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BLOG: Larry P. Vellequette
Posted 12:18 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 17
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Posted 12:14 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 20
Late last week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles filed its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, setting off a flurry of stories about the compensation of its sweater-clad CEO, Sergio Marchionne.
The numbers, from The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg and others, varied widely: from as little as $8 million to $72 million and more. Yeah, really.
Admitt ... Continue reading "Why it's hard to tally Sergio's pay" » Mar 10, 2015 10:27 am U.S. ET Post Comment
It’s been nearly two months since I got my first up-close looks at the Ram Rebel and Ram Laramie Limited — the two trims Fiat Chrysler’s truck brand rolled out at this year’s auto shows in Detroit and Chicago.
Like a lot of armchair critics online, I’m not a fan of the styling of the two pickups’ front fascias and tailgates, but I&rsquo ... Continue reading "Is an identity crisis the reason behind the Ram pickup's new styling?" » Feb 20, 2015 12:14 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
I know some of you will accuse me of heresy against a Higher Power for saying it, but I don’t like Apple. Never have.
That’s why talk that Apple might jump into the car business leaves me not only nonplused but giggling at the thought of how the world’s richest company would translate its current business practices from phones to automobiles.
Let’ ... Continue reading "Thanks, but no thanks, to an Apple car" » Feb 17, 2015 12:18 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
SOMEWHERE EAST of SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- I had originally intended to write this piece about the Chicago Auto Show’s great untapped natural resource, it’s location near the travel hub of North America.
I had grand designs to write of how the Chicago auto show -- which already benefits from being housed in the massive and beautiful lakefront McCormick Center -- co ... Continue reading "This is no way to run a railroad" » Feb 12, 2015 10:12 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Break out the Scooby Snacks, because I’ve got a mystery that might even stump Velma: Is Fiat Chrysler secretly developing a new 16-valve, 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine for its passenger cars?
A member of the FCA-centric website Allpar.com recently snooped around on the automaker’s secure dealer site, DealerConnect, and stumbled across an odd new power ... Continue reading "Does FCA have a new small turbodiesel coming to the states? Why, it's a mystery" » Feb 4, 2015 1:19 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
I truly believe that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne would prefer to write a big check and keep the next generation Jeep Wrangler in its historic home in Toledo, Ohio.
The problem? There’s not much wiggle room right now in the corporate checking account.
One brand -- Alfa Romeo -- is in the early stages of a $6 billion makeover to get back in the ga ... Continue reading "Why Marchionne's Wrangler conundrum will require creativity" » Jan 19, 2015 12:22 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
TOLEDO, Ohio -- One million.
That big, round, Dr. Evil-loving, base-ten global sales number has blasted any remaining doubt that 2014 was the Jeep brand’s year of the century.
Hitting the one million mark -- which you have to pronounce one meeeill-yon -- blasted Jeep’s previous record of 731,565 set the previous year.
And it’s early. There’s a ne ... Continue reading "A million Jeeps in 2014 means Marchionne has some hard choices to make" » Jan 6, 2015 11:26 am U.S. ET Post Comment
I don’t know how else to describe it, and it’s an adjective I don’t use lightly.
How else could you describe the breadth and depth of the remarkable sales wave that Chrysler Group’s U.S. dealerships experienced in November? Especially in a month where gains from other automakers were so much smaller?
Dismiss for a moment the top line de ... Continue reading "Why Chrysler's November sales ought to make your jaw drop" » Dec 3, 2014 3:53 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Consider this a free idea -- the kind that hopefully somebody out there takes and develops and uses to make a lot of money.
Dealers need to offer new-vehicle customers a kind of “CarFax” protection plan that spares them from the inevitable dings to vehicle equity that are now commonplace in an age of nearly unlimited information.
Here’s how it should wo ... Continue reading "Looking for a new F&I product? Mull this" » Nov 5, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
It’s been just over two weeks since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne casually revealed that he might have to move Jeep Wrangler production out of its historic home in Toledo, Ohio.
In his comments, Marchionne said that it would be prohibitively expensive to build an aluminum Wrangler in Toledo, if that’s what Jeep decides to do with the 2017 red ... Continue reading "Why Wrangler’s Toledo decision may depend on keeping the money spigot flowing" » Oct 18, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
PARIS -- My hometown completely freaked out Thursday.
Lost its mind, flipped its lid, blew a gasket -- pick any phrase you like, because they all apply.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed here in Paris that the next-generation Jeep Wrangler might have to be manufactured somewhere else other than in its historic home in Toledo, Ohio.
Nobody would lo ... Continue reading "Wrangler is so engrained in its DNA, the city should be spelled Toledo, OIIIIIIIO" » Oct 3, 2014 12:12 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
PARIS -- Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday lifted the mask on its next-generation C-Max at a special event at the Opera National de Paris, the setting for the fictional The Phantom of the Opera.
The irony may have been lost on the Ford execs on hand, who also showed off the next-generation European S-Max and Grande C-Max before their scheduled press conference Thursday at the P ...