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Fiat Chrysler to ditch diesel by 2021 as boss Marchionne sets out ambitious strategy

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will ditch diesel engines in its cars by 2021, becoming the latest major manufacturer to abandon the controversial fuel.
Unveiling a five-year strategy, chief executive Sergio Marchionne said the fuel type will be phased out in its passenger cars over the next three years in Europe – though it will remain in the company’s commercial vehicles.
The announcement was backed up by plans to invest €9bn (?7.9bn) in electric vehicles with 30 new battery or hybrid models by 2022.
FCA – which also owns the Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Maserati marques – says it is facing an increasingly harsh regulatory environment over emissions, with the potential for a ban on conventionally-powered cars in some European cities.
In the wake of the VW scandal, governments are cracking down on diesel, which they say is more polluting than petrol.
Fiat Chrysler to ditch diesel by 2021 as boss Marchionne sets out ambitious strategy

New life has been breathed into the Alfa Romeo marque with new models, such as the Stelvio SUV 

Credit:
Rod Fountain/BBC
Setting out his plans, Mr Marchionne – who took over the business 14 years ago on Friday – said that traditional petrol engines will remain “in the vast majority of our products”, with a 60pc target for electric vehicles in Europe.
Speaking at an event near Turin, the boss of the Italian-American business added: “There is no single solution, no magic formula. We are confident about our know-how and the options we have available.”
The plan focuses on four brands in the company's stable – Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Ram and Maserati – because Mr Marchionne sees them as the "most protectable" as self-driving technology moves closer to reality.
He was asked what would happen to the business if self-driving means consumers no longer actively seek out certain cars or even no longer own them.
"All bets are off if we move to a 'white box' where there is no relationship between the brand and the consumer," he said. "But I would struggle to see any brand out there that will survive if we move to white boxes."
The car chief also set out ambitious plans to grow the company’s Alfa Romeo marque to 400,000 cars a year by 2022, up from the 109,000 cars sold last year, with the addition of six new models including the return of the famed GTV badge.
Luxury brand Maserati has been set the target of doubling sales to 100,000 cars by 2022, with analysts saying the addition of electric drive to the historic marque means it is seeking to take on Tesla.
RAM Trucks – the US brand best known for its pick-ups – is aiming for at least a 20pc sales rise to 930,000.
Fiat Chrysler to ditch diesel by 2021 as boss Marchionne sets out ambitious strategy

Offroad marque Jeep has been tasked with near doubling global sales by 2022
Off-road marque Jeep – which was the subject of speculation that a Chinese group was bidding for it last year – is tasked with going from a 1 in 17 market share in the segment to 1 in 12. Using the mid-case forecast for the segment, this equates to a sales rise for Jeep from its current 1.9m to almost 2.8m vehicles a year.
Helped by the flotation of 80pc of Ferrari two years ago, Mr Marchionne has also achieved one of his long-held goals - getting the car business back into the black.
“I expect that when we close the books at the end of June, we will report a net industrial cash position,” the car boss said. “FCA now has the ability to control its own destiny.”
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