Free Siri Hands Free retrofit

April 29, 2016 - by David Zatz

FCA is giving away an upgrade for some 2013-2015 vehicles with the Uconnect 8.4 system. The revised firmware, which allows use of Siri Hands Free with iPhones, works with nearly two million cars and SUVs  including the 2013-15 Ram pickups (1500, 2500, 3500), and Dodge Viper; 2014-15 Dodge Durango, Jeep Cherokee, and Jeep Grand Cherokee; and 2015 Jeep Renegade, Chrysler 200 and 300, and Dodge Challenger and Charger. Various 2016 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat cars with  Uconnect 8.4 or 6.5 […]

The official Fiat 124 prices

April 29, 2016 - by David Zatz

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider will start at $25,990 with destination in the US, with a 1.4 liter turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque (165 hp in Abarth form). With the manual it is rated at 26 mpg city, 35 highway; the automatic garners an extra 1 mpg on the highway but takes it away in the city. The base Classica includes a dual-tip exhaust, black roll bar finish, and body-color header, side sills and […]

The actual FCA “shifter fix”

April 29, 2016 - by David Zatz

FCA is recalling over a million cars, mostly Chargers and 300s, with some Jeep Grand Cherokees thrown in. All have the eight-speed automatic and a ZF shifter that springs back into a neutral position after shifting. Many customers have complained about the feel and operation of this shifter (including some in the forums), but the recall is only designed to stop people from leave their car in gear or Neutral when it is running, by intent, forgetfulness, or because […]

Google minivan coming?

April 28, 2016 - by David Zatz

The Internet is abuzz with rumors that a “Google car” will use the Chrysler Pacifica body, which is already geared for electrical operation. Nothing official has been announced, despite the certain tone of some articles.  Sergio Marchionne said yesterday that FCA is unlikely to join up in the near future with an auto company, but that it was investigating deals with non-automotive companies; he said, “hopefully we’ll have something to say within 2016 on that matter […]

SM: More US jobs coming

April 28, 2016 - by David Zatz

Despite investments around the world, FCA will actually need more plant workers within the United States, according to Sergio Marchionne. While the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart are to be outsourced, new product and increased sales will result in more U.S. jobs, the FCA CEO said yesterday.  He added, “We’ll see a progressive improvement in margin generation [in North America] as we de-emphasize the passenger car side and start rebuilding our position and with the American plants in […]

Compass in Toluca’s future

April 28, 2016 - by David Zatz

In yesterday’s earnings call, FCA confirmed that the Toluca, Mexico plant will be shut down for retooling so it can produce the Jeep Compass replacement (which we believe will also be called Compass). Allpar sources wrote about the closure and Compass’ build location earlier this year. The Compass is believed to be closely related to the Jeep Renegade and the planned, announced Chrysler 100 small car — a car whose future may be in some doubt. The Toluca […]

China Cherokee sales started (updated)

April 28, 2016 - by David Zatz

Earlier this week, FCA announced that their new Chinese joint venture plant in Guangzhou had started making the Jeep Renegade. Yesterday, during the financial conference call, a company spokesman said that joint-venture Jeep Cherokee sales had already reached 9,000 per month, a hefty rate. The Jeep Renegade is made in Italy, Brazil, and China, and some believe it will eventually be made in Mexico as well, alongside the Jeep Compass and a small Chrysler car. (The photo shows a Cherokee in a […]

Correction: cars, Wagoneer, Alfa CUV

April 27, 2016 - by David Zatz

Sergio Marchionne’s comments in yesterday’s discussion of FCA’s earnings verified some rumors and solidified some dates, according to Prabhjot. First, Dodge’s rear wheel drive series will apparently be the “sole survivor” of FCA US’ own, non-outsourced midsize and compact passenger-car portfolio around calendar-year 2018.  Other sedans will be outsourced. The 300 does not appear to be covered in this. There will be two “all new” Jeeps, a Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, around calendar year 2018. This coincides with the move of […]

805-hp Hellcat X hits the track

April 27, 2016 - by David Zatz

The Dodge Challenger Hellcat X, a one-off built as part of a charity raffle, has gone to the track — though as this video shows, traction was a serious problem for an eighth of a mile. The modified 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is being raffled along with a custom 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T as part of a program which has been running since 2008. The Dodge Challenger Hellcat X uses the factory supercharger and a pair of turbochargers, just behind […]

Timing of new Mopar engine revealed

April 26, 2016 - by David Zatz

FCA US will invest $74.7 million in the Trenton (Michigan) Engine Complex to produce the next generation four-cylinder engine. It will replace the Pentastar V6 on a flexible production line installed four years ago in Trenton North; the V6 will still be made in Trenton South, Mack Avenue, and Saltillo (Mexico). The engine, designed in Auburn Hills (and possibly shown above), will finally be produced in the third quarter of 2017, and will have greater power with better fuel […]

Ram factory move explains C-200 drop

April 26, 2016 - by David Zatz

The Detroit News reported today that Sergio Marchionne confirmed a move that was rumored for months. Ram will change its primary production site from the historic Warren location to Sterling Heights, not far down the road but a much more modern plant. Warren will be renovated and used for Ram and Jeep overflow. This may explain the company’s plan to move the Chrysler 200’s production to a “partner” facility. The company will, as Allpar predicted, make the Jeep Compass in Mexico, as […]

Toledo JeepFest gains ground

April 26, 2016 - by David Zatz

Just hours after the Toledo Jeep Fest was announced by the old Willys Overland smokestack, Mercy Health announced a $25,000 sponsorship for the August 13 event. Toledo Jeep Fest, celebrating 75 years of Willys off-road vehicles (actual “Jeeps” arrived in 1946, 70 years ago), will include car shows, vendors, and music. The free-to-the-public event will start with a parade. Some streets will be dedicated to Jeep Fest, which will extend to the convention center. The military vehicle that […]

Q1: profits up, shipments down

April 26, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

This morning, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) reported a better-than-expected rise in first-quarter operating profits, thanks to a strong performance in North America.  Volume was below expectations, due to shortfalls in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. The world’s seventh-largest carmaker reported adjusted operating profit rose from $789 million in Q1 2015 to to $1.55 billion. Sales rose by 3%, to nearly $30 billion. Net industrial debt rose from $5.6 billion to $7.4 billion over three months; the company blamed seasonal and currency […]

Teen safe driving program for Detroit, Florida

April 26, 2016 - by David Zatz

The “Mopar Road Ready Powered by Dodge” teen safe-driving program will return to Center Line, Michigan, on April 30-May 1 and May 14-15, with two free two-day sessions; registration is on-line. The event is for drivers between the ages of 15-19, with a learner’s or driver’s license and at least 30 hours of driving experience. A $99 refundable deposit (plus processing fees) secures a spot. The training program is sponsored by the FCA Foundation with support from Mopar […]

Fleet dog-and-pony touring the US

April 25, 2016 - by David Zatz

FCA is taking its fleet dog-and-pony show across the United States, in an attempt to get more commercial buyers to buy Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram, and Fiat vehicles. Its 15-city annual road tour is for commercial, government, and rental fleet buyers, kicking off tomorrow (4-26) in Boston and Phoenix. Buyers will be able to check out the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica with an “experiential drive” including self-parking. Each half-day event  has product overviews, walk-arounds, service presentations, driving routes, and time to talk. […]

Is merger talk demoralizing? — the debate

sergio marchionne
April 25, 2016 - by David Zatz

Automotive News’ lead FCA reporter, Larry Vellequette, today covered the demoralizing effect of constantly talking about a merger, which Allpar forum members had been discussing in parallel terms (of customer attitudes). Many employees may be wary of merger talk, given the disastrous  Daimler takeover. Mr. Vellequette spoke “with scores of current and recently departed FCA employees” who believed that quoted merger savings of $10 billion per year would come out of current jobs. He talked about people who stood by Chrysler […]

Journey replacement postponed

Photo of 2016 Dodge Journey Crossroads on country road
April 25, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

Automotive News’ Chrysler specialist, Larry Vellequette, reported that the existing Dodge Journey will survive for two more years before the replacement originally scheduled for this year. In the 2014 five-year plan, the Journey was scheduled for an overhaul in July 2016,  with an SRT version appearing in January 2017, to “better align with Dodge DNA.” This change included moving from the current JC body to the CUSW platform which underpins the Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart, and Jeep Cherokee. Some insiders told Allpar that […]

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