by David Zatz • Posted on June 6th, 2013
First shown in April at the New York Auto Show, the Jeep Cherokee was set to be in dealers at about this time. It was pushed back at least once, and now it appears that, due to at least two heat dispersion issues, the mid-sized SUV will start production around August. This will at least give Chrysler’s transmission plants time to ramp up nine-speed automatic transmission production, though it will most likely mean that Land Rover will get the world’s first nine-speed automatic in a standard production vehicle. Chrysler remains likely to hold the title for first nine-speed in a minivan.
Karl wrote that Jeep’s web site seems to confirm the change; clicking on the Cherokee photo now brings the title, “Coming Fall 2013.”
In the past, Chrysler has had problems with releasing vehicles that were not quite ready or fully field tested; historians can bring up the disastrous 1957 line, which erased a long-standing, well-earned reputation for solid engineering, while others can choose between the 1976 Volare/Aspen, 1989 UltraDrive, and 1995 Neon for their examples. Since Sergio Marchionne took over, however, the watchword has been “quality first” even if it causes delays or cost; allpar has reported an example in the past, where already-assembled vehicles with unsatisfactory parts were stopped in their tracks for in-house repair, and the number of “pre-complaint” recalls has increased. This most recent delay highlights both the company’s recognition that a late start is better than a botched launch, and the problem of overly aggressive launch schedules.
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....
In today’s print edition of Automotive News, Larry Vellequette wrote about one more facet of the ongoing battle for bragging rights among pickup manufacturers.
This time, Ram is engaged in a tussle with Ford over top towing rights. Ford claims the championship over the Ram 3500, saying its 4X4 crew cab heavy-duty pickup can tow 31,200 pounds, 1,200 more than the Ram 3500 regular cab 4X2, which Chrysler maintains has “best-in-class” towing....