Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Chrysler South Africa (Pty) Ltd. (FCA South Africa), responsible for the sales and after-sales business of the Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Fiat Professional, MOPAR, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands, and have existed side-by-side in the South African market since 2012.
The National Sales Companies of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the World’s 5th largest automobile manufacturer, have been operating locally as separate financial entities for the past five years, albeit under one management team, and are due to take the next step towards full integration under the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles South Africa (FCASA) banner from early in 2018.
To see the company forward, Robin van Rensburg joined FCA as CEO early in 2017, and has brought with him a wealth of experience from several premium brands, “My role so far at FCA has been very interesting and challenging and I am looking forward to taking FCA South Africa to new heights”.
Challenging Industry Times
2017 has been a challenging year for the motor industry as a whole and the FCA brands have not quite taken their fair share of the demanding market conditions, yet the brands have managed to successfully launch a number of key models into the market that will continue our legacy into the future.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia was launched to huge acclaim in March into the D-Segment, introducing technology from the Ferrari and Maserati sibling brands, this was followed by the C-Segment Fiat Tipo in May, once again proving our brands do not shy away from one of the most competitive segments locally. Finally, we reintroduced the Fiat Panda with their eco-friendly, as well as duty-friendly, TwinAir engines. The range includes the functional 4×4 and Cross versions, the industry’s most cost-effective and only A-Segment 4×4.
With 2017 drawing to a close, the FCA brands will not be slowing down at any stage. The Alfa Romeo brand will launch the Stelvio SUV, the first SUV from the marque, towards the end of the year, one that has already shown great mettle in the International markets.
In 2018, the FCA expansion is set to continue with new models being launched locally; the all-new Jeep Compass is due to arrive in the first quarter, and the venerable Jeep Wrangler replacement will also make its first appearance later in the year. In between these models, the stonking Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, powered by a supercharged 707 HP V8 engine, will make its local debut and is certain to set the cat amongst the pigeons in the performance SUV segment. Numerous new model additions will also be added to the various Italian brands to keep the lineups fresh.
FCA will also say a fond farewell to two of the mainstay car brands, with the Chrysler and Dodge vehicle ranges no longer being available locally. This unfortunate situation has arisen from our principals in the USA no longer building Chrysler or Dodge vehicles in Right Hand Drive configuration. We will, however, continue to support and service the existing Chrysler and Dodge vehicles through our franchise dealers
Expanding Dealer Network
In addition to the product lineups, FCA will also be expanding its dealer network with new dealerships being planned for Sandton, Fourways, Menlyn and Durban following the consolidation of our dealer network in 2017. FCA will have 42 Service and Parts to ensure a greater reach to our aftersales customers.
FCA’s MOPAR brand has also grown significantly in 2017 offering Service and Parts to the dealer network from its modern and spacious warehouse in Rosslyn. With a supply rate of 95%, MOPAR has remained highly competitive in the premium segment
FCA will also be moving house with a new head office planned in the second half of 2018, the company has outgrown the current facilities and is looking to relaunch itself with a brighter and more modern corporate image.
Working towards the future
In closing, Robin van Rensburg added, “The future for FCA in South Africa is certainly an interesting one, my management team, indeed my entire staff complement, have their work cut-out for them and I am confident that we will succeed”.
“FCA’s brands have succeeded in the past, and, will once again, become a force to be reckoned with in the local market and we look forward to travelling this road with our customers, dealers and partners”.