Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has nameed Ralph Gilles as head of design for the entire group and put him on its executive council, with former Fiat and Pininfarina design chief Lorenzo Ramaciotti set to retire.
Detroit's third-largest automaker has had a lot of names over the years. It was founded as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925, a name it held until 1998 when it was bought by ze Germans in 1998 to form DaimlerChrysler AG, then it went independent in 2007 under the name Chrysler LLC before being retitled once again as Chrysler Group LLC in 2009. And now the automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, MI, is getting yet another new name.
Want a chunk of the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles? Shares of the newly joined (technically) Dutch automaker will begin trading on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. The company itself will become a single entity on Sunday.
The end is in sight for Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne, who confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg that once FCA's sweeping five-year plan is completed, he'd be stepping down from his post to "undoubtedly" do something else that didn't involve turning around global corporations. That would mean he should finish up after 2018 if all goes according to plan.
Among the multitude of models that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced as part of its five-year production plan in May was a plug-in hybrid version of the Town & Country minivan for sometime in 2016. However, according to the latest pronouncement from company CEO Sergio Marchionne, that timetable may have been moved forward quite a bit.
We're not yet ready to call it a trend, but rumors have been flying that a couple more major automakers have set their sights on motorcycle manufacturers to add to their portfolios. If they do, they'll be following in the footsteps of the Volkswagen Group, which gobbled up Ducati and put it under the Audi brand in its ever-growing stable of nameplates.
It seems Fiat is bent on bolstering its image as a global automaker, as word has leaked out that the Italian/American conglomerate has chosen to locate its global headquarters in a rather swanky neighborhood in London. According to Bloomberg, the rental location on St. James Street in London's West End is a 10-minute walk from Buckingham Palace, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will fill up three complete floors of an office building that also houses The Economist magazine.
The merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is targeting October 13 to launch its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters assembled for a meeting in Rimini, Italy.
Fiat has just taken a major step away from its Italian heritage, as shareholders officially approved the company's merger with Chrysler. That move will lead to the formation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, a Dutch company based in Great Britain and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, according to Automotive News Europe.
The last time the Chrysler Group was part of another automaker, we saw the death of the Plymouth brand. Now, with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in place of DaimlerChrysler, we could see more brands shuttered. At least, that's what analysts think FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne should do.