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    Fiat and UAW Reach A Deal, Takes Full Control Of Chrysler



    The first day of 2014 brings some good news to Fiat. The company announced that it and the UAW's VEBA Trust have reached a deal to purchase the remaining 41.46 percent stake of Chrysler.

    The terms of deal will see Fiat paying the VEBA trust a total of $4.35 billion. $3.65 billion of that will go towards the remaining stake. Also, Fiat will pay the trust $700 million annually over the course of the next four years.

    “In the life of every major organization and its people, there are defining moments that go down in the history books. For Fiat and Chrysler, the agreement just reached with the VEBA is clearly one of those moments,” said Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

    Fiat says the deal is expected to happen on January 20th.

    Source: Chrysler

    Press Release is on Page 2


    Chrysler Group Announces Agreement With UAW Calling for Contributions to VEBA Trust and Also Announces a Special Distribution

    January 1, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (the “UAW”) have agreed to a memorandum of understanding to supplement Chrysler Group’s existing collective bargaining agreement. Under the MoU, Chrysler Group will provide additional contributions to the VEBA Trust of an aggregate of $700 million in four equal annual installments. The initial payment will be made on closing of a transaction in which the VEBA Trust will sell to Fiat North America, one of Fiat’s wholly owned subsidiaries, all of the VEBA Trust’s equity interest in Chrysler. Additional payments of $175 million will be payable on each of the next three anniversaries of the initial payment. Chrysler Group expects to fund the initial contribution to the VEBA Trust from available cash on hand.

    In consideration for these contributions, the UAW will agree to certain commitments to continue to support the industrial operations at Chrysler Group and the further implementation of the Fiat-Chrysler alliance, including to use best efforts to cooperate in the continued roll-out of Fiat-Chrysler World Class Manufacturing programs, actively participate in benchmarking efforts associated with implementation of these programs across all of Fiat-Chrysler manufacturing sites to ensure objective performance assessments and provide for proper application of WCM principles and actively assist in the achievement of the Group’s long-term business plan.

    The Chrysler Group Board of Directors has also determined to support the declaration and payment by Chrysler Group of a special distribution in an aggregate amount of approximately $1,900 million,1 subject to the Board completing its diligence and receiving independent assurance regarding the distribution payment capacity of Chrysler Group, a process that management expects will be completed on or before January 20, 2014

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    from the get go I thought it was bull$h! that the tzar decided we needed to sh-tcan pontiac and saturn but keep chrysler so fiat could ultimately do this.

    that said, it's probably better for Chrysler's position in the US now, otherwise they would still need to be put out to pasture.

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    On the second page, who is the 1,900 million for? not clear at all.

    Lots of additional good info from the web.

    Forbes story says Marchionne has stated that with the merger, a new stock might be issued on the New York Stock exchange rather than in Italy and the new world headquarters might even be based in the US.

    Reuters states that now that the two companies will become one, 2.5 billion of the immediate cash payment will come from the Chrysler 11.5 billion cash horde that Fiat could not touch and that only 1.5 billion will come from available Fiat cash.

    Sounds like Fiat never really had the cash to purchase Chrysler.

    Interesting that Businessweek.com states that multiple banks put Chrysler over all value at between 10-11 billion making the UAW stake worth 4.15 billion. With cash on hand, this seemed to force the 4 years of 700 million payments. Very interesting.

    I like the statement that business week has on their story where they quote the following "The Unified ownership structure will now allow us to fully execute our vision of creating a global automaker that is truly unique in terms of mix of experience, perspective and knowhow, a solid and open organization that will ensure all employees a challenging and rewarding environment," Marchionne said in a statement.

    While it is sad to see an American company change hands to out of the country ownership, this very well could become more interesting. Either Chrysler will grow to truly be a global power house like Toyota and GM or the CEO will cause it to fail just like he has with his own Italian brands. IMHO.

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    Looks like the want to move the headquarters to Europe.... looking for more details.

    I'm going to agree with Allpar's assessment here.

    From Allpar:

    Many observers believe that the purchase of CNH (Case New Holland) and its merger with Fiat Industrial will provide a template for Chrysler’s organization in the future. The tax headquarters of the combined company is likely to be in a country with minor or no corporate taxes, which could include the Netherlands or even the United Kingdom (which only taxes companies based on revenue raised domestically, a small share of Chrysler and Fiat’s income). The actual headquarters of the combined outfit is likely to stay in Italy, while Chrysler will continue to be run from the CTC in Auburn Hills and Chrysler House in Detroit.

    Edited by black-knight
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      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      The Chrysler Portal concept is designed to keep the driver and passengers connected – to each other, to the vehicle and to the surrounding world.
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      “When our teams began imagining the user experiences inside the Chrysler Portal, we set out to identify a long-time supplier partner who could help push the limits of customization and personalization,” said Scott Thiele, Chief Purchasing Officer for FCA NV and Head of Purchasing and Supplier Quality for FCA – North America. “Working with Panasonic Automotive on this concept vehicle is just one example of how FCA is engaging strategic suppliers early in the development phase to bring to life innovations that can become industry benchmarks.”
      Tapping the Panasonic Cognitive Infotainment (PCI) platform as the foundation of the UX feature set, the Chrysler User Experience team matched future consumer needs (life, finances and new technology) to those new technology solutions now exhibited in the Portal concept.
      “Working together, FCA and Panasonic Automotive are showing a more cognitively enhanced set of technologies that can give drivers and passengers a superior, more accurate, just-in-time in-vehicle experience,” said Tom Gebhardt, President, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America.
      “In fact, we are so delighted by the partnership, Panasonic has created a complimentary technology exhibition to further showcase our joint interests in UX, software, hardware, and cloud services specifically featuring a unique e-commerce retail use case.”
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      The hub of this technology is the mobile phone. The Chrysler Portal concept is engineered to seamlessly detect and connect with passengers’ mobile devices, expanding the social canvas.
      Recognition and user authentication is the next level of personalization and a primary driving factor for the user experience. Facial recognition and voice biometric technologies work together to provide a seamless personalization experience. As a result, all passengers can set up individual and group settings for an enjoyable, customized experience. For example, facial recognition tells the Chrysler Portal who is in the vehicle and how to automatically configure preferred settings, such as music, lighting, vehicle temperature, heated or cooled seats, etc. Internet cloud-based technologies, combined with facial and voice recognition, keep those preferred settings in sync should a passenger move to another seat.
      Accessing technology inside the vehicle is naturally intuitive using a blend of voice controls with familiar touch controls. With an array of microphones inside the Portal concept, voice control is available to all occupants. Advanced speech software can identify who is speaking to accurately determine an action, such as which display screen to access. Embedded interior and connected portable device cameras also facilitate conversations and interactions.
      Want to play music tailored for an individual, such as a child? Simply say, “Play Johnny’s ‘Naptime Favorites’ playlist.” Personalized audio zones enable each passenger to listen to their own content isolated to their seat without the need for headphones. 
      Facial recognition enables the Chrysler Portal concept to track the driver’s directional gaze, as a result, the intensity of the high-mount display screen can automatically dim or increase to help reduce eye strain. If the driver is looking at a specific location on the display and a critical notification occurs, such as an oncoming emergency vehicle, a message pop-up in the area where the driver is looking helps reduce reaction time.
      Turn road trips into social memories
      Social media plays a large role in the lives of many Millennials. In the Chrysler Portal concept, sharing content between passengers is as easy as a swipe to the right. A personal tablet or mobile device becomes a community display screen via a docking station in the Chrysler Portal’s headliner, making it easily viewable by second- and third-row passengers. Media such as music, images and videos from personal devices can be shared with a simple upward swipe to the display screen. The community display is ideal for road trips with family and friends. At a glance, infographics show the progress of the vehicle to the trip destination. 
      The Chrysler Portal concept also takes into consideration each passenger’s media preferences and enables them to contribute to the road trip experience. Using predictive intelligence, passenger preferences can be merged to create an overall community setting that can help the group find destinations and plan the best route, select a restaurant, and play music and videos everyone can enjoy. 
      Once a route is set, it can be added to the community display so all passengers can monitor the trip’s progress. At the lunch break, passengers can use the technology in the Chrysler Portal concept to order from a quick service restaurant via voice or touchscreen without rolling down the window or leaving the vehicle, a real convenience in inclement weather. If someone is not sure what to order, the system’s intelligence can offer suggestions based on the passenger’s personal settings. With ecommerce, there is no need for cash or a credit card as the payment can be securely transacted from the vehicle while in transit.
      Once at the destination, interior and exterior cameras can capture the moment with a selfie, which is then automatically downloaded to everyone’s personal device and can be shared via social media.
      Affordable, upgradeable technology designed to be added as needed
      Keeping the user experience affordable, the Chrysler Portal concept’s in-vehicle technology is designed to be adaptable and upgradeable. Cost-conscious consumers are able to decide what technology they want to add and when they want to integrate it into their vehicle, such as adding technologies to meet the ongoing needs of a new family.  For example, the vehicle’s short-range wireless network enables parents to connect a baby monitor camera to a seat, with the image appearing on the high-mount display.
      Another way consumers could integrate their personal devices is by using the Chrysler Portal Concept Companion App. Once downloaded to a mobile device, the companion app has the ability to customize vehicle lighting, control vehicle and home settings, lock/unlock doors and operate other functions from any location. 
      Advanced driving assistance
      A key element of the Chrysler Portal concept’s user experience is the graphic-rich, high-quality information available to the driver.
      The hub of this information is the high-mount display, located above where a traditional instrument panel would be placed. Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) technology in the display makes the screen brighter and sharper. The technology embedded in the Chrysler Portal collects a wide spectrum of visual, sensor-based and infrastructure data; organizes and configures the information for display; and tailors the presentation to keep the driver’s attention on the highest priority functions.
      The display, which spans nearly the entire length of the instrument panel, is positioned higher intentionally for greater visibility and to aid the driver keeping his/her eyes on the road. Maintaining visibility with the horizon helps reduce the possibility of motion sickness while interacting with the 3-D graphics, especially if Level 3 autonomous driving mode is engaged.
      The length of the screen enables three zones of information. The first section of the screen, located in front of the driver, offers traditional vehicle information, such as speed. The middle section displays a 360-degree situational awareness view, such as surrounding vehicles, GPS information and points of interest, and can be viewed by other vehicle occupants. The third section can be used for media sharing, status updates of passengers, such as their seat temperature, music or videos being played and a view of them.
      During Level 3 autonomous driving, the display communicates the status of the vehicle and the surrounding environment. Should the vehicle come to a stop or perform a quick maneuver, the viewable display makes it clear to all occupants the status of the vehicle.
      The Chrysler Portal concept is constantly using Vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication that enables the vehicle to “talk” with the public infrastructure, Internet, and other vehicles via an array of sensors. For example, if an approaching ambulance is out of sight, V2X systems will notify the vehicle that the ambulance is approaching. Graphics on the high-mount display will communicate the oncoming ambulance by simulating its approach and direction, and the audio system will provide cues that the vehicle is approaching.
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