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    • By William Maley
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' CEO Sergio Marchionne has a track record of saying things that make jaws drop everywhere. Case in point comes to us from The Detroit Free Press. During the company's first-quarter earnings call, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas asked Marchionne if there was a possibility of spinning off Jeep and/or Ram Trucks into a separate, standalone company.
      "Yes," said Marchionne.
      The Free Press notes that Jonas dropped this subject and moved on to another question. It needs to be noted that this isn't the first time that Jonas has brought this idea up. Back in January, Jonas estimated Jeep's value on a standalone basis would be $22 billion. Ram Trucks isn't far behind with an estimated value of $11.2 billion.
      There is also precedent for this idea. Marchionne has a history of spinning off brands while keeping them under the FCA corporate umbrella. Last year, Ferrari was spun off to its own standalone company and now trades on the New York Stock Exchange. It currently generates more than $3.4 billion in annual revenue and close to $435 million in net income. Marchionne serves as the chairman and CEO of the company.
      But if such a move was to happen, it would take a fair amount of time for this changeover to take place. 
      Source: Detroit Free Press

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' CEO Sergio Marchionne has a track record of saying things that make jaws drop everywhere. Case in point comes to us from The Detroit Free Press. During the company's first-quarter earnings call, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas asked Marchionne if there was a possibility of spinning off Jeep and/or Ram Trucks into a separate, standalone company.
      "Yes," said Marchionne.
      The Free Press notes that Jonas dropped this subject and moved on to another question. It needs to be noted that this isn't the first time that Jonas has brought this idea up. Back in January, Jonas estimated Jeep's value on a standalone basis would be $22 billion. Ram Trucks isn't far behind with an estimated value of $11.2 billion.
      There is also precedent for this idea. Marchionne has a history of spinning off brands while keeping them under the FCA corporate umbrella. Last year, Ferrari was spun off to its own standalone company and now trades on the New York Stock Exchange. It currently generates more than $3.4 billion in annual revenue and close to $435 million in net income. Marchionne serves as the chairman and CEO of the company.
      But if such a move was to happen, it would take a fair amount of time for this changeover to take place. 
      Source: Detroit Free Press
    • By William Maley
      The Model 3 is Tesla's most anticipated vehicle and biggest gamble the company has undertaken. But this gamble has become more risky thanks to a decision concerning the production line.
      Reuters reports that Tesla is skipping a step most automakers undertake when producing a new vehicle. Prototype tools are bought in on the production line to help determine issues in terms of fit and finish. Once these issues are worked out, the prototype tools are scrapped and automakers place orders for permanent and expensive tools. But Musk told investors last month, Tesla was jumping into the permanent and expensive part first so they can meet their self-imposed volume production deadline of September.
      "He's pushing the envelope to see how much time and cost he can take out of the process," said Ron Harbour, a manufacturing consultant at Oliver Wyman.
      According to a source, this 'soft tooling' caused problems for Model X. Due to a tight timeline to get the vehicle into production, Tesla was unable to take any of the lessons learned from this before ordering the final production tooling.
      "Soft tooling did very little for the program and arguably hurt things," said the source.
      Musk said computer simulations has helped with skipping the prototype tooling stage.
      This move fits Elon Musk's tendency to take big gambles and do things a bit different than what is expected in the industry. Most of the time, it has paid off. 
      The problem is if this equipment proves to be flawed in some way, it could cost Tesla millions to fix the issue and introduce production delays. 
      "It's an experiment, certainly," said Jake Fisher from Consumer Reports. Tesla could possibly fix these errors quickly, "or it could be they have unsuspected problems they'll have a hard time dealing with."
      Source: Reuters

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Model 3 is Tesla's most anticipated vehicle and biggest gamble the company has undertaken. But this gamble has become more risky thanks to a decision concerning the production line.
      Reuters reports that Tesla is skipping a step most automakers undertake when producing a new vehicle. Prototype tools are bought in on the production line to help determine issues in terms of fit and finish. Once these issues are worked out, the prototype tools are scrapped and automakers place orders for permanent and expensive tools. But Musk told investors last month, Tesla was jumping into the permanent and expensive part first so they can meet their self-imposed volume production deadline of September.
      "He's pushing the envelope to see how much time and cost he can take out of the process," said Ron Harbour, a manufacturing consultant at Oliver Wyman.
      According to a source, this 'soft tooling' caused problems for Model X. Due to a tight timeline to get the vehicle into production, Tesla was unable to take any of the lessons learned from this before ordering the final production tooling.
      "Soft tooling did very little for the program and arguably hurt things," said the source.
      Musk said computer simulations has helped with skipping the prototype tooling stage.
      This move fits Elon Musk's tendency to take big gambles and do things a bit different than what is expected in the industry. Most of the time, it has paid off. 
      The problem is if this equipment proves to be flawed in some way, it could cost Tesla millions to fix the issue and introduce production delays. 
      "It's an experiment, certainly," said Jake Fisher from Consumer Reports. Tesla could possibly fix these errors quickly, "or it could be they have unsuspected problems they'll have a hard time dealing with."
      Source: Reuters
    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com
      Jeep Wrangler on Steroids - Rhino XT Hellcat!

      The company, US Specialty Vehicles which has built many a trick auto for movies as well as building special lines to sell to the public just outdid FCA.  In 2015 this company showed off this Rhino XT version which is available for sale with the V6 powertrain on their web site. For the latest Fast and Furious movie, they went out of this world crazy and built this unit with the Hellcat engine. Now the company has informed the public that they too can order up the Rhino XT Hellcat edition and have what has been seen on the silver screen. Yet if a 707 HP wrangler is too much for you and the base V6 is not enough you can always opt for their Supercharger Package on the V6. This takes you from the basic 285 HP by adding roughly 1/3 more power to motivate those 35" tires.
      The V6 edition starts at $80,735. They also have the Sport edition and the premium edition packages.
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