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FCA made money in North America, lost everywhere else?

Discussion in 'Mopar News' started by Clark, May 5, 2020.

  1. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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    Yeah, how exactly does the consumer punish a bad dealer when all the local dealers try to one-up each other in how bad they treat you? I would say that our Buick dealer down in Smyrna is the best of the bunch. The one in Elkton is not so good. The Carman Ford dealer wasn’t too bad. The Carman and Newark CDJR dealers are equally the worst of the bunch.

    I haven’t set foot in any of them in about a year since I’ve been taking our fleet...including the Audi...to an independent shop. If I could buy cars from that mechanic I absolutely would. They’re ALWAYS nice, they actually say hello! (Amazing, right?). If they don’t fix something right the first time, they make sure it gets fixed and they treat it as a priority. And I’ve gotten at least 4 loaner vehicles now, free of charge. They’re old beaters, but they’re better than nothing and I’m extremely grateful. They even offered to deliver my Mustang to me last week, but I was able to get over there to pick it up. I’ve NEVER once been given a loaner at any of the actual dealerships I’ve used going all the way back to 1998. They’ve always been in use or I didn’t purchase so-and-so contract so I couldn’t get one...they never even offered to help get a rental. I never asked the guys at the independent shop, they offer each time I go in there. I don’t expect it, and only use it when absolutely necessary...I don’t want to use it when someone else might need it more than I do. They make you feel like they actually want your business...so I give them all of ours.
     
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  2. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Living in Southern California I had my pick of CDJR dealers within a 25 mile radius. Some were good, some were not. In time I found an excellent one, Glenn E Thomas in Long Beach, and stayed with them for 10+ years until I moved.

    Unfortunately, we only have one CDJR dealer in this town...and it sucks. The next other one is 20 miles away; it is somewhat better. Thankfully, it also holds a Fiat franchise.

    I doubt I will ever set foot again at my local CDJR dealership. I traveled far to buy my current two vehicles: got the JL 1,000 miles away in Salt Lake City and the Spider 125 miles away in Tacoma —in fact, this particular Fiat was 300 miles away in Portland, but the salesman at Fiat of Tacoma offered to sell it to me to cut my travel in half. It worked out great.

    I got my Tacoma pickup at the local Toyota dealer, 3 miles from my house. I’d buy from them again if I were on the market for a Toyota.
     
  3. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    With a few exceptions we tend to keep our vehicles until the body falls apart or a major component fails that makes it not worth fixing. In most cases the engine and transmission were fine, but either the body was rusted out or another component failed. I remember parking the '92 Acclaim at 302K mile due to a leaky heater core. Yes, the core is relatively cheap, but it would have been time consuming or expensive labor wise to replace. Plus it was in the middle of winter. My fix was buying a '90 Acclaim for $300. The '90 last another 110K miles before I bought my Ram. Even then I held onto the Acclaim for a few more years. Shouldn't gotten rid of it - It was still getting 25 mpg on average though it did look like crap due to peeling clear coat.
     
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  4. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Marchionne’s reasoning was that the forces of supply and demand would reward and punish dealers.

    Yeah, right. Just like “trickle-down economics” was supposed to help those at the bottom...
     
  5. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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    Rewarding good vs bad dealers only works when you have a certain degree of choice between good & bad dealers in your area. In some areas there may only be one or two CDJR dealers. If both are awful, it’s just going to drive (no pun intended) consumers to other brands in the area...assuming they’re not terrible too. With what I’ve seen over the past few years, customer service is indeed a lost art and you end up accepting terrible service because there is no choice. I think the automotive dealer networks of all brands could really use some in-depth customer service training...and a healthy purging of shiiiiiii....um....dead wood. :D
     
  6. mopar22

    mopar22 Well-Known Member

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    Sadly that's not always the case. Our best dealer near us got shut down when fca went to cutting certain dealers in an x amount of miles. Since then all our dealers have got worse
     
  7. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    If that was true now, it would have been true from 1920 through 2009... and obviously was not.
     
  8. BASONE88

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    Again, Alfa Romeo and FIAT don't have to do well in the U.S.. True enough, scores have dropped since the merger. (But) "since" isn't universally interchangeable with "because of."

    Let's just agree that when/while FCA became a thing, the company also changed tack. Right, wrong, or indifferent.

    Notice (or ask yourself if you believe) the brands towards the bottom of the list are more or less focused toward their chief aim. (And) less accommodating to the masses. Also, you might correlate the length of time a manufacturer has been in the U.S..

    Not saying the company doesn't have its problems..generally or specifically. All manufacturers do. And every car dealer is susceptible to the complaints we all have.
     
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  9. tabutler

    tabutler Active Member

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    Alfa Romeo was supposed to be a major global brand for FCA. Alfa has not only fallen on its face in North America but also in China. Marchionne was counting on China being a big market for Alfa. From what I can find in 2019 Alfa sold 54,365 in Europe. It doesn't look like that large Alfa gamble is paying off. The investment in Chrysler or Dodge would have gone much further.
     
  10. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Don't compare a long term liability to a short term profit.
    The item to look at (to compare to current profits) is the current (not total) benefit liability.
    Current: 534 million Euro
    Total: 9163 million Euro.
     
  11. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    But yes, Alfa had to do well in US and China. That's where the volume was. Don't fall for the "it's about margin, not about volume" because without reasonable volume, margins shrink or disappear.

    The idea that Fiat and Alfa tend towards the bottom because of a specially focused lineup doesn't hold water.
    Look at where Mini is compared to Fiat.
    Look at where Porsche is compared to Alfa Romeo.
     
  12. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    According to those charts, Genesis is kicking it in product quality; it’s getting kicked in customer service. This pretty much reflects Hyundai’s focus on product quality and relative indifference towards dealer service.

    Hyundai completely botched the Genesis dealer selection process, reversing course three times in the first six months following launch. This weakness on the dealer side won’t matter much while Hyundai establishes itself on the market as a “budget” luxury make. But it will come to bite them when growth slows and Hyundai tries to compete head on with established luxury brands, who have a reputation for impeccable customer service. Worse, at this rate Genesis may fail to help Hyundai shake off its budget brand reputation, which ultimately was the whole point of launching Genesis in the first place.

    Customer service is a big deal in luxury. It is one of the key elements that helps luxury brands justify their price premium.
     
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  13. MJAB

    MJAB Well-Known Member

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    I didn't compare a long term liability to a a economic-financial annual balance.

    It has to be taken in account also the total one, it doesn't go in the annual economic-finacial balance, but has a great relevance.
    It is a liability on a underfunded Chrysler LLC's pension fund, it was even bigger than the price that Fiat Group paid for Chrysler LLC.

    When Fiat Group boughts Chrysler LLC, it also bougth the debts that were on finacial statements at that times, but also the obligations on underfunded pensions fund.
    There was also a debate on financial world at which level of % of Chrysler LLC acquisition of shares that obligation would legally (U.S.A. laws) be transferred on the whole Fiat Group.
    The new Fiat Chrysler faces a rougher road than most think (at https://fortune.com/2014/02/05/the-new-fiat-chrysler-faces-a-rougher-road-than-most-think/ )

    The subject is so relevant, that in PSA - GM deal the pensions fund was the subject that was near to stop the deal. Each European Union country has different pensions obligation in charge of the company, very different ones.

    Financial Times - february 23, 2017 - " How GM’s European pension shortfalls might affect PSA deal.Calculations of ‘hellishly large’ underfunding runs into the billions of dollars"
    Subscribe to read | Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/4f4efa8c-f99e-11e6-9516-2d969e0d3b65 )

    "March 06, 2017 - General Motors sells subsidiary but will retain most pension fund responsibility"
    General Motors sells subsidiary but will retain most pension fund responsibility (at https://www.pionline.com/article/20170306/ONLINE/170309900/general-motors-sells-subsidiary-but-will-retain-most-pension-fund-responsibility )

    I really don't understand this aptitude, and I am not saying this to You, of negation of the role of Fiat Group, also in financial-economic part.

    At the time it was easier, a most convenient from a point of view of many, to wait and buy what was of most interest in a bankruptcy procedure of Chrysler LLC company with zero liabilities.
     
    #93 MJAB, May 13, 2020
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  14. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    PSA got a nasty shock when they took over Opel's pension fund liabilities from GM - they are now being extra careful that FCA doesn't have the same kind of skeletons hidden in a closet.

    FCA's pensions obligation is worrying, as servicing it eats up most of the profits made in the US market (something that would be worth remembering next time anyone asks why, when FCA US is rolling in money, that it doesn't invest as much in new product). However, they are at least honest about having the obligation, and honest about its size.
     
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  15. T_690

    T_690 Well-Known Member

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    They got the ones in Germany. But much larger in UK had stayed with GM.

    If anyone has wondered how PSA could turnaround Opel than pension liabilities are the answer.
     
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  16. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    One part of the answer, anyway...

    It's true enough that the way many people deal with pension liabilities is - ignore them. Worked for Chris Christie for eight years! (And for some of those years, he literally budgeted zero for pensions.)
     
  17. Milkman123

    Milkman123 Active Member

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    About to pull the trigger on a 2018 Civic LX 2.0 manual. $12,999 with about 30,000km on it.

    Chrysler didn't even have an option to compete with at all let alone in the price point. Dealership including the 7yr 160,000km warranty at half cost on top of that.

    Good bye Mopar. I'd like to say it's sad but it's really not. I have no faith in Chrysler's lower end products and the wife will never let me spend $60,000 plus on a car.

    Unless I buy a pre 1972 project, done with Mopar.

    Just can't decide if I want to waste time trying to get more than a couple hundred bucks scrapping the 2010 SXT. It's still fixable I just can't be bothered to spend my time sweat and money for a car that's a total dog and pig. Usually cars are one or the other, I felt mine was both.
     
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  18. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    FCA is losing lots of car buyers. It simply has nothing to offer to them.

    Civics are great cars; the magazines love the current platform. The Honda 2.0 and manual transmission are supposed to be gems.

    Good luck.
     
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  19. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Is it all pension-related, or are there healthcare obligations as well?
     
  20. Milkman123

    Milkman123 Active Member

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    It's nice to be buyinv with no emtion attached to the purchase.

    Other than that this is a pretty disappointing purchase, I love cars (or I used to)but hate the industry. The Civic or Corolla are the only inexpensive options I have any faith in buying. No way I'm paying $40,000+ for the current offerings from Fiat. I don't trust their $20,000 cars to make it a block past warranty.
     

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