Bernie's Feed
Jun 26, 2015

FCA’s Jeep delay highlights challenges to a potential merger

DETROIT (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s (FCHA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Jeep brand chief said Friday a redesign of its Grand Cherokee sport utility will be delayed by at least a year, intensifying the challenges Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne faces in his quest for a partner.

Jeep brand chief Mike Manley confirmed FCA’s decision to push back the launch of a redesigned Grand Cherokee to late 2018 or to 2019 from late 2017. That delay is one of at least a dozen current or new vehicles in North America reported by Reuters.

Jun 26, 2015

Jeep CEO: Grand Cherokee redesign pushed to 2018 or 2019, from 2017

By Bernie Woodall

CHELSEA, Mich. (Reuters) – A redesign of Jeep’s popular Grand Cherokee Sports Utility Vehicle will be delayed to late 2018 or 2019, from an initial target of 2017, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Jeep brand Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley said on Friday.

Manley said global Jeep sales are up 20 percent so far this year, which puts the SUV brand on a pace to reach 1.2 million vehicle sales for 2015. In 2014, Jeep reached 1.02 million in sales, a rise of nearly 40 percent from the previous year.

Jun 24, 2015

Ford joins rivals in ramping up pace of self-driving car tech

/DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co is joining other global automakers in stepping up efforts to roll out self-driving cars, company executives said on Tuesday.

The U.S. automaker will expand advanced safety technology, including automatic braking, across its global vehicle lineup over the next five years, they said. Such systems, the precursors of fully autonomous vehicles, enable hands-free operation of cars under certain conditions by automating such basic functions as steering, braking and throttle.

Jun 23, 2015

Ford expanding driver-assist technology across lineup

/DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it will expand automated safety technology across its global vehicle lineup over the next five years.

Ford also said that two features already available on its Mondeo sedan in Europe – one that applies brakes automatically to avoid collisions and another to detect the presence of pedestrians – will be available next year on one U.S. Ford vehicle and in most Ford products globally by 2019.

Jun 18, 2015

UAW president aims to narrow labor cost gaps at U.S. automakers

DETROIT (Reuters) – Labor costs for union workers are much lower for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles than Detroit rivals Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co, a disparity that United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams said on Thursday he wants to fix.

Fiat Chrysler (FCA) average wage and benefit costs for each production worker is about $48 per hour, compared with about $58 per hour at GM and $55 per hour at Ford, a recent study by the Center for Automotive Research found.

Jun 18, 2015

UAW president says union wants to expand healthcare pool

DETROIT (Reuters) – United Auto Workers President Dennis
Williams said on Thursday he wants to enter talks with the three
major U.S. automakers to pool active union and nonunion workers
and UAW retirees to bargain for lower healthcare costs.

Such a pool of about 900,000 people connected to Detroit’s
three automakers would not mean a single healthcare plan, but
instead a collective to wield more leverage in negotiations with
drug companies, hospitals and insurance companies, he noted.

Jun 18, 2015

UAW president: no Fiat Chrysler merger that cuts jobs

DETROIT (Reuters) – United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams said on Thursday the union has not taken a position on merger comments made by Fiat Chrysler’s chief executive, but said he would be against any plan that would cut union-represented jobs.

The union is evaluating outcomes of a possible merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with General Motors Co or any other company, Williams told a news conference at UAW headquarters in Detroit.

Jun 15, 2015

Honda recalls 1.39 mln cars with passenger-side Takata air bags

DETROIT (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co Ltd on Monday
said it will recall 1.39 million Accord and Civic model sedans
with potentially faulty front passenger-side air bags made by
Japan’s Takata Corp.

This will bring to about 2.3 million the number of Honda
cars with front passenger-side air bags made by Takata that have
been recalled, the automaker said.

Jun 15, 2015

Honda to stop making natural gas car, to rely more on fuel cells

DETROIT, June 15 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co will
introduce a new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in 2016 and stop
production of its natural gas Civic, the U.S. sales head of its
American Honda auto division said on Monday.

John Mendel, speaking with reporters in Detroit, said the
company had sold about 16,000 natural gas-fueled Civic compact
cars since 1998 in a limited sales area of the United States. He
said the falling price of gasoline relative to natural gas
helped lead Honda to deciding to drop the car.

Jun 9, 2015

Fiat Chrysler North American labor chief retires ahead of talks

DETROIT, June 9 (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
said its North American labor chief Al
Iacobelli has retired less than two months before company
negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.

Iacobelli, 55, will be replaced by Glenn Shagena, 52, FCA’s
former head of human resources in Mexico, effective immediately,
the company said on Tuesday.