Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne recently announced an ambitious plan to make more electric cars and completely remove diesel models from FCA's European portfolio over the next three years. FCA will refocus on hybrids and electric vehicles as part of a 9 billion euro investment in electrification and hybridization over the next five years. For more information see the IDTechEx report on electric vehicles 2018-2038.
Marchionne, in one of his last major presentations as CEO, said Fiat Chrysler will invest 9 billion Euros as it tries to catch up in the market for gas-electric hybrids and fully electric vehicles, without ignoring the want for internal combustion engines.
"Reducing our dependence on oil is one of the single, greatest challenges that our society faces," said Marchionne. "At FCA, we believe there is no single solution, no magic formula, to solve this problem. We believe to achieve a quantum leap, the entire system — political, economic and industrial — needs to work together with the right measure of realism based on finding the appropriate balance between consumption levels, cost and efficiency. At the same time, conventional internal combustion engines will continue to be in the vast majority of our production," he said.
CFO Richard Palmer said by 2022 Jeep SUVs, Ram trucks and premium brands Maserati and Alfa Romeo would represent 80 percent of revenues, compared with 65 percent today. Palmer said Fiat expected to recover 65 percent of electrification costs through higher prices, while 15 percent of capital expenditures of 45 billion euros in the period would be invested in conventional engine technology. All new models for the Jeep, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands launched in the next five years will have some version of electrified powertrains, while eliminating diesels, executives said.
Marchionne said the Fiat 500 family and the Panda city car would contribute to electrification, with exports from European production sites to the United States, while Chrysler remained a North American brand, focused mostly on minivans.
The business plan is Marchionne's last, 14 years after he was named Fiat CEO. Marchionne has said his successor as CEO will come from within the company, but won't be named before next year.
"The obligation is on us to try to make sure fuel consumption associated with larger vehicles match market expectations," he said. To that end, FCA will have plug-in hybrids across the range by the end of the business plan.
Sources: FCA, press releases
Top image: FCA
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