Chrysler still on the fence about which brand will get next minivan

December 18, 2012 at 1:16 am

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2013 Chrysler Town and Country S - front three-quarter with city backdrop.

Chrysler has had at least two minivans since it started the family-friendly craze back in 1984, but we’ve known for some time that one of two not-so-mini vans (the Dodge Grand Caravan or Chrysler Town and Country) would not survive for a next generation. Last we heard, it was the Chrysler model that would be losing its sliding doors in place of a crossover design, but Chrysler execs have also said in the past that Chrysler would retain the minivan design and the Grand Caravan would become a CUV. Now, it seems like the automaker might be leaving this tough decision up to potential consumers, as the Detroit Free Press is reporting that the automaker is currently showing off a quartet of concepts – a minivan and crossover for both Chrysler and Dodge – to consumer clinics before making a final decision.

The report also says that whatever decision is made, the redesigned minivan and the all-new crossover will likely go on sale in 2014 for the 2015 model year. Combined, both minivans have accounted for almost 230,000 sales through November, putting the duo well ahead of rivals like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.

Over the last couple of years, there has been plenty of chatter about the future Chrysler’s popular minivans including the return of all-wheel drive, the addition of a hybrid model and there was even the Chrysler 700C minivan concept vehicle at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, a surprise showcar that could inform the design of Chrysler’s next-generation people movers.

Chrysler still on the fence about which brand will get next minivan originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Dec 2012 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler still on the fence about which brand will get next minivan

December 18, 2012 at 1:16 am

Filed under: , , ,

2013 Chrysler Town and Country S - front three-quarter with city backdrop.

Chrysler has had at least two minivans since it started the family-friendly craze back in 1984, but we’ve known for some time that one of two not-so-mini vans (the Dodge Grand Caravan or Chrysler Town and Country) would not survive for a next generation. Last we heard, it was the Chrysler model that would be losing its sliding doors in place of a crossover design, but Chrysler execs have also said in the past that Chrysler would retain the minivan design and the Grand Caravan would become a CUV. Now, it seems like the automaker might be leaving this tough decision up to potential consumers, as the Detroit Free Press is reporting that the automaker is currently showing off a quartet of concepts – a minivan and crossover for both Chrysler and Dodge – to consumer clinics before making a final decision.

The report also says that whatever decision is made, the redesigned minivan and the all-new crossover will likely go on sale in 2014 for the 2015 model year. Combined, both minivans have accounted for almost 230,000 sales through November, putting the duo well ahead of rivals like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.

Over the last couple of years, there has been plenty of chatter about the future Chrysler’s popular minivans including the return of all-wheel drive, the addition of a hybrid model and there was even the Chrysler 700C minivan concept vehicle at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, a surprise showcar that could inform the design of Chrysler’s next-generation people movers.

Chrysler still on the fence about which brand will get next minivan originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Dec 2012 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dodge announces Sport package for AWD Charger

December 18, 2012 at 1:16 am

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2013 Dodge Charger AWD Sport - dashing through the snow

We normally think of the Dodge Charger (and its Chrysler 300 brethren) as being rear-wheel-drive muscle sedans, but we mustn’t forget about the fact that all-wheel drive is available as well. And in an effort to give the AWD models a bit more presence, the all-season Dodge sedan will be getting a new sport package for the 2013 model year.

The AWD Sport pack – available on SXT, SXT Plus, R/T and R/T Plus trims – gets you a raft of visual upgrades including a gloss black grille, unique 19-inch wheels and a body-color rear spoiler. Inside, the package adds paddle shifters and sport seats in either cloth or leather, depending on trim.

This Sport pack retails for $1,395 on SXT models with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, and $1,195 on R/T cars with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine. As part of the new package, the eight-speed automatic transmission also receives a more aggressive sport setting.

Interested customers can order their cars now, with production spanning from December until February. See the new Sport model for yourself in the gallery above (and yes, we’ve asked Chrysler to pass along some photos that have the whole car in the frame), and scroll down to read the full press blast.

Continue reading Dodge announces Sport package for AWD Charger

Dodge announces Sport package for AWD Charger originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Dec 2012 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Automakers score 8 out of top 20 most-watched ads on YouTube [w/videos]

December 15, 2012 at 10:51 am

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Who would have ever thought there’d be a day where people are able to skip television commercials only to go to websites to watch them later? Such is the joy of a DVR and YouTube. AdWeek tabulated the 20 most-watched ads on YouTube, and found that nine were car-related including eight coming from automakers.

Volkswagen continued its Star Wars theme with two ads in the top 20, including the highest-ranking car commercial The Bark Side spot at number three with almost 18 million views, which doesn’t even have a single car in it. Some of our favorites are from Chrysler with Clint Eastwood in It’s Halftime in America and House Arrest with Charlie Sheen for the Fiat 500 Abarth. Chevrolet, Honda, Audi and Toyota were the other automakers in the top 20, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least mention one of the coolest ads on the list, the Hot Wheels corkscrew jump.

Of all the car videos, only the Fiat ad wasn’t played during a Super Bowl. Check out all eight videos – in order – after the jump. Nike took the top spot with its My Time is Now ad that has been seen online more than 20 million times with Pepsi’s Uncle Drew posted up in the runner-up; some of the other videos include four Old Spice commercials and an ad in which Snoop Dogg is pedaling Hot Pockets.

Continue reading Automakers score 8 out of top 20 most-watched ads on YouTube [w/videos]

Automakers score 8 out of top 20 most-watched ads on YouTube [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler workers fired for drinking back on job against automaker’s wishes [w/video] [UPDATE]

December 12, 2012 at 5:05 am

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Chrysler workers drinking on the job

As much as Chrysler would like to “move on,” it seems that the story of employees who drink on the job just refuses to die. The latest? According to Fox 2 News in Detroit, the 13 workers who were fired in 2010 after its cameras caught them drinking alcohol and smoking what looks to be marijuana in a park during work hours have been reinstated following arbitration.

Chrysler released the following statement:

“Chrysler Group LLC acknowledges the reinstatement of a number of employees from the Jefferson North assembly plant who were discharged from the company in September 2010 after appearing in a local TV station’s story about their off-duty conduct.”

While the company does not agree with the ultimate decision of the arbitrator, we respect the grievance procedure process as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement and our relationship with the UAW. Unfortunately, the company was put in a very difficult position because of the way the story was investigated and ultimately revealed to the public. These employees from Jefferson North have been off work for more than two years. The time has come to put this situation behind us and resume our focus on building quality products that will firmly establish Chrysler Group’s position in the marketplace.”

Clearly, Chrysler isn’t pleased with this outcome, and we don’t blame them one bit. The automaker declined to comment when Fox asked if the workers received compensation for the two years they were suspended without pay and ultimately fired.

How could an arbitrator possibly side with the fired workers? Much like the automaker itself, we’re at a loss for words. A video report from Fox can be seen below.

UPDATE: Chrysler has further responded to this matter by issuing a longer, official statement on its media blog. You can also read the full response below.

Continue reading Chrysler workers fired for drinking back on job against automaker’s wishes [w/video] [UPDATE]

Chrysler workers fired for drinking back on job against automaker’s wishes [w/video] [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Dec 2012 08:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler and Fiat offering $1,000 rebates to VW owners as Marchionne gets tough

December 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm

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Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne

The throw-down between Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and Volkswagen has heated up in earnest. According to Bloomberg, Fiat and Chrysler are now offering current Volkswagen owners in the US $1,000 rebates to trade in their ride. It’s the latest in a series of shots Marchionne has taken at his German rival. As you may recall, the Fiat executive entered into a spat with Volkwagen board chairman Ferdinand Pi

Chrysler workers fired for drinking back on job against automaker’s wishes [w/video]

December 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm

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Chrysler workers drinking on the job

As much as Chrysler would like to “move on,” it seems that the story of employees who drink on the job just refuses to die. The latest? According to Fox 2 News in Detroit, the 13 workers who were fired in 2010 after its cameras caught them drinking alcohol and smoking what looks to be marijuana in a park during work hours have been reinstated following arbitration.

Chrysler released the following statement:

“Chrysler Group LLC acknowledges the reinstatement of a number of employees from the Jefferson North assembly plant who were discharged from the company in September 2010 after appearing in a local TV station’s story about their off-duty conduct.”

While the company does not agree with the ultimate decision of the arbitrator, we respect the grievance procedure process as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement and our relationship with the UAW. Unfortunately, the company was put in a very difficult position because of the way the story was investigated and ultimately revealed to the public. These employees from Jefferson North have been off work for more than two years. The time has come to put this situation behind us and resume our focus on building quality products that will firmly establish Chrysler Group’s position in the marketplace.”

Clearly, Chrysler isn’t pleased with this outcome, and we don’t blame them one bit. The automaker declined to comment when Fox asked if the workers received compensation for the two years they were suspended without pay and ultimately fired.

How could an arbitrator possibly side with the fired workers? Much like the automaker itself, we’re at a loss for words. A video report from Fox can be seen below.

Continue reading Chrysler workers fired for drinking back on job against automaker’s wishes [w/video]

Chrysler workers fired for drinking back on job against automaker’s wishes [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Dec 2012 08:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler to start charity foundation to honor Marchionne

December 8, 2012 at 4:53 pm

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Sergio Marchione

Chrysler is moving to start a charity in honor of CEO Sergio Marchionne. The company’s board of directors has voted to create a foundation to grant educational awards. Ronald Thompson, Chrysler’s lead director, said the charity is a fitting tribute to Marchionne and all he has accomplished since coming to the American manufacturer.

“This foundation will ensure that the values and impact of his leadership will be felt by many others,” Thompson said.

Marchionne, meanwhile, acknowledged that the charity will allow Chrysler to support causes that dovetail with the values of the company, including “the educational needs and ambitions of our employees’ children.” Chrysler will begin making its first contributions to the charity in 2013 and will award its first scholarships in 2014. You can take a look at the full press release below for more information.

Continue reading Chrysler to start charity foundation to honor Marchionne

Chrysler to start charity foundation to honor Marchionne originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 08 Dec 2012 11:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Dodge Dart

December 5, 2012 at 4:41 am

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Italian Immigrant Is Pretty Sharp, But A Few Degrees Short Of A Bullseye

2013 Dodge Dart

The 2013 Dodge Dart is the most visible manifestation of the still-new monogamous relationship between Chrysler and Fiat, the Pentastar’s savior from the depths of government-sponsored bankruptcy (or worse). If you’ll recall, one of the big problems pundits, management and government officials identified with Chrysler’s US lineup was its complete lack of competitive small cars.

Now would be a good time to mention that Dodge had a good thing with the original Neon. Not only did the little subcompact sell in conspicuously high numbers, it was also pretty fun to drive, especially in 150-horsepower ACR Coupe trim. In fact, so entertaining was the little two-door coupe, powered as it was by a dual-overhead-cam version of Chrysler’s 2.0-liter four cylinder, that it spawned its very own racing series.

The successful Neon got a redesign in the year 2000, and as has so often been the case, the Pentastar Crew didn’t do nearly enough to keep it competitive amidst a sea of Civics and Corollas, save the way-too-quick-for-its-own-good Neon SRT4, that is. The response to lagging market share? The Dodge Caliber, introduced in 2007. Suffice it to say that the Caliber was not the answer small-car buyers were looking for.

Enter the Dart. Is this compact the small-car savior Chrysler envisioned when it paired with Italy’s Fiat? Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading 2013 Dodge Dart

2013 Dodge Dart originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Dec 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler’s got a Grand Brand Genius on its hands

December 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm

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Olivier Francois

Adweek recently held its Brand Genius awards dinner at the Edison Ballroom in New York. At the event, the “10 most memorable and innovative branding efforts” were celebrated, as well as the minds behind them. Taking top honors was Chrysler Chief Marketing Officer, Olivier Fran