Fiat will produce new Jeep, Fiat at Melfi plant

With Italian Prime Minister Mario Monte watching, Fiat Group Chairman John Elkann and Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced plans to build a new Jeep and a new Fiat at the plant in Melfi, Italy. Production will begin in 2014.

Following an investment of more than $1.3 billion, Melfi will be one of the most advanced assembly plants in the world. The changes and improvements have already begun.

Those upgrades include modifications to accommodate the new modular Small Wide platform that easily be adapted to produce larger vehicles. The platform is already compliant with U.S. standards meaning that vehicles produced at the Melfi plant will be export ready without for further modifications.

The first of the two new models will be a Jeep that marks the brand’s entrance into a new market segment. Melfi will be the only plant in the world to produce this model, which will be sold worldwide. Melfi will also build the 500X, which is larger, more spacious and more capable than the 500L launched three months ago.

Once the plant upgrades are complete, Melfi will have increased flexibility with the ability to produce up to four different models on the same assembly line.

Total production capacity based on three shifts will be 1,600 vehicles per day

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CR and FCA quality


Many people regard Consumer Reports as the last word in car reliability, despite problems with CR’s methods and an attitude which leads to cease-and-desist letters for posting pages like this one.

The current guide was headlined by Buick’s rise to #3, but the secondary story was FCA brands anchoring the bottom, along with Tesla.

What happened?

FCA can counter CR with good scores in J.D.

Read the full story: CR and FCA quality  »

Envisioning the 2018 Jeep Cherokee

For the next Jeep Cherokee, Susan Rand and “DarkSky” considered what the phrase “a more traditional front that is still unique” might mean. Sources claimed that the body would remain essentially unchanged.

Since the “headlights below the DRLs” aspect of the current Cherokee is the most radical change from the norm, both renderings swap the two positions, putting the headlights up high, with integral DRLs, parking lights in a separate area,

Read the full story: Envisioning the 2018 Jeep Cherokee  »

Ram: King of Canadian trucks

Ram-Canadian Truck King

For the third time in a row, the Ram 1500 has been crowned the overall winner of the Canadian Truck King Challenge.

The tenth annual Canadian Truck King Challenge, run in Ontario but including seven judges from across Canada, includes real-world evaluations covering nearly 4,000 km, during which payload is tested up to 4,000 pounds, towing is tested up to 15,000 pounds, and off-road capability is assessed.

There were eleven pickups entered into the Canadian Truck King Challenge competition,

Read the full story: Ram: King of Canadian trucks  »

FCA profits shot up — driven by US


FCA’s adjusted operating profits shot up in the third quarter, with profits in North America rising from 6.7% of sales a year ago to 7.6% of sales. North America once again drove profits for FCA as a whole, but the Europe/Africa/Middle East region returned to profitability.

Net income went from a $420 million loss in the third quarter of 2015 to a net profit of roughly $660 million in this past quarter.  

Read the full story: FCA profits shot up — driven by US  »

Ram leading in van growth

With a nearly 47% year-over-year increase as of the end of September, Ram leads the market in commercial van sales.

Nine months into 2016, Ram has sold 39,214 ProMasters — 26,544 full-size ProMasters and 12,649 compact ProMaster Citys.

In September, monthly sales of Chevrolet and Ford vans fell, while Ram van deliveries were up more than 10%. The big ProMaster outsold every full-size van that didn’t wear a blue oval or a bow tie.

Read the full story: Ram leading in van growth  »

CR and FCA quality

Envisioning the 2018 Jeep Cherokee
Ram-Canadian Truck King
Ram: King of Canadian trucks
FCA profits shot up — driven by US

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