Posted by Dale Buss on June 29, 2012 05:36 PM
Fiat and Chrysler are partnering more and more around the world. And the more problematic an area that Fiat's main market, Europe, becomes — while Chrysler continues to tear up the U.S. market — the more likely it is that we'll see still more transatlantic cooperation.
Two of the latest moves reflect the reality of how the fortunes of the two companies have shifted significantly since Fiat helped the U.S. government bail out Chrysler in 2009. One of these is that Fiat is getting closer to re-launching its Alfa Romeo brand in the United States. The other is that Chrysler is boosting output of its Jeep Wrangler in the U.S., a model that is one of Chrysler's best-selling exports.
Make no mistake: Wranglers are selling at a brisk pace Stateside, where the 71-year-old model set an all-time sales record in May; year-to-date sales were up 34 percent. "We're on track to have our best month ever [in the U.S.] for Wrangler in June," Reid Bigland, Chrysler Group's sales chief, told Automotive News.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on June 5, 2012 06:02 PM
Are you a tennis fan? Then we don't have to tell you to watch the French Open. Are you a hardcore tennis fan? Then you might consider not only watching the French Open but getting behind the wheel of a French Open special edition Peugeot.
The tie-up between the venerable French brands to create the time-limited Peugeot 207 CC and 308 CC Roland Garros editions makes sense, and celebrates one of the most important tennis tournaments in the sport of tennis. Luxury (and less luxurious) lifestyle brands have a longstanding relationship with automakers, with varying degrees of success (and excess).Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 15, 2012 03:02 PM
In his recent interview on 60 Minutes, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne mentioned only two future products: a new Maserati SUV (the China-oriented Kubang) that will be built in Detroit, and the upcoming Dodge Dart compact sedan, which is beginning to roll off a Chrysler assembly line in Belvedere, Ill. One of his main points to CBS correspondent Steve Kroft was that Dart will be "mechanically" sound.
Chrysler needs that to be the case. Amid all of the success and progress that the company has enjoyed since getting up off the mat in 2009 — big sales gains, positive Super Bowl buzz for its Clint Eastwood "Halftime in America" commercial, a raft of generally well received new products (including a key green car nod for the Chrysler 300) — the one bugaboo that the company hasn't been able to get past is its reputation for poor quality.
Even though it has improved markedly over the last several years, and under a succession of regimes, the company simply hasn't been able to keep pace with rising quality levels across the rest of the industry. Now, Chrysler executives are determined to banish the quality bogeyman once and for all.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 10, 2012 06:06 PM
Kubang! It's not Chinese, it's Italian. But Maserati is aiming its new luxury SUV Kubang concept vehicle at the growing China market in the hopes of eating some of Porsche's lunch.
While it's rare to see a Porsche Cayenne SUV on streets in the West, the model is an astoundingly common sight in the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing. The driver is almost always a woman. China is Porsche's largest market in the world for the Cayenne SUV. And while sales of Porsche in China may be slowing due to a flattening of China's luxury car market, sales of the Cayenne specifically may slow because the marketplace is about to get a lot more crowded.
While the West is still nursing its SUV hangover, Chinese drivers are just entering the nation's SUV age. Brands, luxury and less luxurious, are lining up to cash in as mainland consumers begin delusionally rationalizing SUVs.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2012 06:26 PM
Today is, unofficially at least, "Love Detroit" Day.
The robust Detroit Lions are about to enter the NFL playoffs for the first time in 13 years. Chrysler just announced the addition of 1,100 new auto-assembly jobs in the city, great news following the ebullient 2011 U.S. car sales reports this week. And Motown is spiffing up for an influx of thousands of foreign journalists and auto-industry executives attending the 2012 North American International Auto Show next week — not to mention the other thousands of Michiganders who will attend the public part of the Detroit Auto Show the following week.
So if Detroit lovers could take a snapshot of any particular day and just live in it for a while, without the clock moving forward, January 6th, 2012 might be that day. Nothing has been ideal in fiscally strapped and infrastructure-challenged Detroit for a long time and might never be again, but today's news has presented a trifecta of developments that the city will certainly embrace for a while.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 14, 2011 12:03 PM
When Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne tossed around the idea of an American-built Maserati at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last January, the notion had an odd ring to it.
Even for a group of companies, operations and brands that the peripatetic Italian was still trying to organize into a cohesive global whole, the possibility of Chrysler workers in Detroit — a few miles down the street from the auto show — building a true luxury vehicle for export seemed too far-fetched even for him.
But half a world away, in Germany this week, Marchionne showed just how serious he was when he unveiled the vehicle in question at the Frankfurt Auto Show.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 13, 2011 07:02 PM
BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche hit Frankfurt Auto Show with luxury cars retooled for younger generation, while Maserati brings Jeep-based SUV to Frankfurt.
ConAgra sets deadline for Ralcorp.
Cracker Barrel's new CEO outlines her plan amidst shareholder battle.
Dr. Oz shakes apple juice industry to the core.
eBay hit by criminal probe over use of Craigslist information.
Heineken-sponsored private concert in Brooklyn by Kanye West released by Vevo.
Ikea dispels death of Billy (bookcase) rumors.
KFC Australia pulls campaign claiming free range chickens.
Lady Gaga releases second in series of "fashion films" on YouTube.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 24, 2011 08:47 AM
BHP confident in future of mining as profit jumps.
BYD troubles threaten expansion of Chinese automaker -- and Warren Buffett's investment.
Bank of America gets new battering by financial markets.
Groupon stumbles in China.
Heineken shares plunge on stagnant profit.
Heinz makes low-end push.
Hertz to begin renting electric cars in China.
Kraft cuts coffee prices 6 percent.Continue reading...