Drop Top Customs puts tops on Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, proceeds to drop them

December 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

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Drop Top Customs Chrysler 300

Shocking, we know. We can’t imagine sawing the roof off a vehicle like the Dodge Charger SRT8 or Chrysler 300 would do the machines any favors, but we can certainly respect the gumption behind bringing more four-door convertibles into the world. That seems to be exactly what Drop Top Customs is into these days. The company has worked up a pair of Mopar sedans with their hard tops deducted. DTC says it does plenty of structural work under each vehicle to make it safe to drive with the roof removed, including the addition of a strut tower brace up front and a shock tower brace in the trunk.

Of course, hustling that big top up and down manually would be an arduous feat, so each car comes with an automatic folding soft top. There’s no word on how much weight the conversion adds to the recipe, but we wouldn’t expect the finished product to be a featherweight. Want more information? Head over to the Drop Top Customs site for the full skinny.

Drop Top Customs puts tops on Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, proceeds to drop them originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 02 Dec 2012 08:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Drop Top Customs puts tops on Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, proceeds to drop them

December 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Drop Top Customs Chrysler 300

Shocking, we know. We can’t imagine sawing the roof off a vehicle like the Dodge Charger SRT8 or Chrysler 300 would do the machines any favors, but we can certainly respect the gumption behind bringing more four-door convertibles into the world. That seems to be exactly what Drop Top Customs is into these days. The company has worked up a pair of Mopar sedans with their hard tops deducted. DTC says it does plenty of structural work under each vehicle to make it safe to drive with the roof removed, including the addition of a strut tower brace up front and a shock tower brace in the trunk.

Of course, hustling that big top up and down manually would be an arduous feat, so each car comes with an automatic folding soft top. There’s no word on how much weight the conversion adds to the recipe, but we wouldn’t expect the finished product to be a featherweight. Want more information? Head over to the Drop Top Customs site for the full skinny.

Drop Top Customs puts tops on Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, proceeds to drop them originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 02 Dec 2012 08:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ram confirms Fiat Ducato vans to form new Promaster series for US

November 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

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Fiat Ducato Van

Chrysler has officially confirmed that Ram will develop an all-new large van for the US market based on the Fiat Ducato. The commercial rig will go on sale in the third quarter of next year, joining the Ram C/V on the company’s professional van line. Expect to see the Promaster face off against the Ford Transit and revised Chevrolet Express.

Chrysler is pretty skimpy on details when it comes to the Promaster, but it has said the vehicle will make use of “familiar Ram Truck styling cues.” The van will reportedly also bow with powertrains targeted specifically at the North American market.

Chrysler and Ram made the announcement ahead of the LA Auto Show alongside news that the company will launch a new Ram commercial truck division.

As you may recall, Ram trademarked the Promaster name back in September alongside a slew of other monikers. You can read the brief press release below for more information.

Continue reading Ram confirms Fiat Ducato vans to form new Promaster series for US

Ram confirms Fiat Ducato vans to form new Promaster series for US originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Nov 2012 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Chrysler Town and Country S adds a dash of cool to your schoolhouse run

November 29, 2012 at 5:15 am

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2013 Chrysler Town and Country S

Bringing the Chrysler “S” treatment to the Town and Country minivan does not – let us be clear – make the thing any more formidable to drive. But, kicking in the cool factor for its bread-and-butter grocery-getter might just convince a few more moms and dads to pull the trigger on buying a new family ride.

The Town and Country S trim basically adds a suite of black and black chrome accents to the vehicle, as well as a not-quite-murdered-out-treatment for the interior. The model also comes standard with Chrysler’s new Blu-Ray player for the rear seat entertainment system, which is sure to make the kids feel like little ballers, too.

Pictures aplenty to feed your van fetish, live from Los Angeles, above, along with the press release below.

Continue reading 2013 Chrysler Town and Country S adds a dash of cool to your schoolhouse run

2013 Chrysler Town and Country S adds a dash of cool to your schoolhouse run originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Nov 2012 18:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Automotive News names its industry All-Stars

November 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm

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Automotive News has announced its annual list of Industry All-Stars. This year, the theme is apparently “success in the face of economic uncertainty,” or something of that liking. The list points to executives who have led their respective brands and automakers to positive sales in spite of the European financial crisis and slowing sales in China. See the list below, and you’ll understand why:

  • Industry Leader of the Year and CEO, Europe – Martin Winterkorn, CEO, Volkswagen Group (above): The VW boss started with the German automaker in 2007, overseeing a staggering 12 brands. Under his leadership, sales of Volkswagens have gained in both China and America. VW has also expanded production to America and grown its operations in Brazil. Winterkorn is a very hands-on executive, traveling to America six times to test and tweak the American-built current-generation Passat. Volkswagen is aiming to be the largest and most profitable automaker in the wold by 2018, and Winterkorn will stay on through that time, making him accountable for those goals.
  • CEO, North America – Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler Group: How does 31 straight months of positive year-over-year sales sound? The Fiat and Chrysler chief has bestowed dealers with a wealth of new product, and the American automaker is expected to post $1.5 billion in profits this year, in spite of economic turmoil in Europe.
  • CEO, Asia – Takanobu Ito, President, Honda Motor Co.: In addition to leading the Japanese automaker through the aftermath and destruction of a tsunami, Takanobu Ito has overseen the revival of the NSX sportscar and the emergency facelift of the Honda Civic. He has also stated the company is looking to grow to six million in global sales in the next four years. Big plans, but he has also delivered up to this point.
  • US Exec, Asian Automaker – Jim Lentz, CEO Toyota Motor Sales USA: Lentz has endured as Toyota’s US boss through the 2010 unintended acceleration issue, and the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Through all of this, the Toyota Camry is still America’s best-selling car, and profits are on the rise. Success in the face of crisis, indeed.
  • US Exec, European Automaker – Jonathan Browning, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America: The 53-year-old Englishman came over to head up Volkswagen of America two years ago. Since then, VW sales have increased here at a rapid pace, and the brand has opened the Chattanooga plant to build the Passat. The plant is expected to expand to produce a mid-sized crossover (Tiguan perhaps?) for the US market.

To see the rest of the AN All-Stars, as well as previous year’s winners, click through to the link below.

Automotive News names its industry All-Stars originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Nov 2012 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Chrysler Town and Country S is the van in black

November 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

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2013 Chrysler Town and Country S - front three-quarter view, black

Chrysler previously brought us the “man van” with the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T, but now it’s apparently rolling out its its “mean van,” with this sinister 2013 Town and Country S. Joining similar packages available on the 200 and 300 sedans, this new Town and Country trim replaces most of the standard car’s shiny bits with dark accents, giving the minivan a more unique appearance.

The S trim level brings with it things like a black chrome grille, black-accented wheels and blacked-out headlight inserts, and it will only be offered in limited exterior colors (black, red, white and silver); we’re guessing it looks best in the more monotone, limousine-spec paint scheme as seen above. The interior has likewise been given a blacked-out treatment including a black headliner and combination leather and cloth seats. All Town and Country S models come standard with Chrysler’s new Blu-Ray rear-seat entertainment system, and it also has an HDMI input and a pair of USB ports that can charge mobile devices. The S’ performance modifications start and end with a firmer sport suspension setup.

No word on pricing yet for the Town and Country S or when it will go on sale, but we’ll see it in person later this week at the LA Auto Show. Scroll down for Chrysler’s official press release.

2013 Chrysler Town and Country S is the van in black originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 Nov 2012 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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European banks downgrade Fiat, share prices tumble

November 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm

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Shares of Chrysler parent company Fiat SpA fell by 5.9 percent on Tuesday. Two European banks downgraded the company’s stock, with UBS AG dropping the company’s stock from a “buy” rating to “neutral.” Likewise, Deutsche Bank cut the company’s shares from “hold” to “sell” amid concerns that the company will need a new cash infusion to fund CEO Sergio Marchionne’s plans for the automaker. Marchionne has made it clear he plans to purchase the remainder of Chrysler, which will require Fiat to raise somewhere between 1.6 billion and 2.9 billion euros. That’s due in part to the fact that the company may have to start paying fair-market value for Chrysler stock as the company’s initial public offer grows near.

Bloomberg reports Marchionne is keen to increase the Fiat stake in Chrysler in order to access the profitable North American manufacturer’s cash flow. Fiat could then use those funds to jump start its ailing European operations, though Marchionne has been quoted as saying Fiat doesn’t need Chrysler’s cash to bring its EU business in line. Last quarter, Fiat reported 20 billion euros of available liquidity, down from 22.7 billion euros at the end of June.

European banks downgrade Fiat, share prices tumble originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Nov 2012 09:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler to accelerate production of 2013 Ram and V6 engines

November 17, 2012 at 12:19 am

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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.

Chrysler to accelerate production of 2013 Ram and V6 engines originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Being in Chrysler’s Eminem Super Bowl ad changed gospel choir’s lives [w/videos]

November 15, 2012 at 5:52 am

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Selected From God gospel choir singing in Detroit - video screencap

In 2011, Chrysler unveiled its now-famous “Imported from Detroit” ad during the Super Bowl. The ad that sparked a Motown rallying cry of sorts featured Eminem, the Chrysler 200, and a key musical element; the Selected of God gospel choir. The choir performed Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” and in doing so, unwittingly catapulted their careers.

The Detroit Free Press has highlighted how the group became involved with Chrysler, and the subsequent fame that came with the ad. Apparently ad agency Wieden + Kennedy was looking to cast genuine Detroiters rather than actors for the ad campaign, and sought out a bellman, waitresses, and a gospel choir. Larry Callahan, director of the Selected of God choir, answered a casting call to audition for the ad. Only days before the ad ran did they know their full role in the TV spot.

Apparently, while the choir was rehearsing at Detroit’s legendary Fox Theater, Eminem walked in. The director though the rapper’s presence would distract the group, but they continued to perform. In reaction to this, the ad’s creators changed the concept to its final incarnation.

Following the ad, which gained national attention, the choir’s fame rose, too. According to Callahan, the number of shows that Selected of God performs per year has gone from a half-dozen to almost 60. The group is debuting its third album, entitled The Evolution II, today, featuring promotion from Walmart and Chrysler, which continues to partner with, and support the choir.

Selected of God has performed at the New York Auto Show, as well as at Chrysler-sponsored events. The choir will be performing at the Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit, with the sponsorship of Chrysler. In addition, the Auburn Hills automaker will once again feature the Selected of God choir in a new ad, titled “Big Finish,” which is set to air at the end of the year.

Continue reading Being in Chrysler’s Eminem Super Bowl ad changed gospel choir’s lives [w/videos]

Being in Chrysler’s Eminem Super Bowl ad changed gospel choir’s lives [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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UAW trust demands Fiat pay $342M for Chrysler shares

November 13, 2012 at 9:38 pm

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Bob King, UAW president addressing the faithful

Last month, we brought you the latest news in a rather tenuous ordeal between Fiat and the United Auto Workers over the future of the Italian automaker’s stake in Chrysler. The union contended that Fiat failed to make an adequate offer for the 3.3-percent stake that was sought. Fiat offered $139.7 million for the shares in July, which the UAW rejected.

We now have word of the union’s counter offer of $342 million – more than double what Fiat proposed. According to Reuters, the entity in question is the UAW’s healthcare trust, known as Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association, or VEBA, which currently owns 41.5 percent of the American automaker. Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne has voiced his intent to eventually purchase the trust’s full 41.5 percent stake in Chrysler as part of a long-term unification plan.

Following the initial offer from Fiat, the trust refused to sell the 3.3 percent share in July, which resulted in a lawsuit brought by Fiat. As part of this counteroffer, VEBA has brought a counter suit, as well as a statement claiming that the initial Fiat offer was “substantially below market value.”

VEBA originated from the 2007 auto bailouts, in which retiree medical benefits were shed off into their own entity to facilitate restructuring of the automakers. Rather than taking cash to fund its restructuring, VEBA took the Chrysler stock, which is the center of this current conundrum. According to a spokesperson for the trust, “sale of the called shares at the price calculated by Fiat would constitute a transaction prohibited by federal law.” At this time, neither the automaker, the trust, nor the Securities and Exchange Commission have commented on the proposed transaction.

UAW trust demands Fiat pay $342M for Chrysler shares originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 13 Nov 2012 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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