Large cars: Refresh, not replacement

May 31, 2016 - by David Zatz

Reliable Allpar source oh20 wrote that Chrysler’s large cars will be refreshed for the 2019 model year, giving the current platform another lease on life until around 2021. He wrote that the Challenger (LA), 300 (LX), and Charger (LD) will continue through 2020, and that the 2018s don’t appear to be a “huge change.” The new Challenger debuted in 2015, making 2020 its five-year mark. For 2018, oh2o wrote, “I would look for nothing more major than […]

Bigland in running for top job?

May 30, 2016 - by Bill Cawthon

In this week’s print edition of Automotive News, Larry Vellequette wrote that Reid Bigland is in the running for the next CEO of Fiat Chrysler. The head of sales’ new mission to run Alfa Romeo and Maserati could be his final exam for the top job. His primary rival seems to be Mike Manley, whose stewardship of Jeep and international background has been in his favor. UK-born Manley has international experience and a long track record managing all […]

Best 2018 Jeep Wrangler spy shot?

May 28, 2016 - by David Zatz

Numerous spy shots have been taken of what seems to be the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, but an Allpar member may have caught the best ones — if it is indeed a prototype. You can clearly see aspects of the new Jeep that were told to Allpar over the past year or two, including a tilted grille for better aerodynamics, an apparently longer hood (to allow for an eight-speed automatic and north-south straight-four engine?), and a new, thicker […]

The Dodge Viper after 2017

May 27, 2016 - by Daniel Bennett

Speculation. Though it is a fine flagship car, its factory has no official commitments past 2017, which suggests that the Dodge Viper’s days may be numbered. The Viper is quite expensive to engineer, with its unique engine and chassis. The huge V10 has already been beaten in peak power by the Hemi Hellcat, which won’t fit into the snake car. Some argue that the Challenger Hellcat is a better Dodge flagship, and it has certainly drawn many people into showrooms. FCA leaders, though, […]

Three little recalls, one huge recall

May 27, 2016 - by David Zatz

FCA US has hit Friday running, with no less than four recalls. First is a recall of fasteners used in just over one hundred 2016 minivans; these join the third row seat back and cushion frame. A supplier used an incorrectly set tool. Customers will be notified soon. Second is a recall of just around one hundred 2016 Jeep Cherokees, due to a supplier problem. No failures are known of yet but a failure would be dangerous. Customers will be notified soon. […]

Mopar enticing mechanics with tools

May 26, 2016 - by David Zatz

According to Dale Jewett, writing on the FCA US blog, Mopar is now trying to help dealers attract new mechanics through the Student Tool program. Some dealers have complained about a shortage of technicians as requirements have increased, and the company believes they will need 3,500 more technicians in the next three years alone, due to sales growth. Auto techs have always purchased their own tools, with a “starter” set costing $10,000 and up. This is usually […]

Jefferson hits six million

May 26, 2016 - by David Zatz

The relatively new Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit logged its six millionth vehicle yesterday, a 75th anniversary Jeep Grand Cherokee. Jefferson North started production in 1992, and made Jeep Grand Cherokees ever since, along with Jeep Commanders and Dodge Durangos. Designed from the start as a flex plant, it has 2.7 million square feet of space, after a 1999 expansion. The five millionth vehicle made there was a 2014 Grand Cherokee (see it being made). Mentioned […]

Self-driving in Novi

May 25, 2016 - by David Zatz

Google is to open a self-driving car technical center in Novi, Michigan, according to the Detroit News and many other outlets. The 53,000 square foot building, at 46555 Magellan Drive, will be used to adapt Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans to become autonomous. The head of the project, Google’s John Krafcik, also said that other self-driving research partners were in the Detroit area. Google and FCA have a non-exclusive agreement, and both are in talks with other companies.

The “Charger Pacifica”

May 25, 2016 - by David Zatz

Recently, a respected magazine ran a caption suggesting that the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger might move to the Pacifica platform. The idea is likely based on Sergio Marchionne’s comment that the Pacifica could, (not would), spawn a full-sized car. Most likely, this would be a Chrysler. Not necessarily one carrying the 300 name — Concorde, Vision, and Intrepid would all be applicable (along with LHS and 300M) — but a Chrysler nonetheless. That is the brand it would fit best […]

Fixing hard shifts with the missing PROXI

May 24, 2016 - by David Zatz

Some readers have reported rough shifting after work was done on their car. This may not be a bad transmission, but a missed step in the repair: skipping the “PROXI alignment,” which updates information in all the car’s systems. Matthew Libanio, for example, had his TCM (transmission control module) updated; the dealership did a “quick learn,” but failed to do the PROXI alignment, apparently through confusion, resulting in poor shifting. PROXI integrates the car’s many computers, from navigation to the transmission. One […]

Canadians get more official FCA body shops

May 23, 2016 - by David Zatz

FCA Canada announced an exclusive agreement with Certified Collision Care, a grouping of body shops, to co-develop, launch, and manage the Mopar Certified Collision Repair Facility (MCCRF) program. MCCRF is being created to set up certification and turnkey programs for dealers and independent body shops to become certified by FCA Canada, for uniform quality of crash repairs. The idea is to give customers high-quality options while cutting the costs of participation for shops. Existing Certified Collision Care facilities will […]

300, Challenger, Charger to stay in Brampton?

welding at Brampton
May 23, 2016 - by David Zatz

Chrysler’s large cars will continue to be built by FCA, according to Sergio Marchionne, who also noted that the company had invested a great deal into the Brampton facility where they are made. His remarks reinforce speculation that the L-series cars will stay in Brampton at least through 2020. The comments were made in response to questioning about plans to move production of the Dart and 200. The plant where the 200 is made will be converted to Ram truck […]

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