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A Tale of Two Maserati's

Discussion in 'Auto News & Rumors' started by NWbyNW, Dec 19, 2017.

?

Is Maserati Meeting Your Expectations or Not?

  1. Yes

  2. No

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. somber

    somber 370,000 miles
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    You're probably right, but I wish they wouldn't. I hate the merger stuff. I'd much prefer them being in peak financial shape so they could:
    • afford to flesh out the lineups in all of the FCA brands, including Chrysler and Lancia
    • refresh each model often
    • improve quality to get FCA brands off the bottom of the industry lists
    • be better able to weather the coming downturn
    • improve dealer warranty compensation to please customers with great service
    • continue to introduce technological differentiators (e.g. Hellcat engines, Pacifica drivetrain) and to expand them across the brands
    A merger would bring in additional brands (FCA already has neglected brands) so that some brands would surely be killed off. This reduces customer choices in the marketplace. Why can't FCA just work to be the best automaker it can be with the brands it has now? The "consolidate or die" thing doesn't seem to be necessary - otherwise FCA wouldn't be making the profit it is now.
     
    Deckard_Cain and Erik Latranyi like this.
  2. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    As I have said numerous times, the same things are good for takeovers and long term viability, in this case.

    Except for higher quality.... but I think SM feels they don't have time or money for that!
     
    Deckard_Cain and somber like this.
  3. Erik Latranyi

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    If they have money for a takeover, then they have money for quality.

    FCA spending to acquire another company is like buying your child a cat when they have never taken care of their dog, goldfish nor hamster.
     
  4. 77 Monaco Brougham

    77 Monaco Brougham Active Member

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    To continue along in the vein of thinking somewhat "outside - the - box".....I suppose we should consider the possibility that a possible buy-in or acquisition would NOT NECESSARILY have to be another auto manufacturer, but rather something else that would be complimentary to FCA's existing holdings.

    Electronics?......Technology to help foster development of Hydrogen?......It could be any number of directions!

    It seems to me that Marchionne and Elkann are a lot more complicated than I give them credit for, because every time I think I have them figured out.....I realize I don't.
     
    #44 77 Monaco Brougham, Dec 26, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
    jimboy and AlfaCuda like this.
  5. AlfaCuda

    AlfaCuda Active Member

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    I understand your concerns and your thinking. However I think their strategy is driven by achieving greater economies of scale. That should save billions in development costs and given greater bargaining power with suppliers.
    Which in turn should make the company a lot more money to pursue what you have listed above.
     
  6. AlfaCuda

    AlfaCuda Active Member

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    Interesting idea. You could be right. I would guess that they definitely have an eye on new tech....which is evolving at a serious pace.
     
  7. Deckard_Cain

    Deckard_Cain Active Member

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    I think consolidating right now is the wrong move in the auto-industry. And FCA has ample evidence of this. The big auto-groups are drastically undervalued compared to smaller companies.
    Just look at Tesla's valuation. Or Ferrari's after being spinned off. It would be smarter to develop joint ventures with other manufacturers but without consolidating.
     
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  8. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    What company have they acquired?
     
  9. Erik Latranyi

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    We are talking about "if" they acquire another company.

    The track record is acquiring Chrysler and not taking care of the brands well. So, adding more brands via a future acquisition will not make them suddenly get better at taking care of the brands they have.
     
  10. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    I can't agree about their brand management. It took a while but they solidified. I might not agree with them, but Dodge has certainly been rejuvenated (in terms of profit and buyer age), Jeep is healthy esp now that the bottom feeder cars are gone — I think dropping Renegade in the US would actually help them — and their Alfa Romeo plans are good if they can carry through. It'll take a few years for Alfa to be taken seriously and they'll need top of the line quality or they will become like Infiniti, though. Maserati doesn't seem to have suffered much, even if the incentives are insanely high; they were almost dead before.

    The problem FCA has was largely created by Chrysler Corp and Daimler.

    Who decided Jeep should be watered down? That happened under Daimler.
    Who decided Chrysler should become mainstream? That happened under Chrysler Corp when they started shutting Plymouth down in the 1990s — arguably you can even blame Lido.
    Who decided Dodge should become performance/muscle? That goes back to Lido though he didn't have the brand discipline to keep it going.

    Ram seems to be doing just fine on its own.

    SM got some rather weak brands that needed hefty incentives to move at all. Now the incentives are at least on par with GM and Ford, and retail sales are way up. I might not agree with the Chrysler treatment but I know I don't have all the info. (Likewise I'd probably have dropped the Caravan by now and replaced it with the crossover, but I know he has to husband resources because there IS a stock-market collapse and recession coming soon. The evidence is simple: first, a bunch of people started saying that the current market will never fall because the rules have changed; and then a bunch of people started saying yes, there will be a hefty correction; and now they're talking about when it will take place. I think it might get masked a bit by all the stock buybacks coming from the tax cuts, though.)
     
    AlfaCuda, Deckard_Cain and jorisr like this.
  11. 77 Monaco Brougham

    77 Monaco Brougham Active Member

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    You could even go back a bit further.....to the introductions of Cordoba and LeBaron.

    As you know, Cordoba was originally to have been a Plymouth, and LeBaron was simply a badge-engineered version of Volare / Aspen.
     
    jorisr likes this.
  12. jimboy

    jimboy Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I really think Fiat/Chrysler needs to seriously consider returning to its core brand values/roots.
    Keep Chrysler as the premium large car/vehicle marque, let Dodge be the mid-size range performance oriented brand, and position Fiat as the new Plymouth, as it was, entry level, small to mid range, high value proposition vehicles. Keep Jeep as it is but drop the more entry level/non off-roading versions in favour of Fiat.
    Continue to position Alfa, Maserati, and Lancia as premium European Brands in the same categories. Maserati-large, Alfa-midsize, and Lancia as a premium small car. Promaster, Ram and Fiat professional become the working vehicles.
    IMO, this would utilize all Brands within a framework that would mostly satisfy all buyers, allow platform/ technology sharing WITHOUT brand overlap and be flexible enough to adjust to changing market conditions.
    This gives FCA 6-8 brands that should allow it to become the major player it aspires to be without further acquisitions or mergers, and to concentrate on quality and value instead of short term gains.
     

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