http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.69Change: -0.05
R/$ = 12.32Change: -0.01
Au 1168.78 $/ozChange: -0.02
Pt 1083.00 $/ozChange: 1.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Aug 28, 2012

Chrysler CEO mulls B-segment SUV, pick-up entries, as well as Fiat revival

Back
Africa|Building|Chrysler South Africa|Engines|Fiat|Trucks|Africa|South Africa|United States|Butter Product|Launched Products|Product|Products|Trent Barcroft|Fiat 500|Jeep|Jeep Wrangler|Operations|Panda|Punto|South Africa
Africa|Building|Engines|Trucks|Africa||Products||Operations||
africa-company|building|chrysler-south-africa|engines|fiat|trucks|africa|south-africa|united-states|butter-product|launched-products|product|products|trent-barcroft|fiat-500|jeep-product|jeep-wrangler|operations|panda|punto|south-africa-region
© Reuse this



Chrysler South Africa (SA) is on track to set a new sales record, says CEO Trent Barcroft.

“This year we hope for anything north of 9 500 units. The sales high point for us was in 2001 at around 7 950 units. Last year we sold around 7 500 vehicles.”

While Barcroft regards the current momentum as “pretty good”, he wants more.

“The opportunity definitely exists to sell more.”

Barcroft says newly launched products, such as the 300C sedan and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 will all help to keep on pushing numbers upwards.

“The full-size sports-utility vehicle (SUV) is really our bread and butter product. The Jeep brand is our volume spinner. We sell every Grand Cherokee and Compass we can get our hands on.”

Jeep Wrangler sales have also doubled since last year, aided by factors such as improved quality, new engines and some fresh colours.

Barcroft also contributes Chrysler’s growth to offering “value for money vehicles” which do not offer “a lot of options at extra cost”.

“We simplified the range and it worked.”

Looking to the future, Barcroft says there is a small, B-segment Jeep SUV coming to the global market “in the long term”. This vehicle will also find its way to South Africa.

“A B-segment SUV will open the South African market for us,” he notes.

He says the B-segment numbers around 100 000-unit sales a year in South Africa, with few SUV players active in this part of the market.

“I would also love to play in the half-ton and one-ton pick-up market. Dodge knows how to built trucks,” adds Barcroft. “This is on the top of my list when I have discussions with my principals.”

Fiat’s Fortunes
Chrysler’s revived local fortunes is very much linked to its stellar product-driven recovery following a bailout from the US government during the recent recession. Italian auto maker Fiat also made a strong contribution to the turnaround, and currently owns 58.5% of the US brand.

In South Africa, however, Fiat is more the straggler than its American sibling. Early in the 2000s Fiat sold “10 000, 11 000 units a year,” says Barcroft, who earlier this year was also appointed as Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa CEO.

Current sales are roughly half that, with Fiat expected to move around 5 000 units this year.

Barcroft would like to change this.

“Fiat’s product range is not massive – it shrank quite a bit – and there is formidable competition out there. But, there is the opportunity for a bigger slice of the pie. There is great opportunity to unlock Fiat’s potential.”

Barcroft says it is possible for Fiat products to garner more attention, for the brand to streamline its range, to sell through more dealers, and for Alfa to make a strong comeback, especially as there still exists a “lot of nostalgia” for this badge in South Africa.

“Fiat is in a segment of the market Chrysler never played in. When we look at the range, I think we can streamline the offering. We do not need a range that cover every inch of the B- and C-segment with every model iteration possible.”

Barcroft also regards Fiat light commercial vans – the Fiorino, Doblo and Ducato – as “hidden gems” that are underpresented in sales.

The Fiat half-ton pickup, the Strada, is, of course, a thing of the past as the new model is not available in a right-hand drive version, as “costs to do this are too high”.

Barcroft says the Fiat 500 and Punto will soon have facelifts, and the new Panda is also on its way.

Looking at dealer networks, Barcroft notes that Chrysler currently has 41 dealers, up from the recent 36.

“We added some new outlets from the middle of last year. We needed to touch the market more effectively.”

Several of the new dealerships were outside major cities, such as Ermelo, with product “absolutely flying”.

Fiat currently has 22 dealers, with two more opening in September. However, these will be combined Chrysler/Fiat dealers.

“Fiat needs more coverage and Chrysler can provide this,” says Barcroft.

As for the future of the two brands under one CEO, Barcroft says the companies will remain two entities, but that they will operate as one.

Fiat and Chrysler operations will then also move from their separate head offices into one new building, in Midrand, by the end of October.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Latest News
An end to wage negotiations within the local government sector could be in sight as a conciliator’s proposal, setting out a number of settlement suggestions to resolve the deadlock, was expected on Monday. The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu)...
Development financier Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) executive Noludwe Ncokazi on Friday said the organisation had the “huge responsibility of ensuring business continuity”, following the resignation of ECDC subsidiary Automotive Industry Development...
South Africa’s second-largest oil refinery, Engen Refinery (Enref), is set to undergo a three-day planned maintenance outage from July 9 as part of an ongoing maintenance programme to ensure that the facility, which delivers a significant portion of South Africa’s...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
NHLANHLA NENE The main constraints to economic growth are domestic
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene earlier this month stated that, while South Africa’s 2015 economic growth target of 2% was achievable, it was not enough to deliver the tax revenue needed to combat the country’s challenges.
The World Steel Association has published the 2015 edition of the World Steel in Figures report, which shows an increase in steel production as well as provides an overview of steel industry activities from crude steel production to apparent steel use.
The 25-year master plan for Gauteng’s Aerotropolis project will go through a process of approval and adoption during June and July, says Aerotroplis project manager Jack van der Merwe. “We are also in the process of putting together a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to...
SOLAR PANELS The existing buildings in the Coega Industrial Development Zone lent themselves well to rooftop solar panel installations
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) plans to fit 15 of its buildings, totalling 127 000 m2 of roof space, in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), in the Eastern Cape, with solar panels.
The Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA’s) November 2014 judgment, ordering steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to hand over the 2003 Environmental Master Plan for its Vanderbijlpark steel plant to environmental pressure groups, confirmed the right of civil...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96