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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV posted a 7-percent jump in global sales in 2014 to 4.75 million vehicles, growing faster than the three largest carmakers in the world. The growth was spurred by high demand for Fiat Chrysler’s Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs in the United States.
The 7-percent spurt was higher than those posted by Toyota Motor Corp. (3 percent to 10.23 million), Volkswagen AG (4 percent) and General Motors Co. (2 percent). While Fiat Chrysler’s overall volume still pales compared to the Big 3, the figure is large bonus to Marchionne’s target of selling sell 7 million cars in 2018.
According to Richard Hilgert, an analyst in Chicago at Morningstar Inc., the US and the sales performance of the new Jeep Renegade in China and South America will help gauge whether Fiat Chrysler will further grow its sales this year. He said that it has become more difficult to sustain growth this year, although another sales surge in 2015 remains possible.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler Automobiles logs 7% surge in global sales in 2014
FCA US will recall up to 3.3 million more older-model vehicles to replace driver-side airbag inflators made by Takata Corp. as the former Chrysler Group gives in to a demand by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Following a meeting last week with NHTSA, FCA announced plans to replace the inflators in 2004 to 2007 model years of: Dodge Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups; Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cabs; Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen SUVs; Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans; Dodge Magnums; Dodge Dakota and Mitsubishi Raider pickups.
The recall covers 2,890,785 vehicles in the United States, 258,586 in Canada, 66,436 in Mexico, and 99,030 in other markets. The latest recall means that FCA has already called back almost 3.7 million vehicles around the world.Read the entire article FCA US is recalling 3.3M older model vehicles to replace Takata airbags
Fiat Chrysler Automobile is selling 87 million shares at $11 each as part of a plan by its chief executive to raise around $5 billion for cutting its debt and financing its ambitious industrial plan. Fiat Chrysler also disclosed the pricing of the $2.5 billion in convertible bonds due Dec. 15, 2016. Underwriter banks have the right to buy an additional 13 million shares and an extra $375 million of the convertibles.
Combined, the share sale and the bond issue will dilute Fiat's shares by 19 percent to 21 percent, according to Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst. FCA is planning to reduce its net industrial debt, which was EUR11.4 billion as of September 30, 2014.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne plans to complete the financing by Christmas and has met with US investors to encourage them to take part in the share and debt sale. Aside from the share sale and the issuance of convertible bonds, Marchionne is also planning to spin off FCA’s Ferrari unit in 2015.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler prices share sale at $11 apiece
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has started meeting with investors in the United States after launching a $2.5 billion convertible bond issue and a share sale aimed at cutting its debt pile and funding its ambitious industrial plan. Fiat Chrysler is planning a EUR48-billion ($59 billion) five-year investment to transform Jeep, Maserati and Alfa Romeo into global brands as it seeks to boost its position in the high-margin market for premium vehicles.
FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne launched the share and bond offers last week and started a four-day roadshow with investors in New York, according to bankers. To further raise its capital, Marchionne is planning to spin off Ferrari, offer a 10-percent share to the public and distribute its stake in the luxury sportscar maker to its Fiat shareholders and investors buying the convertible bond.
Marchionne’s announcement in Oct. 29, 2014, has led to a surge in FCA's shares, gaining over 40 percent since then. FCA said in a recent statement that it would also offer up to 100 million common shares in the public sale.Read the entire article FCA meets with US investors over $2.5 billion bond issue and share sale
A Georgia judge has ordered Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, to provide a videotaped deposition in a lawsuit filed by the family of 4-year-old Remington Cole Walden, who died after the Jeep Grand Cherokee he was riding was rear-ended and caught fire.
Chrysler said in a statement that the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee involved in the accident met or exceeded all applicable safety standards at the time it was first sold, noting that the vehicle is not defective. In the accident, Walden was belted into a booster seat in the rear of the Grand Cherokee.
The vehicle was waiting to make a left turn at an intersection when it was rear-ended by another vehicle, according to the lawsuit. Walden died from injuries in the fire, according to the lawsuit.Read the entire article Georgia judge orders FCA CEO Marchionne to appear in videotaped deposition
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Sergio Marchionne now has a 1-percent stake in the carmaker and almost doubled is voting stake after exercising his stock options before the Nov. 3 expiration date. He used to have 6.8 million shares for a 0.65 percent stake in FCA. He now has 12.1 million shares for a 1-percent stake.
He also used to have a 0.4 percent voting stake in FCA, but now has a 0.75-percent voting stake, based on a total share capital of 1.6 billion shares, including loyalty shares, as calculated by Reuters. The shares purchase means Marchionne is now FCA’s fifth-largest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Exor, the Agnelli family's holding company, remains FCA’s largest with 30 percent of common shares and 46.6 percent of the voting rights. Marchionne exercised options due to expire on Nov. 3 for 6.25 million shares and the same number of shares in CNH Industrial for a price of EUR83.6 million ($105 million), according filings made with Dutch market regulator AFM.Read the entire article Sergio Marchionne now owns 1 percent stake in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posted a 7-percent jump in operating profit in the third quarter of 2014 to EUR926 million ($1.18 billion). The result was lower than the average EUR940 million of eight analysts surveyed by Reuters, no thanks to weaker margins in North America as well as slowdown in Latin America.
The carmaker, however, surpassed analyst expectations for its revenues in the period, growing from EUR20.7 billion a year ago to EUR23.6 billion. At end of September 2014, FCA had a net industrial debt of EUR11.4 billion, compared to EUR9.7 billion at the end of June.
In May this year, Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne outlined plans to improve the carmaker’s fortunes, calling for EUR55 billion ($76.6 billion) in investments to transform Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Jeep into global brands and more than double its profit in the next five years.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler logs 7% jump in operating profit for Q3 2014
Doug Betts has left his job as the quality chief for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as five of its brands ranked in the bottom seven of Consumers Reports’ annual reliability study. Chrysler said in a statement that Betts left the carmaker to “pursue other interests.” Betts has been with Chrysler since leaving Nissan in 2007.
His North American duties will be shifted to Matthew Liddane, vice president of systems and components while his quality post on FCA’s Global Executive Council will be handled by Mark Chernoby, chief of global product development. According to sources at Chrysler, Betts was known for speaking his mind occasionally, thereby irking chief executive Sergio Marchionne.
For instance, earlier this year, he gave comments on Chrysler’s talks with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over 2 million older Jeep Grand Cherokees and Libertys that allegedly pose fire risk – raising eyebrows at the carmaker.Read the entire article Doug Betts quits a quality chief at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) finally made its debut on Wall Street, but investors were still a bit cautious of the merger between Fiat and Chrysler. On the start of trading at the New York Stock Exchange, FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne remarked that they are taking Chrysler back to the United States stock market "One of the Detroit Three is coming home," he said.
Investors, however, don’t share his optimism with analysts indicating reservations about the FCA’s prospects. FCA’s shares opened on the trading floor at $9.00 in New York, going up to $9.55 before closing the day at $8.92. Only around 5.8 million shares were traded on FCA’s NYSE debut.
The company still keeps a secondary listing in Milan. Marchionne was given the privilege to ring the closing bell at the NYSE on Monday to mark FCA’s first day of trading in the US. He was after all credited with reviving both Fiat and Chrysler, working hard for years to pursue a merger that now has resulted to the creation of carmaker large enough to challenge Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen.Read the entire article New York Stock Exchange debut of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles met with caution
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ranked last among 11 carmakers in the government's annual report on fuel economy gains. FCA lurked on the bottom of the recently published annual Fuel Economy Trends report of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The carmaker has pledged to meet stiff corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) target in the next few years, although its trucks-to-cars sales mix is around 3-to-1 and has products that have very low mpg figures. According to EPA, the average fuel economy of FCA cars and light trucks was 20.9 mpg in the 2013 model year, an improvement of 0.8 mpg from 2012.
That figure, however, is well below the average fuel economy of the US auto industry at 24.1 mpg. Preliminary data for the MY2014 vehicles indicated slight improvement for both FCA the industry and FCA. Ironically, FCA offers the most fuel-efficient pickup, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. But FCA has plans to get out of the bottom and achieve its CAFE target.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lurks at bottom of EPA fuel economy report
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could sell as much as $830 million of shares following its initial public offering in New York, according to calculations made by Reuters. The merger of Italian carmaker Fiat and American group Chrysler will have its shares registered and start trading on October 13, 2014, Monday at Wall Street.
The carmaker’s chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, remarked he could "get the machine rolling" by selling the shares Fiat owns in itself – the so-called treasury stock – to investors in the United States. Fiat could likewise sell shares to offset those brought back from investors who opted out from the merged company.
There are worries that FCA may struggle to create enough liquidity for its shares in the US, as the company will still have a secondary listing in Milan. Marchionne, however, expressed confidence that Chrysler's high-profile name in the US should help attract interest to the newly formed company.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could sell up to $830 million of shares after IPO
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the new merger between two big carmakers would result to the creation a new No. 1 in the global auto industry, said chief executive Sergio Marchionne in a joint interview for Bloomberg Businessweek with Chairman John Elkann.
Marchionne remarked that a new No. 1 – larger than current topnotch Toyota Motor Corp. – is needed by the auto industry, which he said is still very fragmented for the amount of capital required to develop and build new vehicles.
But not all mergers lasted. For instance, Chrysler’s former partner Daimler AG sold it at a loss as culture clashes limited the range of what could be saved from the merger. Similar issues discouraged Volkswagen AG and Suzuki Motor Corp. to work together. But as the competition in the industry gets more intense, carmakers find it more appealing to combine.Read the entire article Sergio Marchionne sees Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as the new No. 1 in the global auto industry
The European Commission said that a tax concession granted by the Luxembourg government to a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may constitute illegal state aid. In a 33-page letter to Luxembourg, European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, outlined the Commission's reasons for probe further into a 2012 decision by Luxembourg authorities to green-light a transfer pricing arrangement by Fiat Finance and Trade Ltd.
The Commission has commenced probes into similar tax agreements between Ireland and Apple, as well as the Netherlands and Starbucks. The executive arm of the European Union has panned Luxembourg authorities for providing insufficient information to investigators.
It said that its preliminary view was that Luxembourg's decision in favor of Fiat amounted to illegal state aid, saying that the country’s arrangement with Fiat seemed to have cut the charges Fiat would typically pay "and that it must consequently be considered as operating aid."Read the entire article Tax pact between Luxembourg and FCA unit may be illegal state aid
The global headquarters of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV – a merger of Italian carmaker Fiat and American unit Chrysler Group LLC – will be located at London's West End. According to Jonathan Stern, a partner at Mellersh & Harding and a broker, FCA has inked a deal to lease three floors in a building on St. James's Street – which is around a 10-minute walk from Buckingham Palace.
Fiat and Chrysler chief executive opted to locate FCA’s new base in London to represent the group's ambitions to become a global auto power. Likewise, London will be a neutral place between Turin, Italy and Detroit, Michigan. London’s West West End is considered as the most expensive office location in the world with a lease rate of $277 a square foot.
Despite that, only 3.5 percent of workspace in the West End is unoccupied or vacant, according to broker Savills Plc said this month. Tom Bill, head of London residential research at Knight Frank LLP, disclosed that Fiat's decision to be based in London led to a residential buying spree in the city, with Italians as the largest group of foreigners buying homes in its best districts in the first eight months of 2014.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chooses London’s West End as new global HQ
Glass Lewis is recommending that Fiat investors vote “Yes” to a merger between the Italian carmaker and Chrysler Group at a meeting on Aug. 1. While a “Yes” vote would literally increase the voting power for main shareholder Exor, the proxy advisor said benefits outweighs those concerns.
Such advice from Glass Lewis and other large proxy advisors are usually taken into heart by international investors – making their voice an important factor in determining whether Fiat could get the two-thirds majority needed for approval of the merger.
In contrast, proxy advisors ISS and Frontis Governance have recommended a “No” vote, saying it would decrease shareholder rights and allow Exor to tighten its control of the carmaker.Read the entire article Glass Lewis says “Yes” vote on Fiat-Chrysler merger brings benefits
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is seeking to get rid of the two-tier wage system in the United States as its American unit is set to discuss its next labor agreement with the United Auto Workers in 2015. Under the system, newer workers get lower pays than older employees. New hourly workers receive just under $16 per hour, which increases over time to more than $19.
Veteran workers, meanwhile, earns over $28 an hour. Fiat Chrysler wants to gradually phase out the higher scale as older workers exit the carmaker, chief executive Sergio Marchionne remarked, adding that he targets to hold discussions with the UAW this year instead in 2015.
Marchionne has labeled the two-tier wage system as his "biggest problem.” Union officials have remarked that they hate and want to eliminate the two-tier wage system. Norwood Jewell, a nominee for vice president at UAW, said in December 2013 that the tow-tier current system was a "financial unfortunate" resulting from the industry weakness in 2007.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler Automobiles seeks to get rid of two-tier wage system in the US
The new headquarters of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in London will be staffed by around 50 people and most of them will have finance backgrounds, two people privy with the details of FCA’s plan to move its tax residency to the United Kingdom told Automotive News Europe.
Among those holding offices in the UK are Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne and Fiat Group Chairman John Elkann, one of the sources said, adding that chief financial officer Richard Palmer might also hold office in London.
One of the sources divulged that most of the staff in the London base will take care of treasury operations, although Fiat Chrysler has no immediate plans to tap new employees in London, adding that the carmaker’s Turin and Chrysler HQs will not be closed or will not have their workforce reduced.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler’s London headquarters to house 50 finance staff
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is planning a PLN2.36-billion ($773 million) investment to upgrade its Tychy plant in Poland where it intends to commence building a new Fiat model, the Polish government said in an official statement. The investment should be made by the end of 2017, the government disclosed.
The model is intended to be the successor to Fiat’s aging Punto subcompact. Punto’s successor, to be built at the Polish site, is a longer and wider variant of the Fiat 500 three-door minicar that is also produced in the site, sources have told Automotive News Europe.
The sources added that the successor might be named as 500 Plus. The Polish government said in the statement that Fiat will add 420 people to its 3,000-strong workforce in Poland.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to invest $773 million to upgrade Polish site
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Sergio Marchionne has disclosed that the merged carmaker will be based in London, United Kingdom. This means that Fiat would essentially move away from its Turin, Italy headquarters, its home for the past 115 years. Chrysler is currently based in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Marchionne said that Fiat Chrysler’s group executive functions, board, his office, and some of his functions will be based in London. He, however, said that this doesn't mean he will give up operational responsibilities of the United States.
“We will be multi-faceted,” he quipped. Fiat completed a $4.35-billion transaction in January taking full control of Chrysler and pave way for the establishment of the seventh-largest auto group in world. At the time, Fiat Chrysler was believed to have its primary listing in New York, with a secondary listing in Milan.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be headquartered in London
Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne has unveiled a five-year plan that entails investments of EUR55 billion ($76.6 billion) to transform Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Jeep into global brands. Fiat Chrysler expects the plan to more than double its earnings before interest and taxes from EUR3.5 billion in 2013 to EUR8.7 billion in 2018.
Among Marchionne’s targets is increasing the group’s annual deliveries by 61 percent to 7 million vehicles in 2018. His plan also entails expanding model offerings and production capacity at Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Jeep to transform into global nameplates.
"Today we bring all the various pieces of the mosaic together," Marchionne said, adding that the new business plan represents a major break with the tradition of the past. The business plan is considered as material in Marchionne's bid to turn Fiat into a global company large enough to challenge the biggest carmakers in the world after fully acquiring Chrysler Group in January.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler Automobiles aims to more than double its profit by 2018
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