Marchionne did it...again ! - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-07-2014, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Marchionne did it...again !

Hi all.

A few days ago Marchionne presented the new, very ambitious, plan for the Fiat (or FCA) Group. The Italian stock exchange didn't believe him and the title lost 11+% in one day ! Why ?
Because this is the 9th plan in the last 10 years ! No one was completed.

The 1st is dated 2004: "The new Fiat Group: a committment to execution". He promised 10 new models in three years.

After one year a new plan: 17 new models + 13 restylings in four years and 10 billion Euro on investments.

2006, third plan: the billion go up to 16, the models go down to 15, but 5 will be new Alfa Romeos (only two will be produced + the 8c Competizione).

2009, 4th and 5th plans: the 5th is spectacular 'Piano per l'Italia'. 30 new models in two years and 8 billion Euro of investments !

2010, 6th plan..even better ! it is the infamous 'Fabbrica Italia': 20 billion Euro of investments in Italy so to triplicate the Italian production of cars. Along with Chrysler the plan is to sell 6 million cars in the world and call for 47 new models.
The plan created a fracture among the Unions: two of the three main ones believed Marchionne and subscribed agreements strongly limiting the rights of the workers, the third one, the biggest one, resisted and was kicked out of the door. Unfortunately, the excluded Union was right: after 14 months the plan is retired by Marchionne. Less than 1 billion Euro was invested in Italy.

Marchionne presents the ways more modest 7th plan: two new SUVs to be produced...but the SUVs will never arrive.

30th October 2012, 8th plan: the target for sales goes down from 6 million cars to 4.6 and the new models from 47 to 30. No indication regarding the billion to be invested this time...

Now the new (9th) plan....

In 10 years Marchionne over programmed the development of the Group and obtained its decline.
He reached less than 50% of the objectives of his plans. 33 new models out of 64 and 4.4 million cars (including the IVECO trucks) instead of 6 million produced every year.

During 2013, in Europe 11,900,000 new cars have been sold. The Fiat Group sold 6.1% of that figure, but if you take away the sales in Italy, the % in the rest of Europe is 3.3% only.

To satisfy the request of Fiat Group's cars in all of Europe, including Italy, it would be enough the Polish factory of Tychy, which can produce 800,000 cars a year.

The day this Italo-Canadian-Swiss-whatever manager will be kicked out of the Group will be a great day for the Italian cars industry.

ciao
Mauro

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post #2 of 16 Old 05-08-2014, 03:07 PM
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We like to call it "The Roving Ten-Year Plan"...

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post #3 of 16 Old 05-08-2014, 03:21 PM
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Just out of curiosity, what's the ownership proportion between Fiat and Chrysler and what was it between MB and Chrysler?

Mergers and acquisitions are to my limited experience the most complicated ventures. When very capable and big corporations like the above struggle with it - I guess it goes to show that as a CEO, you must have the utmost respect, knowledge and preparation.

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post #4 of 16 Old 05-10-2014, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Ciao Capo, Fiat owns 100% of Chrysler, after having bought the last 40% from the Veba fund at the beginning of the year.
Mauro

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post #5 of 16 Old 05-17-2014, 01:25 PM
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Plan number 9 does not look encouraging either as far as the Italian brands are concerned.

Alfa's looks particularly suspect and I doubt very much if the models laid out come to fruition. The Giulia has been delayed so many times it is ridiculous and it has been nearly 10 years now since Alfa ceased production of the 166 and left the large saloon market to the Germans and Jaguar. How Marchionne thinks he is going to attract customers to the current Alfa dealer network is beyond me, certainly in the UK. The new dealers they did sign up with promises of lots of new models to sell have been let down badly and it's amazing they car ry on when they only have the MiTo and Guilietta to sell at the lower end of the market. The way the marketing and selling of the 4C has been handled is a joke.

The Fiat plan is very short on substance and relies far too heavily upon the 500. Fiat used to have a vast range of models that included affordable and stylish sports cars but none of these have been followed up with new models. Marchionne signed a deal with Mazda to spin a new Alfa spyder from the next MX5 but at the 11th hour decides all Alfas need to be made in Italy and quickly decides the joint venture car will now become an Abarth. No wonder investors don't believe him.

And the rich history of poor old Lancia has been totally squandered by inept Fiat management. You can't help feeling that if VW had got hold of either Alfa or Lancia, or both, we'd now have a range of good quality cars to choose from from both manufacturers.

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Last edited by iainuk; 05-18-2014 at 01:28 AM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-17-2014, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maurodev View Post
"The new Fiat Group: a committment to execution"
Perhaps he should have been!

Best wishes, John
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-19-2014, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by iainuk View Post
Plan number 9 does not look encouraging either as far as the Italian brands are concerned.
Alfa's looks particularly suspect and I doubt very much if the models laid out come to fruition. The Giulia has been delayed so many times it is ridiculous and it has been nearly 10 years now since Alfa ceased production of the 166 and left the large saloon market to the Germans and Jaguar. How Marchionne thinks he is going to attract customers to the current Alfa dealer network is beyond me, certainly in the UK. The new dealers they did sign up with promises of lots of new models to sell have been let down badly and it's amazing they car ry on when they only have the MiTo and Guilietta to sell at the lower end of the market. The way the marketing and selling of the 4C has been handled is a joke......Marchionne signed a deal with Mazda to spin a new Alfa spyder from the next MX5 but at the 11th hour decides all Alfas need to be made in Italy and quickly decides the joint venture car will now become an Abarth. No wonder investors don't believe him.

And the rich history of poor old Lancia has been totally squandered by inept Fiat management. You can't help feeling that if VW had got hold of either Alfa or Lancia, or both, we'd now have a range of good quality cars to choose from from both manufacturers.
I agree totally. Marchionne total lack of credibility is the problem. Besides, after so many years producing sub-par Alfa Romeo models (159, MITO and Giulietta) I wonder who is going to risk paying on an Alfa new model the same money of a comparable BMW or AUDI. Marchionne lost the train having the cheap 159 follow the very good 156. In the late '90s/early '00s the 156 was more than on par with the BMW 320 of the time and it restored some credibility to Alfa Romeo.
He should have built from there, but he decided to cheat with the 159/Brera, which was technologically backward from the 156. After that, he never really invested on the brand. MITO and Giulietta, while not bad as cars, weren't in the Alfa Romeo tradition. The 8c Competizione was splendid, but it wasn't a true Alfa, having a Maserati chassis and a Ferrari/Maserati engine.
The new Giulia has been announced many times and it was true lack it wasn't produced a few years ago, when the idea was to use the Chrysler 300C chassis and modified engine...there was a sort of revolt here and Marchionne opted for it to become the new Lancia Thema , sealing the fate of that glorious brand (than utterly destroyed with the 200C sold as the new Lancia Flavia). Suffice to say that those two 'Lancia' weren't sold even with 50%+ discounts!

Now plans are to produce the new Alfa Romeos (at least the first ones) starting from Maserati chassis...hhmmm...which are modified Chrysler chassis again ! No way they will really compete with the German premium cars.

About the Mazda venture...nobody here was happy with that...probably many middle-aged Alfisti were still remembering the last Alfa-Japanese venture (the infamous Arna !). However rumors say that the new historical 'victim' will be another famous model, widely exported in the USA too in the late '60s/early '70s: the FIAT 124 Spider (which had an Abarth version too) and that at the time was the main rival of the Alfa Romeo Spider (Duetto).

About Alfa and/or Lancia being produced in Germany...sorry but it would not do any difference. VW wanted to buy the Alfa Romeo brand, not the factories in Italy. That's quite different from Lamborghini or Ducati, which, although owned by the Germans, are still produced in Italy. A simil-Audi rebranded as Alfa Romeo wouldn't have anything appealing for an Italian Alfista. Even Lamborghinis, although still produced in Italy, are perceived as mostly German cars here.

ciao
Mauro

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post #8 of 16 Old 05-19-2014, 05:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maurodev View Post
Even Lamborghinis, although still produced in Italy, are perceived as mostly German cars here.

ciao
Mauro
Mauro, not to sidetrack your rant on Marchionne (which I agree with 100%), but is it such a bad thing that the Germans have injected some QA/QC into the Lamborghini? I would say it's far better than the way Lambo were heading on their own, and it's probably one of the main reasons they're still in business today.

IMHO, Ferrari themselves could use a little German or Japanese influence in the QA/QC area...... It would certainly help retain residual value in the cars, and keep their depreciation curves from resembling a rock falling off a cliff.

I'm not saying to lose the Ferrari DNA - that must be kept at all costs, but only to improve the processes, materials, etc. so we don't have so many niggling little issues with the cars, such as FF's and 458's self combusting, continual wiring issues and electrical gremlins, etc.

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post #9 of 16 Old 05-19-2014, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Mauro, not to sidetrack your rant on Marchionne (which I agree with 100%), but is it such a bad thing that the Germans have injected some QA/QC into the Lamborghini? I would say it's far better than the way Lambo were heading on their own, and it's probably one of the main reasons they're still in business today.

IMHO, Ferrari themselves could use a little German or Japanese influence in the QA/QC area...... It would certainly help retain residual value in the cars, and keep their depreciation curves from resembling a rock falling off a cliff.

I'm not saying to lose the Ferrari DNA - that must be kept at all costs, but only to improve the processes, materials, etc. so we don't have so many niggling little issues with the cars, such as FF's and 458's self combusting, continual wiring issues and electrical gremlins, etc.
Hi Cribby, I agree with the need of better QA/QC in the Italian car/bike brands. The problem is to limit the improvements to that and not spill over what makes an Italian 'mount' really Italian: engine and chassis characteristics, body and interior styles, handling, etc.

While I agree that Lamborghini would probably be out of business by now, without German intervention, I would say that the Audi-Lamborghini are today more Audi than Lamborghini, so the "Italianity" of the brand has been largely lost, although the cars are still produced in Italy.
That's the reason why the average Italian perceives Lamborghini as a German brand, like Porsche.

I have no doubt that, in due time, Ducati will be perceived the same way and people who wish to buy an 'Italian' bike will turn to MV Agusta and Aprilia.

Imagine an Alfa Romeo owned by VW and with production in Germany ! No, better to see the brand 'frozen' and kept alive by the fantastic Alfas of the past, in a way similar to Bugatti. If I want to buy German, I can buy BMW or Audi, why buy a pseudo-Italian car ? Would you buy a mozzarella di bufala from Bavaria over one produced on the Cilento Coast because of the supposedly higher German hygienical standards ? No way, if you fear for your health, you would buy a Bavarian Blauschimmelkäse instead.

ciao
mauro

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post #10 of 16 Old 05-30-2014, 10:21 AM
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Mauro,

I take your point about the German brands losing the essence of what makes an Italian car. I've owned more Fiats, Alfas, Lancias, Lamborghinis and Ferraris than I care to remember. It's been very frustrating watching the twists and turns of the past 30 years or so in most of these brands. At least Paolo Cantarella understood that Italian styling was the key to improving sales and some interesting cars were made on his watch. The ongoing underlying issue has always been poor quality, bad dealer networks, indifference from each manufacturer to fixing faults and poor residuals. As you say the 156 was a great car and seemed like it could be the start of something special for Alfa with good sales volumes which they should have been able to build upon. The big issue was that other members of the FIAT group were eating up cash with lacklustre products requiring heavy discounting to sell them. The Brava and Bravo were horrible cars and the Stilo that replaced them was a real low point in both styling and engineering.

If the new rear wheel drive platforms are good then they should be used to develop new cars for Lancia as well. A new Fulvia coupe could be a potential hit if the styling is a success. They should also resurrect the 4WD Delta Integrale which still has a huge following thanks to featuring in many driving games. They desperately need halo models like these which could be used a practical daily drivers to re-ignite interest in the Lancia brand. The 4C is a great car but appeals to such a niche audience that it's wider impact will be severely limited for Alfa. It's already getting compared (wrongly) to the Cayman in motoring magazines and coming out as a much more compromised ownership prospect as a result. It isn't going to be the model that revives the brand unfortunately. They should use the chassis, fit a V6 and give it an updated Stratos body to really give the Lancia brand some headline grabbing attention.

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post #11 of 16 Old 06-03-2014, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by iainuk View Post
Mauro,

I take your point about the German brands losing the essence of what makes an Italian car. I've owned more Fiats, Alfas, Lancias, Lamborghinis and Ferraris than I care to remember. It's been very frustrating watching the twists and turns of the past 30 years or so in most of these brands. At least Paolo Cantarella understood that Italian styling was the key to improving sales and some interesting cars were made on his watch. The ongoing underlying issue has always been poor quality, bad dealer networks, indifference from each manufacturer to fixing faults and poor residuals. As you say the 156 was a great car and seemed like it could be the start of something special for Alfa with good sales volumes which they should have been able to build upon. The big issue was that other members of the FIAT group were eating up cash with lacklustre products requiring heavy discounting to sell them. The Brava and Bravo were horrible cars and the Stilo that replaced them was a real low point in both styling and engineering.

If the new rear wheel drive platforms are good then they should be used to develop new cars for Lancia as well. A new Fulvia coupe could be a potential hit if the styling is a success. They should also resurrect the 4WD Delta Integrale which still has a huge following thanks to featuring in many driving games. They desperately need halo models like these which could be used a practical daily drivers to re-ignite interest in the Lancia brand. The 4C is a great car but appeals to such a niche audience that it's wider impact will be severely limited for Alfa. It's already getting compared (wrongly) to the Cayman in motoring magazines and coming out as a much more compromised ownership prospect as a result. It isn't going to be the model that revives the brand unfortunately. They should use the chassis, fit a V6 and give it an updated Stratos body to really give the Lancia brand some headline grabbing attention.
Hi Iainuk, I would be even more 'extreme' here and say that the last great manager in Fiat was Vittorio Ghidella. When Ghidella resigned, at the end of 1988, replaced by the 'accountant' Cesare Romiti, Fiat started to lose focus on the car business, with the results we see even today.

In the '80s Ghidella, a true engineer, was able to bring back Fiat and Lancia to the old successes with cars like the Fiat Uno and Tipo and the Lancia Delta and Thema and the Autobianchi Y10. When Alfa Romeo joined the Fiat Group, he was behind the good 164. He was driving personally every prototype of the Group on his personal 'circuit' between Piemonte and Toscana. When replaced by Romiti, he said that, at 60 years of age, an accountant couldn't reinvent himself as an engineer. He was right and still is, considering the amount of damage done by the accountant Marchionne !

We will see if the rear wheels drive platforms will be put to good use, although I think Marchionne already wrote off Lancia as a brand on which to invest...after having totally destroyed it rebranding the 200C and the 300C as 'Lancia'. I remember the bloody insults of the owners of historical Lancias toward the Lancia stand, where those cars were presented, at the Padova yearly event for vintage cars (the largest in Italy and one of the two-three largest in Europe).

A new Fulvia coupe would be fantastic, but Marchionne already lost his chance in 2003, when a concept was presented, using the chassis and 1.8 liter engine of the Fiat Barchetta. There was an huge interest in that concept, but Marchionne preferred going on producing trash.

ciao
Mauro
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-03-2014, 04:47 AM
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I hear Dany Bahar is available......
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-03-2014, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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I hear Dany Bahar is available......
A luxury lifestyle CEO...hhmmm...nah, Montezemolo has already taken that role

ciao
Mauro

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post #14 of 16 Old 06-07-2014, 01:57 PM
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I remember hoping upon hope that Lancia would be allowed to build that concept Fulvia Mauro. I had a Fiat Barchetta in the launch colour of orange and loved it. A Fulvia spun off that car would have been perfect. It always amazed me that Fiat just couldn't see the potential that a beautiful 2+ coupe could bring to reinvigorate customer interest in Lancia. After all look at the way the TT helped to make Audi a desirable brand once again.

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post #15 of 16 Old 06-09-2014, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
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I remember hoping upon hope that Lancia would be allowed to build that concept Fulvia Mauro. I had a Fiat Barchetta in the launch colour of orange and loved it. A Fulvia spun off that car would have been perfect. It always amazed me that Fiat just couldn't see the potential that a beautiful 2+ coupe could bring to reinvigorate customer interest in Lancia. After all look at the way the TT helped to make Audi a desirable brand once again.
Well Iainuk, the semi-official explanation for the concept not being produced was that the Barchetta chassis was no longer compliant with the new European directives regarding security... Of course it was not true, because the chassis of the Barchetta was an evolution of the chassis of the Fiat Punto first serie and the Lancia Y, gladly kept in production !

Probably the truth is that Fiat hadn't the money for a new model seen as 'risky' in tems of sales and decided to play safe.

ciao
Mauro

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post #16 of 16 Old 06-10-2014, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by maurodev View Post
Well Iainuk, the semi-official explanation for the concept not being produced was that the Barchetta chassis was no longer compliant with the new European directives regarding security... Of course it was not true, because the chassis of the Barchetta was an evolution of the chassis of the Fiat Punto first serie and the Lancia Y, gladly kept in production !

Probably the truth is that Fiat hadn't the money for a new model seen as 'risky' in tems of sales and decided to play safe.

ciao
Mauro
Hello guys,
i complete agree with my friend Mauro, we had the best cars of the world (the classic market is the test) and our managers have destroyed all that was hard built! In Italy unfortunately, is not a unique case the cars, other pieces of industry was destroyed .....
Luckily Marchionne not have a big salary, to do those disasters .....
Not ask me if i'm happy to be italian ..... please

Fabio

PRESENT: 575 F1 HGTC ROSSO CORSA 2004' - MB CLS 350 CGI 2007'
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