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    Dealerships accuse Fiat Chrysler of falsifying U.S. sales


    • FCA slapped with lawsuit accusing the manufacturer of racketeering.

    Two Chicago area dealership groups have filed a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles accusing the auto manufacturer of falsifying monthly sales figures in the U.S. FCA says the allegations are without merit.

    FCA has reported 69 monthly sales gains in the years since its bankruptcy in 2009.

     

    In the lawsuit, the one of dealerships claim that they were offered $20,000 to falsely report the sales of 40 new vehicles on the final day of a month. Those sales would then be backed out on the first day of the next month preventing the warranty clock on those vehicles from starting.

     

    The lawsuit further alleges that FCA rewards dealers who falsify the sales reports with a greater allocation of the best selling vehicles.

     

    Source: Automotive News

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    Will be watching this closely. If it gets ugly, I bet we see some changes at the executive level all the way back to Italy.

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    Will be watching this closely. If it gets ugly, I bet we see some changes at the executive level all the way back to Italy.

     

     

    Sergio isn't going anywhere til retirement. What I really wanna kno is what exactly were FCA's numbers then. That 7% Increase might not be exactly what we heard it was at end of the year 2015

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    If this is true it could really be major trouble.

    Stock was stopped when it dropped at 9.8% in Europe if I heard correctly before being suspended.

    The lawsuit is not as bad as it could get if the federal government gets involved. This is the kind of stuff people go to jail over if they can identify who made the call to do this. Even if they do not pin it on anyone the stock will take a hit anyways.

    No Stu this is not an attack just what the media and Wall St people are saying. I hope this is proven false as this could really be as bad.

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    If this is true it could really be major trouble.

    Stock was stopped when it dropped at 9.8% in Europe if I heard correctly before being suspended.

    The lawsuit is not as bad as it could get if the federal government gets involved. This is the kind of stuff people go to jail over if they can identify who made the call to do this. Even if they do not pin it on anyone the stock will take a hit anyways.

    No Stu this is not an attack just what the media and Wall St people are saying. I hope this is proven false as this could really be as bad.

     

    If this allegation turns out to be true... the Securities and Exchange commission doesn't tend to take too kindly to lying to shareholders.  The racketeering charge is child's play in comparison. 

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    If this allegation turns out to be true... the Securities and Exchange commission doesn't tend to take too kindly to lying to shareholders.  The racketeering charge is child's play in comparison.

    Yes that is what I mean. This one would include the S&E as well as justice department and others as this breaks laws under several areas.

    This could be bad enough they will wish they lied and cheated on Diesel emissions.

    Edited by Drew Dowdell
    fixed up your quoting mishap
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    I was just thinking. Sergio made a big deal on how he was no longer wanting to go after a hostle take over with investors.

    ​I am betting he backed off when they saw this coming as it would not look good to be claiming the hostle take over with new investors while getting sued for lying about sales and volume. Even if he did not know about it this would be enough to bring charges.

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    Will be watching this closely. If it gets ugly, I bet we see some changes at the executive level all the way back to Italy.

     

     

    Sergio isn't going anywhere til retirement. What I really wanna kno is what exactly were FCA's numbers then. That 7% Increase might not be exactly what we heard it was at end of the year 2015

     

     

    It would be interesting to see the real numbers if the books were cooked. I know jeep sales are doing well but what numbers did they falsify?

     

    Sergio had better hope that their books are fully in order.  You know the family will let him hang in the wind on this no matter what if it proves to be true.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    Will be watching this closely. If it gets ugly, I bet we see some changes at the executive level all the way back to Italy.

     

     

    Sergio isn't going anywhere til retirement. What I really wanna kno is what exactly were FCA's numbers then. That 7% Increase might not be exactly what we heard it was at end of the year 2015

     

     

    It would be interesting to see the real numbers if the books were cooked. I know jeep sales are doing well but what numbers did they falsify?

     

    Sergio had better hope that their books are fully in order.  You know the family will let him hang in the wind on this no matter what if it proves to be true.

     

    Gut tells me they fried Fiat Numbers, Chrysler / Dodge numbers. I truly believe Jeep and Ram are just fine.

     

    Look at your local FIAT dealers and tell me how they are selling as many as they are when you see not just 30-50 autos on the lot but hundreds of them. The FIAT dealers in the greater Puget Sound area all have around 200-300 fiats in stock. You cannot tell me they are moving that many each month when I hardly see them on the roads. They are one of the most terribly made products right with Mini. There are way too many FIATS that are under 10K miles 2 years old or under 5K 1 year old for sale plus hundreds of new ones.

     

    The product should die and go away. Chrysler / Dodge can do a better subcompact / compact than Fiat.

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    I will wait for proof (as all should).  You would think if they were fudging numbers that it would be making a much better showing as what it is showing right now (outside of he 500x, which is still getting crushed in it's segment).  Also, couldn't this be confirmed or denied via checking new vehicle registrations?  If it is, it is, but the accusation seems off as everything outside of Jeep and ram is only doing decent (Chrysler/Dodge) or in $h!'s creeks (Fiat). 

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    Well just showing your shareholders you're not going under could be enough to lie about it. If you show terrible numbers and all investors bail.. then you're more scored. If you show massive gains then it is obvious. Just show small gains or staying afloat might be able to fly under the radar. 

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    Like anything, regardless of who it effects, there still needs to be proof out there.  So far all we have is hearsay. 

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    From reading the lawsuit, it could be localized....  perhaps one bad apple in the form of a regional manager.

    So you are thinking this could be a district manager trying to make himself look good for promotion or just to keep his job.

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    Yeah, I read that the two dealers filing the complaint have been under-performing for years, so they're not getting corporate benefits and as such, they have motive to lie. I'm sure an investigation will reveal the truth soon enough.

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    From reading the lawsuit, it could be localized....  perhaps one bad apple in the form of a regional manager.

    So you are thinking this could be a district manager trying to make himself look good for promotion or just to keep his job.

     

     

    Purely hypothesis and speculation... but yes.

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    That does sound more plausible, especially considering both dealerships were from the same area.  If true i don't see one region making that large of an impact on overall sales. 

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    More needs to be learned.

    ​If both cases get tossed then odds are there is nothign to this. If the cases get settled then the goverment may move in to investigate and it will be based on that.

     

    I just hope this proved false.

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      10%
       
       
    • By William Maley
      Subcompact crossovers are the hot thing at the moment and automakers are trying to make their models stand out. Whether it is using sleek styling, sporty driving dynamics, or value for money, every automaker is trying their best to get their vehicle noticed. For Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, they’re going for a two-prong attack in the class with models from Fiat and Jeep. The Jeep Renegade is aimed at those who want a subcompact that can tackle a trail, and the Fiat 500X provides some chicness for the class. We spent some time in both models to see if they can make some end roads in this growing class.
       




      While the 500X and Renegade may share a fair amount of mechanicals, the design of the two is worlds apart. The Renegade is classic Jeep with a square body, seven-slot grille, and a set of large headlights. The Renegade also features a fair number of Easter eggs throughout the exterior. The head and taillights feature little Jeep grille-and-headlights logos, and a small Willys MB on the bottom of the windshield. This is basically the vehicle equivalent of a hidden object puzzle you might have done back in school. 
      Remember the first commercial for the Fiat 500X where a blue pill falls into the fuel filler of a standard 500. The owner turns around and somehow his vehicle has engorged into something bigger. That’s how you can summarize the design of the 500X. Compared to your standard 500, the 500X is 28.6 inches longer and 15.6 inches wider. A lot of the design traits from the 500 such as the round headlights, long chrome bar holding the emblem, and rectangular taillights are present on this crossover.
       
      Moving inside, the Renegade takes some inspiration from the Wrangler with a rugged dash design and a grab bar for the passenger. Higher trims such as our Limited tester feature a decent amount of soft-touch materials. Like the exterior, the Renegade’s interior has Easter eggs strewn about. The tachometer with has a splash of mud to illustrate the redline, a seven-slot grille design for the speaker grilles, and the frame around the radio having ‘Since 1941’ stamped. The only complaint we have with the Renegade’s dash is the placement of the climate controls. They are mounted a bit too low to reach easily.
       




       
      The 500X’s interior is Fiat’s best effort to date. The overall look has some traits of the standard 500 such as a retro design for the dash. But where the 500X stands out is in the material choices. Fiat went all out with adding soft-touch materials on the dash and door panels to help make the model feel very premium. Our Trekking Plus tester came upholstered in brown leather that added a touch of class that’s nonexistent in other competitors.
       
      Both models offer plenty of head and legroom for passengers sitting up front. In the back, headroom is decent for most passengers even with the optional sunroof fitted. Legroom ranges from decent for most folks to almost nonexistent depending on how tall the person sitting up front is. The seats themselves are lacking sufficient support for long trips. If cargo capacity is a priority, then consider the Renegade as it offers 18.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up. The 500X is towards the bottom of the class with only 12.2 cubic feet mostly due to the design of the vehicle.
       
      For your infotainment needs, Fiat and Jeep offer a lineup of Uconnect systems from three to 6.5 inches. Our test vehicles featured the optional 6.5-inch system. Uconnect is still one of the easiest systems to use thanks to a simple interface and very fast performance. We hope FCA considers adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility in the future.
       




      In terms of engines, both the 500X and Renegade come standard with a turbocharged 1.4L with 160 horsepower. The downside to this engine is that it is only available with a six-speed manual. If you want an automatic, then you’ll need to get the engine found under the hood of our test models; a 2.4L four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. We’re not fans of the 2.4L in the any of the FCA vehicles we have driven and this trend continues with the 500X and Renegade. Leaving a stop, there is plenty of oomph to get up to speed in urban environments. Out on the rural roads and highways, the 2.4L struggles to get up to speed at a decent clip. Not helping matters is the engine sounding unrefined. The engine noise during hard acceleration could actually drown out the radio. 
      The one bright spot for the powertrain is the nine-speed automatic. This transmission has been a sore point in a number of FCA vehicles for sluggish shifting and not feeling refined. With the 500X and Renegade, it seems FCA has been able to fix many of the wrongs of the nine-speed. Gear changes are much faster and smoother than in previous models.
       
      Both models can be equipped with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Both models came equipped with all-wheel drive. This system primarily works in front-wheel drive to help improve fuel economy. But if the system detects slip, it will hook up the rear axle and start sending power for better traction. The Renegade has the more advanced all-wheel drive system known as Jeep Active Drive. This system gives the driver the choice of various drive modes (Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud) that adjusts the all-wheel drive, steering, and transmission to provide the best settings for the conditions at hand. There’s also a 4WD lock that splits power 50:50 to provide added traction. Thanks to a freak snow storm in April, I was able to put the system to the test. Driving on some snowy roads, the system was able to keep the Renegade moving without the tires spinning.
       
      The Renegade Trailhawk takes the system a step further with Active Drive Low. As the name suggests, this system features low range via a two-speed transfer case. This allows the Trailhawk to tackle more difficult obstacles such as rocks.
       
      Fuel economy is terrible for the class. The Fiat 500X is rated at 21 City/30 Highway/24 Combined. The Renegade matches the 500X in city and combined fuel figures but is only rated at 29 for the highway. Our average for the week was a very disappointing 22.1 MPG in both vehicles. This is a figure you would expect in a larger crossover, not a subcompact.
       




       
      The ride in both vehicles is on the firm and harsh side. You’ll be able to tell how bad the roads around you are as bumps and road imperfections are transmitted to the seats. Interestingly, both the 500X and Renegade are quite fun around corners. The vehicles feel agile and the steering has some decent weight. But as the Mazda CX-3 has shown, you can have excellent handling characteristics and a decent ride in a crossover. On the highway, the Renegade is the noisier of the two with a large amount of wind noise coming inside.
       
      As for pricing, the 500X and Renegade get off to a good start. The Renegade starts at $17,995 and the 500X comes in at $20,000. Where it falls apart comes in the higher trims. Our two testers had price tags of just under $32,000 - $31,695 for the Renegade Limited and $31,800 for the 500X Trekking Plus. For that same amount of money, you can get into a well-equipped or even a loaded compact crossover. Neither one of these models is worth their high price tags.
       
      The subcompact crossover class has become a hotly contested class in only a couple of years and you have to show up with your a-game if you want to make an impact. In the case the 500X and Renegade, FCA dropped the ball. The larger four-cylinder engine should be shown the door for its issues in terms of refinement and fuel economy. The ride characteristics need a rethink and the value for money argument is tough when dealing with the higher trim models. This is very disappointing as the two models have some characteristics that should put them a bit higher in the class. The Fiat 500X’s interior looks and feels like something you would find in a luxury model. The Jeep Renegade can go into places that other subcompact crossovers not even dare try thanks to a clever all-wheel drive system and Jeep’s off-road know-how.
       
      But these positive points cannot overcome the numerous issues both of the vehicles have. It would be best to avoid them.
       
      Cheers: Off-Road Ability (Renegade), Interior Styling and Features (500X), Nine-Speed Automatic Is Much Better
      Jeers: 2.4L Is Terrible, Rough Ride, Pricing for Higher Trims
       

      Album: Review: 2016 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus AWD
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      Album: Review: 2016 Jeep Renegade Limited 4X4
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      Disclaimer: FCA Provided the 500X and Renegade; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas 
      Year: 2016
      Make: Fiat
      Model: 500X
      Trim: Trekking Plus AWD
      Engine: 2.4L Multi-Air Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 175 @ 3,900
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/30/24
      Curb Weight: 3,278 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Melfi, Italy
      Base Price: $29,000
      As Tested Price: $31,800 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      Trekking Plus Collection 1 - $1,900
       
      Year: 2016
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Renegade
      Trim: Limited 4X4
      Engine: 2.4L Multi-Air Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 175 @ 3,900
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/29/24
      Curb Weight: 3,348 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Melfi, Italy
      Base Price: $26,995
      As Tested Price: $31,695 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      6.5-inch Navigation Group with Uconnect - $1,245
      Advanced Technology Group - $995
      Beats Premium Audio System - $695
      Safety and Security Group - $645
      Passive Entry Keyless Enter n' Go Package - $125


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