Posts Tagged ‘fiat chrysler automobile’
Soon after the self-driving Waymo successfully launched and tested its Early Rider program in Phoenix, Arizona, the autonomous car was certified as an autonomous transportation network the same city. That makes the Waymo the first ever driverless vehicle that consumers could use. It initially started the early launch of the Waymo ride-hailing program, where consumers could shop at big names like Walmart and ride-hail a self-driving Waymo vehicle. The success was so great, that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles invested $30 million into upgrading their Chelsea Proving Grounds to test autonomous vehicles for retail, or consumer use. Waymo also bought over 60,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid units from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to expand their fleet to other states. The Waymo launched a robotaxi service in Phoenix, Arizona and its next objective to conquer is California. But before then, the official Waymo ride-hailing app has been made available to about 400 riders participating in the first phase of the program.
Can you imagine that? How easily do we hail a ride today? It’s not like the old days where one had to call a cab or hope there was one passing by. Now, we just need to unlock our smartphone, open an app, pick our destination(s), and a driver will arrive to pick us up. Now take that scenario, but someone’s missing. Only the vehicle shows up – no driver. Say hello to “Waymo One”.
Before Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) became the automotive group it is today, both Fiat and Chrysler were saved by the former CEO Sergio Marchionne. Having stepped down due to illness, Marchionne passed away July 25, 2018. He was born in Italy, and migrated to Toronto, Canada at age thirteen to pursue a higher education. By the time Marchionne graduated grad school, he held a Master’s degree in business administration and law, and then entered the world of accounting. He quickly became recognized as an accountant, tax specialist, attorney, and business strategist as he worked up the ladder in multiple companies before taking his talent to the automotive industry.
The Fiat Group quickly realized the good Marchionne could do for the company when he restructured their debt, settled contractual obligations to General Motors with a $2 billion payment, and drew up a four-year plan to make 20 new models to expand the product line for Fiat. Marchionne was quickly appointed as CEO in 2004, and following this, helped to save the Detroit automotive company, Chrysler Group LLC, out of bankruptcy by purchasing 20-percent of the company in 2009. He was also appointed as the CEO of Chrysler around the same time.
Ever since Chrysler decided to downsize, news about the company has been a little quieter than it has been in the past. The Chrysler 300 is showing its age, and yes, we’ve heard about how great the Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid are many times. What else is new? Chrysler needs to change things up. And we’re NOT talking about the Chrysler Portal concept, the “vehicle for millennials.” No, we need something new, and Chrysler has plans to tap into a new market with a crossover.
Honestly, we were wondering what took the automaker so long to think about joining in the crossover craze. Dodge has a few SUVs, and Jeep is an all-SUV or crossover lineup. But we don’t need to wonder anymore. During the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, FCA’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, decided to tease the crowd with future FCA concepts. The big one that got people talking is none other than a crossover by Chrysler.