Fiat Chrysler CEO says company strong enough to stand alone


DETROIT (AP) — Major job cuts or an alliance with other automakers are not in the plans for Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler, the company’s new CEO says.

Mike Manley, who took over for the late Sergio Marchionne last year, said the company downsized its workforce significantly during the global financial crisis a decade ago, and smaller cuts have been made since. So unlike crosstown rivals Ford and General Motors, he doesn’t expect any “big bang event.”

Three years ago Marchionne was shopping for a partner and said the industry needed to consolidate to better share huge capital investment costs.

But Manley said FCA is now in a different position and can go it alone. “We know we have the resources. We have the balance sheet strength,” he told reporters Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Although he’s not looking for large-scale partners, Manley said he would be foolhardy to rule out any offers.

CNN Reporter Admits the Truth About Trump's Bronx Rally, and It's Not What Democrats Want to See

Manley also said FCA realigned its North American manufacturing operation to phase out compact and midsize cars and convert the factories to SUVS and pickups, boosting its profit margins.

In a wide-ranging question-and-answer session, Manley also:

— Confirmed plans to add factory capacity to build two large 3-row Jeep SUVs that are in the works, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. He wouldn’t say where but there have been reports it will reopen a factory in Detroit. He said the additional jobs created will be significant.

— Said a pledge to get Italy’s factories up to full employment by 2021 with a 5 billion euro ($5.7 billion) investment in new cars and engine technology is being reviewed due to plans by Italy’s populist government to raise taxes on gas- and diesel-powered cars because the “environment has changed.”

— Told reporters that the company expects tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on imported steel and aluminum last year will cost the company $300 million to $350 million in 2019. The tariffs are 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

— Said the company made no admission of guilt and did not intentionally violate U.S. clean air laws, even though it settled civil lawsuits with the U.S. Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency and owners. The company agreed last week to pay about $800 million to settle claims that it programmed 104,000 diesel-powered Ram and Jeep vehicles to cheat on emissions tests. “There was absolutely no willful intent to circumvent the system,” Manley said. Federal officials allege the vehicles, made between 2014 and 2016, were equipped with diesel engines programmed to run pollution controls during lab tests that would turn off under certain conditions on the road.


Colleen Barry contributed to this report from Milan, Italy.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City