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Chrysler to accelerate production of 2013 Ram and V6 engines

Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:44:00 EST

Chrysler is adding a third shift at its Warren Truck plant to meet demand for the new 2013 Ram pickup. And with tight supplies of its Pentastar V6, the company is also boosting output at its Mack Engine plant.
The expansions will add 1,250 jobs and are part of a $238 million investment by Chrysler in the Detroit area. Warren's third shift will begin work sometime in the spring, a Chrysler rep told Automotive News. Mack's increased Pentastar production a could include both 3.6 and 3.2-liter engines.
The company says it also plans to invest $40 million in its Trenton Engine plant to allow for production of a 3.2-liter V6 as well as the Tigershark inline-four for the upcoming Jeep Liberty replacement.

Hurricane Sandy cost automakers 15,000 vehicles, may have ruined up to 200k

Wed, 07 Nov 2012 16:29:00 EST

Hurricane Sandy was the largest Atlantic storm in US history, and its total economic impact is just now coming into view. According to Automotive News, Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan and Honda are set to scrap around 15,000 new vehicles ruined by the storm. Nissan alone accounts for about 40 percent of those, with 6,000 Nissan and Infiniti models deeded "un-saleable" due to damage. The company saw 56 dealerships shuttered due to the storm, but 51 of those have since reopened.
Toyota, meanwhile, had some 4,000 vehicles at its Newark port facility, and of those, 3,000 may be scrapped. An additional 825 were dealer inventory when they were ruined. Honda and Acura dealers are reportedly sending 3,440 vehicles to the salvage yard. By comparison, Chrysler weathered the storm fairly well with 825 units destroyed, while Hyundai suffered only 400 lost units and Kia scrapped around 200.
As you may recall, Fisker also suffered some losses, and Automotive News reports the manufacturer saw 320 Karma models damaged beyond repair. Ford and General Motors have yet to come up with estimates, and no automaker has commented on the full cost of replacing the vehicles.

Ford tumbles to second worst in Consumer Reports reliability survey, list dominated by Japanese [w/video]

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 15:59:00 EST

It's no secret that MyFord Touch has had its share of problems since being introduced, but the most recent reliability survey from Consumer Reports shows just how much this infotainment system has affected Ford. Just two years ago, the automaker was in the top 10 for the institute's reliability rankings, but since then, it has tumbled to the second-lowest rung just above dead-last Jaguar. In addition to MyFord Touch, CR also attributes a handful of new products that have had issues right out of the gate.
Compiled from 1.2 million subscriber surveys, this year's auto reliability survey heavily favors Japanese automakers, with eight of the 10 spots hailing from Japan. Toyota brands grabbed the top three spots (Scion, Toyota and Lexus - in that order) with Mazda, Subaru, Honda and Acura filling the next four spots. The only non-Asian automaker cracking the top 10 was Audi at number eight.
Audi climbed a total of 18 spots from last year, and Cadillac and GMC round out this year's top gainers breaking into the top 15. Helping Cadillac's upward movement, the CTS Coupe was named the most reliable domestic car. Lincoln, Volvo and Chrysler join Ford on this year's biggest loser list.

Chrysler launches new Ram ads and gears up for Super Bowl XLV [w/videos]

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:15:00 EST

Perhaps no car company has made bigger splashes in the last two years at the Super Bowl than Chrysler, and the automaker's marketing chief, Olivier Francois, said today that he plans to be all over the big game again in February.
Last year, the company made an ad featuring Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood. The spot achieved viral status quickly when pundits charged that Eastwood's lines were politically motivated; meant to appeal to progressive voters/viewers favoring a second term for President Obama. In 2011, agency Wieden & Kennedy burst into the game with a now famous commercial featuring Eminem. Both ads have supported Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" marketing platform.
Francois briefed reporters Monday at the Detroit Opera House while he also debuted a new series of ads for the Ram brand.

2013 Ram HD and Chassis Cab pickups are ready for work [UPDATE]

Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:01:00 EST

Auto enthusiasts often point to the pony car wars as the last bastion of one-upsmanship among Detroit's automakers, but the truth is, the pickup wars are every bit as competitive - if not more so. Auburn Hills keeps a ready eye on what their rivals in Dearborn and Detroit are doing, and vice-versa. Today, that battle is renewed with the introduction of Ram's 2013 Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab lines at the State Fair of Texas. Why a state fair? The Banner State is the perfect battleground for pickup supremacy, as Texas accounts for one of every five pickups sold in the U.S.
Towing and hauling metrics are poised for a substantial improvement. "... and not just by a little bit."
On the HD front, Chrysler is boasting that its brand-new heavies will bring best-in-class towing, torque, payload and Gross Combined Weight Rating, but thus far, it's declining to cite what those figures are. For the moment, though, Fred Diaz, President and CEO of Ram told us at an Auburn Hills background event earlier this month that key towing and hauling metrics are poised for a substantial improvement. "And not just by a little bit. I think we're going to shock the world," said Diaz.

These cars are headed to the Great Crusher In The Sky

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 14:58:00 EST

It happens every year. We bid adieu to some cars and trucks that will be missed, and say good riddance to others wondering how they stayed around so long. Whether they're being killed off for slow sales or due to a new product coming along to replace them, the list of vehicles being discontinued after 2012 is surprisingly long and diverse.
CNN Money has compiled a list of departing vehicles, to which we've added a few more of our own. In the slow sales column, cars like the Lexus HS 250h, Mercedes-Benz R-Class and the full Maybach lineup appear, while the Ford Escape Hybrid, Mazda CX-7 and Hyundai Veracruz are all having their gaps filled with more modern and more fuel-efficient alternatives. Obvious exceptions to the rule include models that still sell in decent numbers like the Jeep Liberty and the Chrysler Town & Country (which will eventually be replaced by a crossover-like vehicle).
Check out our gallery of discontinued cars above, then scroll down for more information.