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    Fiat Increases Its Stake In Chrysler


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    July 9, 2013

    Yesterday, Fiat exercised its option to purchase another 3.3 percent of Chrysler shares from the UAW's VEBA retirement fund. This brings Fiat's current share of Chrysler to 68.49 percent. This is the third time that Fiat has purchased shares from VEBA. Last July and earlier this year, the Italian automaker purchased 3.3 percent of the VEBA shares.

    Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to buy up the remaining shares so Fiat can have full control of the company and hopefully help curb the large losses the Italian automaker is currently experiencing. That doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon. Currently, Fiat and VEBA are in court to try and reach agreement on buying the remaining shares.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    At 68% ownership, they have the controlling interest in the company... what does 100% get them that 68% does not? Car companies share platforms and technology with far lower owernship stakes.

    This makes me very suspicious of Fiat's intentions.....

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    Sad that the Unions have no interest in having ownership in the company they work for. The Union Leaders just want the cash to squander and then later on tell the people that paid in there is nothing left for them after they have used up the money. I see this not ending well for the union.

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    Sad that the Unions have no interest in having ownership in the company they work for. The Union Leaders just want the cash to squander and then later on tell the people that paid in there is nothing left for them after they have used up the money. I see this not ending well for the union.

    Again with the tin-foil hat... :tinfoil: :tinfoil:

    VEBA is not managed by the UAW though the UAW is the primary beneficiary. VEBA is the vehicle to distribute contractual benefits to retirees and former employees of Chrysler and GM. It is not meant to be an indefinite fund and they do need the cash to pay those benefits. Selling those shares was planned from the start... the only reason this is news is because Fiat will be the largest purchaser.

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    Sad that the Unions have no interest in having ownership in the company they work for. The Union Leaders just want the cash to squander and then later on tell the people that paid in there is nothing left for them after they have used up the money. I see this not ending well for the union.

    Again with the tin-foil hat... :tinfoil: :tinfoil:

    VEBA is not managed by the UAW though the UAW is the primary beneficiary. VEBA is the vehicle to distribute contractual benefits to retirees and former employees of Chrysler and GM. It is not meant to be an indefinite fund and they do need the cash to pay those benefits. Selling those shares was planned from the start... the only reason this is news is because Fiat will be the largest purchaser.

    :rofl: We'll if I have a Tin Hat on so be it, but the way the media has stated this left me with the impression that VEBA and the UAW were joined at the hip as one big group different divisions. I appreciate the clarity as I had not heard it put this way before.

    Still sad that they could not think of a way to hold onto shares as part of the investment portfolio that generates the funds to pay the retire benefits.

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    VEBA needs to be free to make investment changes as much as they want to... the truth may be that ownership of Chrysler may not be in their best long term financial interests or having such a large chunk of their assets tied to a single entity may be considered high risk.

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    With over 2/3 ownership, seems like they'll be able to do whatever they want. And I don't think they bought Chrysler because they loved what Dodge has, or the 200 or 300. I think they saw Jeep as a profitable unit and this is a way to get Fiat/Alfa out of Europe and into the American Market.

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    With over 2/3 ownership, seems like they'll be able to do whatever they want. And I don't think they bought Chrysler because they loved what Dodge has, or the 200 or 300. I think they saw Jeep as a profitable unit and this is a way to get Fiat/Alfa out of Europe and into the American Market.

    You could be right that Fiat wants to try and crack the nut again of the US market, but then they are going to have to change their designs as currently the Fiat lineup will not appeal to the majority of the US population. Then again, they could be looking to do what Europe really needs to do and that is close down the over capacity production lines and lay off people and this could allow them to swallow and consolidate and force change that gov's have been fighting just for political survival.

    I think the next 3-5 years we will still see 2-3 more companies go to the History books as the global corporations consolidate and streamline product plans. Next big hiccup will come from China where they have a ton of gov supported car companies that are cloning what is in the market already and once they try to push out beyound China, some will make it and most will die.

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    With over 2/3 ownership, seems like they'll be able to do whatever they want. And I don't think they bought Chrysler because they loved what Dodge has, or the 200 or 300. I think they saw Jeep as a profitable unit and this is a way to get Fiat/Alfa out of Europe and into the American Market.

    It's not often that you and I agree... but when we do.. we really do.

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    To dfelt's point, I don't think the Dodge car lineup is too appealing to the US market either.

    I think the US car market, especially as 2025 CAFE standards draw near, is going to become more like Europe's car market. Fiat's lineup may not appeal to the US market now, but as the current 18-25 year olds start buying new cars over the next 5-10 years, they may like something like a Fiat.

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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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      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.
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      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. 
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      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.
    • By William Maley
      Back in May, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made a startling announcement. The two would partner on building 100 specially prepared Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans with Google's autonomous driving technologies to be used for testing. Today, Waymo (the offshoot of Google's self-driving program) and FCA revealed what the van would look like.
      Yes, the van looks a little bit goofy with sensors sticking out on the front fenders and under the grille, along with massive radar dome. Other changes include major modifications to the chassis, electrical system, powertrain, and structure. Considering this took around six months, it is quite the achievement.
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months. They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer of Waymo in a statement.
      The vans will join Waymo's test fleet early next year.
      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
      Press Release is on Page 2


      CA Delivers 100 Uniquely Built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans to Waymo for Self-driving Test Fleet
      Waymo and FCA reveal first look at fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan Program kickoff to full vehicle assembly completed by technical teams in six months December 19, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and FCA announced today that production of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans uniquely built to enable fully self-driving operations has been completed. The vehicles are currently being outfitted with Waymo’s fully self-driving technology, including a purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems, and will join Waymo’s self-driving test fleet in early 2017. Waymo and FCA also revealed today the first images of the fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicle. 
       
      This first-of-its kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan thereby leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo’s fully self-driving technology.
       
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo. “They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”
       
      Waymo and FCA co-located part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the overall development process. In addition, extensive testing was carried out at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona, as well as Waymo test sites in California.
       
      “As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part of our daily lives.”
       
      Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 1.2 million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Waymo better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Back in May, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made a startling announcement. The two would partner on building 100 specially prepared Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans with Google's autonomous driving technologies to be used for testing. Today, Waymo (the offshoot of Google's self-driving program) and FCA revealed what the van would look like.
      Yes, the van looks a little bit goofy with sensors sticking out on the front fenders and under the grille, along with massive radar dome. Other changes include major modifications to the chassis, electrical system, powertrain, and structure. Considering this took around six months, it is quite the achievement.
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months. They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer of Waymo in a statement.
      The vans will join Waymo's test fleet early next year.
      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
      Press Release is on Page 2


      CA Delivers 100 Uniquely Built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans to Waymo for Self-driving Test Fleet
      Waymo and FCA reveal first look at fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan Program kickoff to full vehicle assembly completed by technical teams in six months December 19, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and FCA announced today that production of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans uniquely built to enable fully self-driving operations has been completed. The vehicles are currently being outfitted with Waymo’s fully self-driving technology, including a purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems, and will join Waymo’s self-driving test fleet in early 2017. Waymo and FCA also revealed today the first images of the fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicle. 
       
      This first-of-its kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan thereby leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo’s fully self-driving technology.
       
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo. “They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”
       
      Waymo and FCA co-located part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the overall development process. In addition, extensive testing was carried out at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona, as well as Waymo test sites in California.
       
      “As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part of our daily lives.”
       
      Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 1.2 million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Waymo better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.
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