Canadian sales: Oddly mixed bag

Not surprisingly, FCA’s Canadian sales dropped by 19% in the first quarter of 2020. There were two reasons: the coronavirus, and, for those in and around the oil industry (most of Alberta and some of BC), an oil war that is devastating shale-oil producers. Oil is currently trading at roughly half the price shale-oil producers need just to break even.

There was some good news, namely a 50% increase in Ram Heavy Duty pickup sales (though only to 3,282,

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FCA US sales down, new incentives and digital sales announced (updated)

drive forward

FCA US sales dropped by 10% for the first quarter, as strong momentum in January and February was clobbered by the coronavirus in March. In some states, dealership sales were banned completely in mid-month; by then, many or most dealers had already taken steps including extra sanitizing protocols and providing their best price up front, to cut haggling time and, in turn, reduce the number of people in showrooms.

FCA US sales fell from 498,425 in Q1 2019 to 446,768 in Q1 2020.

Read the full story: FCA US sales down, new incentives and digital sales announced (updated)  »


FCA expands Covid-19 relief, providing a million meals to children

FCA has announced the second step in their Covid-19 relief efforts, working with non-profit organizations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio to feed children while schools are closed, with the intent of this program spreading across the nation and into both Canada and Mexico.

FCA got involved with the Covid-19 relief effort earlier this week by announcing that the company was converting some vehicle production facilities into medical mask production facilities.

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Gilles: New design direction for Dodge?

Lucid Air and Ralph Gilles

Is Dodge heading for a new design direction—something eschewing today’s endless recycling of the same oddly shaped, oversized grilles (a trend which Gilles himself has not overindulged in)? It looks like FCA US design chief Ralph Gilles and Lucid Air are both going in the same direction—sleeker and simpler, without uselessly oversized grilles.

The orange rendering (above left)  is a Dodge experimental design posted by Ralph Gilles recently;

Read the full story: Gilles: New design direction for Dodge?  »


Ram TRX Rebel to feature adaptive suspension, adjustable steering

We once again had a chance to speak with a few of our contacts inside of FCA who are familiar with the Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 TRX Rebel.

Last time we spoke with them, we learned that the supercharged pickup would offer somewhere in the 700-horsepower range and that it would look a great deal like the 2016 concept, except with the general design of the current generation.

Read the full story: Ram TRX Rebel to feature adaptive suspension, adjustable steering  »


FCA to make millions of face masks, ventilators (updated with US info)

According to Reuters, FCA will be converting one of its Asian plants to make face masks for health care workers; they believe they can reach one million masks per month in short order. These masks can only be used for a brief time before being discarded, so large numbers are needed.

A later version of the story noted that FCA will “start manufacturing face masks in the coming weeks with initial distribution across the United States,

Read the full story: FCA to make millions of face masks, ventilators (updated with US info)  »


Mopar racing legend Larry Rathgeb passed on today

Racing legend Larry Rathgeb, one of Chrysler’s famed msucle-era engineers, passed on today.

Rathgeb was inducted into the Mopar Collector’s Guide Hall of Fame in 2012, which pointed out that he became the head of Chrysler’s Special Vehicle Group in the 1960s. He built numerous winning stock cars, and, in their words, “took the Charger Daytona and Plymouth Superbird from fantasy to reality.”

Larry Rathgeb was the lead engineer for racing development on the Dodge Charger Daytona. 

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Track Shaker helps get your Mopar on a road course

Track Shaker

When Dodge introduced the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye and the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody to the media, the company did so at a road course.

Although modern muscle cars traditionally haven’t gotten a world of respect in the road racing world, the Challenger and Charger have both become far greater road-handlers in the past few years.

Read the full story: Track Shaker helps get your Mopar on a road course  »



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