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Americans in Paris

September 30, 2016 - by David Zatz

Special correspondent Shahab Anisi has been attending the Paris Auto Show, where Ferrari released two new supercars, Alfa Romeo showed off the Giulia Veloce, and numerous other automakers launched new or updated cars His main task for Allpar was to see about the presence of FCA US brands — which comes down to Jeep, at this point. His full coverage is still to come, but Shahab wrote, “That is a huge show; not too many beautiful cars to catch my eyes, but […]

What’s the end-game for musical factories?

Belvidere's Millionth
September 30, 2016 - by David Zatz

In the next two years, FCA will be moving products around in a game that will cost billions of dollars and eject passenger cars from every U.S. plant. That’s not the goal — FCA is trying to stop running some plants 24/7 while others are on single shifts. Earlier, we looked at the moves from a car perspective.  Today, we look at the assembly plants — two in Mexico, two in Canada, two in Ohio, one in Illinois, and four in Michigan.  In […]


Jeep: behind the Cat Stevens ads

September 30, 2016 - by David Zatz

Jeep’s new Grand Cherokee campaign, including the Cat Stevens song “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out,” showed up on September 26 as part of a larger campaign. It continues to celebrate Jeep’s 75th anniversary, 1941-2016. Head marketer Olivier Francois wrote, “This story speaks to the freedom of choice that we offer to consumers. Our ‘Free to Be’ message embraces two important core tenants of the brand: freedom and adventure, which any Jeep brand marketing campaign is […]


Supercharged Rebel TRX: 100+ mph, offroad (video)

race-pickup
September 29, 2016 - by David Zatz

Jim Morrison, fighting to keep two new Rams under their covers in the Texas wind, showed off the Lone Star Silver before getting to the main feature of the day: a serious off-road racing pickup… still in concept form. The big launch was the concept Ram 1500 Rebel TRX. Powered by a 575 horsepower, supercharged 6.2 liter Hemi, with 37 inch Toyo tires and six-piston calipers. It has side-exiting exhausts ahead of the rear tires, built into the rock […]


Why Texas matters

2012 Ram 1500 Lone Star 10th Anniversary Edition
September 29, 2016 - by David Zatz

Ford, Ram, and Chevrolet all make Texas-specific pickup trucks. There are two great places to be an auto writer — Michigan and Texas. In Michigan, you’re close to the automaker and can get to know them. In Texas, the automakers covet your writers’ association award and will go to some lengths to win your vote — mainly in the form of participating in car and truck rodeos. Why is Texas so important? More Texans drive pickup trucks than drivers […]


2017 Ram 1500 Lone Star Silver (video)

September 29, 2016 - by David Zatz

Today, Ram will announce a new Lone Star Silver, exclusive to Texas.  It will make its first show appearance at the State Fair of Texas, along with updates to other Ram pickups. The Silver takes Ram’s best-selling truck in Texas, the Lone Star, and adds a “luxury grille,” bright belt moldings, side-view mirrors, side steps, and 20-inch wheels. It also has front tow hooks and a grille-mounted, milled-aluminum badge.  Inside, it has new cloth and vinyl high- back bucket seats in brown […]


Looking back, in the Dart’s final week

September 28, 2016 - by David Zatz

This is the last week of production for the Dodge Dart, though dealers will, as planned, have supplies going into 2017. Many people have already voiced their opinions on why the Dart failed to capture sales. Some said that it was too far from the image of the 1960s-1970s Darts — whether they were seen as muscle cars or reliable, unexciting workhorses. Others saw a failed attempt to redefine Dodge performance as handling, rather than brute force acceleration. Some articles called the new […]


What’s the story behind the 707-hp Rallycat?

September 28, 2016 - by David Zatz

A supercharged Hemi-powered Dodge Challenger covered in mud, complete with off-road tires, has been making the rounds of social media. What’s the story behind it? Allpar’s Patrick Rall dug deeper,  and found that the “RallyCat” is indeed fitted with mud tires in back — and found that the owner hadn’t been pointlessly abusing a rare car. Patrick discovered the back story and the steps the owner has taken to keep the car safe while, yes, running it through the […]




China-Compass released

September 27, 2016 - by David Zatz

GAC-Fiat, the joint venture company that will make the Jeep Compass in China, has released the first official pictures of the new generation today. Not surprisingly, it looks the same as the Brazilian version. IndianAutosBlog, which sent the story to us, noted that there aren’t any market-specific changes they could see. They found the interior to resemble the Cherokee, with a dual-tone dashboard and gloss-black and silver trim. It has the 8.4 inch touch-screen stereo, seven-inch trip […]


Price out the 2018 Jeep Compass

September 27, 2016 - by David Zatz

You can now price out the 2018 Jeep Compass, including the inevitable-under-Fiat “Opening Edition” (it’s in English even on the Portuguese-language Brazilian site), on Jeep’s Brazilian web site (thanks, Karl). With today marking the first official day of production in Brazil, buyers within that country can already order their Compasses — and the build-and-price system is fully laid out, with numerous photos of each model, shots of the interior and engines, and more information than Jeep or […]


New vs old Compass “by the numbers;” videos

2018 jeep compass trailhawk
September 27, 2016 - by David Zatz

The new Jeep Compass will have better off-road clearances, except, ironically, in Trailhawk form, where the two will be similar: 2018 Compass Longitude 2018 Compass Trailhawk 2016 Compass Latitude 2016 Compass Trailhawk Approach angle 28.7° 29.1° 20.6° 29.6° Departure angle 31.9° 33.1° 28.5° 31.2° Ramp angle 23.2° 23.7° 20.6° 23.6° Min clearance 8.6” 9” 8.1” 9.1” What remains to be seen is whether the suspension articulation for the new Compass will be better than in the […]



Unifor set strike deadline for FCA

brampton-dodge-hellcat-web
September 27, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

As Allpar reported earlier, Unifor, the Canadian counterpart to the UAW, has chosen FCA for the next round of bargaining. Reuters has now said that the union has set a tentative strike deadline of midnight on Monday, October 10. The union also said that talks would begin immediately since the new contract with General Motors has been ratified. The GM agreement includes a 2% wage increase this year and a second 2% bump in September, 2019. Workers will […]


What’s going where?

2018 jeep compass
September 26, 2016 - by David Zatz

Today, we look at FCA Musical Factories, focusing on the cars. Cherokee, Compass, Patriot, and new Chrysler: The new Compass will be made in Mexico, while the Patriot is being replaced by the Italian-made Renegade. This lets the Cherokee can move to the Belvidere plant (which also made the Dart). It may eventually be joined by a Chrysler crossover — longer and lighter than the Cherokee. C300, Challenger, Charger, new Chrysler, and Pacifica will all stay where they are, in Canada, likely joined in calendar-year […]


Dodge dominates Funny Car

NHRA-Drag-Racing-Web
September 26, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

Jack Beckman took the Funny Wally and advanced four spots in the 2016 Countdown to the Championship this afternoon in St. Louis, Missouri. The Dodge Charger R/T tripped the lights 0.2767 seconds (about 94 feet) ahead of Tommy Johnson Jr., also in a Dodge. Beckman’s second win of the season was enough to jump him from seventh to third, while Johnson’s second Countdown final-round appearance propelled him up to second, 48 point behind Ron Capps. Dodge drivers […]


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 […]


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