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Discussion Starter #201
Maserati says this year's new car orders total 22,500



Oct 15, 2013

Fiat's luxury carmaker Maserati said on Tuesday it has booked 22,500 orders for new cars so far this year, as of the end of September.

"Our investment (in new models) is starting to pay off," said brand chief Harald Wester at a presentation, referring to the 1.5 billion euros that will be spent from 2011 to 2014.

Maserati is on track this year to smash its previous sales record of 9,000 cars in 2008 and well ahead of sales of 6,300 cars in 2012. The company aims to sell 50,000 cars in 2015.

Selling more Maseratis is an important piece of Fiat's return to profit in 2016 in Europe, where it lost 700 million euros ($928 million) last year in a shrinking market.

Maserati had about 17,000 orders at the end of July and 20,304 at the end of August.

As of end-September, it had about 9,900 orders for its new Quattroporte car, about 7,900 for its smaller mid-sized Ghibli, and a total of about 5,000 for the Gran Turismo and Gran Cabrio models.

Wester ruled out any plans for a spin-off and listing of Maserati.
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Discussion Starter #202
Fiat plans to invest $12 billion to help end Europe losses, revive Italian plants, report says


December 9, 2013

MILAN (Bloomberg) -- Fiat Group plans to invest as much as 9 billion euros ($12.3 billion) on new models to end European losses in three years and revive nearly empty Italian factories, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

In addition to bolstering the upscale Maserati and Alfa Romeo marques with new Italy-built models, the carmaker will focus the Fiat brand on variants of the 500 and Panda minicars and ditch the Punto subcompact, a former best seller, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Fiat brand CEO Olivier Francois has said the Panda family will be aimed at budget-conscious customers while 500 models will target buyers willing to pay extra to have a more premium product.

"The Fiat brand has two dimensions, Panda-500, functional-aspirational, left brain-right brain," Francois said in a recent interview with Automotive News Europe.

Said Roberto Verganti, a management professor at Milan Polytechnic and author of the 2009 book "Design-Driven Innovation": "It's a brave and historic move to abandon your roots. Going upscale with cool, high-margin 500 and Alfa models is the only possible strategy to continue building cars in Italy."

With the timing of Fiat's sought-after merger with Chrysler Group uncertain, Sergio Marchionne, who is CEO of both carmakers, is under pressure to stem the Italian manufacturer's losses in Europe. While Fiat has previously said it aims to develop about 20 new models for Europe by 2016, including eight Alfa Romeos, the company has declined to comment on a revised European strategy until April.

Dropped Punto

As part of the luxury focus for Italy, Fiat will introduce 500 and Jeep SUVs next year as well as a convertible version of the Alfa Romeo 4C sports car, said the people.

Those cars will all be made in its home country.

The new Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan, designed mainly for export outside Europe, will be built in Italy by 2016, they said.

The Fiat Punto, a subcompact hatchback that competes with the likes of Volkswagen’s Polo, will be replaced by a five-door version of the 500. That mass-market model will be built in Poland to save costs and boost profit margins, the people said.

Auto workers in Poland are paid about one-quarter what their Italian counterparts make, according to data from German auto group the VDA.

Burdened by slumping demand in its home country and a lack of new models, Fiat has been losing market share in Europe for the past four years. The group's deliveries in the region last year were 47 percent less than in 2009, according to data from industry group ACEA. Fiat's European market share has slumped to 6.2 percent this year from 9.3 percent in 2009.

Europe losses

The sales collapse has led to operating losses of almost 2 billion euros since 2011, including 304 million euros in the first nine months of this year.

"We will utilize what we have in defense of what we have," Marchionne said on an Oct. 30 conference call with analysts when asked about cutting capacity. "We will not be shutting down plants. We will shift our production capacity in accordance with our premium brand strategy."

The success of the plan has implications beyond Fiat. Italy has been mired in a cycle of recessions since 2001, and a revival of production by Italy's largest manufacturer could help stabilize the broader economy after the auto industry shed more than 30,000 jobs since 2008, according to Italian auto-industry group Anfia.

Glorifying Italy

"The only way to revive the industrial sector in Italy is moving to luxury production and glorifying the 'Made in Italy' concept," said Giuseppe Berta, a professor at Bocconi University in Milan.

The impact of the downturn is evident at the Mirafiori plant near Fiat's Turin headquarters. The plant was once an engine of Italian industrialization after World War II, bustling with as many as 50,000 workers in the 1970s.

Now, only 5,500 people are employed there, and they just work a few days a month. The factory, which once churned out more than 600,000 cars a year, has built fewer than 20,000 in the first 10 months of 2013, according to the Fim Cisl union.

Fiat has furloughed many of its 30,700 production employees in Italy this year and most of those have been off work for more than five months this year, Fim Cisl said.

The goal is to bring them all back by focusing on luxury Alfa Romeo and Maserati vehicles. Under the plan, Mirafiori workers will start making the Maserati Levante, the elite brand's first SUV, by 2015.

German model

The strategy largely mirrors the German auto industry. BMW Group, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and Volkswagen Group, which owns the Audi and Porsche brands, have made upscale cars for decades to offset wages that are among the auto industry's highest. Those cars are exported from Germany around the world.

Focusing the Fiat brand on the 500 and the Panda would free up resources for the upscale shift, which has shown promising signs. After expanding with the Ghibli mid-sized sedan earlier this year, Maserati has received more than 23,000 orders this year, almost quadruple its 2012 sales of 6,200 cars.

Marchionne is expected to announce on new product strategy for Alfa Romeo next April that focuses on a new, still unnamed rear-wheel- and all-wheel-drive architecture. A key aim of the new plan is to boost Alfa's global presence, Automotive News Europe reported in its December emagazine.

"Fiat has seriously started to follow the right strategy for a country with no cheap labor but highly skilled workers," said Mauro Ferrari, vice chairman of parts supplier Webasto's Italian division.

Automotive News Europe contributed to this report
 

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Discussion Starter #203
Marchionne will stay at Fiat/Chrysler until at least 2017


01/13/2014

Sergio Marchionne will remain as the chief executive of Fiat and its US subsidiary Chrysler until at least 2017, Fiat chairman John Elkann said Monday.

"We have a deal for at least three years," Elkann told reporters on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show.

The announcement comes after Marchionne successfully avoided an initial public stock offering for Chrysler by purchasing the remaining stake from a retiree health care trust in a $3.65-billion (2.66-billion-euro) deal.

Marchionne engineered the merger between the Italian and US auto makers in a process starting in 2009 when Chrysler exited a government-backed bankruptcy precipitated by the global economic crisis.

The combined entity, which Marchionne said would have a new name, will be the seventh largest car maker in the world once the merger is complete.

Asked how valuable Marchionne is to the group, Elkann said, "We built this together."

"He's really been able for the last years to make sure Chrysler and Fiat worked together and I think we're going to see the companies are going to be together forever," Elkann told reporters.

"We are going to be able to build on that a much stronger solid company... We're very excited about that and Sergio is going to lead that."

Fiat originally took a 20-percent stake in the third largest US automaker as part of the company's bankruptcy in 2009 and subsequently raised its stake to 58.5 percent by purchasing the shares of the US and Canadian governments.

What was originally seen as a risky bet for Fiat -- the German automaker Daimler had failed to turn around Chrysler -- has paid off handsomely as Chrysler's sales are now booming after decades of turbulence and decline.

Chrysler's profits have been keeping Fiat buoyant in recent years amidst a deep downturn in Europe, and Marchionne has been steadily expanding Fiat's stake in Chrysler.

Marchionne's ambitious goal is to create a new global player in the auto industry with the capital and volume to compete with the likes of Toyota and General Motors.

Marchionne was widely credited for Fiat's turnaround after taking over as CEO in 2004 but domestic sales have been hard hit by the economic crisis and he has had repeated run-ins with unions over work conditions.

Marchionne said he was "delighted" to have closed the deal with the retiree health care trust to purchase the remaining 41 percent stake in Chrysler.

"It had to get done it's like going to the dentist," he told reporters.

The complex deal is expected to close on January 20.


SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #204
Fiat S.p.A. Completes Acquisition of Remaining Equity Interests in Chrysler Group LLC From VEBA Trust


January 21, 2014 , Turin, Italy -

Fiat S.p.A. (“Fiat”) through its wholly owned subsidiary, Fiat North America LLC (“FNA”) today completed its previously announced acquisition of all of the VEBA Trust’s[1] membership interests in Chrysler Group LLC (“Chrysler Group”). Chrysler Group is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fiat. The consideration for the acquisition consisted of:

a special distribution paid by Chrysler Group on January 21, 2014 of U.S.$1,900 million (FNA directed its portion of the special distribution to the VEBA Trust as part of the purchase consideration); and
a cash payment by FNA to the VEBA Trust of U.S.$1,750 million.
Fiat funded the U.S.$1,750 million payment from available cash on hand. Chrysler Group funded the special distribution from available cash on hand.

As previously announced, contemporaneously with the transactions described above, Chrysler Group and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (the “UAW”) entered into a memorandum of understanding under Chrysler Group’s existing collective bargaining agreements to provide for additional contributions by Chrysler Group to the VEBA Trust of an aggregate of U.S.$700 million in four equal annual installments, the first of which was paid in connection with closing of the transaction with Fiat.

As part of the transactions and as promptly as practicable, FNA and the VEBA Trust will dismiss with prejudice the proceedings before the Delaware Court of Chancery with respect to the interpretation of the call option agreement.

[1] The UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, a Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association, an independently administered trust established to pay health care benefits for retirees from Chrysler
 

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Discussion Starter #205
2014 Fiat Linea

2014 Fiat Linea Facelift Launched/Unveiled

February 2, 2014



The Italian carmaker, Fiat India has finally launched/revealed the updated Linea saloon at the ongoing 2014 Indian Auto Expo. The refurbished Linea has already been introduced in international markets like Turkey. This model was spotted several times during its test mules on the Indian roads.
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Discussion Starter #206
Fiat introduces three cars
Press Trust of India | Greater Noida
February 5, 2014



Fiat Group Automobiles India today unveiled three cars-- multi-purpose vehicle Avventura, hatchback Abarth 500 and new version of sedan Linea.



"The introduction of the new products in the Indian market is in line with the our long strategy, which puts us in a strong position to penetrate into the Indian market," Nagesh Basavanhalli, President and Managing Director of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Indian operations), said while unveiling the new vehicles at the 12th Auto Expo here.

The company has made the global debut of Avventura concept in India. It also launched new version of Linea with improved features which will hit Indian roads in March this year. Besides, the company is expected to unveil another car in 2014.

The auto major declined to disclose the prince range of these vehicles.

Fiat will assemble these vehicles at its Ranjangaon facility in Pune.

The company, which at present has 90 dealership across the country exclusively for selling Fiat cars, is aiming at 100 dealership in one year.

Fiat Group Automobiles India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has 104 point of sale (POS) in over 22 states.

It sells Fiat Linea and Punto models, which are manufactured by Tata-Fiat joint venture.
SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #207
February 24, 2014

Alfa Romeo's U.S. return to start sales with a select few dealers


Alfa Romeo is coming back to the U.S. — for real this time, according to parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. But most of the dealers who were promised the Italian sports cars will not be getting them.

At least not this year.


Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says Alfa’s return to America will begin with one model, the Alfa Romeo 4C, which will go on sale at the company’s Maserati dealerships by the end of June.

“We’re also going to allow the best-performing Fiat dealers to participate,” Marchionne told reporters during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month. “Those dealers know who they are. ... It’s really a question of efficacy in representing the Fiat brand. It’s simple dealer metrics.

Despite Marchionne’s comments, Fiat Chrysler spokesman Rick Deneau told The Detroit News that those Fiat dealers who will be getting Alfa Romeos this year have not been notified by the company.

“They have not been identified yet,” Deneau said, adding that the 4C is still slated to go on sale by the end of the second quarter.

Michael Golling hopes he will be one of the lucky ones. His family owns two Fiat stores — one in Birmingham, the other in Bloomfield Hills. Like most Fiat franchisees in this country, the Gollings were persuaded to open these stores partly by the promise that they would also be allowed to sell Alfa Romeos when the brand returned to the United States.

“That was a part of it, though the opportunity to sell Fiats was a major lure at the time,” he said. “We’re in the perfect spot for it in Birmingham. We’ve got Audi, Land Rover, Porsche and Mini on the same block. I think we could sell a lot of them. But we’re not guaranteed it.”

And Golling has been disappointed before.

Alfa Romeo was founded in 1910 and quickly established a reputation for manufacturing fast, sexy automobiles. But the Great Depression almost did the company in. It was saved by Benito Mussolini and


From The Detroit News: Alfa Romeo's U.S. return to start sales with a select few dealers | The Detroit News
 

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Discussion Starter #208
Maserati Levante SUV confirmed for 2015 – Alfieri could arrive in 2016

March 7, 2014

Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne has confirmed that the Maserati Levante SUV will start production in 2015 and the Alfieri could arrive in two years time.
Photo Maserati Levante SUV


The Maserati Levante SUV (pictured) will arrive in 2015


Fiat’s plans top revive the Maserati brand are off to a good start after sales grew strongly last year to more than 22,500 cars in the first nine months with the new Quattroporte and new Ghibli contributing strongly to those figures.
But with a target of 50,000 sales a year, Maserati need new models too and the next in line for production is the Maserati Levante SUV, which Sergio Marchionne has now confirmed will arrive in production guise in 2015.

It was expected the Levante would be a re-working of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, but with the Grand Cherokee selling in droves – and with a desire to make the Levante as ‘Italian’ as possible – it now looks like the Levante will get a version of the platform underpinning the Ghibli and use Maserati’s own 4WD system.

That will probably make the Levante a more road-focused car than it would have been with Jeep underpinnings, but the loss of some off-road ability probably won’t harm sales one dot.

Marchionne also commented to Reuters that the Maserati Alfieri – a car we think Maserati must build – is likely to be ready to go in 2016 if it gets signed off for production (which it surely must?).

And with the Levante SUV and Alfieri Sports Car in the offing, Maserati’s aim of 50,000 sales a year starts to look almost pessimistic.


Read more: Maserati Levante SUV confirmed for 2015 - Alfieri could arrive in 2016
 

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Discussion Starter #209
Alfa Romeo SUV scheduled to launch in 2016

03/25/2014





Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will reportedly introduce seven new Alfa Romeo models by 2018, with the first to arrive being the Giulia compact sedan in late 2015. However, probably the most important of these new models in terms of sales and profit margins will be the SUV, scheduled to arrive in 2016.

The new Alfa Romeo SUV is expected to rival the Audi Q3 and to play an important role in Alfa’s aggressive product offensive aimed at boosting sales to around 500,000 units within a few years. While it is true Alfa Romeo has been teasing fans with the prospect of an SUV since the 2003 Kamal concept, with a Fiat product plan claiming a VW Tiguan-sized SUV would arrive in 2012. While that didn’t happen, the wait is almost over.

Based on Alfa Romeo’s new rear and four-wheel drive Giorgio platform, the SUV should go on sale in 2016. The same platform will be used by the Giulia sedan in late 2015 and a larger 5-Series rival. Alfa Romeo has also expressed interest in a larger SUV, possibly a rival for the Audi Q5.

More will be known about Alfa Romeo’s future product plans on May 6, when Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will reveal his long-term strategy for the group.
SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #210
Fiat Chrysler CEO seeks 4.5 mln car sales in 2014

Fiat Chrysler CEO seeks 4.5 mln car sales in 2014

03/31/2014



TURIN, Italy (AP) — Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says the combined automaker aims to sell 4.5 million to 4.6 million cars this year.

Marchionne addressed the last Fiat shareholders' meeting on Monday at the Italian carmaker's historic headquarters in Turin, Italy. The CEO aims to complete the merger of Fiat with U.S. carmaker Chrysler this year to create Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the seventh-largest automaker with 4.4 million sales last year.

The new company will have its legal headquarters in the Netherlands and fiscal headquarters in Britain. Shares will be traded in New York and Milan.

Marchionne said it would be "disingenuous" if he did not recognize the emotional aspects of merging two automakers with distinct histories, adding: "But our strength derives from the union of these two realities."
SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #211
Fiat Group Automobiles, Chrysler Group International and GAC Group Announce Agreement to Produce Jeep Vehicles in China for Chinese Market


April 19, 2014 , Beijing, China -

Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A., Chrysler Group International LLC and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC Group) today announced they have reached an agreement to expand the joint venture partnership.

According to the agreement, the joint venture, GAC Fiat, will begin localized production of three new Jeep vehicles for the Chinese market, expanding the portfolio of Jeep sport-utility vehicles (SUV) currently available to Chinese consumers as imports. The expansion of the cooperation and the related projects have already been approved by the relevant government authorities. The joint venture will finalize its localized production plans in the near term which includes the consideration of a Jeep model uniquely designed for China. Production is expected to begin by late 2015.

"Today's announcement represents the next chapter in the proper utilization and expansion on a global scale of the Jeep brand," said Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat S.p.A. and Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC. "Equally important is our continued development in the Chinese market with an established and respected partner such as Guangzhou Automobile Group."

GAC Group Chairman Zhang Fangyou said: "The world-noted SUV brand Jeep being introduced into GAC Fiat will bring the cooperation between GAC and Fiat-Chrysler to a new phase. It will enhance the sustainable development of the JV, and will surely bring premium experiences of driving and services to the Chinese customers."

To reach the necessary capacity for introducing the Jeep models, GAC Fiat is establishing a manufacturing branch in Guangzhou, where the Jeep vehicles will be produced.

In the coming term, the two parties will strengthen cooperation as to satisfy the demands of customers and to move the localization of Jeep models forward together with the continued development of GAC Fiat.

In 2013, Jeep realized global sales of more than 731,000 units, with an annual growth rate of 4 percent and an annual growth rate of 29 percent in China. Last month, the Jeep brand set a worldwide record with nearly 85,000 units sold. This was the highest sales month ever for the Jeep brand in its rich 73 year history. China continues to be the largest Jeep market outside of the U.S., with nearly 60,000 Jeep vehicles sold in 2013.
 

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Alfa Romeo will become stand-alone company

Alfa Romeo will become stand-alone company, sources say


April 28, 2014

TURIN – Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has decided to turn Alfa Romeo into a stand-alone company -- like Maserati and Ferrari -- as part of his latest plan to revive the struggling brand, people familiar with the matter told Automotive News Europe.

Alfa currently is part of Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A., alongside the core Fiat marque, upscale Lancia brand, Fiat Professional commercial vans and the Abarth performance subbrand.

Sources said Marchionne will announce Alfa's new status when he unveils his new strategy for Fiat-Chrysler on May 6.

Alfa will become a stand-alone legal entity within Fiat-Chrysler with a publicly disclosed profit and loss statement. "Marchionne needs to make Alfa’s P&L clearly visible to make this new relaunch attempt into a credible business proposition," one of the sources said.

Marchionne replied "no comment" when asked by ANE whether Alfa would become an independent entity within Fiat.

Turning Alfa Romeo into a global brand is one of the cornerstones of the CEO’s plan to bring Fiat's money-losing European automotive operations back to profit by mid-decade.

The stakes are high: a successful re-launch of languishing Alfa would solidify Marchionne’s legacy as a top auto executive as well as secure the economic well-being of the world’s seventh-largest automaker and its 226,000 employees worldwide.

Fiat plans to develop a new line of rear-wheel-drive sedans and SUVs to bolster Alfa Romeo and take on premium carmakers such as BMW, ANE reported in December. The models will start to hit the market in 2016. High-end versions of the
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Discussion Starter #213
Marchionne aims to double Jeep's global sales by 2018

Marchionne aims to double Jeep's global sales by 2018
Brand targets 1.5 million units with strong growth in South America, China


May 5, 2014

TURIN — Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne wants the automaker's Jeep brand to double its global sales to more than 1.5 million vehicles by 2018 with strong growth in South America and China, sources said.

Marchionne sees the iconic U.S. brand as one of the main pillars of growth for Fiat Chrysler and will announce his ambitions for Jeep when he unveils a new five-year product and business plan for the combined Italian-American company on Tuesday, sources told Automotive News Europe.
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Discussion Starter #214
Alfa Romeo To Have Eight-Car Lineup By 2018

Alfa Romeo To Have Eight-Car Lineup By 2018

05/06/2014

Alfa Romeo’s future product portfolio has finally been confirmed and as predicted the brand will be targeting Germany’s mainstream luxury brands with light and sporty vehicles with feisty engines and plenty of Italian flair. Revealed today in a presentation made by Sergio Marchionne, the boss of Alfa Romeo parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Alfa’s lineup will be expanded from the current three cars to eight by 2018.

Those cars will all feature five core attributes: Advanced, innovative engines; perfect 50-50 weight distribution; a set of unique technical solutions; class exclusive power-to-weight ratios; and groundbreaking and distinctive Italian design. They will also be offered exclusively with rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or both configurations.

The bad news is that that majority of Alfa’s new models will be launched in 2016 or later. In fact, the only new vehicles this year will be the 4C sports car and a new 4C Spider variant. And the picture is even bleaker for 2015 as only one vehicle launch is planned.

Below is a rough outline for Alfa Romeo’s future over the next couple of years:

2014: 4C and 4C Spider to be launched.

2015: New midsize model to be launched, most likely the 159-replacing ‘Giulia’ sedan. MiTo and Giulietta hatchbacks sold overseas to be discontinued.

2016-2018: Two new compacts, a midsize model, a larger sedan, two crossovers and a specialty sports car to be launched. 4C to be phased out.

The new compacts are likely to be a sedan and hatch to replace the Giulietta and to go up against the Audi A3/Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class. The midsize model will likely be a wagon version of the Giulia and the large sedan will likely be Alfa’s version of the Maserati Ghibli. The two crossover models will likely fill the compact and midsize segments and share their underpinnings with similar models from other FCA brands. Finally, the new specialty sports car is likely to be a halo model badged 6C or 8C.

Along the way, there will also be high-performance clover leaf ‘Quadrifoglio’ versions of many of the cars. Interestingly, during the presentation, it was also confirmed that engineers from Ferrari will help develop some of the new Alfa Romeo cars. Also, there was no mention of a new convertible to share a chassis with the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, as was previously confirmed. This ties in with previous reports that the chassis would be used by another brand at FCA.
SOURCE
 

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Fiat Chrysler Plans $2.8-Billion Maserati Expansion

Fiat Chrysler Plans $2.8-Billion Maserati Expansion

05/07/2014

The recently integrated carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has big plans for the next few years, including a $2.8-billion reboot of the Maserati brand that will launch six new or redesigned models.


The Maserati lineup should quintuple sales to 75,000 by 2018 as all-new or updated vehicles roll out over the next four years, Edmunds.com reported.


Fiat Chrysler rolled out a challenging five-year plan at company headquarters on Tuesday, the Detroit Free Press reported.

"We stand before you as a global automaker. Today is much more than a new chapter. We are beginning to write a completely new book," said Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, as reported by the Free Press.

"This is the first time that Fiat and Chrysler...are presenting ourselves as a single global organization."

As part of the Maserati brand expansion, Levante and Alfieri will be added to the lineup, Edmunds reported. The Levante crossover should arrive in 2015, featuring standard all-wheel drive as well as V6 and V8 engine options.

Entering production in 2016, the Alfieri coupe was first seen at this year's Geneva Auto Show and will be followed by a 2017 convertible version. The Alfieri will be available in rear- and four-wheel drive with turbocharged V6 engine options. The GranTurismo coupe will likely be updated next year and then succeeded by a new model in 2018.

The Maserati brand stunned with a stylish and popular Super Bowl commercial earlier this year that featured the new Ghibli. The luxury model will likely be refreshed with an all-wheel drive option and a stronger engine in the future.

"Against all odds, Maserati is taking on the boring giants, the giants of the expected, the predictable," Harald Wester, CEO of the Abarth, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, said on Tuesday, as quoted by the Free Press.
SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #216
Fiat to spend $784 mln on Polish factory upgrade-paper

Fiat to spend $784 mln on Polish factory upgrade-paper

05/10/2014

Italian carmaker Fiat Chrysler plans to invest 2.36 billion zlotys ($784 million) to upgrade its Tychy factory in southern Poland where it plans to start production of the all-new B-class car, Polish Puls Biznesu daily said on Thursday.

The planned investment should be made by the end of 2017 and will include upgrading production lines, as well as new technology purchases, according to the newspaper, which cited the Polish Fiat press office as its source.

The Italian carmaker is to hire 420 new employees on top of the current 3,000 in Poland. Some 96 percent of the production is to be exported including to North America, Puls Biznesu said.
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Discussion Starter #217
Fiat India to Launch 12 Models in Next 5 Years

Fiat India to Launch 12 Models in Next 5 Years

May 08, 2014

Italian-American auto major Fiat Chrysler plans to launch 12 models in India in the next five years and will start producing models from the Jeep brand in the country by 2015.

The Abarth brand will make its debut in India this year, followed by Jeep brands next year, with nine models to be locally assembled and the remaining three to be imported.

The group's launch plans starts with the compact SUV Fiat Avventura and luxury compact car Abarth 500 this year, Mike Manley, Chief Operating Officer APAC - Head of Jeep brand, said in an investor presentation. It will also refresh the hatchback Grande Punto and medium-sized sedan Linea this year.

In 2015, the group will introduce the much-awaited Wrangler and Grand Cherokee models from the Jeep brand and Abarth Punto. The Grand Cherokee and Abarth Punto will be locally produced, while Wrangler will be imported.

Towards the end of 2016, a fresh Avventura based on a new global small platform will be launched along with a mini-SUV from the Jeep stable, both of which will be locally produced.

In 2017, the group plans to launch new models of the Punto and Grand Sienna from the Fiat portfolio and Wrangler and Grand Cherokee from the Jeep brand. Of these, only the new Wrangler will be imported.

The launches will be followed by a fresh Abarth Punto based on a new global small platform in 2018, which will also be locally assembled.

Outlining India plans, Manley said the group's plant at Ranjangoan in Maharashtra will roll out six models across three platforms by 2018, up from the current three models from a single platform. The facility will produce six types of engines from the current three.

By 2018 the group expects to have a vehicle production capacity of 2,45,000 units annually, compared with 1,35,000 at present.

While the total engine capacity will remain the same at 3,50,000 units, for transmission units, it will go up to 3,30,000 by 2018 from the current level of 3,00,000 units.

The employee count will more than double to 5,000 from 2,250 at present.

Fiat Group Auto Sales India Pvt Ltd will have 220 dealers by 2018, up from 100 in 2013.
SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #218
Ferrari To Launch New Model Every Year

Ferrari To Launch New Model Every Year, Stick With V-8 And V-12 Engines


05/6/2014

Ferrari’s future plans detailed during yesterday’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles five-year strategy announcement were a bit more subdued than those of its sister brands, but we did get confirmation of a few important details. First and foremost, Ferrari has promised to launch at least one new model every year, but will be keeping sales capped at 7,000 units per year worldwide despite estimating it could easily sell upwards of 10,000 units annually.

Each of the cars (not including special series models like the LaFerrari, which tend to come once every decade) will have a lifespan of about eight years, but will undergo a significant update or “modificato” as Ferrari describes it. We’ve already seen this with the transition of the California to the latest California T. The next model due is likely to be the updated 458 Italia.

Ferrari has also confirmed it will be sticking with V-8 and V-12 engines for the foreseeable future, meaning the updated 458 won’t be downsizing to a V-6 as has been speculated. However, we’re likely to see more turbocharged models launched, and eventually more hybrids although the latter will depend on future improvements in battery technology. At present hybrids don’t make sense for Ferrari financially outside of special series models like the LaFerrari, Special Projects one-off cars and XX experimental models.

You may be wondering how Ferrari intends to grow its business and support its racing program if sales are capped at 7,000 units annually. The automaker has confirmed it will continue to launch special series models as well as grow its personalization program and brand licensing operations. You may recall that earlier this year Ferrari announced that a second Ferrari-branded theme park would be opened in Spain to join the original in Abu Dhabi.

Ferrari also said it sees the wealth of high net worth individuals at record levels, and that its own value is estimated to be between $4.6 billion and $7.5 billion. However, the automaker ended its presentation with the statement: “Ferrari is not for sale”.
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Poland: Fiat to put out $773 million in factory investment

Poland: Fiat to put out $773 million in factory investment

05/22/2014


According to the Polish government, the recently created Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has big plans for the manufacturing facility it owns in the south of Poland.

The planned 2.36 billion zlotys ($773 million) upgrade investment should be used I order to prepare the manufacturing facility to produce a new Fiat model, which should be the successor to the aging Punto.


Fiat though said these are “assumptions that at this moment have not yet been firmed up in the company’s business strategies. The information on investment plans that will be implemented in individual countries will be announced at the appropriate time along with the industrial choices that the company decides to take,” Fiat added.

According to an official Polish government statement, the Punto successor – which should be a longer and wider version of the 500 minicar already being built at Fiat’s plant in Tychy, with the carmaker adding around 420 new employees to support the 3,000 workforce already on site.

The investment should be made by 2017, as Fiat desperately needs a good selling successor to the small class model, traditionally a strong segment for the Italian brand in Europe – but with sales faltering now. The new model’s production would be 96% exported, including to North America, where Fiat tries to assert its namesake brand.
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Alfa Romeo Franchises Awarded to 86 Dealers in U.S. and Canada

Alfa Romeo Franchises Awarded to 86 Dealers in U.S. and Canada

Alfa Romeo dealer network established in U.S. and Canada
Initial pool of 86 dealers drawn from existing FIAT and Maserati brand dealers
Additional Alfa Romeo franchises to be awarded later this year


June 10, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

An initial group of 86 dealers have been awarded Alfa Romeo franchises in the United States and Canada.

In the U.S., 82 Alfa Romeo dealers are located in 33 states, with California, Texas, and Florida having the largest concentration of dealerships. There are four Alfa Romeo dealers in Canada in this first group.

These 86 dealers will be the first to sell the all-new 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C coupe and limited-edition 4C Launch Edition when the iconic Italian sports car brand returns to the North American market this year.


“This group of dealers represents the first phase in the Alfa Romeo dealer network selection process,” said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development, Chrysler Group LLC. “Each Alfa Romeo dealer will have a unique staff dedicated to the brand’s premium market clientele. We require each Alfa Romeo dealer to have their sales and technical staff go through an intensive curriculum to ensure the highest levels of customer care and proficiency of the Alfa Romeo 4C. We anticipate that the Alfa Romeo dealer network ultimately will exceed 300 franchises in North America.”

Additional Alfa Romeo franchises will be awarded this year. Initially, each franchise will receive the highly-anticipated Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition.

Here are the dealers by state that have been awarded an Alfa Romeo franchise in the U.S., followed by the four dealers in Canada:

Alabama
FIAT of Huntsville, dba Alfa Romeo of Huntsville, Huntsville, Ala.

Arkansas
Landers FIAT, dba Landers Alfa Romeo, Benton, Ark.
FIAT of Fayetteville, dba Alfa Romeo of Fayetteville, Fayetteville, Ark.

Arizona
Larry H. Miller FIAT Tucson, dba Larry H. Miller Alfa Romeo Tucson, Tucson, Ariz.
FIAT of Scottsdale, dba Alfa Romeo of Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Ariz.

California
FIAT of Burlingame, dba Alfa Romeo of Burlingame, Burlingame, Calif.
FIAT of Bakersfield, dba Alfa Romeo of Bakersfield, Bakersfield, Calif.
McKevitt FIAT, dba McKevitt Alfa Romeo, Berkeley, Calif.
Premier FIAT of Fremont, dba Premier Alfa Romeo of Fremont, Newark, Calif.
Orange Coast FIAT, dba Orange Coast Alfa Romeo, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Santa Monica FIAT, dba Santa Monica Alfa Romeo, Santa Monica, Calif.
FIAT of Los Angeles, dba Alfa Romeo of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.
Kearny Mesa FIAT, dba Kearny Mesa Alfa Romeo, San Diego, Calif.
Walter’s FIAT, dba Walter’s Alfa Romeo, Riverside, Calif.
Mossy FIAT, dba Mossy Alfa Romeo, National City, Calif.
FIAT of San Francisco (San Francisco Motors), dba Alfa Romeo of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.
Maserati of Walnut Creek, dba Alfa Romeo of Walnut Creek, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Colorado
AutoNation FIAT North Denver, dba AutoNation Alfa Romeo North Denver, Northglenn, Colo.

Connecticut
FIAT of Fairfield County, dba Alfa Romeo of Fairfield County, Stamford, Conn.

Florida
Rick Case FIAT, dba Rick Case Alfa Romeo, Davie, Fla.
FIAT of North Miami, dba Alfa Romeo of North Miami, North Miami, Fla.
FIAT of Melbourne, dba Alfa Romeo of Melbourne, Melbourne, Fla.
FIAT of Pensacola, dba Alfa Romeo of Pensacola, Pensacola, Fla.
Sunset FIAT of Sarasota, dba Sunset Alfa Romeo of Sarasota, Sarasota, Fla.
FIAT of Winter Haven, dba Alfa Romeo of Winter Haven, Winter Haven, Fla.
FIAT of Orange Park, dba Alfa Romeo of Orange Park, Jacksonville, Fla.
Greenway FIAT of East Orlando, dba Greenway Alfa Romeo of East Orlando, East Orlando, Fla.
Fields FIAT, dba Fields Alfa Romeo, Orlando, Fla.

Georgia
FIAT of Savannah, dba Alfa Romeo of Savannah, Savannah, Ga.

Iowa
D&D FIAT, dba D&D Alfa Romeo, Davenport, Iowa
Billion FIAT, dba Billion Alfa Romeo, Clive, Iowa

Illinois
FIAT of Chicago, dba Alfa Romeo of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
Bettenhausen FIAT of Tinley Park, dba Bettenhausen Alfa Romeo of Tinley Park, Tinley Park, Ill.
FIAT of Metro East, dba Alfa Romeo of Metro East, Fairview Heights, Ill.

Indiana
FIAT of Glenbrook, dba Alfa Romeo of Glenbrook, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Expressway FIAT of Evansville, dba Expressway Alfa Romeo of Evansville, Evansville, Ind.

Kentucky
Jake Sweeney FIAT, dba Jake Sweeney Alfa Romeo, Florence, Ky.

Louisiana
Landers FIAT, dba Landers Alfa Romeo, Shreveport, La.

Maryland
Heritage FIAT, dba Heritage Alfa Romeo, Owings Mills, Md.
Criswell Maserati, dba Criswell Alfa Romeo, Germantown, Md.

Michigan
Suburban FIAT, dba Suburban Alfa Romeo, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Fox FIAT, dba Fox Alfa Romeo, Traverse City, Mich.
Golling FIAT, dba Golling Alfa Romeo, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
FIAT of Lakeside, dba Alfa Romeo of Lakeside, Macomb, Mich.
Zeigler FIAT of Grandville, dba Zeigler Alfa Romeo of Grandville, Grandville, Mich.

Minnesota
FIAT of Bloomington, dba Alfa Romeo of Bloomington, Bloomington, Minn.

Missouri
Northtowne FIAT of Kansas City, dba Northtowne Alfa Romeo of Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo.

North Carolina
Hendrick FIAT of Cary, dba Hendrick Alfa Romeo of Cary, Cary, N.C.

Nebraska
FIAT of Omaha, dba Alfa Romeo of Omaha, Omaha, Neb.

New Jersey
FIAT of Maple Shade, dba Alfa Romeo of Maple Shade, Maple Shade, N.J.
Fullerton FIAT, dba Fullerton Alfa Romeo, Somerville, N.J.

Nevada
FIAT of Las Vegas, dba Alfa Romeo of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nev.
Findlay FIAT, dba Findlay Alfa Romeo, Henderson, Nev.

New York
FIAT of Larchmont, dba Alfa Romeo of Larchmont, Larchmont, N.Y.

Ohio
Bob & Chuck Eddy FIAT, dba Bob & Chuck Eddy Alfa Romeo, Youngstown, Ohio
Yark FIAT, dba Yark Alfa Romeo, Toledo, Ohio
Bob-Boyd FIAT, dba Bob-Boyd Alfa Romeo, Columbus, Ohio
Bob Ross FIAT, dba Bob Ross Alfa Romeo, Centerville, Ohio

Oklahoma
FIAT of Edmond, dba Alfa Romeo of Edmond, Edmond, Okla.

Pennsylvania
Baierl FIAT, dba Baierl Alfa Romeo, Wexford, Pa.

South Carolina
Benson FIAT, dba Benson Alfa Romeo, Greer, S.C.

Tennessee
Harper FIAT, dba Harper Alfa Romeo, Knoxville, Tenn.

Texas
FIAT of Austin, dba Alfa Romeo of Austin, Austin, Texas
Holt FIAT of Fort Worth, dba Holt Alfa Romeo of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas
Northside FIAT, dba Northside Alfa Romeo, Spring, Texas
Randall Noe FIAT, dba Randall Noe Alfa Romeo, Tyler, Texas
Allen Samuels FIAT, dba Allen Samuels Alfa Romeo, Waco, Texas
FIAT of Corpus Christi, dba Alfa Romeo of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas
Helfman FIAT, dba Helfman Alfa Romeo, Houston, Texas
Brown FIAT, dba Brown Alfa Romeo, Laredo, Texas
FIAT of McKinney, dba Alfa Romeo of McKinney, McKinney, Texas
Cavender FIAT, dba Cavender Alfa Romeo, Selma, Texas

Virginia
Safford FIAT of Tysons Corner, dba Safford Alfa Romeo of Tysons Corner, Vienna, Va.
Safford FIAT of Fredericksburg, dba Safford Alfa Romeo of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Va.
FIAT of Alexandria, dba Alfa Romeo of Alexandria, Alexandria, Va.
Pomoco FIAT of Newport News, dba Pomoco Alfa Romeo of Newport News, Newport News, Va.

Vermont
Berlin City FIAT, dba Berlin City Alfa Romeo, Williston, Vt.

Washington
FIAT of Tacoma, dba Alfa Romeo of Tacoma, Tacoma, Wash.
Barton FIAT, dba Barton Alfa Romeo, Spokane, Wash.

Wisconsin
Bergstrom Maserati, dba Bergstrom Alfa Romeo, Appleton, Wis.

West Virginia
Urse FIAT of Morgantown, dba Urse Alfa Romeo of Morgantown, Morgantown, W. Va.
Moses FIAT of St. Albans, dba Moses Alfa Romeo of St. Albans, St. Albans, W. Va.

Canada
FIAT of Vancouver, dba Alfa Romeo of Vancouver, Vancouver, B.C.
Maranello FIAT, dba Maranello Alfa Romeo, Vaughan, Ont.
LaSalle FIAT, dba LaSalle Alfa Romeo, LaSalle, Quebec
JD FIAT, dba JD Alfa Romeo, Boischatel, Quebec
 
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