BLOG: Luca Ciferri

Diesel scandal's winners and losers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 2
Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt will move to VW Group from Daimler to become the troubled automaker's head of integrity and legal affairs. She starts Jan. 1.
Volkswagen Group’s diesel scandal is so complex and wide-reaching that it will take months -- if not years -- before the company settles all of the matters related to its cheating on diesel emissions tests. VW is not the only one feeling the effects as the entire industry has taken a hit because of the company’s misguided actions. While there are plenty of lose ...
     Continue reading "Diesel scandal's winners and losers" » Nov 2, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET

FCA design gets more international as non-Italians take key jobs

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 20
The appointments of a German to head Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ European design operations and an American as Alfa Romeo’s exterior styling chief are the latest examples that Italians are playing a lesser role in the top design positions at the automaker. Klaus Busse, a German national, is returning to Europe from FCA in the U.S. to become head of design for F ...
     Continue reading "FCA design gets more international as non-Italians take key jobs" » Oct 20, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET

Winterkorn's exit should be a wake-up call for automakers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 24
Martin Winterkorn’s resignation Wednesday after nearly nine years as Volkswagen Group CEO is the latest signal that the industry has a serious problem with following the rules. VW has admitted to cheating to beat U.S. diesel emissions tests and says it actions have affected 11 million vehicles worldwide. VW has set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) to deal with ...
     Continue reading "Winterkorn's exit should be a wake-up call for automakers" » Sep 24, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET

Alfa's last chance?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 8
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne hopes that his 5 billion-euro ($5.3 billion) bet on Alfa Romeo will result in eight new models that boost global sales to 400,000 vehicles by 2018 and bring an end to more than a decade of financial losses at the 105-year-old brand. If I were Marchionne, I would be very worried about not achieving those three ambitious goals -- and I&rs ...
     Continue reading "Alfa's last chance?" » Jul 8, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET

Life or death decisions

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 12
In the near future I could be writing this column from the driver’s seat of my car while the vehicle steers itself along the highway. This highlights just one of the possibilities that self-driving and increasingly connected cars open up to people like me who are fascinated by any new technology. Audi’s sales and marketing chief, Luca de Meo, one of the bright ...
     Continue reading "Life or death decisions" » Jun 12, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET

Why Marchionne needs a powerful 'mother-in-law'

Posted 5:59 am U.S. ET, April 30
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne’s latest call for industry consolidation looks like a husband seeking his mother-in-law’s help to solve a problem with his wife. The last time we saw this tactic employed Renault Nissan CEO Carlo Ghosn was in the husband role, activist investor Kirk Kerkorian was the mother-in-law and the goal was to get Renault- ...
     Continue reading "Why Marchionne needs a powerful 'mother-in-law'" » Apr 30, 2015 5:59 am U.S. ET

Fiat meeting goes from legendary to ordinary

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 17
Fiat needed less than 2 hours to complete its first shareholder meeting in Amsterdam on Thursday, which was attended by just 17 people. It's previous gatherings near Turin would draw hundreds -- including a who's who of the Italian auto industry -- and take up to 12 hours to complete because of all the drama. Those meetings were legendary. Thursday’s meeting was ord ...
     Continue reading "Fiat meeting goes from legendary to ordinary" » Apr 17, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET

Farewell to an auto PR legend

Posted 8:17 am U.S. ET, Jan. 21
Nothing was impossible for automotive PR man Tom Kowaleski, who died Tuesday at age 63. Whether it was invading a beloved Italian landmark or literally crashing into the Detroit auto show, Tom dared to do it. I was there in the early 1990s when a photographer asked Tom whether it would be possible to take a picture of the first-generation Dodge Viper in front of Milan&rsq ...
     Continue reading "Farewell to an auto PR legend" » Jan 21, 2015 8:17 am U.S. ET

BMW's manufacturing arm also produces future leaders

Posted 6:44 am U.S. ET, Dec. 9
BMW's manufacturing division not only builds great cars -- it also produces the company's future leaders. With the appointment of Harald Krueger as CEO to succeed Norbert Reithofer, BMW builds on its tradition of appointing manufacturing experts from within the company to the top job. BMW has also picked a relatively young executive who can steer the automaker for years ...
     Continue reading "BMW's manufacturing arm also produces future leaders" » Dec 9, 2014 6:44 am U.S. ET

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