Indiana Transmission Plant II (ITPII) has become the first Chrysler transmission plant to earn an award for implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM).
The plant achieved bronze status just over four years after adopting the WCM operating systems.
“The employees at ITPII have demonstrated their commitment to World Class Manufacturing by accelerating the rate of improvement in their plant in order to achieve bronze,” said Brian Harlow, head of NAFTA Manufacturing. “The support of the UAW at both the local and international level has been critical in making Chrysler Group’s manufacturing facilities among the best in the world.”
The Kokomo plant is the sixth North American plant to receive a WCM award. Four other facilities, the Toledo Assembly Complex, the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant, Dundee Engine Plant and Trenton Engine Complex, also have earned bronze status. The Windsor Assembly Plant earned the silver award earlier this year and is the highest ranking plant in North America.
This morning, Chrysler announced two voluntary recall campaigns affecting an estimated 33,443 light trucks.
Both recalls are to correct issues with Tire Pressure Monitoring systems.
The first is for for 23,053 2014 Ram ProMaster vans and covers a software upgrade that helps TPM sensors recognize from which tire pressure data is coming. Without the upgrade, a warning light may falsely signal that tire pressure is low. If the light is already activated, the system may not properly alert the operator if tire pressure actually becomes low.
The second campaign covers an estimated 10,390 model year 2014 Jeep Wranglers and Grand Caravan/Town & Country minivans. A test module was inadvertently left on, which could cause inaccurate tire-pressure readings and possible false warning. The module will be disabled under the recall.
Chrysler is unaware of any injuries or accidents associated with either recall.
Owners of vehicles included in the recalls will be notified next month and advised when they may schedule service, the cost of which will be borne by Chrysler Group.
Customers with questions may call Chrysler Group’s Customer Information Center at 1-800-853-1403.
Fiat has unveiled the FCC4, a vision of a possible SUV, at the São Paolo International Auto Show that opens today at the Anhembi Park Exhibition Hall in São Palo, Brazil.
Designed by Fiat’s Latin American Design Center in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the FCC4 is described as a “four-door coupe with an adventurous soul” that explores a new design language, combining the interior comforts of a luxury sedan with a true all-wheel-drive vehicle.
The “four-door coupe” styling has become popular with European stylists and its use on the FCC4 isn’t surprising considering that Peter Fassbender, who heads the center, is German and got his start with Fiat in Italy.
An aggressive front end reminiscent of a Fiat 500 on steroids includes LEDs in the front light clusters that also serve as daytime running lights. The rear design includes asymmetrical doors.
The styling has drawn mixed reviews: sources outside the U.S. are more positive while Americans aren’t quite sure, calling it “quirky” and other things.
Fiat did not release many details about the FCC4 other than saying it is 196.9 inches long, 76.4 inches wide and 63.0 inches high. Considering the length is just 4.3 inches shorter than a Dodge Durango, this is a fairly large vehicle for a Fiat and leads one to wonder if there’s a Chrysler platform in there somewhere.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) today reported that its shipments in the third quarter, which ended September 30, rose 9.7% to 1,099,000 units and third-quarter revenues rose 13.8% to $30 billion.
Regional results were positive except in Latin America, where weak market conditions are weighing down overall worldwide growth.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were up 7.4% to $1.18 billion, short of the $1.194 billion forecast by analysts.
Net industrial debt was up 17.2% to $14.5 billion while liquidity was essentially stable at $27.7 billion. FCA’s debt has soared $5.5 billion in the first nine months of 2014: this was one of the driving forces behind the decision to spin off FCA’s holdings in Ferrari.
Net Profit was down about a million dollars in Q3.
FCA’s board of directors confirmed the full-year guidance.
“The Group’s third-quarter results demonstrate a solid performance in the face of challenging market conditions particularly in Latin America,” said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, “and we are on track to deliver on our full-year targets for 2014. With the formal creation of FCA and its debut listing on the NYSE, we have embarked on a new phase as a global company with even greater possibilities.”
|FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES FINANCIAL RESULTS
|THIRD QUARTER (Millions of Dollars)
|Profit Before Taxes
|Net Industrial Debt
|Total Available Liquidity
|Shipments (in Thousands)
|JANUARY-SEPTEMBER (Millions of Dollars)
|Profit Before Taxes
|Net Industrial Debt
|Total Available Liquidity
|Shipments (in Thousands)
At 3:00 PM Eastern Time, FCA stock was up 12.50% to $10.94. Volume was moderate with about 12.5 million shares traded.
In a move analysts have long expected, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will spin off the Ferrari brand. The action is being taken to help raise cash for the company’s five-year, $4.7 billion investment program.
It’s estimated that separating Ferrari from FCA could raise as much as $1.15 billion. FCA owns 90% of the supercar brand.
There will be an initial public offering of 10% of Ferrari’s outstanding shares, most likely on the New York Stock Exchange. The balance of FCA’s stake will be distributed among its own shareholders.
“I am delighted to have taken this additional step in the development of FCA. Coupled with the recent listing of FCA shares on the NYSE, the separation of Ferrari will preserve the cherished Italian heritage and unique position of the Ferrari business and allow FCA shareholders to continue to benefit from the substantial value inherent in this business” said John Elkann, Chairman of FCA.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne added. “Following our acquisition of the minority interest in Chrysler earlier this year, the transformation of Fiat and Chrysler into FCA was completed earlier this month with our debut on the New York Stock Exchange. As we move forward to secure the 2014-2018 Business Plan and work toward maximizing the value of our businesses to our shareholders, it is proper that we pursue separate paths for FCA and Ferrari,” Marchionne continued, “The Board supports management’s determination that this transaction represents FCA’s best course of action to support the long term success of the Group while at the same time substantially strengthening FCA’s capital base.”
Subject to regulatory approvals and other issues, the spin-off should take place next year.
Chrysler Group is voluntarily recalling an estimated 381,876 model-year 2010-2014 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups, and 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs equipped with 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engines.
The recall is to upgrade certain wiring-harness terminals and replace – if needed – the fuel-heater housing. It follows an investigation of two cases in which fuel-heater housings showed signs of overheating. Company engineers discovered a terminal connector near the fuel heater may be subject to friction-induced corrosion. This condition may lead to overheating and potential fuel leakage.
Chrysler Group is unaware of any incidents involving fire or any related injuries or accidents.
Service technicians will install new terminals made from upgraded material. Fuel-heater housings will be inspected and, if they show signs of leakage, they will be replaced.
A second recall covers 184,186 model-year 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.
Following an investigation prompted by field data, it was found that a debris cover protecting a certain circuit board may inadvertently disrupt a communication line and disable ESC.
A software upgrade restores proper communication and preserves ESC function.
Chrysler is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.
In both recalls, the work will be performed at no cost to customers.
Owners of these vehicles will be notified by Chrysler Group and advised when they may schedule service. Customers with questions may call Chrysler Group’s Customer Information Center at 1-800-853-1403.
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