All Belvidere employees offered buyouts; plant to stay open

All Belvidere employees offered buyouts; plant to stay open

Detroit News just broke the story: Chrysler is offering buyouts to all 2,600 employees at the Belvidere assembly plant in Illinois, along Route 80. Chrysler’s Ed Saenz said all 2,400 union and 200 administrative employees would be offered voluntary separation packages. The plant, which makes the closely related Dodge Caliber, Jeep Patriot, and Jeep Compass and had previously built the Neon, employed over 3,700 people as the year dawned,

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Dodge Challenger crash test: five stars, video

Carscoop noted that the NHTSA has crash-tested the Dodge Challenger, with five-star ratings for both driver and passenger, front and side impact; five stars for the rear passenger in a side impact; and four stars in rollover rating. Their Challenger had side curtain airbags and weighed 3,728 pounds. The dynamic test result, not surprisingly, was “no tip.” More data, video, and photos are at http://www.safercar.gov/portal/site/safercar/menuitem.db847bd57e3dc1f885dfc38c35a67789/?vgnextoid=c95df2905bf54110VgnVCM1000002fd17898RCRD

Read the full story: Dodge Challenger crash test: five stars, video  »


Chrysler celebrates 25 years of minivans

Employees, union officials, and city representatives joined reporters this morning at the Windsor Assembly Plant to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Chrysler minivans. Manufacturing chief Frank Ewasyshyn unveiled 25th anniversary editions of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, to be made available later in the model year.

Over 12 million Chrysler minivans have been sold worldwide, and, if Chrysler and Dodge models are combined,

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Chrysler reports 35% decline in sales, in line with industry

Chrysler announced that its October 2008 sales in the United States were 94,530 units, a 35% drop from October 2007. By comparison, GM sales dropped 45%, Toyota 23%, and Ford 32%.

Jim Press, Chrysler LLC Vice Chairman and President, commented that, “…despite this marketplace downturn, our critically important Dodge Ram launch is on schedule and our overall pickup truck share is on target. We look forward to rolling out the rest of our 2009 model year vehicles with improved quality and fuel economy and fighting for those customers who are in the market.”

The Dodge Ram remained the top seller,

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Michigan State Police releases squad car tests; Charger beats Fords

The Michigan State Police have started to report preliminary data from their tests of 2008 model year police cars. Since 2007, Chevrolet has greatly improved their Impalas, powered by two 3.9 liter V6 engines (one E85 capable and slightly slower in acceleration), while Dodge has improved the power and gas mileage of its Charger V8 squad car with variable cam timing, and has addressed issues with rapid brake wear. 

Read the full story: Michigan State Police releases squad car tests; Charger beats Fords  »


Chrysler changes trim packages on Sebring, Avenger, 300

Chrysler has changed the trim lines on Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler 300, and Dodge  Avenger to match customer needs for the 2009 model year. The moves go beyond previously announced 2009 model-year changes, and are designed to provide customers with desirable options on lower-priced cars.

The Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger lineups have been dramatically simplified, cutting costs while increasing value. The Limited has standard leather,

Read the full story: Chrysler changes trim packages on Sebring, Avenger, 300  »


Supplier: Phoenix V6 engines are “Chrysler’s hidden crown jewel”

Supplier: Phoenix V6 engines are “Chrysler’s hidden crown jewel”

A supplier who asked not to be named reported on Chrysler’s upcoming Phoenix V6 engines, saying that they would be certain to survive any takeovers or mergers. “They’re good on mileage and power, and they’re very quiet,” said the supplier, whose credentials have been confirmed. (Jim Press earlier confirmed that the Phoenix project was still alive and well.)

According to presentations given to numerous Phoenix suppliers by Chrysler engineers,

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Nissan ends talks with Chrysler

Nissan ends talks with Chrysler

The Detroit News reports that talks between the Renault-Nissan alliance and Cerberus Capital Management have ended. While future discussions have not been ruled out, sources say Cerberus would prefer to come to an arrangement with General Motors.

Neither automaker would comment, but those with knowledge of the negotiations say Cerberus believes a GM-Chrysler deal would be financially more advantageous as well as a better outcome for the U.S.

Read the full story: Nissan ends talks with Chrysler  »



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