Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Mike Manley may have been at the company’s helm for only a year now, but he is preparing to push the car manufacturer forward just a decade since its infamous bankruptcy.
The driving force behind FCA’s newfound success is Jeep, The Detroit News reports and, according to Manley, the brand’s earnings giant will be a key contributor into how the company grows and develops in the coming years.
“We’re able to deliver very, very solid financial and cash-generative results with plenty of opportunity which is why I think we’ve got a strong future ahead of us,” Manley said in an interview. “Jeep has been part of the driving force of the improvement in our profitability over the last few years. And it remains the key brand for us today — not just now, but going forward.”
Manley took the top job at FCA just days before the demise of Sergio Marchionne and looked to quickly continue where the former industry giant had left off.
Among the first things on his agenda were to settle claims that Ram and Jeep diesel engines had used illegal software to cheat emissions testing. In addition, Manley asked company lawyers to negotiate a settlement with federal prosecutors investigating if FCA executives had conspired to pay bribes and break labor laws with United Auto Works. After these issues were dealt with, the carmaker briefly looked set to join forces with Renault – but we all know how that ended…
Manley says that the next decade will be filled with changes FCA will have to adapt to due to how rapidly the industry is developing in the age of automation and electric powertrains.
“The changes in our industry are inevitable. Now we can make investments in different parts of our business. The investment in electrification is non-discretionary. You have no choice but to invest,” Manley says. “We would like to get a degree of certainty and to understand what the world looks like. We can adapt. We will adapt. Certainty is important in our business because of the length of the investments we make.”
FCA will continue to push through ongoing trade uncertainties with new and exciting models, particularly those from Jeep such as a new small SUV, a new three-row Grand Cherokee, and the long-awaited Jeep Grand Wagoneer.