by David Zatz • Posted on November 15th, 2012
Sergio Marchionne’s recent interview with Automotive News’ Luca Ciferri yielded both new information and confirmations of prior rumors.
First, Chrysler’s CEO revealed that the new architecture for the Chrysler minivans was already complete, though the timing of their launch is still unknown. The figure “within 21 months” was tossed out as a possibility. This indicates that the new minivans are most likely around 2 years from being available on dealer lots. Chrysler’s schedules have been tight and delays have become common as a result, so 21 months is likely to be on the early side of an estimate.
While he said his preference would be to have sliding doors on the Town & Country replacement and standard doors on a Dodge crossover, he also said that the issue would likely be decided by current clinics and market research.
Mr. Marchionne said that the Chrysler 100 was nearly complete, and just needed approval. It will be sold in Europe as the Lancia Delta. Earlier reports suggested that, while a team effort, Chrysler 100 development was led by Lancia people. It is based on the same basic architecture as the Dodge Dart, with rumors and Allpar projections suggesting it will be sold as a hatchback even in North America; the hatchback form was confirmed in the interview.
Perhaps most immediate, the next-generation Chrysler 200 has been confirmed as being unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2013. This car is based on the same basic platform and architecture as the Dodge Dart, and is expected to be somewhat larger, with traditional luxury cues inside and out, and a 3.2 liter V6 option coupled to a nine-speed automatic (if that transmission is ready). Production would likely start around March to July 2013.
He also confirmed that the Maserati Levante would be built at Miarifiori, and that the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was coming to Jefferson Avenue.
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....