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Chrysler wins $14.5 million federal grant

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler Group has been awarded a $14.5 million grant to develop a “flexible combustion system” for its minivan platform. The system will be designed to work with a smaller, turbocharged engine that uses direct fuel injection.

The grant came from a $187 million pool designated to assist in development of more fuel-efficient technologies for transportation. Chrysler received the second-largest of the grants awarded to the Detroit automakers, but Daimler Trucks North America (which includes the former Freightliner) was the biggest winner with a $40 million award to develop smaller engines. Companies receiving the grants must agree to match them with private capital.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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