Just like we did the other day with our favorite vehicles from 2018, the MoparInsiders.com team got together and discussed their choices for the most news worthy story of the year. Of course, it was pretty much unanimous that the sudden death of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne would be named the most news worthy story of the year in 2018. The second most mentioned story was the appointment of Mike Manley to the CEO position.
“After Sergio’s sudden passing, the appointment of Mike Manley to the position of FCA CEO was particularly notable. Over the past few years, Manley was able to change the Jeep brand’s products from cheap, tupperware semi-off road capable crossovers (and the Wrangler, of course), to a lineup of crossovers that each offer trail rated capability combined with on-road comfort, luxury features, and unique design. After his success with Jeep, it is no surprise that they saw fit to promote him to the top position. I think he will be able to bring some of the magic that has helped the Jeep brand become a big success recently to the rest of the FCA portfolio.” – Contributor and In-house Design Artist Ryan Dodd.
“I do agree with Sergio’s passing as the big moment this year. Although I didn’t agree with everything he did for the Chrysler brands (and FCA as a whole) but he has allowed us to be in a position to be complaining about his actions with the Chrysler brand, [as most people say] it just going through bankruptcy and never getting any of the awesome new products we have.” – Contributor Jonathan Brandon.
“Sergio’s passing and Mike’s appointment to CEO… those were some darn big moments this year (especially considering it did give us an answer to who would take over Sergio’s role as CEO of FCA). What Sergio has done for Mopar cannot be understated. No matter what the opinion Mopar-fans have of him, he is the one that kept Chrysler from the brink of collapse. And, through everyone’s hard work, has made FCA what it is today. Arguably the strongest it has ever been (including their time in the 1990s). Manley has a lot on his shoulders, but things are looking up. Sergio rebuilt the company(s), Mike needs to expand and continue strengthening them.
But I can not forget to mention my favorite news worthy announcement, the introduction of the 1968 Dodge Super Charger Concept at this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show and it’s 1,000 horsepower Hellephant 426 HEMI V8 Mopar Create Motor! Demon hood on a classic Charger? Brass Monkey Devil’s Rim Wheels? 1,000 horsepower!!!” – Contributor Cody Wagner.
“The biggest news story of the year has to be the untimely and honestly shocking passing of Sergio Marchionne. Hands down, there is no story that can beat this one other than Manley taking the reigns in a near seamless fashion and not allowing any turmoil or uncertainty to tear the company apart. With a new boss comes change, and many projects are being re-evaluated, but that’s just part of the process.” – Contributor Mike Volkmann.
“I have to agree with Sergio’s sudden passing and the appointment of Mike Manley to the CEO position. A lot of armchair quarterbacks liked to complain about Sergio’s every move and yes I don’t necessarily agree with everything but lets put it into perspective. FCA is hands down in the best position out of the North American Automakers. While GM is slashing Canadian and American jobs, closing plants all while producing the Buick Envision in China and bringing it to North America, FCA is bringing jobs back to America (Ram Heavy Duty moving from Saltillo, Mexico to the Warren Truck plant in a few years).
Mike Manley was Head of Ram and Jeep brands before his appointment to the CEO position and all it takes is one look at those brands to know that he gets it. I think he was likely the best choice for the CEO position and will continue to gain market share and continue FCA on this well planned path that they are on.” – Co-Editor Jared Balfour.
“I would say the most news worthy thing this year is the appointment of Mike Manley as CEO after the sudden death of Sergio Marchionne. I personally have been hoping that Mike Manley was Marchionne’s replacement, and it showed that it’s not just the Italian direction of the company that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles champions. Matter of fact, there is a lot of former Chrysler Group greats that have made it across both sides of the company. I think Manley has done a great job thus far, creating a management team that will push FCA further ahead including putting Reid Bigland once again as the Head of the Ram brand and Tim Kuniskis in charge of Jeep for North America.” – Co-Editor Robert Miller.