Archive for the ‘fiat chrysler automobiles’ Tag

Apple Is Getting Very Serious About The Whole Car Thing

A couple of years ago, Apple announced its intention to dominate dashboardsvia the CarPlay infotainment system. To most observers, CarPlay seemed like an interesting move but not much of a stretch for Apple. After all, plenty of drivers already used their iPhones for music and navigation, so why not bake those features directly into cars?

Back in February, however, rumors began circulating that Apple had bigger plans for the auto world — plans that involved building its own autonomous cars. Soon afterward, we heard reports of a secret research lab and claims that Apple was poaching experienced battery designers. The company’s goals were becoming clearer: Apple was gunning for next-gen manufacturers of electric, self-driving cars like Tesla.

The only thing in this narrative that’s remained a bit unclear has been how serious Apple is about its car project. Is it iPhone serious, or is it AppleTV serious?

Based on recent news, it’s iPhone serious.

That news involved Apple’s hiring of Doug Betts, formerly the head of global quality at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. As you can see from Betts’ resume, he’s spent nearly 30 years in the auto industry, and he’s always been focused on improving the efficiency of the manufacturing process and the quality of products.

What will Betts be doing at Apple? His profile simply says that he’s in “Operations”, which could mean anything. But it would be a little strange for Apple to hire such a dedicated auto industry guy with extensive production credentials and not use him to produce automobiles. If, for example, Apple wanted to tighten up production of smartphones or watches, surely there are people better than Betts for such jobs.

So, to recap, for those who had lingering doubts, Apple is getting very serious about producing cars.

Read more at:http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1099268_apple-is-getting-very-serious-about-the-whole-car-thing?fbfanpage

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Dodge and SRT belong together!

Among the moves unveiled during the recent Investor Day program for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, shifting the Street and Racing Technology (SRT) group into the Dodge brand perked up the ears of driving enthusiasts.

The change means the Viper high-performance sports car returns to the brand where it was born in 1993. Also, throughout SRT’s history the majority of its products have come from the Dodge stable.

With Dodge now positioned as the Chrysler Group’s performance brand, bringing SRT into the fold is a natural move, says Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler Group CEO.

“Dodge is a performance brand, it needs to have SRT attached to it,” Marchionne said on May 13 while attending a transmission plant opening event in Indiana.

He added: “So in the next five years you will see the portfolio purified and strengthened by removing the minivan, the Avenger, the replacement of the Journey with something else that matches the DNA of Dodge. But that needs the completion at the top end with SRT. And SRT will complete Dodge. It will make it the specialist performance piece of the performance brand.”

SRT will maintain its current momentum under the leadership of Dodge Brand President and CEO Tim Kuniskis. The passionate and popular Ralph Gilles, who served as SRT brand chief, continues in his roles as Chrysler Group design chief and head of motorsports.

“He’s still going to be leading the design of the cars,” Marchionne said. “That’s a huge strength in that field.”

As read on: http://blog.chryslerllc.com/blog.do?id=2264&p=entry

Asked about the Viper, Marchionne said: “It’s going to be the top end of the extended Dodge family. It will be a Viper but managed by Dodge. The fangs will always be unique.”

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to be automaker’s new name

Fiat and Chrysler will become Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and its stock will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange if Fiat’s shareholders approve the proposal.

The proposal, approved by the board of directors, comes eight days after Fiat closed its purchase of the Chrysler shares it didn’t already own. Fiat, which became Chrysler’s controlling shareholder in 2009, acquired the remaining 41.5% of Chrysler shares owned by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust on Jan. 21 for $4.35 billion.

“Today is one of the most important days in my career at Fiat and Chrysler. Five years ago we began to cultivate a vision that went beyond industrial cooperation to include full cultural integration at all levels,” Marchionne said in a statement. “An international governance structure and listings will complete this vision and improve access to global markets bringing obvious financial benefits.”

Under the proposal, Fiat shareholders will receive one share of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in return for each Fiat share they hold.

■ Related: Fiat earnings fall short, but Chrysler’s 2013 profit rose to $1.8 billion

■ Related: Chrysler workers to get profit sharing, performance bonuses for 2013

All of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with an additional listing on the Milan Stock Exchange.

The board also is proposing that the company be incorporated in the United Kingdom for tax purposes. The board said the incorporation location is not expected to affect the taxes the automaker owes in other countries where it does business. The transaction is subject to approval by Fiat’s board of directors and shareholders.

Fiat’s board also wants to establish Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., incorporated in the Netherlands, as the parent company of the two automakers.

Fiat’s board expects to complete the transactions by the end of this year.

“A new chapter of our story begins with the creation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a journey that started over a decade ago,” Fiat Chairman John Elkann said in a statement. “Fiat sought to ensure its place in an increasingly complex marketplace, has brought together two organizations each with a great history in the automotive industry and different but complementary geographic strengths.”

Marchionne has said the location of the new company’s headquarters would have little impact on employment or investment decisions. That’s because the two companies are already managed by a 22-member group executive council whose executives are evenly divided among North America, Europe and Latin America.

Marchionne divides his time among those three continents, often spending more time on an airplane than any one country.

“Talking about a headquarters is almost an anachronistic term,” Marchionne said. “We live in a world where power travels.”

Nevertheless, most people still view the location of a corporate headquarters as a symbol of power that has implications for a company’s community involvement and corporate giving.

As read on: http://www.freep.com/article/20140129/BUSINESS0103/301290078/Fiat-Chrysler-Marchionne-UAW-board-of-directors