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Ram confirms Fiat Doblo-based ProMaster City for North America

Mon, 02 Dec 2013 11:00:00 EST

As Sergio Marchionne flies back and forth between Turin and Auburn Hills, he doesn't just bring Chryslers back with him to Italy to sell as Lancias. He also brings Fiat products to sell Stateside under various Chrysler labels, chief among them Ram.
The former Dodge truck brand launched the Fiat Ducato as the Ram ProMaster earlier this year, giving it a greater foothold in the commercial vehicle market and a replacement for the Sprinter which Mercedes-Benz took back from its Chrysler-partnership days. Now Auburn Hills has announced that Ram will begin selling the Fiat Doblo on this side of the Atlantic as the Ram ProMaster City.
The Doblo, which was twice named International Van of the Year, has sold over 1.3 million units worldwide. Whether that includes the rebadged version which Vauxhall and Opel sell as the Combo is another matter, as is the question over how much longer Fiat and General Motors will continue that particular partnership as the ties between Fiat and Chrysler deepen.

Chrysler stays IPO until 2014

Mon, 25 Nov 2013 14:00:00 EST

There will not be a Chrysler IPO in 2013. Fiat, according to a report from Forbes, has announced that it will not be able to make the American brand's initial public offering before the end of the year, saying that the short, five-week window that makes up the rest of 2013 is "not practicable."
Not surprisingly, the issue with the Chrysler IPO is the same as it's always been - a disagreement between parent company Fiat, which owns 58.5 percent of the Chrysler Group and a UAW healthcare trust, which owns 41.5 percent. Fiat wants to buy out the UAW VEBA healthcare trust, which is responsible for shouldering retiree healthcare costs, but the two sides are hung up on an actual price tag for the remaining two-fifths of the company.
The original idea saw an IPO as a way of setting a fair market price for the remaining shares, although it's not entirely clear what broke down and led to a delay of the IPO plan. As Forbes points out, by waiting until 2014, Chrysler could be risking a cool-off in the IPO market, which could mean less money in its pocket when the automaker finally goes public.

2014 Fiat Ottimo is an Italian Dodge Dart hatchback in China

Sat, 23 Nov 2013 17:20:00 EST

Could there be a car that could lead us to forgive Chrysler for the unloved Dodge Caliber? Yes, and it's called the 2014 Fiat Ottimo. This is the hatchback version of the Fiat Viaggio - a Fiat-badged Dodge Dart - that we heard about back in April, and it was just unveiled at the Guangzhou Motor Show to be built and sold in China next year.
This stylish little five-door looks good enough to proudly wear a BMW or Audi badge, with a two-box design that works really well with the Dart's design. Aside from the obvious Dart headlights, Fiat did a great job of giving the Ottimo a distinct and exciting face with an all-new front fascia and L-shaped running lights. Things stay classy at the rear of the Ottimo with taillights that have an interesting circular light pattern and chrome-trimmed lower fascia reflectors. Not that we have any say in the matter, but this hatchback would sure look good competing up against the all-new Mazda3 in the US.
As for what Chinese-market buyers have to look forward to, the press release posted below doesn't mention specific powertrain options, but we suspect it will be the same as the Viaggio. This includes two versions of the 1.4-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder (tuned for either 120 or 150 horsepower) paired with either a five-speed manual or six-speed DCT.

2014 Fiat 500 1957 Edition takes retro even further

Thu, 21 Nov 2013 18:01:00 EST

It's been 57 years since the "new" Fiat 500 was introduced in 1957, and to celebrate this iconic inspiration for the current 500, Fiat has revealed a new commemorative model at the LA Auto Show. The 2014 Fiat 500 1957 Edition will only be offered in North America, and it goes on sale next spring.
Paying tribute to the "Nouvo Cinquecento," this special-edition Fiat 500 has a throwback styling with its 1957-era wheel design and Fiat logo. The 1957 Edition also comes in a limited color palette consisting of classic hues including light green and baby blue with two-tone white roof and mirrors or a solid all-white paint job.
We think it's pretty cute, and you can judge for yourself after viewing our high-res image gallery above. If you'd like, Fiat's official press release can be found down below.

2014 Fiat 500C GQ Edition mans up [w/videos]

Thu, 21 Nov 2013 09:20:00 EST

Fiat dealers recently welcomed the five-door 500L into their 'studios' as a much-needed second model line, but franchisees are still clamoring for additional new model ranges as most struggle to reach profitability. There's more in the pipeline for the reborn brand, but in the meantime, Fiat continues to rely on special editions of existing products to drum up interest, in this case, the just-introduced 2014 500C GQ Edition. Meant in part to extend appeal of the tiny 500C to more male shoppers, the GQ Edition teams up the rolltop Cinquecento with publishing juggernaut Conde Nast for a (somewhat) more masculine special edition version of the 500 Turbo.
Chief among the exterior changes are 16-inch gloss black alloys with red-trimmed center caps, a more aggressive lower fascia and black-bucket headlamps, along with the requisite GQ badging. There's no additional chutzpah found under the Fiat's tiny hood, but that's okay, the 'Diet Abarth' Turbo model has a plenty adequate 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque from its 1.4-liter Multiair engine to go with its five-speed manual gearbox.
As you'd expect of a GQ-branded product, due attention has been paid to the interior furnishings, including a matte-finish body-color gauge cluster nacelle, and Nero black leather seats lifted by Alcantara inserts incorporating a Steam leatherette center stripe and GQ embossing on the backrest.

Fiat retraces its roots with 1957 Edition 500

Thu, 14 Nov 2013 13:15:00 EST

A car like the Fiat 500 is nothing if not retro, but the Italian automaker is making it all the more so with the 1957 Edition seen here.
Marking 57 years since the iconic Cinquecento launched in 1957, this new special-edition 500 upgrades on the model's Lounge trim level with such unique touches as throwback 16-inch wheels, vintage-style badges on the nose and tail, and an interior decked out in brown leather with ivory trim and gray door panels. It comes in either white, light green or the baby blue pictured here, the latter two colors distinguished by contrasting white mirrors and roof.
Power comes from Fiat's 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic, with a sport-tuned suspension and premium audio as standard. A limited quantity - Fiat has yet to say how many it'll build - will begin arriving at dealerships in the spring, with pricing to be announced closer to launch. In the meantime, you can check out the images above and the press release below.

SEMA-fied Fiat 500Ls are ready for mountains or beaches

Thu, 07 Nov 2013 09:00:00 EST

Fiat may be struggling with its 500L, but that hasn't stopped the Italian brand from bringing a pair of the larger five-door 500s to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
First up is the Fiat 500L Adventurer (pictured above). Painted bright white with a Vibrance Bright Orange roof and Satin Black body accents, the 500L Adventurer's color scheme does well on the car's body. The 18-inch wheels look sharp, although we aren't enamored with the 500L graphics on the car's doors. The cabin sports black, perforated suede and leather from Katzkin, while the exterior's contrasting orange reappears on some of the interior elements. Underhood, a Mopar cold-air intake has been fitted, while a cat-back exhaust aids breathing even more.
The Fiat 500L Thalassa (right) is the the car that looks like a creamsicle, with its Vibrance Orange body and white roof. Fiat claims it was going for a beach cruiser theme, which explains the surf boards and the Woody Wagon-inspired wheels. It's given a modern twist, though, with a lowered ride height and smoked head and taillights.

Fiat 500L production halted in Serbia

Fri, 01 Nov 2013 18:59:00 EST

News is trickling out of the Serbian factory that's responsible for Fiat 500L production that work has stopped due to a delay in parts delivery. Fiat has been mum on the reasoning for the stoppage, which is going on its tenth day, according to Automotive News. "Production ceased on Wednesday and we still don't know when it will resume," said a spokesperson for Fiat's Serbian operations.
While Fiat isn't saying what the issue is, AN is reporting a number of workers for a local transport company are protesting over unpaid wages. They've blocked the road and rail lines leading towards the factory, preventing the delivery of parts for production.
If the stoppage continues, it's going to be bad news for the 500L, as its numbers have just started to pick up following its launch in June. According to a report earlier this month, sales cracked 1,000 units in September. A lengthy delay in production will also count as another blow for local Fiat dealers, which have struggled over small profits, a limited lineup and rumors that Fiat stores will not be selling the Alfa Romeo 4C as promised.

Chrysler highlights Mopar lineup for SEMA

Wed, 30 Oct 2013 13:01:00 EST

SEMA is all about aftermarket parts, and in Auburn Hills that all comes down to one name: Mopar. After having previewed its lineup for this year's Vegas tuner expo earlier this month, Chrysler has now revealed what may not quite be its full dossier of modified show cars, but a good portion of them.
All told Mopar is preparing 20 vehicles for display at SEMA this year. Among them you'll find the Ram Sun Chaser, a 1500 Quad Cab show truck kitted out in two-tone orange and black paint, a roof rack for surfboards, onboard shower and convertible tailgate. The white Fiat 500L is called the Adventurer and is modified for a more rugged look that could hint at the upcoming crossover version. The Jeep Cherokee Trail Carver upgrades on the Trailhawk package with everything from roof basket to rock rails. To counterbalance the off-roaders, there's also a modified Chrysler 300S with a deep black paint job, special grille, Varvatos-edition wheels and more.
All four concepts details so far have Katzkin interiors as well, and there's also an unspecified Dodge Durango with a storm-trooper look in the gallery above. But for more details on what Mopar has installed on the Ram, 500L, Cherokee and 300, you'll want to delve into the press release below.

Chrysler readying 20 Moparized vehicles for SEMA

Tue, 08 Oct 2013 18:59:00 EST

The Las Vegas Convention Center has plenty of space for aftermarket companies and automakers to show off their wares, and it looks like Chrysler is taking advantage of the spacious floor plan. At next month's SEMA Show, Chrysler will have a full 20 cars from its six brands decked out with Mopar gear.
As a hint of what is to come, Chrysler released a handful of teaser sketches showing glimpses of modified Jeep Cherokee, Ram 1500, Fiat 500L and Chrysler 300 concept vehicles. The automaker will also use the venue to show off a new line of Jeep Performance Parts offered by the all-new Mopar Off-Road Division. In addition to the images, Chrysler also issued a brief press release - posted below - breaking down some of the "industry-first features" that Mopar has offered in recent years.