by David Zatz • Posted on January 21st, 2014
The Chicago Auto Show is the largest show in North America, based upon floor square footage, even after a 2009 cutback in South Hall floor space.
According to correspondent Jim Choate, Chrysler’s space in Chicago is almost twice of the size of the space they have in Detroit, and is the largest space out of all the automakers at 101,378 square feet. In contrast, one of the world’s largest automakers, General Motors, has just under 99,000 square feet, while America’s #2, Ford/Lincoln, has just over 70,000. Admittedly, around 20,000 square feet of Chrysler’s space is used by indoor test tracks.
For 2014, Mr. Choate reported that Chrysler is changing its usual setup by moving SRT over to its own five thousand square foot display at the far north end of the North hall — nearly as far as it can be from the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram/Fiat setup at the far south end of the South Hall. This puts SRT much closer to its own competitors (BMW, Infiniti, Audi, Jaguar/Land Rover), the Comcast Super Car Garage display, and Fiat’s own Maserati.
The separation of SRT from Dodge and Chrysler has previously been explained as an attempt to make the brand more credible to buyers in its price range; rather than being an upscale mass-market car, SRT is attempting to be a high-performance marque. The separation of the SRT brand was intended to make it more palatable to buyers in the $50,000-and-up range, particularly those who would normally be buying a BMW or Audi.
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....
San Francisco-based Glass, Lewis & Co. has recommended that its clients approve the Fiat Chrysler merger this Friday.
Glass Lewis is one of the two leading proxy service companies in the world, the other being ISS which last week advised its clients to vote down the merger.
According to a Reuters report, the company said the benefits of the merger outweigh concerns about voting rights....
NHRA Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens didn’t race at Sonoma and she won’t be competing at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle.
Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman two-event “holiday” at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver.
Despite her very impressive racing resume, Enders-Stevens lacks a real sponsor and it’s likely this was a major consideration, especially since she had built up a 241-point lead over Allen Johnson, who is second in the point standings, at the end of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio....