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Germany to ban Jeeps, Fiats?

by Bill Cawthon on

German newspaper Bild am Sonntag wrote that Germany could move to ban sales of Jeeps and other Fiat Chrysler autos, according to  Automotive News.

FCA and the German government are at odds over diesel engine emissions; FCA maintains that its engines meet all requirements, and Germany is, according to some critics, fiercely protecting Volkswagen by attacking other companies.

Jeep-Duel

Germany is responsible for over a fifth of the European Union’s light vehicle sales, including 14,819 new Jeeps last year (18% of all new EU Jeep registrations).

A report from Reuters noted that FCA chose to cancel a meeting with German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt last Thursday. Dobrindt responded by complaining to Reuters about “uncooperative behavior” which was “completely incomprehensible.”

Italian Transport Minister Graziano Delrio said the German transport ministry should have worked with Italian authorities instead of going directly to FCA. Normally, each country certifies their own automakers.

The struggle comes after Volkswagen (including Audi, Porsche, and other brands) was found to have deliberately cheated on emissions rules, installing computer code that detected testing regimens, so it could cut emissions only while being tested. Other companies have taken advantage of loopholes in the law, but none appear to have been as deliberate. The “emissions defeat device” appears to have been created by Audi over a decade ago; affected diesels were banned by the US, and a “fix” for Europe has been criticized though it was approved by the German government.

FCA stock has fallen by 33¢ (around 5%) this morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

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 just-auto.com, 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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