Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2014 05:17 PM
Of all the grand plans that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne wove for investors and journalists as he revealed the company's new five-year plan at FCA headquarters in Michigan this week, the most ambitious—some might say fanciful—may be his objective of restoring Chrysler as a mainstream rival to the biggest brands in the U.S. auto industry.
For an industry that likes to play its car(d)s close to the vest, it takes guts to reveal your playbook—and even more determination from the top to the lot to execute those plans.
So analysts, investors and other stakeholders listened closely as Marchionne not only laid out his own plans to stay at the helm until 2018 but also spelled out specific goals for each of the brands within the newly merged entity. While skepticism ran high, his most achievable goal may be his plan to make a truly global competitor out of Jeep, a repositioning that already was underway and that will be amplified and accelerated by the product plans Marchionne detailed.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 6, 2014 10:01 AM
When Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne hatched the company's first five-year plan in 2009, he was cut some slack because most constituencies were just happy Chrysler was still in business after going bankrupt.
But while sales for Chrysler and its brands in the U.S. have recovered far beyond the hopes of most of its executives, employees, and dealers at the time, the company has performed far less impressively where it's going to count most for the long term: molding a family of solid and differentiated brands, each with product lineups that not only justify each marque's existence but stand out on the vehicles' respective merits as well.
So anticipation is high for Marchionne's analyst day briefing today at Chrysler group HQ in Auburn Hills, Michigan (follow the conversation with #FCA5).
In addition to officially revealing the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles corporate logo, Marchionne and his brand leaders will outline how FCA plans to transition from successful survivalist to transformed titan and ensure a long-term future in a global auto business that continues to get more competitive, detailing specific goals and sales targets across its marques.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 5, 2014 09:02 AM
CVS quits selling tobacco products, standing to lose $2 billion in sales, and draws plaudits from President Obama and the Twitterverse.
AT&T becomes first Olympics brand to condemn Russia anti-gay policy.
MINI rolls out biggest US campaign.
Google reaches antitrust deal with EU.
McDonald's shows how McNuggets are made.
RadioShack plans to close 500 stores under restructuring.
3M launches $12 billion stock buyback.
Adidas sues Under Armour over patents.
Chrysler says Ram diesel gets 28mpg rating.
Jaguar Land Rover pushes back China production to 2015.
Mazda targets record profits.
Mercedes-Benz global sales rise sharply.
Michael Kors expands in menswear.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 3, 2014 12:53 PM
It's true that Chrysler is now a wholly owned subsidiary of a Dutch company headed by an Italian with a CMO from France. And yes, Chrysler made some new enemies in Detroit by dissing a local watch-maker in favor of the Swiss, and the third quarter of a blowout Super Bowl game turned out not to be the ideal ROI positioning for its ad.
But the Chrysler brand still legitimately riveted America's attention with its two minute Big Game commercial yesterday starring Bob Dylan and, nominally at least, the new and vastly improved version of its Chrysler 200 sedan. In the process, Chrysler also re-branded itself as "America's Import" and finally ditched the "Imported From Detroit" language that had dominated its positioning for three years.
On Sunday, the brand clearly tried to establish a broader message than the fact that it is associated with Detroit. Instead, Chrysler preached a new sermon about cars that are made in America, while mentioning Detroit only tangentially.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 3, 2014 09:23 AM
Apple meets with FDA over mobile medical apps and reportedly explores alternative energy sources.
Chrysler posts 8 percent increase in January sales and re-brands to "America's Import" in Super Bowl.
Walmart cuts outlook as new CEOs take office on Feb. 1.
AT&T cuts family-plan mobile pricing as competition heats up.
Bacardi shakes up safety efforts at Jacksonville plant after death.
Bank of America reaches $8.5 billion settlement.
Facebook toys with anonymity.
Honda touts vehicles' safety performance in wake of Bruce Willis Super Bowl ad.
Jos. A. Bank rebuffs Men's Wearhouse again.
Keystone XL gets a green light.
Maserati touts its return to US in Super Bowl spot.Continue reading...
detroit auto show
Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2014 04:48 PM
Chrysler got at least two things today that augur well for 2014: a robust new version of its Chrysler 200 sedan, and an indication that its charismatic CEO, Sergio Marchionne, will stick around for a while.
Through Fiat Chairman Jon Elkann, Marchionne has indicated that he'll stay at least three years with the combined Fiat-Chrysler after serving as the master architect of the company as it has been cobbled together so far after the 2009 bailout. Marchionne's vision and charisma are widely credited as key factors in Chrysler's ability to come back even as Fiat continues to be hampered by the European market.
And while Chrysler has done well with a recently overhauled version of the Ram pickup truck, and with new and revised Jeep models that are faring fine in the SUV segment—with plans for more, according to the Wall Street Journal—it's sedans are where Chrysler so far has fallen short. The 200 and the 300 full-size sedan have been threadbare for a while, and last year's launch of the new Dodge Dart compact hasn't lit the automotive world on fire.Continue reading...
detroit auto show
Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2014 12:16 PM
Ford executives were on the offensive at the Detroit auto show today as they introduced the world's most significant aluminum-framed vehicle, the new Ford F-150 pickup truck, and ticked off stat after stat about the company's burgeoning position and success in the US and global automotive markets.
The new 2015 Ford F-150, to go on sale sometime this year, represents for Ford not only the crucial newest version of America's best-selling vehicle but also the manifestation of a huge technological bet encouraged by CEO Alan Mulallly.
When the truck debuts, not only will it be the newest entry among the Detroit Three pickup-truck segment but also, with the aluminum frame, the new F-150 could be perceived by truck buyers as a whole generation ahead of the competition. Chevrolet just introduced a new version of its Silverado pickup truck, which was named North America Truck/Utility of the Year this morning, while Chrysler also launched a substantially reworked version of its Ram last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 3, 2014 05:49 PM
It's been a pretty good few days for Chrysler. CEO Sergio Marchionne finally managed to bring the last share of the company under the Fiat umbrella. And Chrysler just posted its best December sales in seven years. Happy New Year.
But for Chrysler, the road ahead in 2014 promises to be a lot bumpier, with challenges ranging from the launch of the important new version of the Chrysler 200 sedan to Fiat's continued weaknesses in Europe to the joint Fiat-Chrysler problem of a lack of a major presence in Asia. Marchionne might want to remember this week's high for a while.
And it is a high. With a burst of holiday energy and ingenuity, Marchionne managed to wrap up a deal in which Fiat gets full control of Chrysler for $4.35 billion and the United Auto Workers gets the huge chunk of money it had been seeking for worker and retiree health care benefits. The coming full integration of the two companies will allow Marchionne to pursue his dream of creating a single, global automaker with combined sales of six million vehicles, ranking it the world's seventh-largest.Continue reading...