michael Brown and Jerome Durden as well as the UAW’s Keith Mickens come more than two years after the federal government announced indictments triggered by a scheme in which FCA officials used subterfuge to bribe union officials in a bid to secure labor peace.

Breaking News!

Former FCA Vice President Alphons Iacobelli, a central figure in the case, was sentenced to five and a half years in a federal prison, while Monica Morgan, the widow of former UAW VP General Holiefield, one of the central figures in the scheme, was sentenced to 18 months prison earlier this year after pleading guilty to federal tax charges.

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Fiat Chrysler’s Q3 Profits Dinged Due to Diesel Emission Charges

Record earnings before diesel issue may mean dividend payment.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.30, 2018

Fiat Chrysler's third quarter earnings were hurt by charges tied to possible diesel emissions violations.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles net income dropped 38% during the third quarter despite record adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of 2 billion euros, or $2.27 billion, opening the door for the company to pay its first dividend since it was re-organized in 2014.

However, net profit decline 38% to 600 million euros, or $681.16 million, including a 700 million charge related to U.S. diesel emissions matters. FCA is now under investigation by U.S. Department of Justice for the company’s failure to disclose software on about 104,000 diesel-powered pickups and SUVs that regulators said could be similar to the “defeat devices” Volkswagen AG used to cheat emissions-testing on millions of its diesel-powered vehicles.

Business News!

FCA’s worldwide shipments increased by 3% and net revenue grew by 9% to 28.8 billion euros during the quarter. Despite cost of the diesel penalties, FCA’s adjusted EBIT in the North America region grew by 51% with margin at 10.2%, according to the financial information released by the company. (more…)

FCA, Mopar Offer Sneak Peek at SEMA Offerings

Ram trucks get massive makeovers.

by Michael Strong on Oct.26, 2018

Mopar's Low Down Ram gets lower and meaner for SEMA. It's one of two Rams heading to the show in Las Vegas.

With SEMA right around the corner, Fiat Chrysler officials are providing an early look at two entries it’s bringing to the Las Vegas show: The Low Down Ram and Ram Rebel.

The pickup trucks, customized with a combination of Mopar production and prototype parts and accessories, are two of 14 personalized rides, as well as hundreds of Mopar products, that will be on display in the brand’s 15,345-square-foot exhibit in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Last Word!

“The SEMA Show is truly the greatest stage for our brand to demonstrate what owners and enthusiasts can create with a little imagination and a selection of Mopar parts and accessories,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Parts & Service (Mopar) and Passenger Car Brands, FCA – North America.  (more…)

FCA Sells Magneti Marelli for $7.1B to KKR’s Calsonic Kansei

CEO Manley signs off on deal Marchionne started.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.22, 2018

Selling off Magneti Marelli could accelerate the development of EVs and AVs FCA CEO considers critical to FCA's success.

After two years of speculation about if it and when it would do so, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles agreed to sell Magneti Marelli to KKR’s Calsonic Kansei for $7.14 billion, or 6.2 billion euros.

The new company, which is now the world’s seventh largest auto supplier, will be called Magneti Marelli CK Holdings. The new company boasts revenue of 15.2 billion euros, or $17.5 billion, the companies said.

Global News!

“This combination with Calsonic Kansei has emerged as an ideal opportunity to accelerate Magneti Marelli’s future growth,” Manley said on Monday of the FCA unit, which specializes in lighting, powertrain and high-tech electronics. (more…)

Jeep to Launch Renegade Plug-In Hybrid in 2020

Automaker set to have 12 electrified models in productions by 2022.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.09, 2018

In 2020, Fiat Chrysler will offer a plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Renegade to kick off its electrification program.

After a slow start, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is plugging into battery power in a big way, the Euro-American automaker confirming plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Renegade in early 2020.

That follows the launch of a so-called “mild” hybrid system on the all-new Jeep Wrangler launched last year. The system, known as eTorque, is also being used on the completely overhauled 2019 Ram 1500 pickup just now rolling into U.S. showrooms.

Product News!

The Jeep Renegade PHEV will mark a major push into battery power for FCA, the company recently announcing that its various brands will introduce a dozen more advanced electrified models by 2022, ranging from conventional “full” hybrids to plug-ins to all-electric offerings. They will cover a wide spectrum of models and price segments, including the all-new plug-in supercar being developed by the Alfa Romeo brand. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Chief Manley Shuffles Executive Team

Gorlier takes over supervision of European operations.

by Michael Strong on Oct.01, 2018

FCA CEO Mike Manley handed out new assignments to his executive team including naming Pietro Gorlier to COO with oversight of European operations.

After just about six weeks as CEO, Fiat Chrysler’s Mike Manley has shuffled the company’s top managers to his liking, with one appointment in particular drawing attention.

He announced the changes in an email sent to employees.

News You Can Trust!

“The next five years will continue to be extremely challenging for our industry, with tougher regulations, intense competition and probably slower industry growth around the world,” he wrote.  (more…)

FCA Readying for Ratings Upgrade from Moody’s

Agency assigns automaker a "positive outlook."

by Joseph Szczesny on Sep.26, 2018

Fiat Chrysler's future finances were given a positive outlook by Moody's.

Moody’s Ratings has given a “positive outlook” to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles based on its expectation the automaker will continue to improve its overall financial position.

Continuing improvement in FCA’s financial “metrics” in the current fiscal year to help trigger a possible upgrade from the ratings agency to Ba1. FCA’s current rating is considered investment grade but the upgrade would help lower the interest rates the company pays on the money it needs to borrow for continuing business operations.

News Now!

“The positive outlook also assumes that FCA’s financial policy is to remain conservative with no excessive dividend payouts, a more moderate gross leverage than in the past, a solid liquidity profile and some operational resilience in case of a weakening of FCA’s markets,” reads the Moody’s report. (more…)

Marchionne Memorialized in Turin

“Life doesn’t stop.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Sep.14, 2018

FCA Chairman John Elkann, (c), is shown entering the Turin Cathedral for the Marchionne memorial.

An overflow crowd filled the Turin Cathedral on Friday morning marking the first of two planned memorials for Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles who died unexpectedly at the age of 66 nearly two months ago.

The ceremony brought out a mix of political and industrial elites, including FCA Chairman John Elkann and two former Italian prime ministers, as well as company workers and many local residents, according to Italian news reports.

Insight!

“Never take a break or a deep breath because life doesn’t stop,” said Elkann, the heir to the founders of the Fiat side of FCA, recalling Marchionne’s always-on-the-go work ethic.

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Ram Using “Family” Colors on New Farm Trucks

Case Red and New Holland Blue keep truck colors in the family.

by Joseph Szczesny on Sep.11, 2018

Ram has added two new colors for its "farm" trucks: Case Red, above, and New Holland Blue.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. plans to utilize the colors from farming equipment to enhance the appeal of Ram in the nation’s farming communities.

The 2018 Ram Chassis Cab Harvest Edition is specifically designed for farming. The truck is visually distinguished by two limited availability colors: Case IH Red and New Holland Blue.

Product News!

Case IH and New Holland farm tractors and other agricultural equipment are manufactured by subsidiaries of CNH Industrial. CNH Industrial N.V. shares a common ancestry with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. CNH, which like Fiat Chrysler N.V., which are controlled by Exor, the holding company owned by the Agnellis, Fiat’s founding family. (more…)

FCA Upgrades Proving Grounds for Self-Driving Vehicle Testing

Late to the game, FCA races to make up lost time with $30 mil project.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Sep.05, 2018

A Waymo-modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has invested $30 million to upgrade its sprawling Chelsea Proving Grounds, an hour west of Detroit to expand its ability to develop and test both autonomous vehicles advanced driver assist system technologies.

The automaker has been slow to embrace self-driving vehicle technology, though it has been able to leapfrog some of its competitors with an expanding tie-up with Waymo, the self-driving spin-off of Google. The new project will allow FCA to test technology from Waymo and other potential partners, as well as systems it may develop in-house.

Tech News!

“The all-new facility at Chelsea Proving Grounds will help support and enable the successful rollout of the company’s five-year plan laid out earlier this year,” said Mike Manley, who took over as FCA’s CEO just two months ago. “Our ability to test for autonomous and advanced safety technologies enables FCA to offer our customers the features they want across our brand portfolio.”

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