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Unread 2014-01-29, 11:11 AM   #451
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Chrysler And Fiat Are Now One Big Happy Family -- But Where's Home?




The union between Fiat and Chrysler first envisioned five years ago, when Chrysler was on the brink of liquidation, is now complete, following Fiat’s purchase of the remaining 41 percent of Chrysler’s shares from a retiree trust fund.
Now called Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the world’s seventh-largest automaker even has a new logo, which the company says represents “an organization that is much more than the sum of its two component parts, based on strong core values that represents a unique corporate culture, a common vision and a Group with an international reach.”

But where on earth is FCA based? It’s incorporated in the Netherlands, so it must be Dutch, right? Well, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said the company will reside in the United Kingdom because it makes sense for tax purposes. So it’s a U.K.-based company then? But its primary stock listing will be on the New York Stock Exchange, with a secondary market in Milan. Meanwhile, Chrysler has a huge headquarters complex outside of Detroit. Fiat has its own headquarters in Milan.
This is no small question. The choice of corporate headquarters has huge political implications, especially in Italy, where the economy is a mess and workers are naturally worried about their jobs. After all Chrysler’s been through, nobody in Detroit wants to see its U.S. presence diminished either.
I asked company spokesman Gualberto Ranieri for clarification on where the new company will be based. “Like today, on a plane,” he replied.
It sounded like a cop out to me. Welcome to the new age of the global multinational.
In a statement, Marchionne said: “Today is one of the most important days in my career at Fiat and Chrysler. Five years ago we began to cultivate a vision that went beyond industrial cooperation to include full cultural integration at all levels. We have worked tenaciously and single-mindedly to transform differences into strengths and break down barriers of nationalistic or cultural resistance. Today we can say that we have succeeded in creating solid foundations for a global automaker with a mix of experience and know-how on a level with the best of our competitors. An international governance structure and listings will complete this vision and improve the Group’s access to global markets bringing obvious financial benefits.”
The company added that “the existing organization based on four operating regions will remain central to the operating and management structure of the new Group. All activities forming part of FCA will continue with the same mission, including manufacturing plants in Italy and elsewhere around the globe, with no impact on headcount.”
But I suppose Ranieri is right. As chief executive of both automakers, Marchionne has spent an inordinate amount of time crossing the Atlantic in an airplane. That won’t change now that they are merged into one. (Asked about succession planning, Marchionne joked, “I wonder why anyone with a minimum amount of sanity would want this job.” For the record, he has committed to stay three more years.) At least now he needs only one set of business cards.
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Unread 2014-02-11, 09:52 AM   #452
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Chrysler Group has announced that it has fully repaid a $5 billion loan from the UAW's VEBA trust, closing the final bankruptcy bailout that was received in 2009 amid the industry crisis.

"This transaction brings to a successful and earlier than anticipated conclusion the process that led the U.S. and Canadian governments, the UAW and the VEBA, together with Fiat, to take on the task of reestablishing Chrysler as a viable automotive enterprise," said Chrysler chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The announcement follows the finalized merger between Fiat and Chrysler, after the companies purchased the UAW's 41-percent minority stake for $3.65 billion.

The duo also established a new corporate identity as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Further plans include a headquarters in the Netherlands, with resident status in the UK and forthcoming stock listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

"With the full early repayment of government loans in 2011, the acquisition from the VEBA of their Chrysler equity stake by Fiat in January of this year, and the full monetization of the VEBA note some nine years before the expiry of its term, Fiat and Chrysler together have satisfied all the monetary commitments that were made to Chrysler back in 2009," added Marchionne. "None remain outstanding."

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Unread 2014-02-20, 10:42 PM   #453
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Fiat access to Chrysler cash limited by dividend cap and debt covenants


2014 Fiat 500

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group disclosed that its access to Chrysler’s cash was limited by a cap on dividends from the US carmaker and its debt covenants. Fiat’s intention to fully acquire Chrysler was partly motivated by the fact that it could gain access to the US carmaker’s finances for it to spend on new models to overhaul its loss-making operations in Europe. Analysts are worried about Fiat's increasing debts and its ability to finance a strategy that will allow it to focus on its upscale Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands and stop fully relying on low-margin volume models. In response to a request for clarification from market regulator Consob, Fiat said in a statement that beyond the cap, dividend payments were also subject to the condition that Chrysler's liquidity surpasses a threshold of $3 billion. Fiat said that Chrysler's liquidity was $14.7 billion at the end of 2013.
The Italian carmaker remarked that intercompany financing was limited by debt covenants that require deals to get approval from a majority of "disinterested" members of the Chrysler board of directors. Fiat, however, said it had enough cash to fund its activities.
"On the basis of the group's available liquidity, credit lines in place and available for investment in industrial activities, in addition to the ability to access capital markets ... the group believes that its capital resources are more than adequate to meet the projected funding requirements," Fiat said in a statement.
Moody’s has recently downgraded Fiat’s rating, but the carmaker believes that the event would only prompt a marginal rise in commitment fees on EUR2.1 billion ($2.87 billion) of revolving credit line.
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Unread 2014-05-05, 02:05 PM   #454
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Fiat Chrysler five-year plan calls for Ferrari to build new cars in new segments - report

Ferrari California T

Dodge to focus on American muscle

Sergio Marchionne is set to unveil his five year plan for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles tomorrow and new details are starting to emerge about what we can expect.
While we've already heard plenty about Alfa Romeo's revival, the Detroit Free Press is reporting Dodge will focus on "American muscle." As part of this transformation, the Grand Caravan will reportedly be dropped and Chrysler will be the only brand to offer a minivan.
Moving on, we can expect to learn some new details about several upcoming Jeeps. Nothing is official but the company could give us an update about the Grand Wagoneer revival which was originally slated for 2014.
We can expect to hear about new Fiats and additional Ram commercial vehicles. Interestingly, the report also says Ferrari will build new cars in "new segments."
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Unread 2014-05-06, 09:54 AM   #455
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Chrysler 100, midsize CUV and plug-in hybrid minivan launch bid to go mainstream



The news just keeps on rolling from Auburn Hills today, as Fiat Chrysler continues to detail its five-year growth plan. This time round, we're talking about Chrysler. The troubled American brand has been limited in the past few years to the lamentable Sebring/200, the Town & Country and the 300, although that's likely to change in the coming years.

"The Chrysler brand is not luxury – it's not premium. Chrysler is the mainstream American brand," brand CEO Al Gardner said during today's presentation.

Gardner set a sales target of 800,000 units by 2018, which marks an increase of 350,000 units compared to its 2013 sales results. That's a pretty big ask for a brand that's struggled to define itself over the past decade.

Naturally, then, Chrysler will need some new product to hit that goal. Leading the charge will be a "thoroughly refreshed" 300 sedan, which we can expect to see later this year at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Considering the 300's 2011 arrival, this fits in nicely with the average automotive life cycle.

Following the 300's refresh, 2016 will see the arrival of the Chrysler 100, a C-segment offering that will challenge the likes of the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cruze. The 100 may be the most important vehicle in the Chrysler brand's five-year plan, as it will mark its entry into one of the hottest segments in the auto industry.

The new 100 won't have 2016 to itself, though, as Chrysler will launch a brand-new Town & Country, simultaneously killing its badge-engineered Dodge counterpart, the Grand Caravan. The new T&C will include a plug-in hybrid model, which Chrysler is claiming will return the equivalent of 75 miles per gallon, making it the most fuel efficient minivan on the market by a huge margin.

For 2017, Chrysler will turn its attention to the new-for-2014 200 sedan, delivering a refresh on that promising four-door. 2018, meanwhile, will see the debut of a midsize CUV, perhaps aimed at the Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Not surprisingly, details on this one were the most scarce.
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Unread 2014-05-09, 10:31 AM   #456
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The newly minted Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will establish its headquarters in London, England, the company's chief executive has confirmed.
Fiat is currently based in Turin, Italy, and Chrysler calls the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills home, but the merged automaker will form a new HQ in London.
"Headquarters will be in London," FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne told Reuters. "It's clear that group executive functions, the board, my office, some of my functions, need to operate out of London, but that doesn't mean that I'm giving up my operational responsibilities of the U.S. We will be multi-faceted ... we will do stuff everywhere."

Workers in Italy and the United States have voiced concerned over potential job losses that could result from the move, but Marchionne insists that no cuts are planned.
The news of the new London HQ comes just days after FCA announced an aggressive new five-year business plan.


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Unread 2014-05-09, 10:16 PM   #457
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no cuts are planned

Key word "planned."
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Unread 2014-07-17, 05:34 PM   #458
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VW, Fiat deny merger talks






All parties involved are actively denying a potentially Earth-shattering shakeup in the automotive universe, as a German business publication claimed that Volkswagen and Fiat have been discussing the possibility of a merger.

The magazine, Manager Magazin, claimed that Fiat was looking to ditch its volume automotive business in order to focus even more heavily on Ferrari, according to Automotive News Europe. The report claims that the merger would allow Chrysler to help bolster the Volkswagen brand in the United States.

Not surprisingly, Volkswagen, Fiat and the Agnelli family (which owns a 30-percent stake in FCA) have all denied this report. VW has said it's focusing on efficiency within its own group, and isn't looking at any takeover plans, according to AN. The Agnelli family, meanwhile, has also denied talks, while Fiat officials say are unaware of any talks.

That hasn't stopped some analysts from speculating that a merger between the two companies might not be a horrible idea, although any potential deal likely wouldn't be a full-scale merger, so much as a piecemeal plundering.

"Volkswagen has an urge to become the number one global automaker, and an acquisition of that size would bring them to their target immediately," Juergen Pieper, an analyst with Frankfurt-based Bankhaus Metzler, told AN. Pieper cautioned, however, that due to Fiat's troubles in Europe and the potential for antitrust woes in South America that a full-scale merger would be "rather unrealistic."

As for the Manager Magazin report, Chrysler might not be able to help VW quite as much as the German publication thinks.

VW's issues "are more image and pricing problems and not so much problems of distribution and manufacturing," an unnamed auto analyst told AN. "Buying Chrysler would not really help VW."

Of course, should we hear anything else on this fascinating rumor, we'll be sure to check it out. Stay tuned.
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Unread 2014-10-08, 05:23 PM   #459
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Marchionne to take his sweater and go home after 2018





The end is in sight for Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne, who confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg that once FCA's sweeping five-year plan is completed, he'd be stepping down from his post to "undoubtedly" do something else that didn't involve turning around global corporations. That would mean he should finish up after 2018 if all goes according to plan.

"It's as important to walk away from the table as it is to sit down," Marchionne told Bloomberg.

Marchionne has been at Fiat since June of 2004 and is one of the chief architects behind the Italian company's acquisition of Chrysler. Despite his successes, he does sound quite ready to move beyond the auto industry, rhetorically asking his Bloomberg interviewers if there "are other things I like to do apart from this?"

"Phenomenally, yes. I like to be able to think, and that's not always possible in this job."

The 62-year-old exec, meanwhile, indicated that the lead role at the legally Dutch company will change with his departure. As for who will take Marchionne's place, Fiat Chairman John Elkann pointed out that it won't be him, telling Bloomberg his family's non-executive role in the company "has worked well," adding that the company is "comfortable with the bench we have."

Elkann told Bloomberg that potential replacements for Marchionne could include Jeep boss Mike Manley, as well as Fiat's Brazilian and European execs Cledorvino Belini and Alfredo Altavilla.
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Unread 2015-05-11, 09:36 PM   #460
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Marchionne met with Tesla, Apple, says Range Rover makes "blood boil"




Last week Sergio Marchionne coyly stated that he was "open" to a partnership with tech giants Apple or Google. As it turns out, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has already met with several rock star CEOs Silicon Valley, including Tesla.



Marchionne has made no secret about looking for a partner to merge with in an effort to consolidate the auto industry. His first and second choices, Ford and GM, have politely declined the courtship.

It's not clear whether the meetings took place before or after Marchionne's previous statements, but upon returning from California he expressed some of his opinions to the Automotive News. Regarding Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk: "I'm incredibly impressed with what that kid has done."

When asked about a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Marchionne said he was "interested in Apple's intervention in the car, that's his role," but would not elaborate. It should be noted FCA and Apple already have a relationship, albeit indirectly. Fiat cars use audio systems branded by Beats Electronics, a company that was purchased by Apple in May 2014 for $3.2 billion.

Marchionne reportedly also took a ride in Google's self-driving car but did not comment on it. Apple, for its part, is also working on an autonomous vehicle.

In the same interview, Marchionne reaffirmed his goal to develop luxury-branded SUVs under the Chrysler nameplate: "When I see a Range Rover on the street, my blood boils, because we should be able to do a thing like that, and we will."






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Unread 2015-07-20, 11:28 PM   #461
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Fiat Chrysler wins top Total Quality Award for first time

http://www.autoblog.com/2015/07/20/f...usauto00000016

The Strategic Vision Total Quality Awards are 20 years old in 2015, and Chrysler has never topped the awards before. Until now, that is. Fiat Chrysler takes the overall award on the corporate level with six segment leaders from Fiat, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram. The Fiat 500 won Small Multi-Function Car, the 500e won Small Alternative Powertrain, the Dodge Challenger tied at the top in the Specialty Coupe category alongside the very un-coupe Mini Cooper Countryman, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited took the Entry SUV category, the Dodge Durango won in Mid-Size SUV, and Ram took the overall in Best Non-Luxury Brand. The accolade means FCA has gone from one segment winner in 2010 to overall victory in five years.

Cars have gotten so good, says Strategic Vision, that it is harder than ever to win. In fact, says the group, 18 years ago 85 percent of all vehicle brands had more than half a problem per vehicle. This year, no brand has more than half a problem per vehicle. The organization measures "over 155 specific aspects of the customer's experience," and scores are based on input from more than 46,000 customers.

Other notables in and near the winner's circle include Volkswagen and General Motors, who tied for second place on the corporate scale, one point behind FCA. The Mini Cooper Roadster scored the highest of any model, the Corvette Stingray Convertible and Coupe scored the second- and third-highest. The Chevrolet Colorado is the first domestic Standard Pickup winner in more than ten years, and the Nissan Titan carried the Full-Size Pickup category. The press release below has all the details on how winners and losers are selected, and the full list of automakers and how they finished.
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Unread 2015-08-31, 02:14 PM   #462
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Marchionne may stay with FCA until 2020






We might get to see Sergio Marchionne and his vast array of sweaters in the auto industry for even longer than expected. The FCA CEO suggested last year that he would retire from the automaker when its current five-year plan was complete in 2018. Now, he has tentatively extended that point out to at least 2020.

"I can do this for another five years if you push me, right? Beyond that, I ain't gonna do it, and I don't want to," he said to Automotive News. That would give Marchionne a 16-year career at the top from joining Fiat in 2004 to possibly leaving FCA in 2020. Although, take the CEO's statement with a grain of salt because he has made multiple statements about the timing for his retirement. In 2012, Marchionne said he would only remain in charge until 2015, which is, well, now.

Those five years might also go quite quickly because Marchionne is a busy guy with the Ferrari IPO, the attempted merger with General Motors, implementing FCA's five-year plan, and many other projects. He's already considering the next CEO, though. "My purpose in life is to find the Kuniskises of the world, the Manleys, the Biglands, the Palmers," Marchionne said to Automotive News, referencing the heads at Dodge, Jeep, FCA North America, and the company's chief financial officer, respectively. "I told them, 'One of you is going to do what I do one day. I don't know who that is, but one of you is going to do it.'"
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Unread 2015-10-23, 10:11 AM   #463
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http://www.autoblog.com/2015/10/23/f...#slide-3674340






Hellcat powered 300 pleaaassseee
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Unread 2015-10-23, 11:25 AM   #464
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I hate/like SEMA it's all smoke and mirrors (for the most part)
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Unread 2015-10-23, 02:18 PM   #465
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDLM View Post
I hate/like SEMA it's all smoke and mirrors (for the most part)
I'd love to go. I had earned a week "internship" one year while in college but they canceled a lot of the funding for it in the weeks leading up to the show meaning I couldn't go. This was right around 2008. I've never recovered.
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Unread 2015-11-03, 11:41 AM   #466
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SEMA Concepts shown today

Love the 200S






















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Unread 2016-03-15, 08:39 AM   #467
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FCA confirms Fiat Tipo Sedan heading to Mexico as Dodge Neon


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced the Fiat Tipo Sedan is going to be exported to Mexico where it will be sold as a Dodge Neon.


Fiat launched the Tipo (Egea in Turkey) in the second half of last year in Europe and now the compact sedan is getting ready for a trip to Mexico. It will be sold over there as a Dodge Neon imported from Turkey where the car is being assembled by Tofas, a joint venture between Fiat and Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding.


The Tipo recently spawned hatchback and wagon versions which were unveiled earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show, but there's no word just yet whether these two body styles will also be sold in Mexico.


As for the sedan, Tofas CEO Cengiz Eroldu said the Tipo will start being exported to Mexico later this year. It actually won’t be the first Tofas-built model heading to North America as the RAM ProMaster City, basically a rebadged Fiat Doblo, has been available since the 2015 model year in United States.


Details concerning the engine lineup have not been released, but we remind you the Fiat Tipo / Egea sedan can be had in Europe with a pair of naturally-aspirated 1.4- and 1.6-liter gasoline engines. In addition, Fiat also offers 1.3- and 1.6-liter MultiJet II turbodiesels. These work with five- and six-speed manual gearboxes and a six-speed automatic, depending on engine selection.
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Unread 2016-05-26, 02:17 PM   #468
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FCA denies rumors of majority stake sale to China's GAC













Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chairman John Elkann has reportedly denied rumors that China's Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) has agreed to buy a majority stake in the company.


The executive allegedly claimed both parties have not "made any agreement," according to Automotive News. He does not appear to have explicitly denied that the companies may be still negotiating such a move, however.

FCA and GAC already have a joint venture in China, allowing the US automaker to build and sell its cars in the world's largest automotive market. GAC has previously expressed interest in entering the US market, starting with its Trumpchi GS5 small SUV (pictured).

The latest rumors suggest GAC may be presented with an opportunity to build the next-generation Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart, even if the Chinese automaker does not purchase a controlling stake.

FCA has made an aggressive push to find a merger partner. The company has been rebuffed by its top choice -- General Motors -- forcing chief executive Sergio Marchionne to consider other alternatives.
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Unread 2016-12-23, 01:50 PM   #469
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Fiat Chrysler Well Positioned To Thrive In 2017


Summary


  • Strong in the booming categories of pick-ups and SUVs for North America market.
  • Strong in small cars for Europe market as latest figures show.
  • Positioned to ride any uptick in Latin America.
  • Lack of substantial investment in China a positive in light of possible pending trade conflicts between USA and China.
  • December saw interesting new developments in FCA's strategy in regard to electric vehicles.


Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) is well positioned both geographically and in product terms to reap the benefits of its position, as we go into 2017. CEO Sergio Marchionne has astutely managed the strategic and brand issues involved. The company is better placed than its traditional rivals Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) and the stock market has undervalued its strong position. Recent announcements detailed below only serve to reinforce this strong outlook.

Europe

My article in November covered in some detail the successful increases in market share the company continues to enjoy in both Europe and North America, and the potential of the Alfa Romeo brand.
The growth in Europe has been stunning. Figures released recently show that in the first 11 months of the year, the company sold 918,600 vehicles. This was an increase of 14.2% year-on-year. This compares to an industry growth of 6.9%. The growth has been consistent across all the major European countries.
Historically, FCA has been very strong in the small car sector in Europe. This continues with the Fiat "Panda" and Fiat 500 enjoying a market-dominating 29.4% share of the small car market. The diesel emissions scandal affecting traditional small car rival Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY) has no doubt helped Fiat.
GM and Ford both continue to do badly in Europe and lose money there, unlike FCA. In November for instance, FCA sales rose 10.3% while those of Ford rose just 1.9% and GM Opel declined 1.1%.
Importantly, FCA has greatly increased its sales of the Jeep and Alfa brands this year. This will improve its European profitability as well, as these brands enjoy higher margins than the small Fiats.
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Unread 2016-12-29, 06:46 PM   #470
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FCA to spin off Maserati, Alfa Romeo?

Selling the Italian marques is viewed as a potential strategy to help pay off debts.




After pushing for further industry consolidation, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is rumored to be seeking buyers for several of its Italian brands.

A Forbes report suggests FCA shares have surged amid rumors that Alfa Romeo and Maserati could be sold or spun off, potentially helping the company significantly reduce its debt burden.

Previous rumors pointed to Magneti Marelli as the most likely choice for divestment, however Samsung's alleged purchase plan is said to have died as the Korean conglomerate focused on dealing with its Note 7 fire crisis.

Automakers are facing a changing landscape in 2017 as analysts predict a downturn in vehicle sales from 2016, capping an eight-year growth streak since the 2008 industry crisis prompted bankruptcies and bailouts. FCA is said to be entering the uncertain times with more debt than many of its rivals.

Alfa Romeo is only in the beginning stages of its US revival strategy, which hinges on the forthcoming Stelvio crossover and Giulia sedan. Maserati, meanwhile, has struggled to maintain sales momentum after a stellar 2014 was followed by a nearly 10-percent drop in 2015 and just a two-percent rise so far this year.


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Unread 2017-08-14, 09:33 AM   #471
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Chinese automakers covet FCA


Answering Beijing's call for foreign acquisitions






Fiat Chrysler's hot Jeep products, such as the Grand Cherokee, make the company desirable.









DETROIT — For more than two years, FCA has been FSBO — that's For Sale By Owner — with no serious offers.
Not anymore.

Representatives of a well-known Chinese automaker made at least one offer this month to buy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles at a small premium over its market value, Automotive News has learned. The offer was rejected for not being enough, a source said.
Meanwhile, other sources independently identified executives from other large Chinese automakers conducting their own due diligence on a potential purchase of FCA, including meeting last week with representatives of U.S. retail groups about a potential acquisition. A source said FCA executives have traveled to China to meet with Great Wall Motor Co. And Chinese delegations were seen last week at FCA's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Marchionne: Making FCA enticing.

Chinese companies are under government pressure to expand outside China by acquiring foreign companies. FCA may be a perfect target, given that CEO Sergio Marchionne has focused on streamlining the automaker's operations to make it enticing to a buyer, making bold moves such as exiting small cars and sedans and revamping the company's manufacturing footprint.

It's unclear which Chinese automaker or automakers are pursuing FCA. Different sources have pointed to involvement by different ones — Dongfeng Motor Corp., Great Wall, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group or FCA's current joint venture partner in China, Guangzhou Automobile Group. But it is also unclear which company or companies are likely to follow through or succeed.
Unsurprisingly, FCA isn't talking, nor are any of the four Chinese automakers. But if a sale proceeds, the quintessentially American Jeep brand — once owned by the Germans and most recently by the Italians/Dutch — may soon be owned by the Chinese.
According to one source, any sale likely would involve FCA's highly profitable Jeep and Ram brands, as well as Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat, but would exclude Maserati and Alfa Romeo. Those two brands would be spun off, as was Ferrari, to maximize returns for Exor, the holding company controlled by the Agnelli family, which owns a controlling interest in FCA, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Why, after two years on the block, is FCA apparently drawing interest from at least one potential Chinese buyer now?
The answer: FCA's global network and product — specifically Jeep and Ram — fit the requirements the Chinese government has set for attractive acquisitions.
Quality gap

Chinese automakers have openly dreamed of cracking lucrative North America for a decade, spending millions to display their vehicles at high-profile U.S. auto shows. Early efforts showed that Chinese automakers had a long way to go before they were ready to compete here.
But in more recent years — through knowledge and expertise gained via joint ventures with the world's largest and most successful automakers — Chinese companies have closed the quality gap.

And the automakers feel like they finally have closed that gap enough to start selling their products in the U.S., said Michael Dunne, president of Dunne Automotive, a Hong Kong investment advisory company and an expert on the Chinese auto industry.
They also are under pressure from the government to expand beyond China, Dunne said.
A government directive dubbed China Outbound pushes Chinese businesses to acquire international assets from their industries and operate them "to make their mark," much as Geely has done since acquiring Volvo in 2010. Bloomberg reported last week that Chinese companies plan to spend $1.5 trillion acquiring overseas companies over the next decade — a 70 percent increase from current levels.
"Right now, Chinese automakers enjoy the full support of the leadership in Beijing to go and make it happen," Dunne said. "That's something brand new, and it's really picked up since 2015."
Along with Volvo, Dunne pointed to Italian tire maker Pirelli and German robotics giant Kuka as Chinese acquisitions supported by the China Outbound policy.
Interest has been growing for some time. In May 2016, FCA hosted a high-level delegation from China at its North American headquarters, which included Hu Chunhua, a member of the Communist Party's Politburo and secretary of the party's Guangdong Provincial Committee. Also in attendance were Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador to the U.S., and Zhang Fangyou, chairman of Guangzhou Automobile Group.
"The interest is real, no question," Dunne said. "The complications are on the political side: What would this mean for a Chinese company to acquire an American automaker, no matter where its corporate headquarters is based?"
Turnkey operation
For a Chinese automaker that dreams of making a splash in North America, Europe and Latin America, FCA presents as close to a turnkey operation as exists.
Globally, FCA has 162 manufacturing operations — assembly, component, stamping and machining plants — and another 87 r&d centers. In North America, FCA has a network of about 2,600 U.S. dealerships, as well as extensive distribution networks in Canada and Mexico.
And unlike other, larger publicly owned automakers with similar global footprints, Marchionne and his bosses at Exor have made one thing clear: Write a big enough check, and the keys to FCA are yours.
When it became apparent in late 2015 that FCA's attempts to merge with General Motors had been rejected and any effort to tie up with Volkswagen was shut down because of that automaker's then-blooming diesel emissions scandal, Marchionne began focusing attention inward, looking at why his company had not been more attractive to potential partners. In early 2016, he began implementing radical changes to make FCA more appealing, especially to an Asian automaker, but also to Volkswagen.
First, FCA shocked the industry by ending production of its compact and midsize sedans in the U.S., the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200. The cars had been among the first fruits of bankrupt Chrysler's 2009 shotgun marriage to Fiat S.p.A., but both had disappointing sales.
At the same time, Marchionne expanded development for his two cash cows, Jeep and Ram. He retooled plants from unibody construction back to body-on-frame to expand production of the Ram 1500 and Jeep Wrangler, and he announced that, after years of consumer clamoring, Jeep would again build a pickup and would soon build big luxury Jeeps to compete with Land Rover.
Product development plans laid out in 2014 — to vastly expand the Chrysler lineup, for example — were scrapped. FCA's North American product line would go where the money was: pickups, SUVs and the minivan.
Stretch goals
The transformation, which will be largely complete by 2018, will mean FCA showrooms will resemble those of a decade ago when gasoline prices spiked: full of SUVs, crossovers, minivans and pickups and devoid of anything smaller or more fuel-efficient. The transformation has helped FCA's quarterly financials, and Marchionne says the automaker is on track to achieve in 2018 what had been widely considered pie-in-the-sky goals laid out in 2014.
FCA has also looked hard at shedding holdings not directly related to automaking as a way to free trapped value for shareholders. That could include separation from parts maker Magneti Marelli, casting specialist Teksid and automation provider Comau.
On a conference call with analysts last month, Marchionne laid out the strategy.
"In order to be fair to our shareholders, we need to make sure that we deliver as much value out of this venture as we can," he said.
The prospect of selling FCA to a Chinese automaker has been on Marchionne's mind awhile. In August 2015, months after he began his quest to merge or partner with another global automaker with his "Confessions of a Capital Junkie" presentation, and while he was launching his soon-to-be-rebuffed bid to merge with GM, the FCA CEO told Automotive News that he had closely studied potential tie-ups with numerous Asian automakers.
His conclusion: None of the Asian automakers was looking for partners.
He was asked: Anyone in Asia?
"I don't think Asia is partnerable," he said. "No, you can be acquired by the Asians. I think China will buy you."
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Unread 2017-08-16, 02:56 PM   #472
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China's Geely says it has no plan to buy Fiat Chrysler — as FCA stock leaps







HONG KONG — Chinese carmaker Geely Automobile denied media speculation on Wednesday that it planned to make a takeover bid for Fiat Chryslerk Automobiles (FCA), the world's seventh-largest automaker.
Geely was one of several Chinese carmakers cited in by Automotive News, which said representatives of "a well-known Chinese automaker" had made an offer this month for FCA, which has a market value of almost $20 billion.
"We don't have such a plan at the moment," Geely executive director Gui Shengyue told reporters at an earnings briefing, when asked if Geely was interested in Fiat.
He said a foreign acquisition would be complicated, but he did not elaborate. "But for other (Chinese) brands, it could be a fast track for their development," Gui added.
However, a source close to the matter said FCA and Geely Automobile's parent firm, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, had held initial talks late last year, without disclosing their nature.
The source confirmed Geely was no longer interested in FCA, noting that the parent company had only three months ago announced its first push into Southeast Asia with the purchase of 49.9 percent of struggling Malaysian carmaker Proton, a deal that also included a stake in Lotus.
Geel's denial failed to dent FCA's stock. The price of its Milan-based shares has jumped more than 10 percent to a 19-year high since Automotive News first reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources, that FCA had rejected the Chinese offer as too low. FCA stock on the New York Stock Exchange rose sharply on Monday from $11.60 to $12.38 and on Wednesday was trading at $12.84.
FCA declined to comment on Wednesday.
FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has repeatedly called for mergers as a way of sharing the costs of making cleaner, more advanced cars, but he has repeatedly failed to find a partner and retreated from his search for in April, saying FCA would stick to its business plan. He has also spoken of spinning the successful Jeep and Ram divisions off from FCA.
Europe's largest carmaker, Volkswagen, and General Motors have both said they are not interested in talks with FCA.
On Wednesday, Geely Automobile reported a doubling of first-half profit, above expectations, as cars designed with Sweden's Volvo won over domestic consumers. Volvo is a unit of the Zhejiang Geely group, and has recently announced it will share its technology with Geely.
Like its peers, the Hangzhou-based group is looking at expanding overseas with a particular interest in entering the profitable North American market.The Italian government has made no comment on the merger speculation, but an Italian daily said on Tuesday that Rome was worried about potential job losses. Given FCA's legal domicile is in the Netherlands, and its headquarters is in the UK, the government could not do much to influence a takeover, it added. What the Trump administration might have to say about Chinese ownership of a Detroit automaker could be another matter.
Geely shares closed up 0.8 percent in Hong Kong, in line with the broader market. The company has a market value of around $22 billion.
FCA's Milan-listed shares were up 3 percent in afternoon trade at 10.96 euros, after touching 11.13 euros, their highest level since July 1998.
($1 = 0.8541 euros)
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Unread 2017-08-21, 11:53 AM   #473
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China's Great Wall confirms interest in Jeep [update]










Great Wall hopes buying Jeep will make it the world's largest SUV brand.
Updated by Ronan Glon: Added comments from FCA.



China's Great Wall Motor has confirmed it's interested in buying Jeep from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
Great Wall president Wang Fengying told Automotive News members of her team arecurrently talking to FCA officials to gauge whether or not a deal can be struck. The negotiation points haven't been made public, but it sounds like they're not at a very advanced stage. A spokesperson told the industry trade journal that a formal offer hasn't been made yet.
"We are deeply interested in the Jeep brand and have paid close attention to it for a long time. Our strategic goal is to become the world's largest SUV maker. Acquiring Jeep, a global SUV brand, would enable us to achieve our goal sooner and better," the company explained in a statement.
A separate report published by the Financial Times claims Great Wall has clarified it wants to buy all of FCA, not just Jeep. Interestingly, FCA said it hasn't been approached by anyone from Great Wall about buying Jeep or any other part of its business.


In April, FCA boss Sergio Marchionne told the Detroit Free Press he's open to the idea of spinning off Jeep and Ram. His overall message to interested buyers is "make me an offer I can't refuse." Analysts agree Jeep is likely worth more than the rest of FCA put together.
Automotive News reports Great Wall's interest in Jeep -- and FCA's willingness to spin off the brand -- could start a bidding war. Jeep is one of the most emblematic automakers in the world, so Great Wall certainly won't be the only company interested in an acquisition.
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Unread 2017-08-23, 03:21 PM   #474
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Fiat Chrysler considers Maserati, Alfa spinoffs to boost value, report says







MILAN -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is considering options including a plan to spin off the upscale Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands as well as its components operations, people familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg.
The moves would focus the automaker on mass-market cars to make Fiat Chrysler more attractive for a potential combination with a competitor, said the people who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

The luxury-car operations could be worth as much as 7 billion euros ($8.3 billion), while Magneti Marelli and other parts businesses are valued at up to 5 billion euros, analysts estimate.
Under the proposal, Fiat Chrysler intends to keep Jeep to anchor the mass-market car business, which also includes the Dodge and Ram nameplates, the people said. Jeep has attracted interest from China's Great Wall Motor Co., which said on Tuesday that there were "big uncertainties" that it would pursue a transaction.
"With Great Wall expressing a clear interest in all or part of Fiat Chrysler, the focus shifts from earnings to breakup value potential," Exane BNP analysts Dominic O'Brien and Stuart Pearson said in a note Wednesday.

Discussions among executives are progressing, with several options still under consideration, including just separating one or more of the component units, which also include Teksid and Comau, the people said. A final decision may not be made until early 2018 and the timing of carrying out the transactions remains uncertain, they said.
Fiat Chrysler declined to comment.
The plan is also meant to unlock value for the Agnelli family and other shareholders as the company continues to underperform peers, the people said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates that Fiat Chrysler's businesses are worth about 50 billion euros ($59 billion) on their own, double the group's current enterprise value of 24.5 billion euros ($29 billion).
CEO Sergio Marchionne, 65, is preparing his final five-year business plan before he leaves the carmaker in 2019. Separating parts of the group is a familiar tool for the executive. The company spun off truck and tractor maker CNH Industrial NV in 2011 and supercar brand Ferrari in 2016. Combined, the entities now have a market value of $57 billion, compared to about $6 billion in 2004, when Marchionne took charge.
Breakup risks

A breakup strategy carries sizable risks, and Fiat is evaluating those, the people said.
Alfa Romeo is in the early stages of its push to become a global luxury-car brand and still needs billions of euros in investment to develop new models to compete with the likes of the BMW and Mercedes-Benz brands. And neither Maserati nor Alfa Romeo have the allure of the Ferrari marque. To offset these hurdles, Fiat may look to secure a partner for its upscale brands, the people said.

The pressure to act is clear. Despite a 34 percent surge this year, Fiat shares are still among the cheapest in the Stoxx 600 Automobiles & Parts index, trading at 4.6 times estimated 12-month earnings compared with the industry average of 7.4 times. Car-parts maker Faurecia, one of Magneti Marelli's competitors, trades at 11.4 times estimated earnings, while BMW is at 7.2 times.
A breakup of Fiat would be another step in the billionaire Agnelli family's plan to wean itself from a dependence on the volatile mass-market car business. Under John Elkann, the clan's chief, Fiat's controlling investor has been seeking to diversify its wealth through its holding company Exor, including expanding its interests in real estate and reinsurance. Elkann has said Exor would be prepared to reduce its 24.5 percent stake in Fiat Chrysler in a deal to create a bigger group.
Intensifying pressure
Marchionne has long been a vocal proponent of consolidation, arguing that the industry wastes money by developing multiple versions of the same technology. Those pressures have only intensified as countries such as the UK and France set a deadline for the end of combustion engines, and self-driving technologies and ride-hailing services threaten to upend the auto industry's traditional business model.
The Fiat CEO acknowledged that deeper changes might be coming when he said last month that the automaker will evaluate whether to spin off some of its businesses. The company is pushing to eliminate 4.2 billion euros ($5 billion) in debt by the end of next year.
"Fiat management has very clearly opened the door for potential separation of some of its businesses," Adam Jonas, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, said in a note.
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Unread 2017-09-06, 09:00 AM   #475
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Fiat Chrysler Says Will Spin Off Car-Part Unit, No Big Deal on Table

  • Marchionne says he hasn’t had offer or approach for carmaker
  • Component unit to be separated, Alfa and Maserati "immature"
#lazy-img-316041064:before{padding-top:66.68181818181817%;}

A row of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will push ahead with separating the parts business, while the carmaker doesn’t have any big deal on the table and hasn’t received any approach for a combination.
"There are some activities at the component businesses which don’t belong to the car business and the group must be purified from those assets," Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne told Bloomberg News in Monza, near Milan, on Saturday. Marchionne, who is also CEO of Ferrari NV, attended the Formula One qualifying session for the Italian Grand Prix. He also said he hadn’t received any approach or offer for Fiat Chrysler.
#lazy-img-310898803:before{padding-top:66.7%;}

Sergio Marchionne

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Marchionne, 65, is preparing his final five-year business plan before he leaves the carmaker in 2019. He acknowledged that deeper changes might be coming when he said in July that the automaker will evaluate whether to spin off some businesses. The company is pushing to eliminate 4.2 billion euros ($5 billion) in debt by the end of next year as part of plans to make at least 4.7 billion euros of adjusted net profit.



Marchionne didn’t exclude that the carmaker could eventually start talks for a tie-up before he leaves the helm of Fiat Chrysler in 2019. "That’s a good question. I don’t know as it is difficult to make forecasts for the next two years. What it is important is our 2018 plan and results are coming."
Marchionne has long been a vocal proponent of consolidation, arguing that the industry wastes money by developing multiple versions of the same technology. Those pressures have only intensified as countries such as the U.K. and France set deadlines to eliminate combustion engines, while self-driving technologies and ride-hailing services threaten to upend the auto industry’s traditional business model.
‘Too Immature’

Fiat Chrysler was considering options including separating components operations, which include Magneti Marelli SpA, as well as its upscale Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands, Bloomberg reported on Aug. 23, citing people familiar with the discussions. The luxury-car operations could be worth as much as 7 billion euros ($8.3 billion), while Magneti Marelli and other parts businesses are valued at up to 5 billion euros, analysts estimate.

Marchionne said Alfa and Maserati are "too immature" to be separated. "When they will have enough muscles and make enough cash by themselves," those brands could eventually become a stand-alone company. "I understand very well the concept to separate premium brands from the mass-car unit but we are not in the conditions to do it now," he said. "If there is this option it would eventually be done after I am gone." Marchionne is set to leave the carmaker in the first half of 2019.
The Italian CEO, who grew up in Canada, said the carmaker would "ideally" have the component business separated by the start of its new five-year plan in 2019. The board will start discussing the matter at its next meeting in September, he add.



Great Wall, China’s biggest maker of sport utility vehicles, last month expressed interest in Fiat Chrysler, especially the Jeep brand, though Fiat said there had been no approach on Jeep or “or any other matter relating to its business.” Great Wall subsequently said there were “big uncertainties” whether it would continue to pursue its interest in Fiat Chrysler.
Fiat’s shares rose to record high in Milan and New York trading on Friday and have gained 55 percent this year, bringing the company’s market value to 24.4 billion euros.
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