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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Chrysler bringing call centers back home

According to Paul Alcala, Chrysler’s Director for Customer Satisfaction, Senior Management, the company is in the process of returning support for the Customer Assistance Center toll-free telephone number from India back to the United States.

Alcala says the transition will take several months to complete, but some calls are already being handled in America and the percentage will grow over time to 100 percent.

There will be two U.S.-based centers,

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Chrysler threatens Canada with plant closures

Windsor Assembly WAP

Chrysler president Tom LaSorda has threatened one of its best markets, Canada, with a shutdown of its plants if it cannot get massive concessions from the Canadian Auto Workers. Chrysler currently produces all its minivans and large cars, along with many parts, in Canada; the company’s Windsor, Ontario plant has traditionally had higher quality than its corresponding American plants. 9,000 employees are directly affected. 

LaSorda claimed that the CAW’s negotiated wages led to a $20 per hour disadvantage compared to Asian automakers. 

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