backtop


Print 96 comment(s) - last by Etsp.. on May 28 at 10:12 PM

"I hope you don't buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000." -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne

Plenty of auto manufacturers are doing their best to retrofit existing vehicles with all-electric powertrains in order to adhere to more stringent fuel efficiency guidelines. Manufacturers are looking to boost fuel efficiency across the board (more fuel efficient gas/diesel engines, hybrids, electric vehicles) and that means the arrival “compliance” vehicles like the Ford Focus Electric, Chevrolet Spark EV, and the Fiat 500e to appease state and federal regulations.
 
It’s pretty clear that Fiat isn’t a fan of electric vehicles in general. The company hasn’t exactly had high expectations for the 500e EV, with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Powertrain Chief Bob Lee stating in August 2013, “Many customers want to reduce CO2 but they aren't willing to change their lifestyle or pay the cost -- yet.”

 
Now, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has gone even further, stating that he’d rather you not buy a 500e at all. "I hope you don't buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000," said Marchionne. "I'm honest enough to tell you that."
 
Marchionne continued to pile on the 500e, stating, “If we just build those vehicles, we'll be back asking ... in Washington for a second bailout because we'll be bankrupt.”

 
Marchionne went on to say that Tesla Motors is the only company making money in the electric vehicle market thanks to its higher price of entry. Tesla’s Model S starts at $69,900, while the Fiat 500e starts at $31,800.

Source: Reuters



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Well...
By Motoman on 5/22/2014 2:56:23 PM , Rating: 4
...why shouldn't he tell you that? They have to game their models to fit to the regulated fuel efficiency standards. This model has nothing to do with profitability - it has to do with lip service to meet the criteria set by the morons on capitol hill. This model isn't the first one to be used that way, and it won't be the last.

People want everything, and they want it for free. They want cars with zero emissions (at the tailpipe, or lack thereof). OK - have an EV. Then they want convenient superchargers to recharge the things. Ummm...ok, maybe. Then they want comparable range to ICE cars. Uh...not sure how we're gonna do that... And they want their EVs to be the same cost, or less, than the ICE model. Sure, we'll sell it for less than it costs to make.

This guy's just being honest with the public...which for once is kind of nice to see from someone in his position. Of course Fiat would rather you didn't actually buy this car - for what possible reason would they want to sell you one?




RE: Well...
By acejj26 on 5/22/2014 3:17:49 PM , Rating: 5
If he doesn't want to sell them at $32k, then price it at $46k. Problem solved. And if someone buys it at that price, he doesn't lose money on that transaction.

Or....find a better way to control costs.


RE: Well...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/14, Rating: -1
RE: Well...
By Wazza1234 on 5/22/14, Rating: -1
RE: Well...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/14, Rating: -1
RE: Well...
By nolisi on 5/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: Well...
By Wazza1234 on 5/26/14, Rating: 0
RE: Well...
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 5/27/2014 3:50:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
....production is only necessary in order to fulfil sales, and therefore no additional sales means no additional costs

Wait.. what? There's always 'costs' involved.. especially for anything that either doesn't sell... or sells at a loss. Do employees not get paid whilst they wait to fulfill that 'sale?'

http://www.dailytech.com/Cadillacs+75k+ELR+Hybrid+...


RE: Well...
By retrospooty on 5/22/2014 5:19:48 PM , Rating: 3
Can you ever act human? Seriously is this just your dumping ground for all of your negative bile. The frustrations build up in your sad lonely life so you have to go online to spit your negativity at others. You never say anything positive or worthwhile. It's just pure nasty every time. Never a joke or a kind word, pure bile every time.

- just Testerguy things


RE: Well...
By Wazza1234 on 5/26/2014 7:13:47 AM , Rating: 1
Interesting that you describe me as angry for turning his misplaced insult back round onto himself - since he was the incorrect one.

And my point remains, he's wrong. You should try actually addressing the arguments once in a while rather than projecting your issues (and ironically doing exactly what you criticise) as per usual.


RE: Well...
By ven1ger on 5/22/2014 3:58:13 PM , Rating: 5
So exactly why can't they sell at a higher price? Maybe their EV car isn't worth it? If Tesla can sell at 69K, and be profitable, why can't Fiat sell at a higher price if the car was worth it, I'm sure a lot of people would buy it.


RE: Well...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/14, Rating: 0
RE: Well...
By Flunk on 5/22/2014 4:39:56 PM , Rating: 2
Fiat makes a lot of high-end cars. They could easily build a electric Maserati and sell it for $80,000.


RE: Well...
By Spuke on 5/22/2014 6:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They could easily build a electric Maserati and sell it for $80,000.
Except it would be a LOT more than $80k.


RE: Well...
By ven1ger on 5/23/2014 2:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, let's follow your straw man hyperbole. Is Burger King complaining? no. Well, there goes your straw man.

So, instead of ducking the question, why don't you lay it out, sorry don't think I'm as smart as you to see the reasoning.


RE: Well...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2014 2:17:04 PM , Rating: 1
Why would Burger King complain? They aren't being forced to offer menu items they aren't suited to deliver, and they don't want to prepare, for customers who don't want it.

The analogy went RIGHT over your head. I also don't think you know what a 'straw man' really is.


RE: Well...
By flyingpants1 on 5/23/2014 6:09:36 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
So everyone should be forced to compete with Tesla and offer a high-end high priced EV basically? Even if they aren't a high-end brand, even if they don't WANT to offer expensive vehicles?


Basically, yes. I dunno where you got "forced", but they should make high-end cars in order to compete with Tesla.

I don't get it. Why not price it at $46k? If it's only a compliance car, then who cares if nobody buys it?


RE: Well...
By Kefner on 5/22/2014 4:07:28 PM , Rating: 4
Yes, put it at 46K. Why shouldn't they pay full price? If it doesn't sell, then stop making them, and tell California to suck it. If Cali don't like it, fight em on it. Mandating selling x amount of car types is beyond ridiculous anyway.


RE: Well...
By Schrag4 on 5/22/2014 5:37:36 PM , Rating: 4
The whole reason they're selling them is to meet CAFE fleet standards. In other words, they have to sell these cars in order to sell any cars.


RE: Well...
By Spuke on 5/22/2014 6:36:01 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The whole reason they're selling them is to meet CAFE fleet standards. In other words, they have to sell these cars in order to sell any cars.
That's not how it works. They can still sell cars, they just have to pay a fine (or fines) for not meeting the standard. Chrysler has been paying a fine for quite some time now. Also, most of the Euro automakers are paying or have payed fines.


RE: Well...
By Ringold on 5/24/2014 9:42:09 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure I like that any better then government-mandated product lines. That's even more dishonest -- it's a fine, but in reality, just another stealth revenue stream for government coffers.

This is why limited government is, if nothing else, more honest. We've got a gordian knot with the car manufacturers across the West; we subsidize them directly and indirectly constantly, intermittently bail them out, meddle with their product development and product offerings, dictate (in Europe) what plants they can open or close, set labor policy, lure them with tax incentives and turn around and tax and fine them.


RE: Well...
By DFranch on 5/23/2014 8:54:56 AM , Rating: 2
Are you telling me that the tiny fiat can't hit CAFE standards without an electric version? The 500 & 500C get 31/40 and the 500L gets 25/33.


RE: Well...
By Manch on 5/23/2014 11:09:51 AM , Rating: 2
They're referring to their fleet average fuel economy not A single model. They sell these econoboxes with great mileage in order to offset the poorer mileage of the cars people want.


RE: Well...
By Nightbird321 on 5/22/2014 4:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
Well, R&D costs are spread over expected vehicles sold so reduced sales at 46k would mean they still lose money per sale. It might be even more like 20k per vehicle. Silly right?


RE: Well...
By acejj26 on 5/22/2014 4:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm just saying an easier way to get people not to buy one is to price it too high where they won't...instead of just saying "Please don't buy this car."


RE: Well...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/14, Rating: -1
RE: Well...
By SeeManRun on 5/22/2014 6:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But then instead of losing some money, you're losing ALL. Hello?


Based on the numbers from the article, it would be better to price it way out of reach and never sell one. Presumably it costs 46k to build one. When they sell for 32 they lose 14 grand per. If they price it at 46, they will break even, but won't sell any. So all they will lose is a few hundred grand to make a couple of them that will sit there, vs making some and selling them at a loss.


RE: Well...
By TemjinGold on 5/22/2014 8:38:47 PM , Rating: 3
Not how the math works. Fiat spent a huge flat dollar amount on R&D for the thing. They "lose 14k per car" based on the number of cars projected to sell at 32k. If they priced it at 46k, they CAN lose more than 14k per car because they might sell far fewer units. If they make a couple and not sell any, they aren't just eating the cost of making those few, they are also swallowing all of the R&D.


RE: Well...
By PaFromFL on 5/23/2014 8:15:59 AM , Rating: 2
After development and factory/supplier setup, the manufacturing cost of a car is typically a small fraction of the sales price. The net profit should improve as you sell more cars. Marchionne may be spending way too much on batteries or labor, or he is just venting because the government "forced" him to make cars he didn't want to make.


RE: Well...
By flyingpants1 on 5/23/2014 6:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not how the math works. Fiat spent a huge flat dollar amount on R&D for the thing. They "lose 14k per car" based on the number of cars projected to sell at 32k. If they priced it at 46k, they CAN lose more than 14k per car because they might sell far fewer units. If they make a couple and not sell any, they aren't just eating the cost of making those few, they are also swallowing all of the R&D.


Okay, but when you say "don't buy this car", the number of sales is going to go down anyway. Might as well just raise the price. Doesn't really follow.

Truth is we don't know whether he means recouping R&D, or each car is sold at a loss, or what. Sounds like he just hates the compliance car thing.


RE: Well...
By tng on 5/27/2014 4:26:48 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Okay, but when you say "don't buy this car", the number of sales is going to go down anyway.
Or maybe not... This could be a marketing pitch to get people to buy it based on a perceived value that the car is already ~25% off cost.

Could have just been a ploy to drum up some interest and sales.


RE: Well...
By Ringold on 5/24/2014 9:46:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But then instead of losing some money, you're losing ALL. Hello?

Please tell me you don't run a business with people under you depending on you...


I see it all the time in business, total idiots across the table, either just getting by because they work so hard to make up for their idiocy, or get propped up by underlings that spend large fractions of their time compensating for their bosses incompetence..

.. But, unlike with government, there is justice in the marketplace. Stand back and wait long enough and recessions usually clear out the "debris". Nothing like the tables turning and seeing their resume show up on your desk. (And then, after a quick laugh, ending up in the trash can)


RE: Well...
By retrospooty on 5/22/2014 5:58:27 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless, the point is auto makers are being forced to offer these cars to keep their MPG averages up even though they aren't yet economically viable and/or people aren't wanting to buy them at the prices that they can be built for... In other words, the govt. gets involved and screws it all up.

I am all for offering incentives to help get the tech going, but to put in nearly unreachable MPG average goals just forces auto makers to put out things like this at prices no-one will buy so the end result is nothing but wasted money that the auto makers have to re-coup elsewhere (on the cars that DO sell). The "Fleet average" MPG is up, but the actual cars that sold and are on the road aren't up.

Classic free market vs. market manipulation.


RE: Well...
By FITCamaro on 5/23/2014 8:23:07 AM , Rating: 2
But....then certain politicians investment portfolios aren't padded with your tax dollars.

Get the government out of engineering. All around. Not just in "green" energy crap.


RE: Well...
By Nagorak on 5/24/2014 5:35:35 AM , Rating: 1
I have to disagree with your statement here and also feel it is factually incorrect. Gas mileage on current cars is way up from where it was 10-15 years ago.

I have a 1998 Ford Contour which was a large compact car. It gets fuel economy of 21/30. Now you can buy numerous full size cars, with much better safety features that get city mileage in the mid 20s and highway mileage in the mid 30s.

A 2000 Ford Explorer gets 14 mpg city and can't even hit 20 mpg on the highway. The 2014 model gets 17/24: a tangible increase. And if you get the more fuel efficient 4 cylinder turbo engine that goes up to 20/28-- as food as many CARS from the 90s.

It took a decade but the Mitsubishi Mirage finally managed to surpass the fuel economy of the Chevrolet Metro, while being a slightly larger and much nicer car. For many years in the 00s you could not find a non-hybrid car that did that.

So completely contrary to what you are saying the increase in CAFE requirements has resulted in gains in fuel economy across the board, including in the "cars actually sold".


RE: Well...
By BZDTemp on 5/23/2014 1:19:09 PM , Rating: 2
You can't calculate the figures like that.

Whenever you produce something the cost of doing so is a combination what the parts, labor, energy, wear on tools, financing... and while some are fixed regardless of number of units produced most costs are normally higher per unit if less are produced. It's especially so with the money that went into development which in many ways are fixed regardless if 10 og 10,000 units are produced.
Thus unless the numbers are cars sold will be the same if it's sold at $46K then each unit sold will have to pay for more of the fixed and almost fixed costs.


RE: Well...
By GotThumbs on 5/22/14, Rating: -1
RE: Well...
By AN1029 on 5/22/2014 5:14:02 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, it is the morons on Capital Hill.

They delegate their responsibility to make binding laws to a group of bureaucrats that have to answer to no one. They (the bureaucrats and "Morons") work for N years to get a pension and then get back into the circus to advocate new rules to grow their post-pension income to even greater levels. See C. Dodd, the model of milking the system and should be an embarrassment to his state, his family and friends.

Congress is COMPLETELY responsible for the out of control EPA and every other federal agency that can make "regulations", "rules" and other things that as binding as a Congressional passed law.

Congress makes is okay that VA administrators can't be fired. THEY PASSED THOSE RULES. Obama is an idiot for not properly managing (like he would know how to manage), and his managers should have known about the fraud. But the MORONS now need to pass a law to fire the criminally insane idiots within the VA. A good manager would NEVER let his hands be tied like that, a reasonable HUMAN, would never let it go that long. But what do can you expect from unfirable bureaucrats that are looking for their next post-Government job.

The difference is the "MORONS" in Congress can declare some level of deniability.

That seemed to work on you. And sadly for too many other voters.


RE: Well...
By Dorkyman on 5/22/2014 8:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
One reason I like someone like Christie. He would have the balls to act like a bull in a china shop, breaking up the status quo.

It's like the San Andreas fault. At some point, something's gonna happen in a big way to help "reset."


RE: Well...
By Dr. Fosgate on 5/23/2014 8:13:02 AM , Rating: 2
As much as I like Christie, his long term plan involves cheeseburgers, a ride in an ambulance, and a wooden box with a lot of dirt on top of it.

If he improved this long term plan of his significantly, I would be all for seeing his rise to the top.


RE: Well...
By FITCamaro on 5/23/2014 10:42:32 AM , Rating: 2
I have no desire for Christie to rise any more in the political spectrum. He certainly shouldn't be a presidential candidate. Not on a "conservative" ticket anyway.


RE: Well...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2014 10:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
It's like I keep saying, if you want to win as a Republican, just be a Conservative. That's it! It's so simple, and yet the Republican party keeps thinking they need "moderate" candidates.

Why did Romney lose?

He didn't get the "Independents"! - Wrong, he totally won the Independent vote from Obama.

He lost because of immigration! - Wrong, the numbers have been crunched. Even if he would have got 65%+ of the Latino vote, he still would have lost.

Romney lost because some 8 million Republicans, in THE most important election of our time, stayed at home on voting day.

You give us a true Conservative candidate, and I'm telling you, that does NOT happen.


RE: Well...
By Etsp on 5/23/2014 11:46:44 AM , Rating: 1
I can't wait for a "true conservative" to win the primaries. They are going to get CRUSHED.


RE: Well...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2014 2:35:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah right. After 8 years of Obama, people are thirsting for Conservatism. They just don't know it, because thanks to the Liberal media, most people think "Conservative" means religious wacko and homophobia.

Again, I just proved to you Romney only lost because the Conservative base didn't go out and vote for him in sufficient numbers. What evidence do you have a true Conservative will get "crushed"?


RE: Well...
By Etsp on 5/23/2014 4:31:38 PM , Rating: 1
You didn't prove anything. You stated your own personal conclusions, which simplified a much more complicated situation.

There are literally thousands of factors involved, and anyone who tries to boil them all down to a single cause is an idiot.

Of those 8 million Republicans that didn't vote, how many of them are from states that Romney won?

While a "true conservative" might energize the republican base some, they would also energize the democratic base to vote against them, and most of the real independents that vote will go against them as well.


RE: Well...
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 5/27/2014 3:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While a "true conservative" might energize the republican base some, they would also energize the democratic base to vote against them, and most of the real independents that vote will go against them as well.


Europe disagrees.
http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/michaelscha...


RE: Well...
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 5/27/2014 3:36:50 PM , Rating: 2
Liberalism Step 1: Call someone out for not using factual data to support their claim

quote:
You stated your own personal conclusions, which simplified a much more complicated situation.


Liberalism Step 2: Use opinion to counter that opinion and claim it as "The Truth."

quote:
they would also energize the democratic base to vote against them, and most of the real independents that vote will go against them as well.


RE: Well...
By Etsp on 5/28/2014 10:12:08 PM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer said:
quote:
I just proved to you
He didn't prove anything though, he just stated an opinion supported by a couple facts. He and I were both stating opinions, Reclaimer just thinks his opinions are facts. My comments aren't hypocritical at all.

Nice attempt to bash the left though. Keep trying, maybe some day you'll be successful!


RE: Well...
By Dr. Fosgate on 5/23/2014 11:12:59 AM , Rating: 2
Good point. I think the current situation has been clouding my vision. Every time I think of Christie I compare him to Obama. In this regard he is a great candidate.

But if I compare him to Reagan, he is not nearly “Reagan enough” for me.


RE: Well...
By Rukkian on 5/23/2014 11:01:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
One reason I like someone like Christie. He would have the balls to act like a bull in a china shop, breaking up the status quo.


Unfortunately, he seems the same as everybody else, get some money, pass whatever the party that donated wanted. NADA hands him some "campaign" money, and now all of a sudden competition (aka Tesla) can no longer sell cars in the state and needs to close their existing businesses.

If this is him changing the status quo than I don't think it is enough change. He talks a good talk and may even be able to get elected, but will he back it up when the donors come knocking?


RE: Well...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2014 11:35:50 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry but I just don't buy that he had nothing to do with that "Bridge Gate" thing.

After 8 years of Obama's Chicago thug style of governance, we need someone with way more integrity than Christie.


RE: Well...
By FITCamaro on 5/23/2014 12:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
How about someone who just isn't Obama Light. Granted it's tough to match the pure incompetence and lack of leadership ability that Obama brought to the table.


RE: Well...
By Rukkian on 5/23/2014 12:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm sorry but I just don't buy that he had nothing to do with that "Bridge Gate" thing.

After 8 years of Obama's Chicago thug style of governance, we need someone with way more integrity than Christie.


I don't see evidence about the bridge gate, so I don't hold that against him at this point, but agree we need somebody with more integrity. The problem is, can somebody with real integrity win? If they truly are in it for the good of the people and not their own pocketbooks (and those of their donors) they will probably go nowhere, and the idiot masses would not vote for them.


RE: Well...
By ven1ger on 5/22/2014 3:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure how honest he is. If Tesla can sell at 69K why can't they? And exactly why is it costing them 14K for ever EV car being sold?

Tesla is profitable but they also have to build up their infrastructure from scratch, Fiat has plants and other things in place that should make it easy for them to produce and sell cars where they aren't losing 14K per car. Tesla cannot sell in some states but yet they are selling their cars at a profit versus a company that has cars being sold in every state but laments about losing money on an EV?


RE: Well...
By djc208 on 5/22/2014 5:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's Apples and Oranges. A Fiat 500 is not a Tesla, and the expectations out of the two vehicles are drastically different. Apple gets people to pay huge premiums on all their hardware vs the PC, even for similar specs. Right now Tesla is able to command those premiums. And don't kid yourself the people buying Teslas are a tiny minority of the motoring public, most of which are buying this thing as a second (or third, fourth, twelth) car. Even in top trim it is severly limited compared to even the basic gas 500, mostly range and refueling time, something Tesla is spending huge sums of money to try and mitigate to eke out another 1% of people that might have the money to buy one.

Fiat does not have that luxury, people shopping 500s (at least in the US) are doing so mostly based on size and/or looks and are willing to pay a minor premium for that, but like the Cadillac ELR, the real price would have most people calling it stupid.

Not to mention Tesla is profitiable, but barely, with the numbers that an auto company plays with they are a major problem away from bankruptsy. The minute they are not the Apple of the auto world they're dead. Fiat can survive loosing money on these for the research as long as you are still buying all the other cars they sell.


RE: Well...
By jamescox on 5/23/2014 6:12:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even in top trim it is severly limited compared to even the basic gas 500, mostly range and refueling time, something Tesla is spending huge sums of money to try and mitigate to eke out another 1% of people that might have the money to buy one.


I would not call 265 to 300 miles a day "severely limited". You obviously may have some issues taking a Tesla on a long road trip, but for everyday driving, this is not an issue. You have plenty of range for the driving most people do.

Tesla is doing things exactly right, I think. Batteries are still expensive, so a low-end electric vehicle doesn't really make sense yet. Also, they need to have ridiculously high quality, since any failure (even if it is statistically insignificant) will get a lot of media attention. This does not lend itself to making a cheap car.

For a Fiat 500, a hybrid would make a lot more sense, but I don't know if it really has the space necessary for a battery pack without a massive re-design, and probably a more expensive to build design. Where would the battery pack go on such a small car?


RE: Well...
By tng on 5/28/2014 10:57:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would not call 265 to 300 miles a day "severely limited". You obviously may have some issues taking a Tesla on a long road trip....
Reading comprehension check. He was talking clearly about the Fiat, not the Tesla being "severely limited".


RE: Well...
By Nutzo on 5/23/2014 11:36:09 AM , Rating: 2
Actually Tesla is only making money because of government handouts. take away the tax credits and carbon credits and thier sales & income would drop.

The profit they made last quarter would have been a loss if they had not sold a massive amount of carbon credits in the California C02 market. They are given these credits because the state government decided electric cars are green, and other manufactures have to buy these credit just so they can stay in business (and of course raise thier prices to pay for it)


RE: Well...
By Nagorak on 5/24/2014 5:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
So the credits are working as designed. Basically you just don't like the policies being promoted.


RE: Well...
By artemicion on 5/22/2014 5:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
CAFE standards can't be the whole motivation for selling 500e's at a 14k loss. CAFE penalties are only $55 per mpg per car, unless the 500e gets infinite MPG, it's not worth eating a $14k loss per 500'e sold versus eating the CAFE penalty.


RE: Well...
By Motoman on 5/22/2014 9:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
There's a decades-long tradition of having a cheap, high-MPG model that you sell at a loss in order to meet CAFE standards. This isn't new...probably been going on since CAFE started.

The only thing here that may be remarkable is the degree to which Fiat has it discounted under cost. Which may be more marketing than anything...but if it wasn't for CAFE, the car probably wouldn't exist at all.


Don't Worry Buddy
By jeepga on 5/22/2014 3:46:59 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, you don't have to worry about that. That thing is f'ugly.




RE: Don't Worry Buddy
By AntiM on 5/22/2014 4:04:35 PM , Rating: 2

quote:
That thing is f'ugly.


I don't know, I think it looks better than the Prius.


RE: Don't Worry Buddy
By DanNeely on 5/22/2014 4:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
Which exterior is worse is debatable; but the black/white/red interior color scheme in the Fiat is the most hideous I've ever had the misfortune to see. In comparison, the Prius's interior is at worst soul-less.


RE: Don't Worry Buddy
By marvdmartian on 5/23/2014 7:39:11 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, was going to say, not to worry. No chance I'm going to buy one of these, or any of the ugly little clown cars your company makes!


Fiat CEO: don't buy a Fiat
By GulWestfale on 5/22/2014 3:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
no problem, buddy. wasn't planning on it anyway.




RE: Fiat CEO: don't buy a Fiat
By The Insolent One on 5/22/2014 3:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
Mr. Marchionne was overheard saying:
"I'm not your buddy, friend."
;-)


RE: Fiat CEO: don't buy a Fiat
By GulWestfale on 5/22/2014 4:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
i'm not your friend, guy.


RE: Fiat CEO: don't buy a Fiat
By SeeManRun on 5/22/2014 4:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not your friend, pal.


RE: Fiat CEO: don't buy a Fiat
By GulWestfale on 5/22/2014 8:09:28 PM , Rating: 2
i'm not your pal, buddy.


CAFE?
By Gunbuster on 5/22/2014 4:00:06 PM , Rating: 2
Don't that have to actually sell them to meet their CAFE numbers?




RE: CAFE?
By Spuke on 5/22/2014 6:44:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't that have to actually sell them to meet their CAFE numbers?
They don't have to sell a single one to meet CAFE. They just have to make them.


RE: CAFE?
By M'n'M on 5/23/2014 12:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
If they want EVs to help in meeting their CAFE regulation then they must sell them. But like democratic votes in Chicago, EVs get counted 2x. So sales of a relatively few help more w/the weighted MPG average than sales of a gas sipper, as EVs get both high MPGe and double the actual number sold.


Making the same mistake Tesla admitted to
By danjw1 on 5/22/2014 4:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
Elon Musk said it was a mistake to take a body that was designed to be used for an IC car and build an EV in it. They did that with the Tesla Roadster.

A lot of these other manufacturers are doing the same thing. It is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. The design considerations for an EV are very different from those for an ICV.




By Ktracho on 5/22/2014 5:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
Though I respect Musk, I don't know if this is true, at least from a business point of view. I've had a Ford Focus Electric for over a year and a half, and as far as I can tell, it's working quite well. I converted the lease to a loan. However, although I increasingly see more Focus Electrics on the road, there are far more Teslas, and even more Nissan Leafs. Tesla is (and was) way above my price range, and I would never spend my money on a Leaf based just on looks. (Obviously, many other people disagree with me.)

Speaking of Leafs, does anyone know if they are also losing money on every one they sell? I don't know about Ford, but I understand they, too, would rather not sell any Focus Electrics if it were up to them. Still, I doubt they lose too much money on the few they do sell.


By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/2014 7:49:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A lot of these other manufacturers are doing the same thing. It is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.


Because they don't want to throw good money after bad.


That's mostly his fault
By Milliamp on 5/22/2014 4:19:42 PM , Rating: 2
It is still a little early for full on EV unless you are going all in like Tesla with its higher price and network of charging stations.

Why not start with a hybrid 500 or plug in hybrid 500 with a smaller (ie. less expensive) battery pack? I wouldn't mind a plug in hybrid but for me right now unless Tesla is going to let me pull up in a Fiat I don't have much use for a non-tesla EV.

That will change over time as more places put in chargers but plug in hybrid is the next step. Tesla is 2 steps ahead but Fiat isn't Tesla.




RE: That's mostly his fault
By jamescox on 5/23/2014 6:24:12 AM , Rating: 2

I am not sure where you would put the battery for a hybrid system on a Fiat. It is unlikely to be able to fit under the hood with engine and hybrid drive system. The amount of space in the back is extremely limited compared to something like a Prius. In the Prius, the HV battery sits across the rear axle, kind of in between/below the back seat and trunk space.


FIAT..
By astralsolace on 5/22/2014 4:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
Fix It Again, Tony!




Good Martketing
By coburn_c on 5/23/2014 6:52:36 AM , Rating: 2
People who buy these stupid little cars hate evil, dirty car companies. They especially hate companies like FIAT who bad mouth electric cars. Make it seem like they are hurting you if they buy it and it entices.




By mike8675309 on 5/27/2014 10:33:59 AM , Rating: 2
But not making the costs them so much more money. Boo hoo your cost of doing business went up in California. I'm sure the auto companies will use compliance cars as their justification for increasing automobile prices.

These companies have absolutely no interest in EV cars. They not only don't want to build them but they want nothing to do with them.




Tesla tax
By DocScience on 5/27/2014 7:45:10 PM , Rating: 1
I have an idea.

Why don't we tax EXPENSIVE sports car E-cars, purchased exclusively by the wealthy to subsidize small e-cars for the regular people.

A $20,000 Tesla tax would help Fiat and Nissan sell affordable e-cars.

Right progressives. It's only fair.




Proof.
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/14, Rating: -1
RE: Proof.
By kingmotley on 5/22/2014 4:01:06 PM , Rating: 2
Customers want them, just not what is being delivered, RIGHT NOW.

As battery tech increases, and gets faster charging times, increased capacity, smaller sizes/weight, and cheaper, EVs will sell like hotcakes.


RE: Proof.
By nshoe on 5/22/2014 4:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
As battery tech increases....

Never mind that despite $billions having been spent on trying to find those battery tech increases the best batteries we currently have are still using the lithium-ion tech that was developed in the 1970s.

Pardon me if I don't hold my breath waiting for these magical battery tech increases.


RE: Proof.
By Nagorak on 5/24/2014 5:50:20 AM , Rating: 2
Battery tech has increased even in the last decade. Back around 2000 the electric cars made at the time were barely viable. Most did nit even use Li-ion batteries back then. Now you can get electric cars from several manufacturers that are very competent.

There's more to it than just New technology, there's also developing economies of scale to bring down the cost of existing technology so that it is affordable.

There is a huge demand for improved battery capacity now, not just in cars but in cellphones, laptops, tablets, etc. With all that incentive for further research I think it is very likely we will see significant improvements over the next decade.


RE: Proof.
By Mint on 5/22/2014 4:40:44 PM , Rating: 5
It isn't proof of anything other than Fiat/Chrysler having a weak engineering team, which we already knew anyway.

They're 15 years behind Toyota in regular hybrid technology. How are you surprised that they are uncompetitive in making an EV?

Only you would take the word of Chrysler as proof of anything regarding automotive technology. That's like listening to RIM for the future of smartphones.


RE: Proof.
By Solandri on 5/23/2014 3:05:55 AM , Rating: 2
It's not necessarily an indicator of a weak engineering team. In the 1980s and 1990s when these technologies were being developed and nobody knew for sure which would be most viable, the Japanese automakers bet on hybrids. The U.S. automakers bet on fuel cells.

It turned out that hybrids were the right place to put your money. I distinctly recall a quote from Toyota's CEO or VP regarding this and the success of the Prius in the 1990s. He said he considered themselves to have been lucky, not foresightful. At the time, nobody really knew which tech would win. If fuel cells had panned, the American car companies would've dominated and Toyota would've been the ones 15 years behind in tech.


RE: Proof.
By jamescox on 5/23/2014 5:45:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It turned out that hybrids were the right place to put your money.


I think there is a big difference in the level of risk and I think this would have been known at the time. Hybrids were/are a pretty safe bet; you get higher efficiency with some extra cost, but no infrastructure requirements. Fuel cells were a long shot. Attempting to switch to hydrogen based fuel is still problematic. How much would it have taken to develop a reasonable hybrid? They should have hedged their bets a bit (if this was the actual issue); fuel cells would require massive infrastructure investment which just isn't going to happen anytime soon. Hybrids, even plug-in versions, don't require much of any special infrastructure. Hybrids allow a gradual switch-over as the battery technology improves. For the next generation of plug-in hybrids, they will be able to cover most people's daily drives on battery power alone.

I have to wonder what is actually going on here. I know Toyota has a large number of patents covering hybrid technology, so is this preventing other companies from building reasonable hybrid vehicles? I have been looking at the designs from other companies, and they seem overcomplicated and/or under-performing compared to Toyota.


RE: Proof.
By Mint on 5/23/2014 6:48:03 AM , Rating: 2
When you listen to industry insiders and consultants, yes, it is indeed a result of a weak engineering team.

As you know, the auto industry contracts out a lot of parts to suppliers. Even engine control ICs and a lot of software is from third parties. As they evolved and cut costs, they focused on the few things they could do far better than any supplier could - the engine and assembly line - and let go of the other units.

Some of the big automakers are more diverse than others, but in general, they don't have a lot of software and electrical engineers. You look at their use of permanent magnet motors (which need a few kilos of rare earths, which are not only expensive but difficult to handle) instead of induction motors, and it's baffling because basically the only reason to do that is for simpler software. But if you don't have the expertise, I guess you have no choice.


RE: Proof.
By 1prophet on 5/24/2014 11:07:09 AM , Rating: 2
Marketing/Sales comes first, bean counters/accountants next, then engineers have to try to make it work after the previous two set the criteria and almost always get overruled by the previous two even if the engineers are right.

You can have the best engineers in the world, but if upper management tends to listen to the Marketing/Sales & bean counters/accountants first your engineering team is for naught no matter how talented they may be.


RE: Proof.
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2014 9:09:18 AM , Rating: 1
This is just par for the course with Mint and EV's. If someone can't match the Tesla Model S, they automatically suck at making vehicles or are just purposely making "weak ass" EV's to "protect" their ICE IP.

Judging by his and others comments and the voters here, Fiat could have just snapped it's fingers and cranked out great EV's overnight with no extra R&D costs AND make a profit.

More disturbing, people think automakers SHOULD because the Government said so.

I actually comment Fiat for attempting to offer EV's for the mass market, ones most people can actually afford. How EV proponents ever think EV's priced into the stratosphere is the way you make this technology mainstream, is beyond me.


RE: Proof.
By Mint on 5/23/2014 10:54:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is just par for the course with Mint and EV's. If someone can't match the Tesla Model S, they automatically suck at making vehicles or are just purposely making "weak ass" EV's to "protect" their ICE IP.
They don't have to match Tesla. Matching a small Chinese company at $10-20k higher price would be enough for me. They can't even do that.

There's too much evidence of nonsensical decisions. The i3 and Leaf were intentionally designed to look weird (admitted by execs). The B-Class EV has no fast charging, unlike almost all other EVs. The eGolf has a pathetic drivetrain, when there's so much evidence of a $35k+ cars ALL having high power motors. Mark Tarpenning, cofounder of Tesla, noted the following:
"The companies that chose to use neodymium decided to trade off rare earth materials basically for slightly easier software. And why anyone would do that... they're just out of their minds"

And now we hear the 500e costs $14k more to build than its $32k MSRP? A Fiat 500 Sport cost $16,500. Take away profit, the engine, and the transmission, and you're left with maybe a $11k shell. So I'm supposed to believe that the EV drivetrain alone costs $35,000? 24kWh of batteries costs under $8000 on the open market. If Fiat isn't lying, they're grossly incompetent.

You wanna know how shoddy the engineering is on this EV? They've had a problem with the half-shafts breaking.

quote:
How EV proponents ever think EV's priced into the stratosphere is the way you make this technology mainstream, is beyond me.
Really? You don't even have minimal mental capacity to figure that out?

First of all, do you ask this about every technology when it first enters the market at a high price?

Secondly, are you completely foreign to the used car market? Did I completely imagine buying a $10k BMW as my first car when I was a student?


RE: Proof.
By flyingpants1 on 5/23/2014 6:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is just par for the course with Mint and EV's. If someone can't match the Tesla Model S, they automatically suck at making vehicles or are just purposely making "weak ass" EV's to "protect" their ICE IP.


But they are purposefully making weak EVs, to protect not just their intellectual property, but their entire business: manufacturing, skilled labor, marketing, R&D. Everything becomes worthless when EVs begin to take over.

I mean this is just obvious. Don't tell me Tesla can do it and big car companies can't.


RE: Proof.
By Nagorak on 5/24/2014 5:56:42 AM , Rating: 1
A lot of Nissan Leafs are being sold or at least leased. I've seen quite a few driving around my neighborhood, and I don't live in San Francisco either.

People are probably less interested in buying a car that the maker just quickly threw a battery and electric engine into. Also I doubt if Nissan would be promoting the Leaf as much as they are if they were losing 14K per car.

This is a problem specific to Fiat and doesn't necessarily apply to the entire electric car market. I don't think it proves anything.


RE: Proof.
By a4i on 5/24/2014 10:02:28 AM , Rating: 2
Nissan and Tesla have their own power trains, battery packs and electronics . Also they made a dedicated electric model, not some retrofitted gasoline one. That is what an auto maker have to do to compete. Else - buy expensive parts from competing manufacturers and assemble some monstrosity on a gasoline car chassis.
As Steve Jobs would say - they are not doing it right.


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki