Jump to content

Dodge Market News

Recommended Posts

Chrysler, Fiat, Dodge missing from FCA 5-year briefing

Larry Vellequette, Automotive News  /  May 31, 2018

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will not present a future plan for its eponymous Fiat and Chrysler brands, as well as Dodge and Lancia -- placing those storied but troubled mass-market brands' futures in question -- according to a schedule of presentations listed by FCA for the daylong event to lay out its 2018-22 business plan Friday in Balocco, Italy.

The unpublished schedule, available on a company website for part of Thursday before being taken down, indicates that the automaker will lay out future plans for Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo, but no other brands, as it did at similar events in 2009 and 2014.

It's unclear whether the lack of presentations for the Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat brands on the schedule may be changed before the event, or what the fate of those brands will be. Lancia is not sold outside of Italy and has only one model. A spokesman for FCA US declined to comment.

The schedule also shows that CEO Sergio Marchionne and his team will also present a "Technology Update on Autonomous Driving and Connectivity." FCA and Waymo on Thursday announced a partnership that will see the Google affiliate purchase up to 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans beginning later this year, and discuss licensing Waymo's self-driving technology for an FCA retail vehicle.

Another presentation is titled "FCA and CO2 Reduction." The automaker has been locked in a dispute with regulators in both the United States and Europe over emissions issues with its diesel engines.

FCA's management team also will present the "Compliance Plan Impact on our Product Approach in Each Region." This presentation is likely to give information on the longevity of the Dodge and Chrysler brands in the United States, which are dominated by older vehicles, except for the Chrysler Pacifica.

A final presentation is titled "US Finco Opportunity." Bloomberg reported earlier this week that FCA is considering creating a captive finance arm in the United States, replacing its marketing relationship with Santander Consumer USA, which currently operates Chrysler Capital.

Finally, the schedule for the Balocco event indicates a presentation, likely to be led by CFO Richard Palmer, for the "Business Plan Financial Overview," followed by a Q&A session for investors and analysts in attendance, and closing remarks. The last three events will be broadcast live here.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

FCA to build Ram and Fiat-badged midsize pickups

Richard Truett, Automotive News  /  June 1, 2018

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' plan for the Ram brand to re-enter the midsize pickup market returns the company to the segment it invented in the mid-1980s.

At Friday's investor presentation in Italy, Ram brand head Mike Manley revealed plans for the new truck to debut in 2022. There will also be a Fiat-badged version of the truck, presumably to replace the current Mitsubishi-derived Fiat Fullback, which is not offered in the United States.

In 1987, Dodge debuted the Dakota, which was slightly larger than compact trucks from General Motors and Ford, as well as imported trucks from Toyota, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi.

The Dakota inherited the Ram's big-rig styling in the mid-1990s and sold well, usually racking up sales in the 150,000 range most years in the U.S. After the third generation of the truck got old and sales began to stall, it was killed in 2011.

General Motors revived the midsize truck segment in 2015 with the second generation of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Since launch, GM has sold nearly 500,000 units of the Colorado/Canyon in the U.S. The midsize truck segment is up nearly 18 percent this year, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

The new midsize Ram will face stiff competition not only from the GM twins, but also from the reborn Ford Ranger, which will also be a midsize truck. It is due to arrive next year.

It's not clear if FCA's new truck will revive the Dakota nameplate, but it will likely put greater pressure on Nissan and Toyota to update the aging Frontier and Tacoma pickups.

Several of the original Dakota models, such as the convertible and the high-performance Shelby and R/T versions (both of which offered a V-8 engine and plenty of tire-shredding performance), have become prized collector's items.

FCA plans to build the new midsize truck at its Saltillo, Mexico, plant.

Dodge Truck (aka. RAM) presentation - http://www.autonews.com/assets/PDF/CA11575761.PDF

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

2019 Ram launch slows to a trickle

Larry Vellequette, Automotive News  /  June 11, 2018

Delayed EPA approval for key versions of the redesigned Ram 1500 could spoil the brand's plan to flood the market with old and new pickups this year and possibly overtake the Chevrolet Silverado in sales.

Nearly five months after the start of production of the 2019 Ram 1500 — known as the DT — the only models EPA-certified for sale are two- and four-wheel-drive versions equipped with the standard 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.

DT model Ram 1500s began arriving at U.S. dealerships in the second half of March, but dealers haven't yet received the 3.6-liter V-6 version or the 5.7-liter V-8 with an optional 48-volt belt-start generator. The belt-start generator, a fuel-saving mild-hybrid device, is standard with the V-6.

"I have customers looking for them and asking about them every week," said one Ram dealer in Michigan.

It's unclear why 2019 Rams with belt-start generators are not available.

The delay also could result from the EPA being far more stringent with automakers in its testing in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. FCA and the EPA remain locked in litigation over the automaker's previous use of its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine in the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee, which resulted in delayed certification for the 2017 and 2018 EcoDiesel Ram 1500s.

Still, after a high-profile launch at this year's Detroit auto show, the slow rollout of 2019 Ram 1500s appears to be suppressing the pickups' sales.

The lack of a V-6 this long after launch is a problem. In the old truck, the V-6 represented about 20 percent of sales.

Though Ram pickup sales were up 4.3 percent in May compared with 2017, it was the first monthly sales increase this year. Year to date, sales are down 8.4 percent. However, FCA US said retail sales of the Ram 1500 pickup were up 18 percent in May to 27,011.

Last year, Ram appeared to hatch a plan to knock the Silverado out of the No. 2 spot in the full-size pickup segment in 2018 by continuing to build the previous-version DS, backed by discounts — while ramping up production of the new Ram 1500.

But while Ram sales are off this year, Ford's F series, the top seller, is up 5.7 percent; Silverado sales are estimated to have increased 11 percent. This time a year ago, Ram and Silverado were running almost neck and neck.

Like Ford and General Motors, FCA reports sales of its half-ton light-duty pickups together with its heavy-duty three-quarter and one-ton pickups and normally does not differentiate model-level retail sales. Its monthly totals also do notbreak down sales by DS or DT versions.

With the DS Ram still in production, FCA has been able to wage an incentive war with GM and Ford, beginning last month after a fire at a magnesium supplier in Michigan interrupted Ford F-150 production for a short period. In Texas, for example, Ram was advertising $4,000 in bonus cash on top of $13,500 in savings on a 2018 Ram 1500 Lone Star Silver crew cab.

Through May, average incentives of $6,578 per vehicle are 11 percent higher than in the first five months of 2017, according to Motor Intelligence, citing Autodata Corp. data. But Motor Intelligence said that average factory incentives for Ram pickups in May had dropped to their lowest level since January.

Dealers say interest in the redesigned Ram 1500 remains strong, even if customers can't yet buy or order one equipped with the more fuel-efficient 3.6-liter V-6 engine. Indeed, according to suppliers, FCA's Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, where the redesigned Ram 1500 is built, is scheduled to operate six days per week through Sept. 4, including two scheduled Sunday operations in July and scheduled holiday shifts on Independence Day and Labor Day.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Illness ends career of Sergio Marchionne, the CEO who liked to fix things

Reuters  /  July 22, 2018

MILAN -- Sergio Marchionne bowed out on Saturday as one of the auto industry's most demanding and tenacious chief executives, his health in crisis after a career in which he rescued Fiat and Chrysler, two of its most storied brands.

Fourteen years after he first took the wheel of Fiat, the gruff 66-year-old was replaced as boss of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) group he built. He had suffered serious complications from shoulder surgery and his health was worsening, the company said.

FCA gave no further details.

In Italy, where his turnaround of Fiat earned him legendary status, he was treated like a rock star. The former philosophy student and accountant almost never wore a tie and preferred casual sweaters, half-joking that it saved him time on dressing.

A heavy smoker until giving up the habit a year ago, he was known for working extraordinarily long hours before falling ill. He demanded others keep a similarly gruelling schedule, earning him the reputation from friends and foes alike for being stubborn and arrogant.

"I feel like I live in a tunnel. He is not just demanding; he wants all your life devoted to him," said one banker who has worked with Marchionne on various deals in recent years.

Some could not keep up with his round-the-clock approach.

"He emails you at all hours and wants an answer within five minutes, even in the middle of the night. If you don’t answer promptly you lose the mandate," another banker said. "I only started having a life and seeing my family when I stopped working with him."

In his last public appearance on June 26, wearing his signature sweater, Marchionne appeared fatigued and out of breath as he presented a Jeep Wrangler to Italy's paramilitary police, the Carabinieri, at a ceremony in Rome.

Days later, he went to Switzerland to undergo what FCA described as a shoulder operation. FCA has not said what happened after he left the operating theatre, except that he suffered complications that suddenly worsened on Saturday.

In an emergency board meeting on Saturday, FCA chose the head of its Jeep division, Mike Manley, as his successor and voiced "profound sorrow" at Marchionne's condition.

Marchionne has done what many thought impossible, most notably his huge gamble just over a decade ago when he set in motion the marriage between the then ailing Fiat with bankrupt U.S. rival Chrysler. It is now the world's seventh-largest carmaker and is debt-free.

"Sergio Marchionne's time as CEO of Fiat is already the stuff of legend," Bernstein analyst Max Warburton said earlier this year.

His shrewd dealmaking kept investors onboard and earned him accolades, even from competitors. Fiat's value grew more than 11 times, helped by the spin-off of trucks and tractor maker CNH Industrial and sportscar group Ferrari, fuelling expectations of other transformational deals to come.

Fixing things

"You can argue Sergio has a bad temperament. You can say he is a bad father, as he never spends time with his kids, but you cannot ever question his leadership as a manager. He has done miracles at Fiat," said another a person who worked with him.

The son of a carabiniere, Marchionne was born and raised in the impoverished central region of Abruzzo, Italy. His family moved to Toronto when he was 14 to escape what his father viewed as the confines of an Italian society obsessed with status over talent.

His background is in finance, not autos, but Marchionne earned kudos for his turnaround skills in 2004-5 when he saved Fiat, Italy’s biggest industrial group with a century of history and a 200,000-strong global workforce, from near bankruptcy.

"I like to fix things and to be blunt, Fiat needs a fix right now," he said after his appointment as CEO in 2004.

For 14 years he relentlessly pursued those goals, sleeping on the couch of his private plane while jetting between offices in Detroit, Turin and London.

A tough negotiator known for getting his way, in 2005 Marchionne forced General Motors to pay Fiat $2 billion not to exercise an option to sell its auto division to the U.S. carmaker.

He flattened an inflexible hierarchy, replacing layers of middle management with meritocracy.

He took a knife to costs, drastically reducing the number of car platforms, and formed joint ventures to share development and manufacturing.

He clinched a partnership with Chrysler before eventually buying out the rest of it in a deal he orchestrated over his Christmas break in 2013, at a Florida beach, in a one-on-one meeting even those close to him were unaware of.

He revived Chrysler betting that its Jeep brand should be taken global. Jeep is now Fiat Chrysler's growth engine.

He took the bold step to end production of unprofitable sedans in the United States and retool plants to boost output of lucrative SUVs and trucks, a move since emulated by rivals.

Known by direct reports in Italy as "il Dottore" and by his U.S. lieutenants as "The Boss", Marchionne ran the executive team with an iron fist, people who work closely with him say.

Losing Midas touch?

Marchionne has an impressive track record of creating shareholder value, but he has been less successful at delivering a string of recent, ambitious turnarounds.

Profitability in Europe is only gradually recovering and FCA has yet to make any significant inroads in China. It has also yet to turn a profit with Alfa Romeo which along with Jeep and Maserati was the focus of the last strategy launched in 2014.

Marchionne refused to follow rivals and invest in electrification, before finally making a U-turn as part of a strategy unveiled in June.

He also leaves FCA overly reliant on North America, a region expected to come off its peaks soon.

Even though his bid to merge with bigger U.S. rival GM to share the costs of making electric and autonomous vehicles was repeatedly rebuffed, Marchionne admitted a merger for FCA was "ultimately inevitable" to be able to compete.

"Being small, cute is going to do nothing," he said last year. "Go home, go to a beauty parlour and do something else."

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fiat Chrysler's new CEO shows company's future is all about Jeep

Bloomberg  /  July 22, 2018

The company is called Fiat Chrysler. But its success depends on another iconic brand: Jeep.

That explains why Mike Manley, a 54-year-old Briton, was picked to replace Sergio Marchionne, the automotive icon who was forced to relinquish the post of chief executive officer after 14 years due to the sudden deterioration of his health.

Manley has been head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Jeep brand since 2009, the linchpin in the company’s plan to double profit in the next five years. Already, the Jeep and Ram vehicles he oversaw were responsible for 67 percent of total U.S. volume in 2017.

Marchionne had been set to retire in April 2019. His unexpected illness accelerated the timeline for a decision on succession that was already seen as a crossroads for the company. Who would run the Italian-American automaker was just the first of a number of pivotal choices -- like whether to remain independent -- facing Chairman John Elkann, heir to the founding Agnelli family.

Manley will have a lot on his do-list -- from electrifying FCA's lineup to boosting luxury brands Alfa Romeo and Maserati, to raising the profile of Jeep in China. He also faces the test of meeting rigorous fuel-economy standards in Europe and China.

“He’s not a guy with a huge ego. That’s another reason why he will be a good leader,” said Rebecca Lindland, an executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “But he certainly has to figure out, make some tough decisions on which brands are struggling, and look at electrification.”

The new CEO will start immediately, according to a company statement, underscoring Marchionne’s decline, which prompted the extraordinary board meeting on Saturday. Marchionne, 66, is in worsening health following complications from shoulder surgery, the company said.

Manley joined Chrysler in the U.K. in 2000 when the carmaker was part of Daimler. He was named head of Jeep at the start of Fiat’s five-year acquisition, and led the transformation of the iconic American brand into a cash machine. Analysts estimate that Jeep alone could be worth the entire $30 billion market value of Fiat Chrysler.

At the April general meeting, Elkann and Marchionne both said that Fiat Chrysler is now strong enough to survive on its own and doesn’t need a partner. Fiat reiterated this view on Saturday, saying Manley and his team will implement the business plan presented on June 1 to assure Fiat Chrysler’s “strong and independent” future.

With Manley, Fiat’s board also signaled that the Jeep brand was central to plans going forward. The board passed over two other internal candidates -- Alfredo Altavilla, a close aide to Marchionne and a Fiat veteran who’s overseen operations across the globe and now runs the automaker’s European business, and Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer, who is well known to Wall Street and helped combine the company’s operations after the merger with Chrysler.

Jeep targets

Manley had already been tasked with the biggest job of the five-year plan: Doubling Jeep sales volume by 2022 from the 1.4 million vehicles sold last year. He needs a 40 percent jump this year alone to meet the 2018 marker of 2 million set out by Marchionne.

The new CEO shares with Marchionne a direct style and and a penchant for casual clothing. He had sidestepped the question of whether he was ready to take the top post, always saying he was fully concentrating on his Jeep job.

“If I don’t grow volumes with those opportunities, then we’ll be sitting and having a different conversation next January, won’t we?” Manley said in an interview earlier this year.

Rumpled sweaters

Marchionne, known for his rumpled sweaters and nonstop work habits, was rivaled only by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance’s Carlos Ghosn for longevity as an automotive CEO. He was appointed in 2004 as the fifth Fiat chief in a two-year period, He managed to return the carmaker, which had lost more than 6 billion euros ($7 billion) in 2003, to profit in 2005 by cutting costs and laying off workers, and then looked for a partner.

With the acquisition of Chrysler completed in 2014, Marchionne gave Fiat the global scale needed to survive. Still, as the world’s seventh-largest automaker, the company may lack the size it needs to compete in an industry being reinvented by the emergence of autonomous driving and electrification.

Fiat Chrysler has been facing questions about Marchionne’s health for almost a month -- his last public appearance was June 26, when he spoke at an event in Rome. The company said on July 5 that the CEO underwent an operation on his right shoulder and was expected to require “a short period of convalescence."

Filling his shoes won’t be easy. The executive was one of the industry’s most skilled turnaround artists, not only saving Fiat from potential collapse, but later engineering its acquisition of Chrysler, which likely wouldn’t have received U.S. government backing for its 2009 bankruptcy without the involvement of its Italian partner.

Marchionne was preparing to slow down but wanted first to complete his plan to rid the carmaker of industrial debt, putting it in position to survive the next industry slump. "I am a fixer. Until something is definitively fixed, I can’t stop," he has said.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad way for Marchionne to have to leave that way.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, TS7 said:

Sad way for Marchionne to have to leave that way.

For sure-no bullshit guy who had no trouble calling a spade a spade.  A different kind of guy from the majority of the ones we have seen at the top.  And kind of like whoever is at the top at Ford, he always had to contend with a family that was behind the scenes-at least that is the perception I have.

How about it Kevin or anyone else with a good handle on just what Fiat is all about these days??

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

On Detroit radio there reports that he is in very grave condition now. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s an extremely sad situation. Sergio is both a wonderful and brilliant thinking human being.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Marchionne suffered embolism during cancer surgery

Larry Vellequette, Automotive News  /  July 24, 2018

Recently replaced Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne suffered an embolism while undergoing an operation for an invasive shoulder sarcoma and has irreversible damage to his brain function, an Italian business website reported Tuesday.

The executive failed to tell FCA Chairman John Elkann of the seriousness of his illness, the report said.

Lettera43, in a report Tuesday citing anonymous sources, said Marchionne, 66, had been diagnosed "long ago" with the invasive shoulder sarcoma — a malignant form of cancer that can develop in the body's soft tissue — and "expressed some doubts" about the effectiveness of the high-risk operation he underwent at the University of Zurich in late June.

Sources told Lettera43, which has led coverage of Marchionne's illness, that during the operation, he was struck by a cerebral embolism, plunging him into a coma. It also claims Marchionne is being kept alive only by machines, and that doctors said there was no hope of recovery.

According to the American Heart Association, an embolism occurs when a blood clot or piece of fatty plaque breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream and becomes lodged in a blood vessel and blocks blood flow. When an embolism blocks the flow of blood to the brain, it is called a cerebral embolism, a type of stroke.

Lettera43 said Marchionne suffered for some time from "severe shoulder pain that made arm movements difficult," according to a translation, and that he took cortisone to soothe it. It said Marchionne also suffered from a chronic thyroid condition for which he had been taking medications for an extended period.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Relish every morning that you wake up.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sergio Marchionne, turnaround virtuoso who built Fiat Chrysler, dies at 66

Lindsay Chappell, Automotive News  /  July 25, 2018

Sergio Marchionne, the man in black and self-proclaimed fixer who plucked Chrysler from the ashes of bankruptcy in 2009 and hitched it to Fiat to create a money-making global automaker, has died, according to a statement from Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann. He was 66.

"Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone," Elkann said in the statement issued by Exor, the holding company for the controlling Agnelli family.

Marchionne became gravely ill after what the company has called shoulder surgery, forcing him to be replaced as CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on July 21. The company appointed Mike Manley, 54, head of the automaker's Jeep and Ram brands, as Marchionne's successor. Manley is expected to make public comments to analysts Wednesday after FCA releases second-quarter earnings

"I believe that the best way to honor his memory is to build on the legacy he left us, continuing to develop the human values of responsibility and openness of which he was the most ardent champion," Elkann said.

"My family and I will be forever grateful for what he has done. Our thoughts are with Manuela, and his sons Alessio and Tyler. I would ask again everyone to respect the privacy of Sergio’s family."

Marchionne was already beginning to wind down a remarkable career -- he telegraphed well in advance that he planned to retire as CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in April 2019, after the conclusion of the company's 2014-18 business plan.

It was an improbable career that saw a young Italian immigrant in Canada go to college, become an accountant and, years later, arrive seemingly out of nowhere in European corporate circles to first save Fiat Group and later use Chrysler's strengths in light trucks to forge the combined Italian-American company into a true global automaker.

Concerns over Marchionne's medical condition rippled through the company for weeks. Corporate directors called a meeting in Italy on July 21 to determine his successor.

Marchionne, a workaholic who often slept on a sofa aboard a plane as he traveled regularly to steer Fiat Chrysler, was a heavy smoker and espresso drinker until quitting both about a year ago. In his last public appearance, on June 26, Marchionne, appeared fatigued and out of breath as he presented a Jeep Wrangler to Italy’s paramilitary police, the Carabinieri, at a ceremony in Rome.

Marchionne captivated the global auto industry over the last decade with his candid assessments, tireless competitive spirit, remarkable transparency and multiple roles: chairman and CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, chairman and CEO of Ferrari, chairman of Maserati, and chairman of CNH Industrial, a European producer of trucks, buses, tractors and construction vehicles.

Professional roots in accounting

Marchionne was born in postwar Italy, where both his grandfather and uncle were killed in the fighting. He lived in Italy until emigrating with his family to Toronto at age 14. He studied philosophy and other subjects at Canadian colleges and received master of business administration and law degrees before becoming an accountant and rising through management ranks at several Canadian businesses. He was recognized as an accountant, tax specialist, attorney and business strategist.

But it was in the automotive world where Marchionne rose to larger-than-life fame, regularly crisscrossing the globe, brandishing multiple cellular devices at a time and dressing almost constantly in black -- a life practice he said he adopted to save several seconds of decision-making every morning.

While he was perhaps the most provocative executive to steer Chrysler since Lee Iacocca retired in the early 1990s, Marchionne preferred a tiny office in a wing of FCA's vast technical center in a Detroit suburb, where he could regularly confab with engineers, marketing executives and product planners.

Marchionne did what many pundits said was improbable: He resuscitated not just one failing automaker but two. He returned America's perennial underdog and No. 3 automaker, Chrysler, to profitability by uniting it through a complex merger with Fiat -- an Italian company that seemed incapable of penetrating the U.S. market.

"What I found was ... a company that had been run by a foreign entity for a long period of time, that had taken all of its wares on the way out," Marchionne said of his early days steering Chrysler in an address at the Brookings Institution in May 2014. "In 2006-2007, it had been flipped over to financially competent — but industrially incompetent — private equity investors who had run it for a period of time and then run into a brick wall in a crisis. What we ended up looking at [when Fiat arrived] was empty cupboards in terms of technology and product. And so we started from scratch."

Fiat was also on the brink of death in June 2004 when Marchionne was recruited by the company's controlling Agnelli family to sort things out. Fiat suffered a loss of approximately $2.5 billion on its core auto operations the same year. Many analysts expected it to simply exit the auto business.

The turnaround

Marchionne, who had moved to Europe at the time, had gained the Agnellis' notice by pulling storied old Swiss quality-assurance firm SGS back from near-collapse as CEO. Given control of Fiat, he negotiated an over $2 billion payment by General Motors to settle past contractual obligations with Fiat. He closed inefficient factories and restructured debt. Then he focused on expanding Fiat's product line, investing 10 billion euros to develop 20 new models in four years.

The turnaround made Fiat a cash-rich player by the end of the decade, just as the economic crash of 2008 hit the United States and battered the auto industry.

Marchionne in 2009 led Fiat to acquire a 20 percent stake in Chrysler, with a UAW pension trust owning 55 percent, and the U.S. and Canadian governments controlling minority stakes.

More important, as Marchionne took control of the Detroit automaker, the government-managed arrangement allowed Chrysler to quickly emerge from bankruptcy with $6.6 billion in high-interest government financing. Marchionne's strategy for returning Chrysler to profitability was to invest in new products, with Fiat and Chrysler sharing vehicles, engines and factories.

His first priority was to get the company healthy enough again to enter the private capital markets and shed its high-interest government debt.

By May 2011, he could count that as the first of many goals he would accomplish.

Ram was spun off from the large Dodge division. Younger Chrysler executives replaced veterans and were handed ambitious sales and financial targets but with autonomy to reach them. The Jeep lineup was nourished and expanded globally. Chrysler's American roots -- "Imported from Detroit" -- were played up in advertising that drew plaudits from dealers, employees and many consumers.

FROM OUR ARCHIVES: Does FCA have the right strategy to survive the post-Marchionne era?

Within months of taking control of Chrysler, Marchionne met with dealers in Las Vegas. He made the first of what he called "a promise for a promise" that called for Fiat Chrysler to invest in and improve products if dealers agreed to invest in stores and embrace best operating practices with customers.

By 2014, Fiat had gained full ownership of Chrysler, but Marchionne's original plan to expand products and restore profits at Fiat Chrysler was thwarted by changing consumer preferences. The outlook for new, small fuel-efficient cars in 2009 and 2010 -- inspiring Marchionne's hopes to sell Fiats in America again -- began to wane, overtaken by rising pickup, SUV and crossover sales as the American economy recovered and new-vehicle demand rose to new highs.

Blunt tongue

For all his brilliance, iconoclast drive and opportunistic ways, Marchionne's sometimes blunt tongue also tainted the company's performance and outlook at times.

In 2011, when he complained about the U.S. government's "shyster" interest rates on FCA's bailout loans, Marchionne was forced to apologize the next day. He once described the former Jeep Commander "unfit for human consumption" while some of the large SUVs remained for sale in dealership showrooms.

He openly defied federal safety regulators by vigorously defending Fiat Chrysler's approach to safety issues on older Jeep SUVs.

And in the final days of the Obama administration, when the EPA alleged that FCA had undeclared emissions software on EcoDiesel-equipped Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, Marchionne angrily protested. His steadfast denials likely factored into delayed certification of the 2017 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and difficulty winning approval for other profitable light trucks equipped with the engine.

And in 2015, Marchionne clashed with UAW leaders over Fiat Chrysler's widespread hiring of lower-paid U.S. factory workers and a proposal to scrap a controversial two-tier wage scale by phasing out the top wage rate as longtime union employees retired.

Still, both sides of the FCA house largely prospered under Marchionne.

In May, Marchionne told FCA shareholders that he expects the company to deliver adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of between $15 billion and $18.7 billion [13 billion and 16 billion euros] in 2022, up from $7.7 billion [6.6 billion euros] in 2017. The company's new five-year business plan, he said, will see operating margins rise to between 9 and 11 percent, compared with 6.3 percent last year.

Strategic vision

Marchionne surprised the auto industry three years ago by laying out a thought-provoking vision for the global business in a presentation called "Confessions of a Capital Junkie." Marchionne complained that the auto industry generates a low return on capital in large part because each automaker incurs the same high expenses of investing in r&d and capital costs to develop the same products and technologies and achieve the same results.

The New York Times called him "Detroit's chief instigator" and an obsessive "automotive Cassandra" after Marchionne warned of disastrous consequences if automakers continued with unbridled spending.

"It is absolutely clear that the amount of capital waste that's going on in this industry is something that certainly requires remedy," Marchionne said in an April 2015 earnings conference call that stunned Wall Street analysts. "A remedy in our view is through consolidation."

"It's fundamentally immoral to allow for that waste to continue unchecked," Marchionne later told The Times.

In calling for more industry consolidation, Marchionne even proposed a merger or acquisition with FCA.

The appeal was roundly rebuffed by his two chief domestic competitors, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors, and prompted him to refocus FCA inward, to "get our own house in order."

He moved boldly. Predicting that U.S. consumer demand had permanently shifted away from cars in favor of light trucks, he recast FCA's product and manufacturing portfolio to answer the challenge, killing the slow-selling Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 sedans to make room for more domestically produced Jeep and Ram vehicles.

Though he was criticized frequently for failing to follow industry trends, Marchionne preferred instead a slower, less-expensive approach of partnering with others to satisfy needs for electrification and autonomous driving. FCA partnered with Waymo to bring early-stage autonomous driving to the Pacifica hybrid minivan, for example.

Fiat Chrysler's newly released five-year plan will see the company invest $10.5 billion to develop new electric and hybrid vehicles. Yet, as Marchionne prepared to cede control of the global automaker he largely built from discarded scraps, he remained focused on two goals: freeing FCA from its burden of having more debt on its books than cash, and using Jeep and Alfa Romeo to drive global profitability to levels that would rival or surpass those of larger global automakers.


Photo 5.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ex-UAW head Williams told officials to misappropriate funds

Alexa St.-John, Automotive News  /  July 26, 2018

DETROIT -- Recently retired UAW President Dennis Williams has been implicated by a former union official in the ongoing federal corruption probe involving the misuse of joint training center funds with Detroit automakers.

Williams, according to a Thursday report from The Detroit News, is the "high level" UAW official named in a plea agreement released Monday that was reached with Nancy Adams Johnson, former top administrative assistant to ex-UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell. Johnson, according to the deal, said the unnamed leader directed senior leaders to use automaker funds from the joint training centers as a way to reduce costs to the UAW's budget.

Williams has not been charged in the investigation. He told Automotive News in May that he had not been indicted or inverviewed by federal prosecutors.

Johnson's plea agreement states: "Sometime in 2014 or 2015, a high-level UAW official directed senior UAW officials to use money supplied by automobile manufacturing companies through joint UAW training centers to pay for travel, including travel solely for purported union business, as well as lavish meal and other entertainment costs of senior UAW officials and their friends, family and allies.

"This directive was issued in order to reduce costs to the UAW budget from such expenditures because the UAW's budget was under pressure," the document states.

These directives would come around the same time the UAW was facing significant financial pressure in 2014, when members approved the first increase in membership dues since 1967.

Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the Labor Management Relations Act on Monday.

"Today's conviction of yet another senior UAW official further exposes the dishonorable scheme between UAW officials and Fiat Chrysler executives to corrupt the collective bargaining process at the expense of rank and file union members," U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in a statement Monday. "The conviction reveals that part of this scheme involved the wrongful use of UAW funds for extravagant meals, entertainment, golf, and travel for little, if any, union-business purpose."

Ongoing investigation

The UAW and Fiat Chrysler have been named "co-conspirators" in the scandal, in which prosecutors contend FCA employees and executives paid UAW representatives to influence union business in addition to siphoning money through the training center to make purchases.

Williams denounced those involved in the scandal in his last formal address to members at the UAW's Constitutional Convention in Detroit last month.

"To be clear: Those who misallocated or misused training center funds betrayed our trust," Williams told union members. "The UAW has zero tolerance for corruption, wrongdoing, at any level of this organization."

With regard to Williams' possible involvement, UAW spokesperson Brian Rothenberg told Automotive News: "I can't comment on unsubstantiated allegations."

Others involved

Monica Morgan, widow of former UAW Vice President General Holiefeld, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Friday for her role in the scandal this month.

In addition to Adams Johnson and Morgan, five others have been charged in the case, including: Alphons Iacobelli, a former FCA labor relations chief; Jerome Durden, a former FCA financial analyst; former FCA employee Michael Brown; ex-UAW associate director Virdell King; and UAW official Keith Mickens. Iacobelli is awaiting sentencing. Jewell has been implicated in the scandal but not formally named as a conspirator by investigators.

Morgan, Iacobelli and Durden are also being sued by the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center to recover more than $4.4 million in damages.


image 1.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Marchionne knew of 'serious illness' for a year

Alexa St.-John, Automotive News  /  July 26, 2018

Sergio Marchionne received treatment for a "serious illness" for more than a year before his death on Wednesday, University Hospital Zurich said Thursday.

Prior to the hospital's statement on Marchionne's health, the father of the former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO's partner told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that Marchionne "was sick for a year" in a report published Wednesday.

Pier Luigi Battezzato, the father of Manuela Battezzato, told the paper Marchionne knew his health was declining for much longer than originally reported, but never "spared himself."

Battezzato said Marchionne stopped smoking a year ago after having been a notorious lifelong smoker.

"A year ago he had quit smoking, it seemed that his health was improving. He never stopped," Battezzato said. "It was clear to everyone that he was not doing well. His physique had dried out and he was tired and breathed with a lot of effort. Yet he was always on the move, traveling from one part of the world to another. He has always worked and has never given up in the face of his commitments."

Marchionne, who died at 66 on Wednesday, reportedly fell ill from complications following an operation. He recently underwent surgery for what was originally said to be his shoulder. Italian business website Lettera43 reported Marchionne suffered an embolism while undergoing the operation in Switzerland.

"I spoke to Sergio shortly before he was operated on and he was quiet," Battezzato told Corriere della Sera. "He had even set up a meeting that was to take place these days. Then we got together for the holidays, there was a plan to bring the whole family together."

Though Marchionne was scheduled to retire in April 2019, he was replaced as CEO of FCA by Mike Manley on Saturday.

Marchionne had an extensive career and was well-admired by fellow executives, international political figures and labor leaders in the industry as a transformative and influential figure. Marchionne captivated the industry, especially through his innovation and entrepreneurial mindset.

Marchionne's most noteworthy accomplishment was saving Chrysler from bankruptcy in 2009 and combining it with Fiat to create the global automaker it is today.

Marchionne and Manuela Battezzato were partners for almost a decade, the report said. In addition to Manuela, Marchionne is survived by two adult sons from a former marriage.

"Sergio's intervention was supposed to be simple," Battezzato told Corriere della Sera . "The worst has happened. I don't know, sometimes I think that if they hadn't gone to Switzerland maybe it would have been different."

Battezzato said his daughter would come back home to Alpignano following Marchionne's funeral.

"One could write a book about [Marchionne]. It cannot be reduced to a few words," Battezzato said. "He did extraordinary things, but he was a simple person. There was nothing mundane about him. His life was all about work and family."

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bringing Uncle Sam into the supply chain

Richard Truett, Automotive News  /  July 28, 2018

A new engine program at Fiat Chrysler reveals an innovative way to solve the task of creating an advanced new material to improve engine efficiency and reduce vehicle weight.

The automaker enlisted the help of engineers at the federal Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Material development is usually the stuff of advanced research — the sort of work that r&d departments might spend years toiling away at with little profit-making result.

For FCA's project, engineers have been able to bring a new grade of heat-tolerant aluminum alloy to market faster by taking advantage of research already being done by government scientists at Oak Ridge.

It's rare when a government-funded initiative makes its way into a commercial engine.

The new alloy was borne out of a project that used Oak Ridge's Titan supercomputer and included Fiat Chrysler engineers and casting experts from Nemak North America, the giant Mexico-based supplier of engine blocks and cylinder heads.

Engine designers have always known that improving an engine's thermal efficiency — the amount of energy contained in fuel that is converted to work — is one major key to extracting more power and fewer emissions from a motor.

Most of today's mass-produced aluminum cylinder heads are made of what are referred to as 319 and 356 grade alloys, which start to weaken and distort at combustion temperatures up to around 390 degrees Fahrenheit. There are grades of alloy that can withstand higher combustion temperatures without damage, but they are expensive and can be difficult to cast.

The collaboration of Oak Ridge, FCA and Nemak engineers started in 2014 under a $3.5 million Department of Energy Cooperative Research and Development grant. It resulted in a new aluminum alloy that will allow engines to run about 180 degrees Fahrenheit hotter and can be cast on existing production machinery.

The implications are significant.

572 degrees

The new alloy, called 16HT, raises the operating threshold to 572 degrees Fahrenheit. FCA estimates the new alloy will cost only about 7 percent more than 319 and 356 alloys. There is no estimate yet of how much fuel efficiency will be improved. In fact, FCA has not even announced which of its engines will first use the new alloy.

But the first application likely be a hard-working downsized turbo four-cylinder that would replace a larger engine in a heavy vehicle.

Fiat Chrysler has a 2.0-liter turbo launching now in the redesigned Jeep Wrangler. In a blog posted recently on FCA's media site, the company says the new alloy is at least a few years away from production. But about 100 prototype cylinder heads cast by Nemak are now undergoing testing at FCA.

Amit Shyam, Oak Ridge's lead researcher on the project, says the new alloy could be used elsewhere on engines, perhaps replacing heavy cast iron exhaust manifolds or in turbocharger housings. But cylinder heads are likely the first use because the benefits are largest.

"Cylinder head alloys are the most demanding application in an engine if you consider the fact that the casting is smaller than the cylinder block, but more complex because other parts are attached to it," he says. "It's more demanding from a thermal-mechanical aspect as well. The head sees many thermal cycles. If that was solved, it would be a very major advancement for better engine materials. So, that's why we focused on cylinder head alloys for initially lighter-duty automotive engines."

The big brain

FCA engineers credit Oak Ridge's Titan supercomputer with playing a big role in the breakthrough.

Titan, the third most powerful supercomputer in the United States, used a predictive development process known as an "ICME" — short for integrated computational material engineering. It virtually created about 50 alloy blends.

The computer was then programmed to "test" the heating and cooling characteristics of the virtual metals. The seven blends with the highest potential were then subjected to more stringent testing.

"The Titan and ICME let the team focus only on truly promising candidates instead of spending time on trial and error," Gregg Black, a senior manager in FCA's advanced powertrain engineering said in the blog post. "It's like Star Wars stuff for us, creating new alloys in the computer without having to pour it."

That's where supplier Nemak comes in.

The company, ranked No. 52 on Automotive News' list of the top global parts suppliers with annual sales of $4.5 billion, is a major supplier of cast engine parts to nearly all of the world's major automakers. Nemak also makes expensive low-volume castings from an alloy known as R350 for several manufacturers of high-end vehicles.

Nemak engineers brought a sample of R350, which Oak Ridge examined down to the molecular level to understand how the metal could withstand high heat without cracking, tearing or deforming.

"We spent a lot of money in the first 18 months trying to understand what makes R350 work, and what we found out is that we could make R350 do what it does without the expensive elements," says Shyam. "It was not the nickel and cobalt in it that everyone thought made it much more temperature resistant. It was some of the other elements that were there in smaller amounts."

Shyam said researchers using powerful electron microscopes studied the atomic resolution of the alloy in cross sections of areas known as precipitates, or the strengthening elements. From that, Oak Ridge was able to develop the 16HT alloy so that it was able to be cast.

Jose Talamantes-Silva, Nemak's research and development manager, said one of the major requirements of the project is that 16HT had to be castable on existing production machinery, a requirement that would save millions of dollars in tooling costs.

But the new alloy yielded another bonus: It proved to be a drop-in replacement for today's alloy.

"The same components can be used," Talamantes said. "In the current testing we are doing with FCA, there is no need to change any of the components.

"That means existing gaskets, valve seats and guides, camshafts and seals used on today's heads can be transferred to heads cast in the new alloy."

It also saves millions in product development costs. Talamantes says Nemak is meeting with FCA almost weekly to share data on how the heads are performing, and he expects engine testing to be complete by December.

Tightening global emission regulations could see the new alloy replacing the existing blends, and once volume rises, Talamantes says, cost will come down.

Material revolution

Executives at other suppliers say thermal efficiency gains in innnovations such as the new alloy shows there are still improvements left to be wrung out of the internal combustion engine before it gives way to the electric motor.

"If you look in broad terms, our engines, the ones we've recently developed, have about 38 percent thermal efficiency, some of the highest in the industry," says Hal Reisiger, CEO of Cosworth Group Holdings.

"If you can get to 40 percent — which we will — you are as efficient as a fossil fuel-fired power generating station which is used to charge an electric vehicle," he added. Cos-worth, the British firm best known for building high-performance engines, recently opened a new North American headquarters in suburban Detroit.

At Tenneco, a supplier of exhaust system components, such as catalytic converters and mufflers, Chief Technology Officer Ben Patel says the industry is in the midst of a "material science revolution that could change every part of the car in the years ahead."

"When you are dealing with emissions, heat is your friend. Whether it is a catalytic converter or an SCR diesel catalyst, the chemical transformation you are trying to enable all happens faster the hotter it gets," he says.

"Twenty years from now, maybe even less than that, there will be a whole new range of materials on vehicles that do not exist today."

New alloy

The new Oak Ridge alloy is one of those materials. Today's alloy cylinder heads rely on silicon as the strengthening component. But the lab researchers discovered that copper can take the heat without deforming.

"When we focused on copper, other people in the industry almost laughed us off, saying we'd never be able to cast that," FCA's Black says. "We knew there was competition, including other teams working at Oak Ridge National Lab, but we outperformed everyone on this."

The project yielded four patent applications, that when approved, will be owned by Nemak, FCA and Oak Ridge National Lab.

Shyam says about 35 people from all three organizations worked on the project, each bringing their own expertise.

"It was a highly collaborative effort. Nemak is very good at foundry-related issues and castings, what can and cannot be done in the foundry production process. FCA is very knowledgeable about what happens when you are running an engine, what can happen and what is needed from the alloy. The criteria that will make it successful. We were able to bring a lot of our fundamental ally design expertise. We were able to bring some of the best characterization tools available to bear on this problem."

Shyam acknowledges that it was a bit of a long shot developing the new alloy.

"We took a somewhat risky approach to understanding mechanistic approach, not confident when we started," he said.

"We do think there will be a lot of internal combustion engines that will be made in the coming years, and if we are able to contribute to the efficiency of those engines, that's what you dream of doing as an applied researcher in the national labs."


Photo 4.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The new alloy was borne out of a project that used [the U.S. taxpayer's] federal Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan supercomputer and included [foreign aggressor's] Fiat Chrysler engineers and casting experts from Nemak North America, the giant Mexico-based supplier of engine blocks and cylinder heads.

Italy and Mexico score. U.S. taxpayers lose again.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

FCA recalls more than 1.1 million Ram pickups, citing tailgate latch risk

Alexa St. John, Automotive News  /  August 2, 2018

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling an estimated 1.1 million Ram pickups in the U.S. to upgrade their tailgate locking mechanisms.

The automaker Thursday said the power locking mechanisms in the tailgates of certain pickups have a small internal component that may break over time. FCA said 1,149,237 U.S. vehicles have the defect.

The recall affects Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups from the 2015 through 2017 model years, the automaker said. The trucks have a power locking tailgate and either a 5-foot, 7-inch, or 6-foot, 4-inch bed.

"If the tailgate latch releases and the tailgate opens while driving, cargo may fall out, creating a road hazard and increasing the risk of a crash," the company's NHTSA filing states.

Another 260,315 vehicles are subject to recall in Canada, along with 19,432 in Mexico and 25,361 in other markets.

FCA opened an investigation as a result of customer complaints related to the tailgate falling open while driving or stationary on May 8, the safety recall report states. Through May, June and July, FCA analyzed and verified all known incidents related to the problem. As of July 13, FCA identified 5,643 warranty claims and repair orders potentially related to the problem. FCA on July 19 decided to issue the recall.

The automaker said no injuries or accidents have been reported.

Customers will be notified when service is available, the automaker said. In the meantime, FCA said customers may use "alternate features to accommodate load security, including tie-down rings, cleats, high-friction bed-liners, bulkhead dividers and bed-extenders."

Trucks with manual tailgate locks, with eight-foot-cargo beds, are not included in the recall. The redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 is also not included.

The recall is expected to begin Sept. 14.


Photo 6.jpg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

U.S. prosecutors say FCA wanted to 'buy labor peace' from UAW

Automotive News  /  August 21, 2018

DETROIT — The U.S. says Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sought to "corrupt and warp" its relationship with the UAW to obtain advantages in contract agreements "in an effort to buy labor peace."

The latest allegations in the ongoing federal corruption case involving FCA and UAW officials were reported Monday by the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News.

A 14-page memorandum of sentencing for Alphons Iacobelli, FCA's former labor relations chief, stated: "FCA sought to obtain benefits, concessions and advantages in the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements with the UAW in an effort to buy labor peace. High-level officials of the UAW sought to enrich themselves and live lavish lifestyles rather than zealously work on behalf of the best interests of tens of thousands of rank and file members of their union."

Iacobelli and others are accused of misusing funds intended for the UAW-Chrysler Training Center in Detroit.

Iacobelli, the highest-ranking FCA official charged in the scandal to date, in January pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Labor Management Relations Act and for subscribing a false tax return. He could face eight years in prison under terms of a plea deal. He is scheduled to be sentenced Monday, Aug. 27.

The memo also notes that, for certain aspects of FCA's negotiations and relationship with the UAW, Iacobelli reported directly to the automaker's late CEO, Sergio Marchionne -- though it doesn't mention Marchionne by name. It was the first time the government referred to Marchionne by title, the News reported.

Last week, the News reported that Marchionne gave an expensive watch to UAW Vice President General Holiefield and failed to disclose the gift to federal investigators. Holiefield, who died in 2015, has been implicated in the scandal. His widow, Monica Morgan, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to file a tax return. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison in July.

Others who have been charged are former FCA financial analyst Jerome Durden; former FCA employee Michael Brown; ex-UAW Associate Director Virdell King; UAW official Keith Mickens; and Nancy Johnson, a former top aide to ex-UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell, who was charged with misusing funds but has not yet been arraigned. Jewell has been implicated in the scandal but not formally named as a conspirator by investigators.

Morgan, Iacobelli and Durden are also being sued by the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center to recover more than $4.4 million in damages.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ram launches chassis cab truck for ag market

Trailer-Body Builder  /  September 11, 2018

Ram is celebrating its agricultural bonds with a new edition designed specifically for America’s farm families.

The 2018 Ram Chassis Cab Harvest Edition is an agricultural market-specific truck and is visually distinguished by two limited-availability colors: Case IH Red and New Holland Blue (Brilliant Black and Bright White also available).

Ram recently unveiled the new Class 3-5 medium-duty trucks, expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2018, at the Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island NE.
“Addressing a direct request from farmers, Ram is the only manufacturer to offer Chassis Cab commercial trucks in colors that match two of the most popular lines of farm equipment in the nation,” said Jim Morrison, head of Ram Brand, FCA North America. “The Ram Harvest Edition Chassis Cab delivers high capability and gives farming families a way to show their agricultural brand loyalty.”
In August 2017, Ram launched 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup versions of the Harvest Edition.
Case IH and New Holland farm tractors and other agricultural equipment are manufactured by subsidiaries of CNH Industrial. CNH Industrial N.V. shares a common ancestry with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.  
The Harvest Edition will be available across the Ram 3500 (SRW and DRW), 4500 and 5500 (DRW, 60-inch and 80-inch cab-to-axle lengths) Chassis Cab lineup, in all four-door Crew Cab and two-door Regular Cab configurations. Optional powertrains include 4x4 versions of the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 or 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel.
Harvest Edition Chassis Cab trucks are loaded with functional features that are designed to work, including large front tow hooks, a transfer-case skid plate, side steps, fog lamps and a rear back-up camera.
Ram Harvest Edition Chassis Cab pricing is expected to range from $43,990 or the Ram 3500 to $49,240 for the 5500.


Photo 6.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What no green ones?   tow hooks? Now that is clever.  and I thought only Ford had "brillian"t truck marketers.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Red Horse said:

What no green ones?   tow hooks? Now that is clever.  and I thought only Ford had "brillian"t truck marketers.

They can do Case IH Red and New Holland Blue, because they own them. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, kscarbel2 said:

They can do Case IH Red and New Holland Blue, because they own them. 

Kevin- I get that-just being a wise ass.  Marketing guys trying to create some buzz.  And I have to say "Dodge" is making good progress.  A lot of 5500's running around these parts.  Often times I think they are doing it on price.  But I think the memories of Power Stroke 6.0/6.4 still haunts the Blue Oval.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. I see Dodge 4500s and 5500s everywhere, replacing Fords. When I ask the operators how they like them, they have nothing but good things to say. They're not having any problems at all. No doubt, the Cummins ISB is better than the Powerstroke and Isuzu Duramax.

Bob, you know Dodge and Ford will have to introduce tilt hoods now on these larger models.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, kscarbel2 said:

Agreed. I see Dodge 4500s and 5500s everywhere, replacing Fords. When I ask the operators how they like them, they have nothing but good things to say. They're not having any problems at all. No doubt, the Cummins ISB is better than the Powerstroke and Isuzu Duramax.

Bob, you know Dodge and Ford will have to introduce tilt hoods now on these larger models.

Agree-in particular if the GM product is competitively priced.  Shop I hang out in always has alligator hood Power Stroke and Duramax V-8's in for work. I shake my head at the mess-for lack of a better word- you see under these hoods. 

Real or not, the idea of a tilt hood has to be a positive.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...