Archive for the ‘Marchionne’ Tag

Marchionne: Next Wrangler won’t be all-aluminum

The next-generation Jeep Wrangler won’t be all aluminum, according to FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Marchionne spoke to reporters at the SAE Foundation’s Annual Celebration last night. He was the guest of honor at the event where he received the group’s 2015 Industry Leadership award.

According to a report in today’s Detroit News, Marchionne said that company tests showed the costs of an all-aluminum body outweighed the weight-saving benefits.

“Because of the difference in cost, not just the new material but the actual assembly process, I think we can do almost as well without doing it all-aluminum,” Marchionne was quoted as saying.

The decision could have been fueled by the difficulties Ford Motor Company faced in producing the latest-generation F-150 pickup. The problems, including the tearing of aluminum body panels in the stamping process, caused delays and constrained early deliveries of Ford’s moneymaker.

The announcement could boost the prospects for Toledo, Ohio, which is spending millions of dollars trying to keep Wrangler production in the city.

Marchionne didn’t give any hints, but said Toledo is one of just two sites being considered for the next-generation of the Wrangler.

During his comments, Marchionne also spoke about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) latest actions.

“We need to work with the agency in a very cooperative and open way to make sure that we can meet their requirements for their new stance,” Marchionne said. “We have no option but to comply with their requirements and we will. I have nothing to hide in this process. I just want clear rules.”

He said the agency’s increasingly aggressive stance will increase automakers’ costs as they try to meet new demands; and that he will not be testifying at the NHTSA’s public hearings scheduled for July 2.

Speaking about the new Jeep Renegade, Marchionne confirmed that several issues, including some software problems, were limiting availability of the Italian-built small Jeep.

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/05/marchionne-next-wrangler-wont-be-all-aluminum-28735

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Wrangler may leave frame, factory, steel behind

The 2017 Jeep Wrangler may leave its historic steel body-on-frame construction and Toledo plant behind, according to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, as quoted by Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette.

The current Wrangler has good mileage for rugged four wheel drive vehicles, but poor economy overall, at around 17/21 mpg (depending on model and transmission).

Mr. Marchionne said the Wrangler will need to lose weight and might need an aluminum unibody setup; previously, he had implied that Wrangler would be Chrysler’s first car to make extensive use of aluminum since the Plymouth Prowler, whose team was largely hired by Ford.

The 3.6 liter V6 would likely be swapped out for either a Hurricane 2.0 turbo and/or the smaller 3.2 V6. Many believe a diesel will be optional.

Mr. Marchionne said that the Toledo South plant could not handle an aluminum body, but that any solution would not affect local employment. This means that a new plant might be built, or that the plant could also be repurposed (or closed) and the Wrangler moved to Toledo North, Sterling Heights, or Belvidere, though this would mean that the aluminum-bodied Wrangler would be made with steel-bodied cars, which seems unlikely.

The current Wrangler plant was created under Daimler and is enclosed by a “supplier park,” making expansion difficult at best and reducing flexibility.

There has also been considerable talk of using an independent suspension. While there has been an innovative long-travel independent-suspension Wrangler prototype, one suspension engineer said he suspected the company would adopt a version of the Ram 4×4’s setup instead.

Mr. Vellequette pointed out that a unibody setup would “effectively be a modern-day version of the popular Cherokee XJ,” and pointed out that the massive changes could be too much for dedicated Jeepers.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/10/wrangler-may-leave-frame-factory-steel-behind

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