If you were paying attention earlier in the year to the business side of the automobile industry, you’d recall that Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles celebrated its 69th month of year-over-year sales improvements, implying that FCA is finally getting back on its feet, producing competitive and properly built automobiles that will surely put to rest any preexisting stigma haunting any of the nameplates.
But this is only the surface, and while things on the surface seem all dandy and well, in reality, they turned out not to be–and FCA could be in a lot of trouble for this.
Quite specifically, Bloomberg reports that a new lawsuit was filed earlier in the year by two Chicago-based FCA-branded dealerships, alleging that the automotive giant tried to lobby dealers into falsifying sales records, by marking unsold cars as sold. It also says that FCA would pay those dealers off at the last day of each month, then retract from the agreement the next day, like nothing ever happened.
One big thing the automotive world learned in recent years past is that it’s absolutely imperative you have your paperwork as up-to-snuff and spot-on as humanly possible. Recent lessons include the fixing of records and modification of imported Minis and Land Rovers to sneak them into the US to loophole the 25-year import rule.
AutomotiveNews also confirmed these lawsuits and allegations after they learned that the FBI is also involved, working with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate the lawsuits.
Other reports also say that the homes and offices of FCA employees were raided by the FBI and SEC, following a flash-wave of coordinated visits, on July 11. FCA was then forced to issue a statement, confirming their cooperation with the SEC and the Department of Justice.
– By: Chris Chin
Source: Bloomberg, AutomotiveNews