Chrysler, Fiat boards okay alliance

The boards of Chrysler LLC and Fiat SpA have given their executives the green light to proceed with the proposed alliance between the two automakers. The fate of the deal now depends on the actions of the Obama Administration’s auto task force. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has already said the final form of the alliance could change based on the conditions the federal government puts on the loans Chrysler is hoping to obtain.

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AMC racing legend loses battle with cancer


Dave Kanners, who partnered with Richard Maskin in campaigning AMC Hornets on the Pro Stock tour in the 1970s, passed away on Friday, March 27, after a five-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Kanners died just days before celebrating his April 1st wedding anniversary with his wife Sue.

Maskin & Kanners took an AMC Hornet X Hatchback all the way to the 1976 NHRA World Finals where Kanners qualified No.

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CAW, Chrysler differ on whether there is a wage gap

Al Iacobelli, Chrysler’s Chief Bargainer, was quoted in a Chrysler release as saying:

After several days of bargaining in good faith, Chrysler and the CAW have not reached an agreement that closes the competitive gap with other automobile manufacturers in Canada, to ensure Chrysler’s immediate viability. …

The Company has been very clear in its Canadian Government testimony and position with the CAW: we must ‘close the competitive gap’

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Fiat checking Chrysler plants

Fiat SpA has hired Environ Holdings, Inc. of Arlington, Virginia, to conduct environmental and safety studies of Chrysler factories. The Italian automaker wants to ensure there are no potential liabilities should the proposed alliance be completed.

The alliance, which is still contingent on Chrysler’s receipt of additional government funding, is widely viewed as Chrysler’s best scenario for long-term success. Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli has said the Fiat contribution of small car platforms and technology is worth about $10 billion as it would help the company reduce its dependence on trucks and achieve new federal efficiency standards.

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Chrysler top brass give up bonuses

The top 25 executives at Chrysler LLC each have signed a waiver giving up any new bonuses or severance packages. The move was needed to comply with the conditions of the government-backed loan package the company received.

Chrysler still plans to pay substantial retention bonuses that were included in a plan set up in 2007, while the Auburn Hills automaker was still part of DaimlerChrysler. These payments have been approved by the Treasury Department.

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Challenger convertible spotted

Jalopnik has a photo of a Sublime Green Dodge Challenger convertible taking a trailer ride to the scrap heap. The car was probably constructed at the Auburn Hills tech center to evaluate a potential addition to the Challenger line. Since most of Chrysler’s upcoming products have already been shown in various government filings and a Challenger drop-top wasn’t among them, the photos on Jalopnik may be as close as we get.

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Chrysler announces 25th Anniversary minivans

Chrysler and Dodge minivans continue to have over a 40% market share in the U.S. and are the third most popular vehicle in Canada. In celebration of 25 years and 12 million units of minivan production (which started in 1983 with the 1984 models), Chrysler will sell 25th anniversary Dodge and Chrysler minivans. The special editions will have special badges, wheels, and numerous features including “premium” leather seats.  

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Nardelli: Chrysler can stand alone

Bob Nardelli

Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli today sent an e-mail to company employees affirming that the automaker can survive as a stand-alone business.

The message was spurred by questions from President Obama’a Task Force about the proposed alliance with Fiat SpA.

In his message, Nardelli wrote: “We were asked by the task force whether Chrysler is viable without a global alliance partner. Our answer is absolutely yes (and I am sure you will agree with me),

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