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BLOG: Larry P. Vellequette
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In Negotiating 101, it’s known as the “Higher Power” gambit -- that move toward the end of the negotiation that says “Well, it’s OK with me, but I gotta check with the boss.”
In the traditional car dealership, it’s the role of the sales manager to close the deal, to serve as the boss and get the best deal in the negotiation.
But ... Continue reading "Did the UAW pull the old 'Higher Power' gambit on FCA?" » Oct 9, 2015 3:27 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Just over a year ago, I wrote a controversial prognostication about this very week.
The headline summed up the argument: “Why the UAW will strike in 2015 -- no matter what’s offered.” My opinion hasn’t changed in the subsequent 12 months, but the details have gotten clearer now that it looks as though the union’s tentative agreement with Fiat ... Continue reading "Why the UAW can no longer afford close ratification votes" » Sep 29, 2015 1:30 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Sometimes it takes a few years for reality to catch up to marketing.
Case in point: this video from Greenpeace, circa 2011, using Volkswagen’s ultrapopular Darth Vader Super Bowl commercial from that year as the basis of a spot to chide the German automaker for opposing more stringent emissions standards.
In the video, a child Darth Vader -- facing a raft of child ... Continue reading "Greenpeace's 2011 anti-VW video looks so much different now" » Sep 24, 2015 5:00 pm U.S. ET Permalink
The images of Pope Francis climbing in and out of a Fiat 500L as he visits the United States this week are providing a much-needed jolt of life to the largely unloved five-door hatchback.
But since we are talking about the pope, and I am a practicing Catholic, I have a confession to make: I own a Fiat 500L.
I bought it at the end of December for my adorable wife of 21 ye ... Continue reading "My confession: The pope isn't the only one riding in a Fiat 500L" » Sep 23, 2015 10:51 am U.S. ET Permalink
DETROIT -- The UAW decided Sunday that it would target Fiat Chrysler US as the lead automaker to bargain economic issues and set the pattern for tens of thousands of workers at Ford Motor Co. and General Motors.
Though the union hasn’t revealed its thinking behind its choice of FCA as the target, its reasoning likely flows from just one fact: only FCA’s leader ... Continue reading "Why did the UAW pick Fiat Chrysler? " » Sep 13, 2015 4:10 pm U.S. ET Permalink
If you’re a Fiat Chrysler dealer, chances are you were sitting -- or soon will be sitting, depending on when you’re reading this -- in a Las Vegas ballroom today checking out some models.
Except these models gliding across the stage of the Mandalay Bay hotel -- and, FCA executives hope, attracting eyeballs -- have first names like Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge.
To ... Continue reading "Will another Fiat Chrysler star, or two, bow in Vegas?" » Aug 25, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET Permalink
In a column released this week on LinkedIn.com, former CEO Bob Nardelli takes credit for turning around Chrysler Corp. and guiding it back to where it is today.
Nardelli’s column, “What I learned leading a Company like Chrysler through Bankruptcy -- and Revitalization,” is the type of revisionist history that would do the former Soviet Union’s Prav ... Continue reading "No, Bob Nardelli. Just no." » Jul 7, 2015 12:23 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Nearly a decade ago, I had a memorable, life-altering conversation about loyalty with a guy whose entire career was spent in human resources -- mostly in the auto industry -- negotiating labor contracts on behalf of companies.
The man, now deceased, seemed to live his life on a combination of cigarettes and coffee, yet he possessed an uncommon wisdom about his craft that ... Continue reading "Why FCA's merger quest will test loyalties" » Jun 17, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Permalink
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and related companies, has a number of honorifics and titles on his resume.
But there is one important task that doesn't get talked about that much: Sherpa.
I refer to Marchionne's desperate quest to find a merger partner for FCA. He is shouldering the load for the billionaire Agnelli family that employs him.
Actually, ... Continue reading "Marchionne's merger mania: Why now?" » Jun 16, 2015 5:34 am U.S. ET Permalink
This is a story about what you see and what you can’t see; what you’d like to see and what they don’t want you to see. And mostly, it’s a story about the lengths people go to make sure you can’t see what they don’t want you to see.
The Detroit 3 all operate test tracks in southeast Michigan. All have high-speed ovals, paveme ... Continue reading "The secrets behind all that camouflage" » May 12, 2015 11:45 am U.S. ET Permalink
The Dodge Dart set an all-time sales record in April, and so far this year, the compact sedan is moving off dealer lots 52 percent faster than it was the year before.
So, if you’re Dodge, do you need to fix a car that’s doing those things three years after its launch?
Why, yes. Yes, you do.
According to Dodge’s five-year product plan that it presented ... Continue reading "Why Dodge should make the next Dart look like a baby Charger" » May 8, 2015 4:12 pm U.S. ET Permalink
In every city of any size in North America are auto dealers who compete with each other like crazy for new-car sales.
Yet these same women and men are quick to set aside any differences and work together for the good of their communities -- when the need arises.
This weekend, I experienced a program, born out of tragedy, that is tailor-made for local dealer cooperation.