Chrysler Car Blog

American Car Maker Chrysler – Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge

Chrysler activates Ram Truck Division, plans to launch a new van by 2013

RAM-CommercialAround two years after splitting the Dodge lineup into two brands, one of the Dodge passenger vehicles and the other for Ram trucks, the the Detroit car manufacturer is creates a sub-division to handle commercial vans and trucks under the Ram brand.

The Ram Commercial will market the 3500, 2500, and 1500 pickup trucks, and Chassis Cabs such as the 5500, 4500, and 3500 in Ram C/V and Tradesman trim. They also plan to roll out the ProMaster model by next year.

The 2014 ProMaster will be the version of the Ducato van series of Fiat in North America and will be released for sale after the second half of 2013. The Ram ProMaster will strengthen the commercial lineup that offers vans and work trucks.

The executives of Chrysler see the timing and features of the new Ram ProMaster as perfect for the brand and the commercial customers. They also recognize the brand’s relationship with italian carmaker Fiat, considered to be the leading manufacturer of commercial trucks, crucial access to technologies and great products that can help them up their sales in the United States and Canada.

The Ram Commercial team will also release a version of the Fiat Doble that will hit showrooms early 2013.

Mopar-enhanced vehicles to be showcased by Chrysler at 2012 SEMA

Chrysler will be teasing automotive aficionados with five vehicles modified by the guys from their Mopar brand, and more to come at the upcoming SEMA or Specialty Equipment Market Association.
The initial list includes a RAM pickup, Fiat 500, Dodge Charger, Dodge Dart, and a Jeep Wrangler. Chrysler is expected to make everyone drool for their 20 Mopar-enhanced rides that will go on display in their booth during the SEMA to be held at the convention center of Las Vegas.

It is not really an overkill since Mopar is celebrating its 75th birthday this year. Mopar began as a company marketing antifreeze back in 1937 and has grown to be a supplier of almost 300,000 parts and accessories for a wide variety of vehicles.
Chrysler is very proud of the innovations introduced by Mopar. This includes the electronic manual for owners, wireless charging system for portable electronics, interactive tracking device, and the first ever V-10 equipped drag car.

Chrysler has not revealed any details yet about the Moparized rides so we need to wait and see. Only renderings were released for everyone to oggle at for the mean time. So stay tuned for our coverage on this.

Chrysler pressured to warn consumers about wobble issues of Jeep Wrangler

2010_jeep_wranglerThe Chrysler Group is being pressured by some Democrat members of the House to issue a “wobble” warning for the Jeep Wrangler due to problems on its front suspension.

The representatives from California wrote to Sergio Marchionne recently to ask the company to release a statement and warn consumers about the vibrations on the vehicle and the means to prevent or repair the problem. The letter points to Wranglers that were model years 2005 to 2010.

Chrysler replied with a statement that the vehicles are up to the safety standard set by government agencies and even exceed these standards based on their excellent history in terms of safety. They added that the vehicles with solid axles may be prone to the said problem but can be routinely addressed by changing tires or using a steering dampener.

The lawmakers beforehand sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration so the problems can be looked into. The NHTSA said that they got 402 complaints out of the 542,134 Jeep Wranglers from the specified model years. They reported that there were two crashes with one resulting to non-fatal injuries.

The complaints about the Wrangler report of a vibrating effect when the SUV runs faster than 45 mph or when it goes over bumps on the road.

The NHTSA reviewed that the incidents do not merit an investigation. The lawmakers though still complain and believe that it is a very serious matter that consumers must know. The safety body promised that they will monitor the situation.

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Spotlight: Rallye Redline 2012 Dodge Challenger

2012-Challenger-Rallye-RedlineChrysler just unwrapped the Rallye Redline edition of their 2012 Dodge Challenger as a tribute to the Festival of LX, the biggest gathering of owners of Dodge Magnum, Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, and Dodge Charger in North America. The car looks amazing but it only has a V6 under its hood.

The V6 though is a great performer. It is a 3.6L Pentastar V6 powerplant which gives out 305 horsepower and a torque of 268 pound feet. So clearly it is built to provide the muscle car fun following the brand’s tradition.

The performance upgrades include the improved rear axle, performance suspension, performance disc brakes, steering system, and 20 inch rims with wider performance tires. So the Challenger Rallye Redline is sure a better drive.

You do not buy the Challenger RR though for its handling but you buy it for the looks and its feel. Undoubtedly, the Rallye Redline excels in both departments. A redline strip goes over its hood scoops, deck, and roof with thinner side stripes on the side to add some detail. The deck-lid spoiler follows the color of the body which adds to its performance look while continuing the red stripe on its center. The rims are also finished in black to give it a very bad boy getup.

The Challenger RR comes in four colors: Pitch Black, Bright White, Tungsten Metallic, and Bright Silver Metallic. The interior can be set up with performance seats in leather finished in Dark Slate Gray or Radar Red.

The RR also comes with a host of features and equipment borrowed from the SXT Plus. From the hands free phone technology, speakers, 276-watt amplifier, Nappa leather seats, satellite radio, fog lamps, auto temperature control, power seat, stability control, six airbags, dual exhaust, and keyless entry.

The price is the best feature of the Challenger RR. The tag starts at just $28,745 plus some for destination cost. It will be a great toy car for anyone who can afford it.

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Chrysler News: 2013 SRT Viper to be launched during the New York Auto Show

chrysler-viperBased on the latest reports, Chrysler is aiming to showcase the new Viper at the 2012 motor show in New York that will start on 4 April.

There is also a loud buzz that there will only be a very limited supply of the 2012 Vipers which also means that the screening for potential owners will be monitored closely by the car manufacturer. And insiders are saying that a buyer must actually own a Dodge Viper before being considered for the new purchase.

Chrysler has confirmed the reactivation of the Conner Avenue factory in Detroit for the production of the Viper. The company will be tapping the 150 employees who once worked in the assembly plant which is really designed just for the Viper built.

The SRT division of the company has renewed vigor under the manage of Fiat as the carmaker wants to get rid of a low-budget image in their market earned under the helm of Daimler in the early part of the past decade.

SRT which stands for Street Racing Technology was established back I 2004 to add some oomph factor to the products of Chrysler.

Chrysler is very careful not to leak any essential information about the upcoming SRT Viper but there are rumors that it will be getting some inspiration from the 8C Competizione of Alfa Romeo for its front end design. Some parties hint that it may get some hints from the second gen GTS.

Fans are looking forward for the SRT Viper to retain the basics in terms of form and style. Viper lovers are also hoping that the V10 will be retained but it might even be made more monstrous than the 8.4L displacement and give out more than the 600 horsepower it is known for.

Other hints include a traction control system put into place for the new Viper and interior styling that may be more on the luxury side. The latter might get some reactions from the purists but buyers of a sports car with a tag price of more than $100K might appreciate a better than usual cabin.

Chrysler looking to invest $165 million for a body shop at Michigan plant

Chrysler group is planning to spend $165 million to put up a 1 million sq. ft. body shop in their Sterling Heights factory in Michigan. The body shop will start making the mid-size sedan for Chrysler by 2013. At the moment, the factory is being utilized for the production of the Dodge Avenger and the Chrysler 200.

The recent announcement follows the December 2010 investment of the company on the Sterling Heights factory. Before the end of 2011 the car manufacturer announced an $850 million investment to fund a the new paint shop for the factory. Since 2009, Chrysler has injected around $3.5 billion to improve its factories in the United States.

For Chrysler employees, the plant in Sterling Heights have become a symbol of how the company is trying to comeback from the struggle. Cerberus Capital Management, which previously owned the company opted to close the said factory but Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler CEO decided to take a different path and keep it operational.

610x-516x350The midsize sedan of Chevrolet will be built using the platform of Fiat reworked for the market in the United States.

The investment of the company will give way to the construction of the body shop, installation of advanced technology conveyors, and more equipment.

The Sterling Heights plant was not pointed to specifically in the recent UAW contract which is due for ratification of the rank and file. It was also not made clear if the most recent investment is included in the $1.3 billion investment that is to be poured into their U.S. factories as outlined in the tentative contract.

Chrysler Ram 1500 PHEVs join assessment program in selected US states

Finally, American automaker Chrysler Group LLC is stepping into the electric hybrid segment. Chrysler will be participating in an evaluation program in selected US cities and states who will test about 140 units of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV).

p25 Chrysler Ram PHEV

About fourteen units of Chrysler Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will arrive in the San Francisco, California on August 2, 2011 from Chrysler who will take part in this automobile program that will last for three years.
According to the statement provided by Chrysler, San Francisco will be the one to evaluate the performance of these PHEVs in a real life setting.

The PHEV we’re talking about is the Chrysler Ram 1500 that comes with the combination of a 6.6 kilowatt attached charger, a 12.9kWhr lithium ion battery pack (liquid-cooled), a dual hybrid gearbox, and a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine that is equipped with a Multiple Displacement System (MDS).

However, Chrysler expressed that the RAM 1500 PHEV units are meant for demonstration purposes only for the assessment program. So far, there are no official plans for the production.

Still, the brand is taking lots of baby steps. There are also producing about 25 units of Town & Country minivans with the same plug-in hybrid technology for another automobile assessment program in other cities. While there’s still no official word that the brand will dive into this hybrid arena, the results of the assessment programs might change just that. We’ll just have to see what will happen in the next three years.

Ram pickup of Chrysler gaining grounds on U.S. market

Chrysler Groups Ram pickup has remained its position as the best selling vehicle of its brood as its sales figures went up by as much 34.7% APY last June compared to the same period a year ago. The segment of pickup trucks in the market showed an improved figure overall of just 8.8%.

p25 Ram

According to the analysts, the numbers of Ram have been on a roll since the car manufacturer poured in some money for more advertising to raise the awareness of consumers. The aggressive marketing move was started in June clinging on to the tag line “Guts. Glory. Ram.” and an image build up of the Ram as a working machine.

One expert said that we are seeing the same truck for now but Chrysler might implement changes soon including an air-spring suspension for the Ram which will give it a good ride quality. The industry currently uses leaf springs for this truck which gives it a bouncy feel especially when the trucks are unloaded. If done right, the Ram can end up as best in class . Chrysler has already unwrapped a vehicle concept that is using their air springs system.

Earlier this month, the car manufacturer released the specs for its Ram line up 2012 models. They definitely included some surprises that gave consumers options for better transmission like a new 6-speed gearbox and a more powerful option with the Cummin Diesel.

Chrysler hugging lower designs for future vehicles

According to Ralph Gilles, senior VP for design of Chrysler Group, the carmaker was riding a bit high the past few years. After looking their vehicles side by side with the competitors, the other car manufacturers are producing cars rolling closer to the ground. And it seems, Chrysler will be producing lower vehicles in the near futures to improve the handling, fuel economy, and overall look.

2011 Dodge Charger

Chrysler will have the lower profiles of their vehicles as the hallmark of their future production.

Gilles makes the 2011 Dodge Durango as an example which gets a lower fascia compared to its older versions and getting a different approach compared to the Grand Cherokee. He also adds that the vehicle will be a more fuel efficient. The Durango RT will also come an inche lower compared to the Express to improve the handling.

The design executive of Chrysler also added that they may need new designers to help complete the work on 15 new vehicles. These new units will use platforms by their partner Fiat and are scheduled to roll out from the factories by 2012 through 2014.

The car manufacturer admits that they are looking for new designers but adds that they are also very picky when hiring new members of the design team. Aside from being a good artist, they are also looking for someone who can lead, who has some spirit, and someone who will fit in their company’s culture.

Chrysler being axed in mainland Europe by 2011

p30 - chrysler_logoThe brand name Chrysler will be disappearing in mainland Europe come 2011 with the models being re-badged as Lancias. Chryslers will still be Chrysler though in Ireland and Great Britain where the Lancia models are not marketed.

The CEO of Chrysler and Lancia in Europe disclosed that the company is planning to have a Lancia-Chrysler network of around 800 dealers and around 1000 dealerships by May next year.

The parent company of the brands, Fiat, notified the dealerships in all corners of Europe and informed them that contracts will be ending by May 31, 2011.

This will giveway to a new network of dealerships that will handle distribution and sales of the products of Lancia and Chrysler under the name of the former as created by Fiat. This will somehow benefit dealers since they will be able to market the full range of products.

The dealers which sell Jeeps will be re-branded as Jeep retailers while Dodge will play a role of a niche player importing muscle cars from the United States in small volumes.