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FIAT - DEBT & Future Plans

Discussion in 'Fiat Global News' started by Raj_pol, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Regolare

    Punto Evo 1.3

    A very interesting analysis - read through the whole article for those who are interested. There is also a very important point as to why FCA cars might be in general heavy and nope nothing to do with safety actually.

    1. "All FCA platforms are reworks of architectures Marchionne found when he joined Fiat in 2004 and took over bankrupt Chrysler in 2009. To meet crash standards, each new model had to be heavier than its predecessor. That means higher fuel consumption as competitors launch lighter models on new platforms. So over time, the weight disadvantage increases for FCA."

    2. "Many of FCA's top-selling vehicles ride on platforms that would be considered out of date at other automakers. An example: The Dodge Charger and Challenger and Chrysler 300 are based on a Mercedes-Benz platform first used by DaimlerChrysler in the 2005 model year"
    gpunto75 likes this.
  2. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    That may not necessarily hold true for Linea since it was created specifically for developing markets based on the Punto platform. And truly speaking, Fiat cars arent all that heavier than competition as such. Not by a significant margin anyway. The Linea is only about 60 kg heavier than the Vento TDI. The Ford Ecosport, which is a sub 4m car, weighs more than a Linea. So does the Duster and the Creta.
    Its just that Fiats feel better built in the right places, ie, doors, bonnet, boot etc.
    gpunto75 likes this.
  3. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr
    The article is referring to FCA's usa legacy models. They do have new platforms+architectures that have been developed precisely for the post-merger models. Capital investment, brand-health etc constraints post-merger meant that the first iterations of the Punto platform iterated into the "Small US Wide" (4X4) used on the recent post-merger models such as the 500L, 500X, Renegade and now the Tipo/Aegea threesome are all very high safety rated, without being extra-heavy.

    The over-weight issue applies to the first Alfa Giulietta-adaptated platform (for the Dart, Viaggio and Cherokee, and the Chrysler 200 sedan): the CUSW, Compact US Wide. But not by much.

    As for the legacy pre-merger models, FCA had chosen to facelift them inside and out, throw in the 8- and 9-speed ZF gearboxes (made in-house, licensed from ZF) instead of re-doing their architectures comprehensively. That was for reasons of achieveing fuel efficiency gains despite the added weight since the platforms are indeed old. The idea was to focus on new Jeeps, now new Fiats and Alfa-s while waiting to beefup the revenues and profit-margins enough to also address the platform obsolescence issues with some of their old, bu famous sub-brands in the usa: the Pacifica minivan replacement, and the Dodge journey/Fiat Freemont replacemnt currently undergoing testing. The Pacifica is built on yet another, much lighter, stronger and more rigid CUSW-based architecture, different somewhat to the one used on the Dart/Viaggio or the Cherokee.

    Of course, the ligghtest OF ALL platforms are both FCA: that of the Alfa 4C, likely to spawn also a new Ferrari Dino (mini-cheaper supercar), and that of the upcoming-for-sale Giulia which will be by a distance the lightest car with the best power to weight ratios across any variant in its segment (c class merc, 3 series bmw).

    Almost all FCA cars on both sides of the Atlantic are 5-star rated or the equivalent. Until the test parameters shift, that is.

    This lightness fetish in the western markets is completely wrong for india. They do it without compromising safety through use of high-strength (somewhat exotic and more-expensive) materials in order to meet fuel efficiency and emissions norms better, while also ensuring better handling and braking.

    In India: it only means less safe cars, poorer riding, more expensive to repair, harder to survive scrapes and crushes let alone crashes, with higher-profit margins for the likes of Maruti and Hyundai.

    Safety and repair-ability, as also ride-quality etc are ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL, a function of, among other things: sheer weight. Other than via the use of exotic and expensive lightweighting materials.

    The new Punto (X6H) and new Grand Sienna (X6S) scheduled for 2017/2018 in India, and currently being tested in the us, brazil and europe, will apparently be a good 80 to 100 kgs lighter than the current Punto/Linea. the Tipo/Aegea is lighter too, i believe, adjusting for its bigger-size?
    gpunto75 likes this.
  4. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    Its all about an acceptable compromise. Today's modern jets like the Dreamliner B787 and Airbus A350 are made of carbon composite material in a number of areas. But both pass the stringent fatigue tests such as static wing bending test easily. Now, can they stand heavy hard landings and such abuse through their lifetime without sustaining any stress fractures ? Are they robust enough to operate in harsh ambient conditions like lets say, a VC-10 of the past or the Soviet era Tu-154/IL-62? I think not. Effectively speaking, they are the Hyundais and Toyotas of the aviation world. Fiat Punto/Linea are the Boeing 747/Tristars/DC-10s, robust but largely unloved in todays times!
    dadasaheb likes this.
  5. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr
    They've grown net profitability about 28% y-on-y in the sept 2016 quarter.

    They've raised their full-year guidance to total annual net profits for 2016 of around 2.5billion$, and a net-debt level of below 5 billion$, with 1.5 billion$ worth of maturing bonds being paid off from cash in q4 2016.

    They've reiterated the commitment to eliminating all net debt, in fact getting to net-cash-positive of around 4-5billion$ with annual net profitability of around 8 billion$ by end 2018, just 2 + years away.

    Seems tough to achieve, especially since the booming growth of the usa auto market seems over by-now, but Marchionne has always delivered on each and every financial promise he has ever made to investors/analysts and bankers since he took over Chrysler/Jeep etc, and the momentum's in his favour (new models outperforming, brands outperforming the market-averages in most markets/regions, fast and large growth from a low base in China, potential rebounding of the Brazilian market/economy in 2017, much wider and better dealership coverage in many countries for Jeep/Alfa/Maserati.......), plus there is the likely sale or profitable spinning-off of either Magnetti Mareli and/or the COMAU robotics divisions?

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