New work, new hires for Mack Ave, Trenton, Warren Truck

Chrysler is growing again: the company today announced it plans to invest nearly $240 million and add as many as 1,250 new jobs at the Mack I Engine Plant, Trenton North Engine Plant and Warren Truck Assembly Plant.

Mack will get $198 million to add the production of the Pentastar V6 beginning in 2014. Up to 250 new jobs will be added, based on market conditions. When the 4.7-liter engine the plant currently builds is phased out in the first quarter of 2013, Mack I will begin producing crankshafts for the Trenton Engine Plant, followed by production of cylinder heads and cylinder blocks.

Trenton North will see an investment of $40 million to add a flexible production line that can run both Pentastar and Tigershark engines. This investment is in addition to the $114 million announced in June to repurpose about one-fifth, or nearly 400,000 square-feet, of Trenton North for production of core components for the Pentastar engines produced at Trenton South.

Warren Truck will get a third shift beginning in March 2013, adding 1,000 new jobs to produce the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup. Chrysler’s Mike Driehorst, writing in the Chrysler blog, notes that Warren Truck will be the third Chrysler plant to add a third shift in a year. Belvidere Assembly and Jefferson North Assembly are also now running three shifts.

Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed the plans, saying, “Today is another important milestone in living up to the commitment we made more than three and a half years ago to our employees, this city, this region and our country to transform this company. All of these investments are the direct result of a lot of people who have battled courageously to bring Chrysler back to a state of growth. It is our contribution toward helping southeastern Michigan get back on its feet.”

Marchionne was joined by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, UAW Vice President General Holiefield and Warren Truck General Manager Bob Hollingsworth for the announcement.

“I want to thank Mayor Bing and all the other state and local officials who worked with us to make these investments possible,” Marchionne said. “Together, and with the support of our UAW partners, we are committed to building something that will have a long lasting, direct impact on this community.”

With the latest actions, Chrysler has now invested $4.75 billion in its U.S. facilities and added 6,000 new jobs since June 2009. Group’s investments in its U.S. facilities increase to nearly $4.75 billion since June 2009.

“These new investments and new jobs are a testament to the determination we all had – management, labor and our workforce – to making the best of the second chance we were given in 2009,” said General Holiefield, Vice President and Director of the UAW Chrysler Department. “In partnership with the UAW, Chrysler Group is helping grow good paying manufacturing jobs and securing the future manufacturing base in this country.”

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CR and FCA quality


Many people regard Consumer Reports as the last word in car reliability, despite problems with CR’s methods and an attitude which leads to cease-and-desist letters for posting pages like this one.

The current guide was headlined by Buick’s rise to #3, but the secondary story was FCA brands anchoring the bottom, along with Tesla.

What happened?

FCA can counter CR with good scores in J.D.

Read the full story: CR and FCA quality  »

Envisioning the 2018 Jeep Cherokee

For the next Jeep Cherokee, Susan Rand and “DarkSky” considered what the phrase “a more traditional front that is still unique” might mean. Sources claimed that the body would remain essentially unchanged.

Since the “headlights below the DRLs” aspect of the current Cherokee is the most radical change from the norm, both renderings swap the two positions, putting the headlights up high, with integral DRLs, parking lights in a separate area,

Read the full story: Envisioning the 2018 Jeep Cherokee  »

Ram: King of Canadian trucks

Ram-Canadian Truck King

For the third time in a row, the Ram 1500 has been crowned the overall winner of the Canadian Truck King Challenge.

The tenth annual Canadian Truck King Challenge, run in Ontario but including seven judges from across Canada, includes real-world evaluations covering nearly 4,000 km, during which payload is tested up to 4,000 pounds, towing is tested up to 15,000 pounds, and off-road capability is assessed.

There were eleven pickups entered into the Canadian Truck King Challenge competition,

Read the full story: Ram: King of Canadian trucks  »

FCA profits shot up — driven by US


FCA’s adjusted operating profits shot up in the third quarter, with profits in North America rising from 6.7% of sales a year ago to 7.6% of sales. North America once again drove profits for FCA as a whole, but the Europe/Africa/Middle East region returned to profitability.

Net income went from a $420 million loss in the third quarter of 2015 to a net profit of roughly $660 million in this past quarter.  

Read the full story: FCA profits shot up — driven by US  »

Ram leading in van growth

With a nearly 47% year-over-year increase as of the end of September, Ram leads the market in commercial van sales.

Nine months into 2016, Ram has sold 39,214 ProMasters — 26,544 full-size ProMasters and 12,649 compact ProMaster Citys.

In September, monthly sales of Chevrolet and Ford vans fell, while Ram van deliveries were up more than 10%. The big ProMaster outsold every full-size van that didn’t wear a blue oval or a bow tie.

Read the full story: Ram leading in van growth  »

CR and FCA quality

Envisioning the 2018 Jeep Cherokee
Ram-Canadian Truck King
Ram: King of Canadian trucks
FCA profits shot up — driven by US

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