by David Zatz • Posted on January 18th, 2011
Sergio Marchionne revealed that the hybrid Chrysler 300 sedan would be joined by a hybrid minivan in 2013 at the Windsor Assembly Plant celebration today. He also noted that a new compact car, replacing the Neon and filling a long-standing hole in the product line, would be the first to get a nine-speed automatic transmission when it arrives in April 2013.
The hybrid technology is, according to Marchionne, Chrysler’s own, which appears to run counter to earlier rumors that it would be based on that of Maserati. [Update: 20 pilot cars will get a hydraulic hybrid system. If this system is successful, it may be put into larger production.]
As hinted last week, the next generation of minivans will include a conventional van with a sliding door, a crossover, a full size front wheel drive sedan, and possibly other vehicles to sell under Fiat brands. All wheel drive appears to be returning to minivans, or to vehicles on the same architecture. All vehicles based on this architecture (at least for North America) are to be built in Windsor.
The Windsor plant runs three shifts, partly due to the closing of the St. Louis minivan plant. Currently, the Town & Country is the U.S.’s best selling minivan while the Grand Caravan is the world’s best seller.
If you can’t afford $60,000 or more for the real thing, or the insurance surcharges for driving a 707 horsepower car (even if you promise to use the 500-hp black fob), Dodge will help out by providing a Hemi Hellcat ring-tone for your phone.
The ringtone can be heard and downloaded from www.drivesrt.com/hellcatringtone....
Fiat S.p.A. announced its second-quarter results from Turin this morning for what could be the last time, if shareholders approve the Fiat-Chrysler merger on Friday.
Worldwide shipments rose 2%, to 1.2 million, in the second quarter as revenues rose 5% to $31.2 billion
NAFTA region shipments grew 10% while Asia Pacific (APAC) region jumped 42%....
According to a report in Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, the government is considering offering tax incentives to boost car sales in the country.
“We are thinking of using fiscal levers to encourage a renewal of our car stocks,” Transport Minister Mauritzio Lupi said today. “We are evaluating this project because that is what it means to have an industrial policy for this country.”
“We have the oldest fleet in Europe,” Lupi went on to say....
Allpar’s sources tell us that, despite the clear acceleration and fuel-economy benefits of the eight-speed automatic, the police are demanding that Dodge stick with the old Mercedes five-speed on Charger squad cars.
In 2014, both police and civilian Chargers had the five-speed, though civilians got the eight-speed with the V6 — and in 2015, the eight-speed will be the only transmission in any civilian Dodge Charger, including the SRT....