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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

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

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 […]

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 […]

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