Among the largest of automotive groups with multiple brand nameplates and ranges to look after is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
Taken at face value, you’d be forgiven for thinking only of the Italian compact-car specialist and to an extent, American behemoths such as the Chrysler 300C. However, the Global FCA rabbit hole goes deeper. There’s also Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Ferrari, Maserati, Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge that fall under the global FCA umbrella.
Graham Eagle is a stalwart of the local automotive industry with a career that spans 20 years, including a stint at Nissan. He recently left as Honda South Africa’s operational director and is now at the helm of FCA South Africa as co-CEO.
We recently spent time with the leader as he unfurled the company’s plans ahead of a 2019 full of promise. Among his most unenviable of tasks is to resuscitate struggling Alfa Romeo, which currently sells fewer than 10 cars a month. It’s an undertaking that he admits will take much to correct a lot of past wrongs.
According to Eagle, a change in tack begins with consolidating what already exists in terms of staff, infrastructure, dealer operations, marketing and product alignment. The company is strengthening its dealer network with new premises, chief among them in Bryanston where it has taken over the old Investment Cars building while also realigning the ratio of new, pre-owned and service centre representation nationwide.
From a promotions perspective, Eagle says the company and Fiat headquarters have agreed to review product line-up and pricing, which he admits was a little unrealistic for this market. He says renewed competitiveness has been given the go-ahead and the FCA product range will match rival brands on pricing and finance options that reflect current trends and customer demands, such as the previously unheard-of 72 months repayment plan.