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Pickup assigned to contractor?

by David Zatz on

An unconfirmed report from Auburn Hills claims that the next generation Dodge Dakota “lifestyle vehicle” and, possibly, Chrysler’s flagship minivans are being engineered largely by an outside contractor — Daimler, AG.

While Daimler’s time of control over Chrysler led to numerous problems and the rapid disappearance of profits and retail sales, it appears that Daimler was the low bidder to create a new Dakota and participate in re-engineering the minivans.

This unconfirmed report also suggests that new engineers working for Daimler are being required to accept under $24 per hour, a fairly low wage for qualified engineers. Employees working on the cars are allegedly being pulled from the Daimler Michigan tech center.

The upcoming Dakota pickup is said to be more of a Dodge Rampage (a lightweight, front wheel drive version of the El Camino/Ranchero concept) updated for the future than a 1987-style Dodge Dakota or Honda Ridgeline. However, past statements from Chrysler officials indicated that it would have capacity similar to the original Dakota.

The source of these allegations also predicted that minivans would include AWD again, before Sergio Marchionne’s comments on the subject.

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