[Originally aired July 25, 2018]
Wes Lutz, 2018 NADA Chairman and Dodge-Chrylser-Jeep Dealer, joins the network to discuss the future of FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) after the unexpected passing of CEO Marchionne and new leadership.
The FCA brand over the last few years has climbed it’s way to the top of all charts within the Automotive Industry. With Jeep trailblazing the direction of sales, the company is in a promising position on the leaderboard. Mike Manley, recently announced active CEO of FCA has had a large hand in that as he has spent the last several years leading the Jeep brand in a positive and profitable direction. Wes Lutz speaks highly of Manley, calling him one of the last “brands guys” and the importance of this in the industry.
Overall, Lutz believes the brand will be just fine. With previous intentions for the late Marchionne to retire in 2019, the FCA Board of directors and the team have had time to compile a transition plan. Though the formality of the transition happened differently than planned, there has been a 5-year plan in place that will continue to outline the next few months and coming years.
It is obvious that Lutz has a great appreciation for Mike Manley. He tells CBT Automotive that Manley has always been hands-on and takes time to listen and talk with dealers. He also comments on his devoted work ethic and detail driven mindset.
Manley began in retail, which Lutz thinks is going to be a huge asset to the company and for its dealers. “They really have a vision going forward,” Lutz tells Jim when asked about the direction and Manley’s ability to fill the needed shoes. He adds, “I’ve felt more comfortable with FCA in the last 18 months then I have in the last 5 years. They really seem to be focused on their product plan, and the product always wins in the market”.