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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    FCA's European Business Problem

      More headache's await FCA's CEO

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' new CEO Mike Manley has a lot on his plate. He has address multiple challenges in the U.S. that were left by the passing of Sergio Marchionne last month - moving forward with the five year plan, figuring out the future of Chrysler and Dodge; and getting new vehicles out the door. But that doesn't compare to the challenges in Europe.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that Manley has a number of issues that need be addressed. The biggest one is improving the overall profitability in the region. Last year, FCA had an operating profit of $5.96 billion in the U.S. In Europe, only $840 million. A key reason for this is that three-quarters of FCA's European sales are made up of Fiat models that have razor-thin profit margins. Each Fiat sold makes an operating profit of €250 ($288), compared to the average of €2,850 ($3,274) for every Jeep and Ram model sold. Alfa Romeo was seen as a possible way to help boost profits, but sales have fallen very short of targets in a market where the likes of the Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz dominate.

    “FCA would need a merger to improve the profitability in Europe,” said Martino De Ambroggi, an analyst with Equita told the journal.

    Marchionne tried his best to court FCA to other automakers such as GM, but to no avail. Earlier this year, FCA said the search for a possible partner was taken off the table and that it could survive on its own.

    There is also the question as to whether FCA has too many workers in Europe. The region makes up about 36 percent of FCA's workforce, but only  a tenth of its profit. A key example is FCA's Mirafiori plant which employs 13,000 people, but is on track to build 50,000 vehicles this year. In 1997, the plant produced 463,000 vehicles. 

    Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)



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    FCA has some hard reality to address in the future and that is cutting on over bloated workforce on terrible products that no one really wants to buy except that they are cheap. Welcome to a new world and I believe FCA choose an American to lead who is willing to cut the workforce in places that socialist have believed they have control of but really do not.

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    It would take some balls for the new CEO to simply dump European production for US production.  In some cases, some automakers build in (somewhat cheaper) Central Europe, but it would be better to simply ditch European production entirely.

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    7 hours ago, riviera74 said:

     In some cases, some automakers build in (somewhat cheaper) Central Europe, but it would be better to simply ditch European production entirely.

    They do that already w/ the 500, built in Poland (and Mexico).

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    Seems FCA is wasting more money on product that will have limited sales and cost money not make it. Alfa 600 HP 2 door Coupe.

    https://autoweek.com/article/rumormill/alfa-romeo-gtv-and-spider-heres-what-expect 

    Talk about a waste of time and efforts when the market does not care nor want auto's like this. YES, Enthusiast want these cars, but they do not make the profits and FCA needs to focus on profits more than Luxury Halo models.

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    They are trying to take on BMW's M4, and Mercs C class AMGs.   Probably a futile effort, but at least it's not another damn CUV...

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      ST-Line models feature a gloss black finish one-piece grille, and high gloss black for the roof rails tailgate applique and door claddings. The interior also features red accent stitching for seats, floor mats and sporty flat-bottom steering wheel, as well as carbon fibre-effect appliques for the instrument panel.
      Platinum models feature a satin finish one-piece grille, and satin finish for the roof rails tailgate applique and door claddings. The interior also adds real wood appliques for the instrument panel.
      “Massive charisma and unprecedented road presence come as standard with our all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid,” Matthias Tonn said. “With distinctive ST-Line and Platinum variants available, customers can find the right option to suit their personality.”
      # # #

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      FCA US Reports March 2019 Sales

      Ram pickup reports new March record as sales increase 9 percent to 45,187 sold Jeep® Grand Cherokee notches best March ever as sales rise 26 percent to 24,655 vehicles sold Ram brand sets new March record as sales jump 15 percent to 51,822 sold April 2, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC reported a new March record for the Ram brand as sales jumped 15 percent, underscoring the success the company has found in its two-pronged strategy of selling both the Ram 1500 and Ram Classic.

      The performance of the Ram brand, combined with a new March record for Jeep® Grand Cherokee, countered general softness within the industry. FCA sold 200,307 vehicles in the month.
       
      "The industry had a tough first quarter but with spring finally starting to show its face and continued strong economic indicators, such as a boost in housing sales, lower lending rates and a strong labor market, we are confident that new vehicle sales demand will strengthen going forward," Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales, said. "Meanwhile, our Ram brand sales and average transaction prices continue to be strong and our much anticipated, game-changing Jeep Gladiator pickup is on track for its in-market debut this month."

      See the attached table for the breakdown of brand and nameplate sales.

      Method of Determining FCA US LLC’s Monthly Sales. FCA US’s reported vehicle sales represent unit sales of vehicles to retail customers, deliveries of vehicles to fleet customers and to others such as FCA US’s employees and retirees as well as vehicles used for marketing. Most of these reported sales reflect retail sales made by dealers out of their own inventory of vehicles previously purchased by them from FCA US. Reported vehicle units sales do not correspond to FCA US’s reported revenues, which are based on FCA US’s sale and delivery of vehicles, and typically recognized upon shipment to the dealer or end customer. As announced on July 26, 2016, FCA US has modified its methodology for monthly sales reporting as follows:  Sales to retail customers by dealers in the U.S. are derived from the New Vehicle Delivery Report (“NVDR”) system and are determined as the sum of (A) all sales recorded by dealers during the month net of all unwound transactions recorded to the end of that month (whether the original sale was recorded in the current month or any prior month); plus (B) all sales of vehicles during that month attributable to past unwinds that had previously been reversed in determining monthly sales (in the current or prior months).  Fleet sales are recorded upon the shipment of the vehicle by FCA US to the customer or end user.  Other retail sales are recorded either (A) when the sale is recorded in the NVDR system (for sales by dealers in Puerto Rico and limited sales made through distributors that submit NVDRs in the same manner as for sales by U.S. dealers) or (B) upon receipt of a similar delivery notification (for vehicles for which NVDRs are not entered such as vehicles for FCA employees). FCA US LLC Sales Summary March 2019
      Model
       
      Month Sales
      Vol %
      Change
      CYTD Sales
      Curr Yr             Pr Yr
      Vol %
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Compass
       
      14,945
      17,302
      -14%
      37,306
      43,520
      -14%
      Patriot
       
      1
      100
      -99%
      10
      364
      -97%
      Wrangler
       
      21,963
      27,829
      -21%
      49,978
      55,504
      -10%
      Gladiator
       
      43
      0
      New
      123
      0
      New
      Cherokee
       
      18,262
      23,764
      -23%
      49,420
      50,610
      -2%
      Grand Cherokee
       
      24,665
      19,616
      26%
      57,749
      53,448
      8%
      Renegade
       
      7,449
      9,771
      -24%
      18,218
      24,659
      -26%
      JEEP BRAND
       
      87,328
      98,382
      -11%
      212,804
      228,105
      -7%
      Ram P/U
       
      45,187
      41,307
      9%
      120,026
      103,964
      15%
      Cargo Van
       
      0
      0
      0%
      0
      0
       
      ProMaster Van
       
      4,928
      2,451
      101%
      13,319
      6,457
      106%
      ProMaster City
       
      1,707
      1,120
      52%
      3,668
      3,233
      13%
      RAM BRAND
       
      51,822
      44,878
      15%
      137,013
      113,654
      21%
      200
       
      8
      189
      -96%
      26
      659
      -96%
      300
       
      3,704
      6,223
      -40%
      8,290
      12,992
      -36%
      Town & Country
       
      0
      1
      -100%
      1
      3
      -67%
      Pacifica
       
      8,457
      13,086
      -35%
      23,274
      32,579
      -29%
      CHRYSLER BRAND
       
      12,169
      19,499
      -38%
      31,591
      46,233
      -32%
      Dart
       
      2
      87
      -98%
      8
      252
      -97%
      Avenger
       
      0
      0
      100%
      0
      1
      -100%
      Charger
       
      8,858
      8,504
      4%
      20,615
      21,265
      -3%
      Challenger
       
      6,562
      8,150
      -19%
      13,431
      17,648
      -24%
      Viper
       
      0
      6
      -100%
      1
      9
      -89%
      Journey
       
      8,513
      10,275
      -17%
      24,003
      18,419
      30%
      Caravan
       
      15,806
      16,292
      -3%
      35,440
      43,144
      -18%
      Durango
       
      6,626
      5,870
      13%
      17,019
      16,233
      5%
      DODGE BRAND
       
      46,367
      49,184
      -6%
      110,517
      116,971
      -6%
      500
       
      310
      439
      -29%
      778
      1,309
      -41%
      500L
       
      61
      173
      -65%
      168
      395
      -57%
      500X
       
      262
      607
      -57%
      755
      1,579
      -52%
      Spider
       
      214
      325
      -34%
      513
      731
      -30%
      FIAT BRAND
       
      847
      1,544
      -45%
      2,214
      4,014
      -45%
      Giulia
       
      858
      1,284
      -33%
      2,035
      3,085
      -34%
      Alfa 4C
       
      18
      22
      -18%
      41
      54
      -24%
      Stelvio
       
      898
      1,270
      -29%
      2,210
      2,653
      -17%
      ALFA ROMEO
       
      1,774
      2,576
      -31%
      4,286
      5,792
      -26%
      FCA US LLC
       
      200,307
      216,063
      -7%
      498,425
      514,769
      -3%
       
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Financial Times is reporting that Renault wants to make the marriage to Nissan more official and formally merge.  Renault wants to start talks within the next 12 months and include a potential bid for automaker FCA .  The combined companies of Nissan, Renault, Fiat, and Chrysler would be a conglomerate that rivals the size of Toyota and Volkswagen.
      Carlos Ghosn tried to start merger talks prior to his arrest for financial wrongdoing, however, the French government stopped his proposals. Renault currently owns roughly 43% of Nissan.
      FCA has recently been in the news for potential talks with Peugeot to merge. Those reports were squashed when it came to light that the Agnelli family, who has a controlling stake in FCA, was not interested in a deal that was paid for with PSA stock.
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