What Stellantis means for jobs, future prospects in Metro Detroit
DETROIT – What was Chrysler went to Daimler Chrysler then Fiat Chrysler and now Stellantis. The merger was announced over the weekend and the new CEO on Tuesday talked about how the enlarged company will compete. The one thing Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares, said Tuesday that should give FCA employees comfort is he doesn’t expect layoffs saying the company’s new global scale will put a shield around jobs. But the CEO says global scale provides strength to handle a lot meaning no layoffs. “I think Stellantis is at a point of strong fundamentals to do great things in the future,” said Tavares.
Stellantis CEO: New car company will protect jobs and brands
Stellantis shares start trading in New York in the new auto giant created by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot. But Tavares was confident that brands would be boosted, factories would be filled and no jobs would be lost, at least initially. “Our commitment on this merger is that we will not shut down plants as a consequence of the merger,’’ Tavares said. “I think that there’s many more things to do in our car company than just cutting costs,” he said. The PSA Group merger with Fiat Chrysler was completed on Saturday, creating the world's fourth largest car manufacturer.
Revamped Detroit auto plant to start making new Jeep by March
DETROIT – A revamped version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV with three rows of seats will roll off the assembly line this spring at a restored Detroit factory complex. Fiat Chrysler unveiled the Grand Cherokee L on Thursday and said production would start by the end of March. It hired 3,850 people to work at the company's first new auto plant in Detroit in nearly three decades. Current versions of the Grand Cherokee are now being built at FCA's Jefferson North plant in Detroit. Once Detroit Assembly is up and running, Jefferson North will be converted to build the new versions, FCA said.
Pickup truck sales remain strong during coronavirus pandemic
DETROIT – Despite the coronavirus pandemic, automakers are holding their own as pickup truck sales remain strong. Automakers can charge much more than the cost for a pickup truck. “Even though they’re going flat out, and even though they are running three shifts and they’re going as fast as they can, that was two months of production that you cannot go back and make it up," Brinley said. So that has made a difference with new players in the segment," Brinley said. The more competitive it gets, the more they’re going to bring it," Brinley said.
Ex-UAW president Dennis Williams pleads guilty in embezzlement scheme
Dennis Williams is the latest senior leader at the UAW to plead guilty in the government’s investigation of corruption in the union’s upper ranks. The probe has resulted in the convictions of 11 people, including another former president, Gary Jones, plus a late official’s spouse. But I deliberately looked away.”More than $22,000 in union money was used to rent a villa for Williams for a four-month period in 2016-17, the government said. Williams “put his personal and self-interest above that of our members and this union,” the UAW said Wednesday. Jones, who was president for about 18 months, pleaded guilty in June.
Honda, General Motors sign deal to work on vehicles together
DETROIT General Motors and Honda say they have signed a deal to explore sharing vehicle underpinnings and propulsion systems in North America. The companies say planning discussions on jointly-designed vehicles will start immediately and include vehicles powered by both electricity and internal combustion engines. Honda and GM say in a statement Thursday that they'll also cooperate on purchasing, research and connected services. In April the companies announced they would jointly develop two electric vehicles for Honda based on GM's global electric vehicle platform. The alliance would be governed by a joint committee of senior executives from both companies, the statement said.
US investigates electrical fires in 2014 Chrysler minivans
DETROIT The U.S. government's road safety agency is investigating complaints of fires in a power and charging port in some Chrysler Town and Country minivans. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has three reports of fires and one injury in minivans from the 2014 model year. The agency says owners complained of fires starting in the ports, which are mounted in a trim piece on the driver's side between the second- and third-row seats. Fiat Chrysler, which makes the minivans, says it's cooperating with the investigation. The agency will determine what caused the fires and how often they happen.
Fiat Chrysler to recall vehicles that may pollute too much
DETROIT About 1 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles with four-cylinder engines in the U.S. may spew too much pollution, and the company is working with government officials on a recall. Fiat Chrysler says in a quarterly filing with securities regulators that it found the excess pollution during internal testing of vehicles with 2.4-liter Tigershark engines. As this population ages, some vehicles exceed in-use emission requirements, depending on drive cycle and mileage, Fiat Chrysler said in a statement. The issue is not connected with any other emissions problem and the EPA does not plan any enforcement action against the company, Fiat Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said. Fiat Chrysler maintained that it didnt deliberately scheme to cheat emissions tests and the company didnt admit wrongdoing.
GM alleges Fiat Chrysler spent millions to bribe UAW leaders
GM alleges that payments were made so the officials would saddle GM with more than $1 billion in additional labor costs. GM alleged that accounts apparently exist in Gettelfingers name, and the name of a relative in Panama and Switzerland. In July, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman in Detroit tossed out GMs lawsuit that alleged that Fiat Chrysler paid off union leaders to get better contract terms than GM. In a 2019 lawsuit, GM alleged that Fiat Chrysler bribed officials of the United Auto Workers union to get lower labor costs. GM alleged that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died in 2018, wanted to pressure GM into merging by weakening it with higher costs.
General Motors targets FCA, former UAW leaders in new court filing
DETROIT General Motors appears to have adopted a scorched earth policy when it comes to its lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Bribes were paid to individuals working within GM, who then stashed them in secret overseas accounts, GM said in a court filing. GM also claims while Ashton sat as the UAWs member on the General Motors board, he acted as a paid mole, giving GM proprietary information to FCA. GM goes on to say, it was former UAW president Dennis Williams who put Ashton up to all of this. But then, General Motors brought in the name of the long retired former UAW president Ron Gettelfinger, who has to date not been involved in the scandal.
Fiat Chrysler recalls 925K older-model vehicles due to air bag issue
Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 925,000 older-model vehicles to fix an issue with air bag covers on the steering wheel. An FCA investigation discovered these vehicles are equipped with certain clips, no longer in use, that may over time loosen and disengage. Should these things happen, and there is a driver-side air bag deployment, the clips and/or plastic emblems they are meant to secure, may act as projectiles. The recall is limited to model-year 2007-2011 Dodge Nitro SUVs, and model-year 2008-2010 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans. In the interim, FCA strongly advises against tampering with the emblems, which are located in the center of the vehicles steering wheels.
FCA, Groupe PSA merger officially named Stellantis
DETROIT The merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Groupe PSA (PSA Peugeot) has born a new name: Stellantis. Actually, its officially STELL/\NTIS, a name rooted in the Latin verb stello meaning to brighten with stars, according to the automakers joint news release on Wednesday. FCA and PSA announced in December they signed a binding merger deal creating the worlds fourth-largest auto company with the scale to confront the challenges of stricter emissions regulations and the transition to new driving technologies. The companies said the new group will be led by PSAs cost-cutting CEO Carlo Tavares, with Fiat Chryslers chairman John Elkann as chairman of the merged company. Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley will stay on, but it was not announced in what capacity.
Appeals court: CEOs of General Motors, Fiat Chrysler dont have to meet to settle lawsuit
DETROIT General Motors is suing Fiat Chrysler for an alleged bribery scheme involving the United Auto Workers (UAW). A federal judge hearing the case wanted the companys CEOs to sit down and hash out a deal. READ: General Motors appeals ruling in FCA lawsuit after judge tells CEOs to make a dealGM filed a racketeering lawsuit against FCA and its now deceased CEO Sergio Marchionne last November. On June 23, a district judge ordered that CEOs Mary Barra of GM and Michael Manley of FCA to meet in person, without legal counsel. They were ordered to personally report back to the district judge on July 1 on their progress on settling the case.
Stabbing at FCA assembly plant in Sterling Heights under investigation
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. Officials said two employees stabbed each other at an FCA assembly plant in Sterling Heights. The stabbings occurred when the two employees got into an argument. Police did not say what the argument was regarding. One of the employees is in critical condition. Click here for more local crime reports
Why the startling drop in auto sales may not be as bad as it looks
DETROIT Two thirds of the Big Three have released their second quarter sales numbers and they are not good. GMs year-over-year-sales were down 34%, selling nearly 500,00 vehicles; and it was even worse for FCA with its second quarter sales falling 39%, selling 367,000 vehicles. Analysts expected numbers to drop amid COVID-19, but not this much. GM sold 17 million vehicles in 2019 and is excepted to be closer to 13 million in 2020. Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs said fleet sales should pick up to make for a good year.
General Motors appeals ruling in FCA lawsuit after judge tells CEOs to make a deal
DETROIT General Motors is suing Fiat Chrysler for an alleged bribery scheme involving the United Auto Workers (UAW). The federal judge hearing the case wants the companys CEOs to sit down and hash out a deal. But GM CEO Mary Barra is not interested in that. GM filed a racketeering lawsuit against FCA and its now deceased CEO Sergio Marchionne last November. READ: UAW president steps down as GM sues rival over union bribery
Checking in with Metro Detroit auto plants 3 weeks after reopening
WARREN, Mich. Three weeks ago, the Big Three automakers in Metro Detroit -- Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler -- reopened their parts and assembly plants. Auto workers are trying to tread carefully and avoid spreading COVID-19. The Warren Truck Plant continues working two shifts per day, and the new protocols have caused many changes. While everyone is trying to get their feet under them, the industry as a whole appears to be ready for a comeback. Meanwhile, for car and truck buyers, the shutdown caused inventory shortages, so dealers are doing what they can to deal with that issues.
Metro Detroits Big Three automakers restart production after being shut down for months
DETROIT Metro Detroits Big Three automakers -- General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler -- have restarted production after being shut down for nearly two months because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). FCA officials showed Local 4 the work being done inside the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant to mitigate the spread of the virus. Local 4 spoke with current and retired workers to see if they feel safe going back to work. Thats what Im worried about.Ford is using technology to keep workers safe, having them wear watches that vibrate when they get too close to each other. Ford CEO Jim Hackett said the last couple of months have convinced him a reopening can be done safely.
How first day of reopening went for Ford, GM, FCA autoworkers in Metro Detroit
DETROIT Thousands of Metro Detroit autoworkers were back on the job Monday as Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler assembly plants started rolling again. At the Warren Truck Assembly Plant, UAW line workers were pleasantly surprised. It fogs your glasses up, but were going to be alright.It was safe, said Moses Brooks, of UAW Local 600. Arnett Weatherspoon, of UAW Local 140, said the first day went smoothly at the Warren Truck Plant, but he still has concerns. The second shift workers at the Ford F-150 plant were also in line getting ready for their shift.
FCA worker reports cough, continues to work, tests positive for COVID-19, employee says
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. A worker with Fiat Chrysler said she feels unsafe on the job after returning back to the plant. A co-worker reported a cough on her health questionnaire and she continued to work before she tested positive for coronavirus. The UAW said if an member is afraid to go back, they will work with that member on a case by case basis. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration said anyone with safety concerns about their work place should make a report with the state. She said FCA is offering that employees who are afraid to come in can take a leave of absence and not get paid.
WATCH: DTE Energy implodes old Detroit power plant
DETROIT – DTE Energy demolished the old Conners Creek Power Plant in Detroit on Friday. The demolition will take place via the explosive felling process, which uses strategic explosives to bring down a structure in a controlled manner, DTE Energy says. “Conners Creek Power Plant played an important role in the growth of Detroit and is an integral part of DTE’s history,” said Trevor Lauer, president and COO, DTE Electric. History of Conners Creek Power PlantConners Creek Power Plant, which came online in 1915, generated the energy needed for the City to take its hold as an industrial powerhouse. Conners Creek Power Plant has long played another important role – as a navigational marker for both watercraft and airplanes.
DTE Energy to implode old Detroit power plant swapped in FCA land deal
DETROIT – DTE Energy will demolish the old Conners Creek Power Plant in Detroit on Friday, a piece of the land exchange made with the city to make room for a new Fiat Chrysler plant. The demolition will take place via the explosive felling process, which uses strategic explosives to bring down a structure in a controlled manner, DTE Energy says. “Conners Creek Power Plant played an important role in the growth of Detroit and is an integral part of DTE’s history,” said Trevor Lauer, president and COO, DTE Electric. History of Conners Creek Power PlantConners Creek Power Plant, which came online in 1915, generated the energy needed for the City to take its hold as an industrial powerhouse. Conners Creek Power Plant has long played another important role – as a navigational marker for both watercraft and airplanes.
Costs of GM deal could make talks with Ford, FCA difficult
That pattern means the UAW will use the GM deal as a template in its talks with Ford, and Fiat Chrysler after that. Both Ford and Fiat Chrysler have more new hires than GM, so the raises will be more expensive for the crosstown rivals, especially Fiat Chrysler. GM has just over 17,000 of the "in-progression" workers, but Ford has 18,500 and FCA has over 20,000. CAN FORD AND FIAT CHRYSLER CHANGE THE PATTERN? It largely depends on how far Ford or Fiat Chrysler want to depart from the GM agreement.