Fiat Chrysler ranked poorly in Consumer Reports annual Car Reliability Survey for 2016, a result that was no probably surprise to those familiar with FCA’s past performance in the review.
As Automotive News points out, FCA has been attempting to improve its quality by making changes to the leadership within its quality control sector. The automaker ousted Doug Betts from his position as head of quality following the automaker’s poor performance in CR’s 2014 Car Reliability Survey and replaced him with Matt Liddane. Then, in May, they moved Liddane to head of quality for its Magneti Marelli parts division, replacing him with Scott Garberding.
Despite these role shake-ups, however, FCA’s performance in CR’s survey has never improved. This year it was particularly bad, with FCA’s Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat and Ram brands occupying the bottom four positions in the survey. Betts, Liddane and Garberding are all “are talented executives with long, successful resumes,” according to AN, so it’s fair to conclude FCA’s quality woes can’t be chalked up to bad leadership.
AN believes some of FCA’s problems are rooted in poor supplier relations. The automaker’s tendency to make costly- last-minute decisions frustrates suppliers and leads to cut corners and it frequently rushes products to market before they are complete. This isn’t true for all of FCA’s products, but some products, such as the Dodge Dart, were essentially killed off by FCA’s desire to rush it to market.
FCA declined when asked by AN to comment on the outcome of CR’s 2016 Car Reliability survey.