FCA to Boost Jeep Production, Scale Back Alfa Romeo Vehicle Line-up

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles today announced its 2014 strategy to build out Alfa Romeo's full product line-up by 2018 will be delayed until 2020, and instead, the automaker will shift focus on building more Jeep and hybrid vehicles.

FCA said in an investor relations call today that its Jeep brand performance in 2015 was stronger than expected, and it now plans to sell more than 2 million Jeeps globally by 2018 (annually), an increase of its prior target of 1.9 million set in 2014. Last year, the company sold 1.2 million Jeep vehicles globally.

FCA said China's tough market conditions, especially on imported vehicles, caused Maserati's growth plan to slow in 2015. It was also was the reason for the re-assessment of the Alfa Romeo product line-up introduction. The automaker said it will launch the Alfa Romeo Giulia and a mid-size SUV by the end of 2017, and will launch a full-size vehicle, a hatchback, and a specialty vehicle, among others, by 2020.

FCA said in the investor report it will introduce more hybrid vehicles, including hybrid versions of the Dodge Ram 1500 and the Jeep Wrangler.

The automaker said in North America, its industrial footprint will be realigned to match market demand and it will look to solidify partner opportunities to address compact and mid-size car segments.

FCA also today reported a profit of 377 million euros in 2015 ($410 million), a 40 percent decrease compared to 632 million euros in 2014 (about $687 million).

The automaker said there were about 4.6 million global shipments in 2015, about the same as 2014. The Jeep brand saw 1.3 million shipments in 2015, up 21 percent compared to 2014. 

Auburn Hills-based FCA US LLC said today it will make profit sharing payments up to $4,000 to eligible United Auto Workers employees as a result of the company’s 2015 financial performance.

About 40,000 employees will receive the payment on Feb. 19. The payment represents a 45 percent increase when compared to the $2,750 payment employees received in 2014.

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