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“Fake sales” accusation strongly rejected by FCA

by Bill Cawthon on

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has, after around one day, responded to a racketeering lawsuit filed by two dealerships — both of which were owned by the same group.

The dealerships claimed that FCA US paid them to report false sales, then back them out of the system, to inflate FCA’s monthly sales figures; by doing this, they could get lucrative quota payments. (see “Dealers: FCA bribed for fake sales“).


Late last night, FCA issued the following statement:

…Notwithstanding numerous requests to provide evidence of this alleged activity, the plaintiffs have refused to substantiate their claims. FCA US carried out an investigation of the facts, and has determined that these allegations are baseless and plaintiffs were notified of this fact before they filed suit.

“This lawsuit is nothing more than the product of two disgruntled dealers who have failed to perform their obligations under the dealer agreements they signed with FCA US. They have consistently failed to perform since at least 2012, and have also used the threats of litigation over the last several months in a wrongful attempt to compel FCA US to reserve special treatment for them, including the allocation of additional open points in the US FCA network.

FCA US will continue to resist these pressures, safeguarding the relationship of trust and openness which governs its relationship with its dealers. FCA finds it unfortunate and disappointing that reputable media would be willing to be used in questionable litigation practices without a full understanding of the facts.

The suit is Case No. 1:16-cv-00403 on the docket of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Long-time industry observer Tom Polcari noted that the paper trail, if this was a common practice, would have been fairly obvious.


The accusation came at a poor time for the company, as it was launching new minivans.

Brands carried by the Ed Napleton Automotive Group are Acura, Aston Martin, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Scion, Toyota, and Volkswagen, as well as Dodge, Ram, Jeep, and Chrysler.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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