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Toledo, Mack bronzed

September 23, 2016 - by David Zatz

The Mack Avenue Engine and Toledo Machining Plants have gained bronze status in World Class Manufacturing (WCM), bringing the North American bronze total to 19. Mack Avenue, which makes the Pentastar V6, had been slated for closure when its original engine reached the end of its life. Under Fiat, it was pressed back into active duty. Brian Harlow, head of North American manufacturing, said that under WCM, and with help from the UAW, “our employees are suggesting process […]

What’s the future of Ram International?

September 23, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

Ram’s display at an auto show in Germany is testing the waters to see if there is more than a small niche market for full-size pickups. There’s no doubt the pickup market is growing in the European-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region. Last November, when FCA was launching the Mitsubishi L200-based Fiat Fullback in Dubai, the company told Automotive News Europe that mid-size pickups make up 23% of the industry’s total 675,000 sales in the EMEA region. The Middle East and […]

FCA is next for Unifor

September 22, 2016 - by David Zatz

Unifor, the inheritor of the Canadian Auto Workers, announced today that FCA would be its next bargaining target, with negotiations beginning once its deal with General Motors is ratified. The union’s chief goal is future investment. Windsor is unlikely to be an issue, but the Brampton plant, where large cars are made, could be.  FCA is likely to commit to further investing in the Etobicoke casting plant near Toronto. The deal with GM involved a half billion dollars of […]

Why focus on city mileage?

September 22, 2016 - by David Zatz

Until recently, automakers seemed to work harder on boosting  highway mileage than city mileage, using aero tricks and gearing. Now, they are spending big money on weight loss and hybrids to gain city mileage. Why? Aero and gearing work wonders on the highway, but city mileage is far more important to most people in actually using less fuel. While most consumers are attracted by highway economy numbers, e.g. “Up to 41 mpg!,” that doesn’t help much in meeting fuel economy rules. Start mpg Gal. saved/ […]

Ram goes to Europe

September 21, 2016 - by David Zatz

Ram will have its first-ever display at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Exhibition, a trade fair for commercial vehicles and logistics.  The September 21-29 event in Germany marks Ram’s first-ever official presence at a show outside of North America, and is, according to FCA, a harbinger of a greater international presence — as predicted by Allpar. In the past, Ram trucks have been shown in Europe, by importers. Ram will feature a Hemi-powered Ram 1500 Quad Cab Sport, with an […]

Chrysler designer Colin Neale

September 20, 2016 - by David Zatz

Long-time Chrysler designer Colin Neale died this weekend in Michigan, of natural causes, at the age of 89. The Detroit Free Press and numerous other publications marked his passing, noting that the English designer had worked on numerous cars over the years.  He started at Briggs in England, and ended up under Ford when they bought the company; many Americans are familiar with his work through the Ford Anglia (the “flying Harry Potter car”). He also designed the rear of the 1961 […]

Pacifica: prices vs incentives

A new Chrysler Pacifica comes off Windsor Assembly Line
September 20, 2016 - by David Zatz

Yesterday, the Windsor Star covered incentives and pricing on the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, which has replaced the Town & Country and is likely to be the replacement for the Caravan as well. The newspaper, printed in the minivans’ home-town, quoted a Kelley’s Blue Book analyst as saying that incentives were around $3,000 per van at this point, higher than Toyota and Honda, but lower than the Town & Country’s $4,300 from last year. The average sale price of […]

New Hellcat+taxes prize

September 20, 2016 - by David Zatz

The people at Dream Giveaway are running new sweepstakes, one of which includes a 707-horsepower Dodge Charger Hellcat — and $20,000 to go towards taxes. The Charger Hellcat comes with a standard eight-speed automatic and high-end sound system; this one has 20-inch Brass Monkey SRT forged wheels and a “Hellcat” badge on the grille. The sweepstakes is being held by New Beginning Children’s Homes, Inc., which also has Chevy, Ford, Lamborghini, and Apple events, is a religious […]

Insiders on the 2019 Ram pickups

September 19, 2016 - by David Zatz

Automotive News has published a surprisingly detailed piece on the 2019 Ram 1500 launch. The industry weekly claimed that the “DT” series pickups, essentially to FCA US profits, are right on schedule for production at the end of January 2018. These will be the first pickups ever to be made in the Sterling Heights Assembly plant, which has made midsized cars for years. The conversion from car to truck assembly will take months. According to writer Larry Vellequette, to […]

Weekend racing action (Updated)

racing Dodge Challengers in Canadian Tire NASCAR series
September 19, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

After the weather cleared in Fraserville, Ontario, Cayden Lapcevich claimed the NASCAR Pinty’s series championship, Rookie of the Year title, and the owner’s championship for his mother, Sherri, who owns the #76 Fastline Motorsports Dodge Challenger. Lapcevich needed only to be in the field at the start of the race to clinch the season victory, but he ran a good race, finishing second behind Jason Hathway’s Chevrolet.  He finished the season 54 points ahead of Dodge […]

2018 Jeep Compass: spied, no camo!

2018 jeep compass
September 18, 2016 - by David Zatz

Brazil’s Autoo spotted the 2018 Jeep Compass with no camouflage at all yesterday. The new car is essentially a continuation of the current Compass in concept — a tough-bodied light-weight compact crossover with one version that is engineered for off-roading and others that are suitable for rain, snow, and dirt roads, all in a Jeep Grand Cherokee-style skin. The Compass is essentially a differently styled Jeep Renegade, as far as we can tell; it will start production in […]

Allpar show times (Saturday)

September 16, 2016 - by David Zatz

The tenth Allpar meet will take place at Teterboro Chrysler, next to Teterboro Airport, in Little Ferry, New Jersey, from 10 am to around 3 pm.  There will be food, fun, a DJ, and trivia prizes. The dealership is at 469 Route 46, near Route 80 and 78 and between the Parkway and the Turnpike.  It is sometimes misplaced by navigation systems, but there is an airport across the street which is hard to miss, and both Turnpike and Parkway […]

Mopar vs world in St Louis

September 16, 2016 - by David Zatz

The Monster Muscle Car Weekend will return to Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Lous on October 1 and 2. Traditionally an all-Mopar event but not any longer, it includes quarter-mile drag racing, a Mopar swap meet, and manufacturer’s midway.  JP Motorsports, a new promoter, is adding “Mopars vs the World” drag racing, welcoming other cars to drag race against the Chrysler contingent. The car show will have a Mopar-judged competition and a “fun field” open to all makes. Four specialty races […]

Why move Compass to Mexico?

September 16, 2016 - by David Zatz

Why is FCA — and, for that matter, Ford — moving cars out of the United States? The answer may be found in a web of trade agreements, which resulted in interlocking spheres of discounted or nonexistent import duties. Belvidere makes the Patriot and Compass, and used to make the Dart, but will soon make just the Cherokee (and possibly a Chrysler crossover based on it). While the Cherokee was popular in Europe, for a Jeep, the Renegade has […]

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