As FCA boss Sergio Marchionne delivered his final business strategy presentation as CEO of the global automaker today, he forewent his usual, trademark sweater and donned a necktie – something he promised to do if Fiat Chrysler was by then successful in wiping out its net industrial debt. In truth, the necktie was a tad premature; as Automotive News Europe reports, the CEO said at today’s Investor Day presentation that its last outstanding debts will be paid off by the end of June.
He’s retiring. We’ll give him this one.
Marchionne announced a $10.5-billion investment into electrification – an out-of-character move for the automaker, which previously seemed averse to big spending on EV technology – and plenty else beside. The automaker’s Alfa Romeo brand, for instance, will introduce two new sportscars – an 8C and a GTV – and two new SUVs as it aims for 400k annual sales and a 10-percent operating margin by 2022. Further helping Alfa meet those goals will be a renewed focus on the Chinese market, where the brand will bring out new long-wheelbase sedans.
Tim Kuniskis, who leads FCA’s Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, says the 8C will serve as an “aspirational” supercar, and the GTV a more attainable sporty offering. The 8C will have a carbon-fiber chassis with a mid-mounted twin-turbo engine capable of around 700 horsepower, with 0-to-60 occurring in a brief 3 seconds. Conversely, the GTV, which we suspect will be built on the Giulia sedan’s Giorgio platform, have seating for four, propelling itself with a 600-horsepower engine and torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive.
Maserati has in mind the more modest goal of reaching 100k sales per year by 2022, thanks in part to a new midsize crossover that’ll sit below the Levante in the lineup, and the long-anticipated Alfieri sportscar. The latter will have three powertrain options, including a plug-in-hybrid one capable of rocketing the car to 60 mph in two seconds, Kuniskis says. Both a coupe and a cabriolet will be available.
Arguably even more important for FCA are its American-born Jeep and Ram brands. Jeep is getting set to launch nine new products by 2022 and enter three new market segments, including with an A-segment (supermini) crossover for some global markets. A new three-row version of the Grand Cherokee is on the way for North America, as are the long-awaited Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. All of its vehicles will offer electrified powertrains by 2022, with ten plug-in-hybrid models, and four pure-electric ones.
All these additions could help the Jeep brand meet its long-term goal of capturing 20 percent of the global utility market.
Ram, meanwhile, is gunning for 30-percent growth in global sales – enough to make it the No. 2 commercial vehicle brand in North America. FCA confirmed today that the rugged, capable Ram Rebel TRX – a concept for which was shown back in 2015 – will hit the market by 2022 to take on the Ford F-150 Raptor. Also on the agenda is a new mid-size pickup truck offering, and on the commercial vehicle side, the small Ram ProMaster City van will receive a redesign, although the larger ProMaster will not.
(Source: Automotive News Europe)