Marchionne says Chrysler has “no need” for pension buyouts

June 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Filed under: ,

According to an analyst, pension obligations for Ford at the end of 2011 totaled $74 billion, with $15.4 billion of that still being owed. To reduce that amount, Ford will be offering 98,000 current and former white-collar employees a lump-sum pension buyout. General Motors, whose $134 billion pension obligation was underfunded by $25.4 billion at the end of last year, will be doing the same with 42,000 of its salaried employees and its switching others to 401(k) plans. When Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne was asked by reporters if The Pentastar had similar plans, he answered “There’s no need for us to do it.”

In fact, Marchionne considers the idea inconsequential enough that the only elaboration he made was to say “Not at all.” The smallest of The Detroit Three has the smallest obligation at $32 billion, and the smallest underfunded amount, $6.5 billion. That could be seen as another endorsement of Chrysler’s recent performance, which has been the unexpected profit engine in the Fiat group.

Marchionne says Chrysler has “no need” for pension buyouts originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 06 Jun 2012 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Chrysler sales growth fueled by subprime loans?

June 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Filed under: , , ,

Chrysler/Jeep dealership sign with low prices banner

Automotive News reports Chrysler owes some of its recent sales success to a resurgence of subprime loans. Chrysler has a history of working with customers burdened with questionable finance histories, and lenders have begun to loosen credit restrictions. As a result, 29 out of every 100 auto loans for new Chrysler models went to buyers with a credit score under 680 in the first quarter of this year. Experian Automotive classifies loans tied to that credit score as subprime. What’s more, nearly 21 percent of Dodge sales through May went to buyers with annual interest rates of 10 percent or more on an average term of 71 months.

The report says that on the whole, just eight percent of all new car loans have interest rates of 10 percent or more. Even so, Chrysler’s sales are up 33 percent through the first five months of 2012, besting the industry average by around 20 percent. On the whole, Automotive News reports subprime lending in the new car market has returned to its pre-recession levels.

Chrysler sales growth fueled by subprime loans? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Dodge Durango, Avenger models will be discontinued, SRT model for Journey planned

June 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

2011 Dodge Durango - black, front three-quarter view

Chrysler has gotten on pretty well in the post-bankruptcy world, with a big assist from its newest master. But while Chrysler has seen dramatic improvement thanks to refreshes and a few new models, the next couple years could be very exciting.

Automobile Magazine recently got the chance to talk cars with CEO Sergio Marchionne, and the charismatic leader apparently had plenty to say. Among the top headlines are the reported upcoming death of the Dodge Avenger in 2014 and Dodge Durango in 2016. We’re thinking nobody will miss the Avenger, but the Durango sounds like a bit of a bummer.

That’s until we see that the Durango will be replaced by a Jeep Wagoneer; a rehash of an old name based on the same platform and engine choices of the Dodge three-row utility. The Durango platform will also spawn the Maserati Kubang (which will likely be named something else), a move that should go a long way toward helping Maserati hit 50,000 units per year.

The Wagoneer is just the tipping point for new Jeeps on the way. Among the other models expected are an all-new Liberty in 2013 followed by a new Patriot in 2014 and a Fiat 500-based subcompact crossover tentatively named Jeepster.

The Chrysler brand should also look a bit more interesting as the 200 gets re-imagined for 2013 and the Town & Country morphs into a crossover in 2015. The Chrysler brand will reportedly also get a Dodge Dart-based 100 compact, but not until 2016 or later, which seems like a long way off.

Among the other interesting vehicles expected to bow are as many as six Alfa Romeo models including the 4C Coupe, the next MiTo, the Giulietta and an unnamed crossover. And then there will be a smattering of new Fiat 500 models including the 500L and the XL, which will reportedly feature seating for up to seven.

The SRT lineup will also be getting a sheetmetal injection with the addition of the Dart SRT4 and the Journey SRT6. Now if Sergio Marchionne can make the Journey exciting, he’ll be up for auto executive of the decade.

Dodge Durango, Avenger models will be discontinued, SRT model for Journey planned originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink