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Found 6 results

  1. There are a number of issues that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' CEO Mike Manley has to solve. One of those is trying to improve the fortunes of Maserati. Former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne had set an ambitious goal of selling 75,000 vehicles in 2018. But the brand has only sold just 26,400 models through the first nine months of the year, The brand reduced their target to 50,000 models in June, but trying to reach that seems quite difficult. Max Warburton, an analyst with Bernstein wrote in a note that "Maserati looks broken — a 2.4 percent margin in Q3 is better than Q2. The business — and its volume, pricing and distribution plans — surely need a rethink." During the third quarter's earnings call, Manley told analysts that bundling Maserati with Alfa Romeo proved to be a mistake. "With hindsight, when we put Maserati and Alfa together, it did two things. Firstly, it reduced the focus on Maserati the brand. Secondly, Maserati was treated for a period of time almost as if it were a mass market brand, which it isn't and shouldn't be treated that way," he said. FCA has moved its chief technology officer Harald Wester back to Maserati to lead it. He led the brand from 2008 to 2016. One of the first moves by Wester was recruiting Jean-Philippe Leloup. He previously headed up Ferrari's business operations in central and eastern Europe. But there is still a glaring issue facing Maserati, products. The Alferi coupe and cabrio, along with a specialty model were supposed to launch by the end of the 2014-2018 plan. That did not happen. Felipe Munoz, an analyst with JATO Dynamics told Automotive News that the lack of new products and "regular cadence of launches" is hurting the brand. Not helping is the Levante which launched a couple of years ago. Munoz points out the large premium SUV segment is the only one not growing, and that Levante is being hurt by updated versions of the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, and Porsche Cayenne being launched. Under FCA's latest four-year plan, Maserati is expected to launch the Alferi, a midsize SUV, and electrified models by 2022. Whether or not Maserati can pull it off remains to be seen. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  2. There are a number of issues that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' CEO Mike Manley has to solve. One of those is trying to improve the fortunes of Maserati. Former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne had set an ambitious goal of selling 75,000 vehicles in 2018. But the brand has only sold just 26,400 models through the first nine months of the year, The brand reduced their target to 50,000 models in June, but trying to reach that seems quite difficult. Max Warburton, an analyst with Bernstein wrote in a note that "Maserati looks broken — a 2.4 percent margin in Q3 is better than Q2. The business — and its volume, pricing and distribution plans — surely need a rethink." During the third quarter's earnings call, Manley told analysts that bundling Maserati with Alfa Romeo proved to be a mistake. "With hindsight, when we put Maserati and Alfa together, it did two things. Firstly, it reduced the focus on Maserati the brand. Secondly, Maserati was treated for a period of time almost as if it were a mass market brand, which it isn't and shouldn't be treated that way," he said. FCA has moved its chief technology officer Harald Wester back to Maserati to lead it. He led the brand from 2008 to 2016. One of the first moves by Wester was recruiting Jean-Philippe Leloup. He previously headed up Ferrari's business operations in central and eastern Europe. But there is still a glaring issue facing Maserati, products. The Alferi coupe and cabrio, along with a specialty model were supposed to launch by the end of the 2014-2018 plan. That did not happen. Felipe Munoz, an analyst with JATO Dynamics told Automotive News that the lack of new products and "regular cadence of launches" is hurting the brand. Not helping is the Levante which launched a couple of years ago. Munoz points out the large premium SUV segment is the only one not growing, and that Levante is being hurt by updated versions of the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, and Porsche Cayenne being launched. Under FCA's latest four-year plan, Maserati is expected to launch the Alferi, a midsize SUV, and electrified models by 2022. Whether or not Maserati can pull it off remains to be seen. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. Jeep is walking a very fine line with the next-generation Wrangler. On one hand, they want to bring the model into the 21st century. But they also want to retain the details that make it an icon of the brand. CEO Mike Manley is well aware of this and has a clear mission statement: Don't screw it up. One of the key items that make the Wrangler so iconic is the shape. The boxy shape has mostly remained the same since the first Willys MB was sent off to war. Automotive News says new spy shots reveal the next-generation Wrangler featuring a more aerodynamic shape - the front grille and windshield feature a steeper rake. But as Manley tells AN, the boxiness will still be there. "You have to be very careful with the aero of Wrangler, because at the end of the day, it needs to be recognizable as a Wrangler. To some extent that restricts you on some of the aero that you can do. But with weight and a number of the changes that we've made, you're going to see that we've really pushed that vehicle forward in terms of its fuel economy," said Manley. That last sentence tells us Jeep has been working on a weight-loss program for the Wrangler. Automotive News says the next-generation model will feature a new frame that will not only be stronger, but lighter. Various body panels will be made out of aluminum to cut weight even further. There will be new engines, including a new turbo-four capable of producing 300 horsepower and a new eight-speed automatic. What won't be changing is the Wrangler's body-on-frame construction and solid axles. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  4. Jeep is walking a very fine line with the next-generation Wrangler. On one hand, they want to bring the model into the 21st century. But they also want to retain the details that make it an icon of the brand. CEO Mike Manley is well aware of this and has a clear mission statement: Don't screw it up. One of the key items that make the Wrangler so iconic is the shape. The boxy shape has mostly remained the same since the first Willys MB was sent off to war. Automotive News says new spy shots reveal the next-generation Wrangler featuring a more aerodynamic shape - the front grille and windshield feature a steeper rake. But as Manley tells AN, the boxiness will still be there. "You have to be very careful with the aero of Wrangler, because at the end of the day, it needs to be recognizable as a Wrangler. To some extent that restricts you on some of the aero that you can do. But with weight and a number of the changes that we've made, you're going to see that we've really pushed that vehicle forward in terms of its fuel economy," said Manley. That last sentence tells us Jeep has been working on a weight-loss program for the Wrangler. Automotive News says the next-generation model will feature a new frame that will not only be stronger, but lighter. Various body panels will be made out of aluminum to cut weight even further. There will be new engines, including a new turbo-four capable of producing 300 horsepower and a new eight-speed automatic. What won't be changing is the Wrangler's body-on-frame construction and solid axles. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  5. Alphabet Inc. - Google's parent company - wants to find automotive partners to use their autonomous technologies. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is looking for partners to help offset costs of development and production. In fact, CEO Sergio Marchionne has hinted that he is open to working with a technology company. Chocolate, meet peanut butter. The Wall Street Journal has learned from a source that Alphabet and FCA are in the late stages of talks about a technology partnership. These talks have been ongoing for a few months explained the source. But why Fiat Chrysler Automobiles? Compared to other automakers, they are way behind in a number of key technology areas. The AutoExtremist, who first reported the rumor, explained FCA has a couple key items that interest Alphabet Inc. First is the upcoming Pacifica minivan which could be developed into a fully autonomous vehicle. The second is that FCA has the manufacturing capability and dealer network, something Alphabet lacks. Source: The AutoExtremist, The Wall Street Journal View full article
  6. Alphabet Inc. - Google's parent company - wants to find automotive partners to use their autonomous technologies. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is looking for partners to help offset costs of development and production. In fact, CEO Sergio Marchionne has hinted that he is open to working with a technology company. Chocolate, meet peanut butter. The Wall Street Journal has learned from a source that Alphabet and FCA are in the late stages of talks about a technology partnership. These talks have been ongoing for a few months explained the source. But why Fiat Chrysler Automobiles? Compared to other automakers, they are way behind in a number of key technology areas. The AutoExtremist, who first reported the rumor, explained FCA has a couple key items that interest Alphabet Inc. First is the upcoming Pacifica minivan which could be developed into a fully autonomous vehicle. The second is that FCA has the manufacturing capability and dealer network, something Alphabet lacks. Source: The AutoExtremist, The Wall Street Journal
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