Discussion in 'Mopar News' started by Clark, May 5, 2020.
Ive watched several of his videos, he does some interesting stuff.
That's awesome...I'm never getting rid of my '06 300 now...I can make it a Scat Pack or even Hellcat 300. Cool.
I do think FIAT et al has done better than anyone would have thought.
The issue of old product:
While the Asian makes continue to crank out more and more sissified CUVs that are all alike the better I like the fact that Chrysler alone gives people in the US affordable performance. The “new” product from the Asian makers is such a bore, so dull to drive and look at, the fact that it’s new, is irrelevant. The Camry has been nipped and tucked so many times it looks like an aging Hollywood Ex-starlet. Every time one of their CUVs gets re done it gets bigger, more swollen and over complex. NOT more exciting. Yet every time I see a Challenger or Charger I get a great feeling. I guess it’s just me. Old school. Whatever please FCA do NOT euro-ize or Asian-ize these cars!!!!!
It is all about cash-flow. As is Ferrari. And it is - Agnelli/EXOR - in control.
They wanted to get their ''foot in the door" in the U.S. market(check). They wanted to get their hands on the U.S. Pickup/truck market(check). They had every intention of becoming a global force in the auto market (Jeep goes a long ways in the right direction). All big prizes!
They weren't in trouble. Quite the opposite. And all kinds of money was put into bolstering the American Brands. Perhaps, with this current quarterly report, if FIAT wasn't tied to Chrysler - the argument could be made..
Some believe FIAT is shoddy or poor quality (here in the U.S.) because they aren't selling. Not the case at all. It's appeal not quality (and they do, indeed, appeal to a few people). Worldwide FIAT appeals to a great many.
Remember, it is (purportedly) FIAT who purchased Ferrari.
It is business. FCA is being run more like a business than Chrysler et al has been for a while. With the culture, UAW, and the U.S. market - auto manufacturers have their challenges. Overall, FCA seems to be negotiating the challenges.
What Ferrari teaches us is quite simple. The people with $$ will pay. But don't cut corners.
As GM and Ford seem to be "crash-landing," FCA (by extension of the larger corporate structure) seems to have other priorities. In the grand scheme, FIAT and Alfa Romeo don't have to do well in the U.S.(wait..what?).
I think a lot of folks may...without even realizing... take the ideas of "quality" and "appeal", and somehow merge these two into only ONE idea.
Just my US$ 0.02
I remember seeing someone in Orlando with a 1st gen minivan that had bolted the fenders, hood, grille, and dash of the 2nd gen onto the 1st gen body. I was so confused when I looked at that car.
Most of the changes in the LX were tuning and interior. The character of the cars is pretty different. The actual platform, maybe not so much. You might be able to swap suspensions, but the suspensions are most of what changed (and the interiors and electronics).
Platforms don't need to change for the car to change. Heck, look at the various K-cars. Or the old Plymouth vs Imperial; you could interchange an awful lot of parts, the basic designs were very similar.
Cordoba, GTX, Road Runner, and plain Belvedere were all the same platform...very different feel and performance...
Belvedere was non-isolated B body and were most Road Runners, Chargers, and GTXs
73 and up all B bodies (including the last GTX, Raod Runners and Chargers) were isolated B body design. This last permutation of the B body was what underpinned the Cordoba.
Non-isolated B body handled better and weighed less. Isolated B body offered a better ride and less NVH - at the expense of some extra weight and slightly compromised handling.
I think the best thing for FCA-Peugeot is for them to carry on as 3 separate entities that share and develop engineering. Period. Like Nissan and Renault-ish. All three 'companies' have different markets, and different strengths. Take advantage of that mobility to craft your product specific to the demographic market targeted. Big Chrysler's for N/A, fuel efficient Fiats for Brazil, India, and Peugeot does what they do. The only commonality would be basic engineering shared by all. Easy Eh?
I'll spare everyone my rant. Now we have PSA to deal with, oh boy.
Data shows that Fiat’s issue in North America can best be described as an image vacuum: FCA’s failing to convince a sufficient number of N.A. buyers that Fiat quality had improved from where it left off, allowed old perceptions to creep in to fill that “vacuum.”
Time and time again we see a consistent hierarchy in auto buyers’ priorities: (1) quality, (2) safety, (3) value/practicality, (4) styling, (5) fun/performance...etc. The majority of buyers expect automakers to satisfy these needs in that exact order.
For its N.A. relaunch, FCA focused Fiat on (4) and (5) assuming—perhaps based on executives’ overseas perceptions— that (1) through (3) were already covered. While that may be true on other markets, they wrongly assumed that to be the case here. The end result was like trying to build a high rise on a foundation of wooden pylons: eventually the entire edifice was bound to collapse. Collapsing sales are only the outcome of a poorly launched brand.
Unwittingly, FCA has written the text book on how not to relaunch a brand.
BTW, Alfa Romeo is on similar tenuous ground. Although AR’s brand image is undeniably stronger than Fiat’s, it left North America under a similar cloud. Unless Alfa Romeo can dispel past quality perceptions, it won’t take much for these to creep back in the moment owners experience the most trivial quality issues.
Apparently Tavares understands this well. One of the first issues he addressed at PSA was precisely the perception of quality. Peugeot has been winning quality awards; sales and profits are up. Hopefully he will bring that mindset with him.
True enough. Of note, the isolated B body came at just the right time to be totally wrong for the gas-crisis 1970s! If they had kept the old design, they would have been competitive with GM's new, lighter bodies.
The new Fiats' quality scores were abysmal, which did not help. Part of that was likely perception but part was, from what I'm told, quite real.
No doubt. However, convincing even a fraction of buyers that Fiat builds quality products could make all the difference between ranking “below industry average” and being “dead last.”
It would have gone a long way for Fiat if they offered a 10-year bumper to bumper warranty ala Hyundai from the beginning. It would have also helped to make service at the Studio similar to what you find at a luxury marquee like Lexus.
Fiat offers a 4-year bumper-to-bumper warranty in the US. But hardly anyone knows about it.
The goal for establishing separate Fiat Studios was precisely to avoid being “tarnished” by the crummy customer service of the established CDJR dealers. However, the plan was poorly executed: Fiat dealers now rank at the bottom in customer satisfaction, too.
Alfa Romeo dealers don’t look much better:
Thirty years ago Lexus showed that the success of a new dealer franchise rests on (1) a stringent dealer selection process and (2) thorough dealer training. Clearly Alfa Romeo has failed on both counts.
The fact that quality dealers were not willing to commit to high standards for Alfa Romeo should have told them that Alfa had no chance here. If you can't convince dealers, how will you convince buyers?
And for the mainstream, again, OUCH. Did you notice who was above Fiat? Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, in that order. Chrysler at least was tops. No surprise, they have a uniformly medium-to-high price tag. Dealers are used to treating Chrysler people well and not understanding Jeep people.
Tavares knows what quality is and how to get it.
Everyone was offering a 4-year bumper-to-bumper warranty in the US. They needed something to set themselves apart and market it. Fiat failed at marketing a quality vehicle with a warranty to back it up. Let's hope CDJR learns from the Fiat mistakes.