Chrysler does not have any immediate plans to fill the limo-fleet void left by the outgoing Lincoln Town Car, according to brand CEO Saad Chebad. At the Detroit Auto Show last week, Chebad told Allpar:
Our fleet guys are looking into it. It’s always about volume and investment and whether that market now is shrinking. I’m not familiar with it, honestly, of what is happening in terms of market or share of the market from the town car days until today.
GM is producing the Cadillac XTS Professional for the fleets. Chrysler briefly produced an extended wheelbase Chrysler 300C line, which failed to gain traction against the Town Car.
Tarek Mallah, general manager of New York’s Dial7 and a co-founding member of the Livery Roundtable, said there were around 22,000 livery vehicles in New York City alone, including 8,000 “black cars.” Livery vehicles are called by end users and are often used as “airport cars;” “black cars” are paid for by business accounts.
Mr. Mallah cited the Chrysler 300’s drawbacks as rear legroom, luggage space, and reputation, since “past exposures” were unsuccessful; it was used largely by less prestigious car services, and never took off. The 300’s rear seat area was not sufficiently “dressed up” in the past, either. The 300C may help the car’s chances, since it provides the smoother ride and lower cost (both operating and up-front) of the V6 while still providing a luxurious interior with rear seat “dress-up.”
The Lincoln MKT has had resistance from drivers, fleet owners, and the public; the Escalade it is too high off the ground, and has high operating costs. The MKS’s leg room is too short, according to Mallah. Aftermarket extended vehicles are one possibility (though not for the expensive MKS). There are new options, including hybrids, and car services may choose to look at crossovers such as the Highlander and other nontraditional, non-premium-branded vehicles.
Dodge is showing four concept cars at SEMA: a Dart, Charger, Challenger, and Viper ACR. You can now see them all at Allpar, courtesy of Patrick Rall — now with the story behind them. Coming soon: Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, and Fiat concepts. See all the Dodge concepts
Months after unconfirmed reports made it to Allpar’s pages, the power of Automotive News, in the person of reporter Larry Vellequette, pried a key fact from Chrysler executives — that they cast and build “Ferrari” engines for Maserati. As our sister site pentastars.com reported, the engines are actually cast in Kokomo, and machined in the Trenton Engine plant, using a mixture of [...]
Long before the Challenger Hellcat was officially launched, Allpar noted that the engine — which we estimated at “620-680 horsepower” (depending on when the stories were written) — was being tested in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Then we wrote that it had probably been ruled out, for various reasons. Today, one source wrote that the trademarked Trackhawk name, which we had thought [...]