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Monthly archives for September, 2011

Obama’s Fuel Efficiency Proposal Gets Pushed Back

Dodge Ram Truck near JerseyvilleAll Star Dodge Dealer near Jerseyville is committed to keeping its loyal blog reader updated regarding the latest in automotive news.

The Obama administration is expected to push back the fuel efficiency proposal which will improve fuel efficiency of cars, SUV’s, and trucks.

The EPA along with the Transportation Department will release a draft outlining fuel efficiency expectations for 2017 through 2025 model years.  The draft will be open to public comment.  Several sources familiar with the matter stated that the draft will be pushed back for possibly another month or longer.  There was no official word from government officials.

In July there was an agreement between automakers and officials in California that outlined a mandatory fuel economy guideline of 54.5 mpg for company fleet vehicles by the year 2025. This agreement will “soften the impact for production of light trucks,” such as the Dodge Ram truck, a primary product for Chrysler Group, according to Automotive News.

According to Automotive News; “the administration would — with a short delay — remain on track to meet its deadline for issuing final rules next July, five years before they take effect. That timeline gives the auto industry room to plan its vehicle mix and make any production or technology changes.”

The EPA and the NHTSA are working in collaboration to write the regulations, which will be based on the July agreement with automakers and the state of California-which is one of the biggest markets and environmental leadership involvement.

Sources relay that officials are moving slow on the final agreement regarding fuel economy regulations so they can take into account issues that will be raised from industry and the public.  The White House budget office will also need to review the proposal before any regulations will be official.

Dodge Ultimate Ram Pickup

New Dodge Ram truck near St. Louis All Star Dodge Dealer is pleased to announce that the ultimate Dodge Ram truck near St. Louis MO, the Class 5 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab received an award from the industry leading Work Truck magazine-named best Medium-Duty Truck of the Year.  The Ram Long-Hauler Concept truck is a vehicle that sets the standards for comfort and driving range in an HD pickup truck

Features and options in the Long-hauler include; a Mega Cab passenger compartment and 8-foot pickup box, fuel capacity of 170 gallons, a 6.7 liter High output Cummins Turbo Diesel engine rated at 800 lb/ft of torque,  a  six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel-drive transfer case, 4.88 Dana 110 axle and dual rear wheels, full Kelderman Air Suspension,  Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) 37,500 lbs.; length, 24 ft.; height, 79.1 inches; and estimated curb weight, 9,300 lbs.

According to reviewers; the Long-Hauler has an interior that was also designed with a long road trip in mind, with the same attention to detail implemented in other Ram truck cabs.  Details include 2+2 seating  that provides ample space for  passengers.  Drivers can experience a very high level of comfort and rear passengers get pampered with adjustable foot rests.  Other features inside the cabin of the Long Hauler include a DVD entertainment system, a refrigerator, cup holders and even a tray table.  For increased cabin space, the rear seats and console folds back.  There is even 12 volt power outlets for mobile Wi-Fi capability to stay connected when on those long trips away from home.

Ram is taking the Long-Hauler on a nation-wide tour this year to “gauge public opinion.” “If it comes our way, it should sell like mad up here in the northeast,” said Matt Hastings of East Hartford Dodge.

2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit Car

used car Dodge Dealer in MissouriAll Star  new and used car Dodge Dealer in Missouri is pleased to announce that Dodge is teaming up with Mopar to create some specialized police equipment for the Dodge Charger Pursuit car.

6 new factory installed police equipment packages will be available from Dodge which will increase the performance of the already aggressive Charger Pursuit car.

Packages feature emergency lighting, audible warning, and communications and safety equipment.  All equipment has been rigorously tested to ensure it is up to par with police work.

“Mopar is adding even more value to our all-new 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “We are adding proven, quality-tested tactical equipment to this pursuit vehicle and creating a one-stop shop for police customers. With six quick-order packages, police departments have the ability to customize their vehicles to exact specifications.”

The Dodge Charger Pursuit features 2 very powerful high-performance engines. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine delivers 292 hp and 260 lb/ft. of torque, with up to 27 mpg on the highway. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine in the Charger Pursuit delivers best in class power with Fuel Saver Technology delivers 370 hp, 390 lb/ft of torque and up to 25 mpg fuel economy on the highway.

Individual Mopar parts that are available include; push bumper, siren speaker and bracket, new grille lights, front corner LED Lights, rear corner LED Lights, full width rear deck lights, police floor console, can-com siren system, trunk cooling fan, and all weather floor mats as well as the power distribution center, rear splash guards and 7 way trailer tow harness.

“With rear-wheel-drive, best-in-class V-8 power, seven air bags and up to 27 miles per gallon during highway cruising, the Dodge Charger Pursuit is an excellent police car on its own merits,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand. “Our partnership with Mopar to produce these six police packages takes the car to the next level by allowing our customers to customize their cruisers to meet their specific needs.”

 

Chrysler Production Slowed by Carpet Shortage

new Jeep Dealer near JerseyvilleAll Star Dodge new Jeep Dealer, near Jerseyville is committed to keeping its loyal blog readers updated regarding the latest in Chrysler automotive news.

According to Automotive News, the Chrysler Michigan plant which builds the Chrysler 200 Sedan and the Dodge Avenger had to close up shop this week after a flood occurred at a Pennsylvania plant that supplied carpeting and floor mats for the Chrysler 200.

Heavy rain storms caused flooding in early September which caused the carpet factory operated by Switzerland’s Autoneum Holding AG, in Bloomsburg Pennsylvania to flood, causing Chrysler and General Motors to stop production in 6 U.S. plants last week.

“We’re working with them and the last briefing I had it looked very positive and that’s why we’re going to be starting production at (Sterling Heights) next week,” she said of Autoneum.

According to Automotive News, the officials at the Autoneum plant could not be reached for comment, but according to the website, scheduled shifts at the Pennsylvania plant are being shortened as a result of the flooding.

Other plants which lost production this week were; Chrysler plants in Toledo Ohio,  Brampton, and Ontario, but those plants are now back on a regular work schedule according to Tinson.

According to Automotive News; “the Toledo North plant was closed on Monday and Tuesday, but back on a regular schedule on Wednesday. The Ontario plant had never closed, but had shortened work shifts.”  “A GM spokesman was checking for the company’s latest update, but it had previously slowed output at plants in Ingersoll and Oshawa, Ontario, and at the Lansing Grand River factory in Michigan.”

Other customers listed on Autoneum plant’s website were Daimler AG’s Mercedes, Ford Motor Company, and Toyota Motor Corp., as well as Volkswagen, but none of those companies gave a statement.

 

Chrysler Auto Workers May Not Get a Raise until After 2019

Used Jeep Dealer near FlorissantAll Star Dodge new and used Jeep Dealer near Florissant is committed to keeping its loyal blog readers updated regarding the latest in automotive news pertaining to UAW talks.

In recent automotive news; Chrysler has asked for allowances to be able to maintain the current pay and prevent cost of living allowances from being increased before 2015.  A source familiar with the talks stated that Chrysler Group is asking that the union will not try to revive pay increases or any other fixed costs until the agreement expires in 2015.

Since Fiat S.p.A. took over Chrysler, the company has invested a total of $4 billion into the U.S. and CEO Sergio Marchionne says that labor costs need to remain stable even after the new labor contract expires in 2015.”This change of culture, from the old ways of doing business, must apply beyond 2015,” the source said.

The language in the new contract would state that the UAW would refrain from seeking wage and benefit changes that would ultimately increase the Detroit automakers fixed expenses through 2019.

Chrysler and UAW spokeswomen refused to comment.

Marchionne stated that Chrysler would NOT adopt the same contract negotiated by GM this year because Chrysler paid nearly $2 million in debt service for government bailouts in the past couple of years.  GM did not have the same financial burden for government loans because equity was given for the $50 billion government loan.

Chrysler’s net loss was $652 million last year with a 2011 annual profit expected this year of $200 to $500 million, compared to GM’s $5.7 billion in the first half of this year.

Chrysler plans to offer the same provisions as the new GM agreement but at a discount.  For example; Chrysler will over a $3,500 signing bonus compared to GM’s $5,000 one negotiated by the UAW and GM. Overall the general terms of the new 4 year contract is one that Chrysler says is appealing.

 

 

GM UAW Agreement too Expensive for Chrysler

used Dodge Dealer near Wood River All Star new and used Dodge Dealer near Wood River is committed to keeping its loyal blog readers updated on the latest in automotive news pertaining to Chrysler Corporation.

In recent news; the UAW labor talks have resulted in a tentative agreement with General Motors, but unfortunately the terms may not be acceptable for Chrysler Group.   Many times when one company settles on negotiation terms, it suffices for terms of a new labor contract for the other 2 Detroit automakers, but that may not be the case this year.

According to Automotive News, one source familiar with the talks said that the GM contract is too “expensive for Chrysler.”  CEO Sergio Marchionne stated as much in a recent statement to the press. According to Marchionne; Chrysler and GM were at completely different places in the beginning of the negotiations this year.   “GM and us are in two completely different positions,” Marchionne said. “We were born in 2009, into very different situations. I had an 8-billion euro debt; they had a 50-billion dollar capital, two very different situations.”

Marchionne stated that he is confident that when he returns to the negotiations table that an agreement would be reached quickly.

Chrysler reportedly paid a total debt service of approximately $2 billion on its government loans and is less profitable than GM at the present time.  This puts Chrysler at a disadvantage when it comes to being able to pay laborers the same rate that GM has agreed to pay.

For example; GM agreed on a signing bonus of $5,000 for 48,000 laborers and Chrysler wants to pay less.  Chrysler negotiators are determined not to pay any more than $49 per hour in laborers’ wages and benefits despite what the UAW has negotiated with General Motors.

So if the UAW wants a $2-$3 an hour increase for entry-level workers won at GM, the union will have to subtract that cost from somewhere else, such as health care spending.

An unidentified source stated; “You can’t put the same menu on the table for the two companies.”  GM pays an average total compensation of $56 per hour and Ford Motor Co. pays $58 per hour.

 

FormerChrysler CEO Named in Investigation

MO Dodge DealerAll Star Dodge Dealer in MO is committed to keeping its loyal customers informed of the latest in automotive news related to Chrysler.

In a recent automotive news article, former CEO of Chrysler Dieter Zetsche was named as a subject in an involuntary manslaughter investigation by prosecutors in Germany.  The German authorities are investigating that allegedly Zetsche (who is currently head of Daimler AG) was involved in the death of a 27 year old engineer named Christof Kemmler, at a Daimler AG testing facility in Papanburg Germany.

According to Der Spiegel (a German newspaper) Kemmler and another engineer at Daimler were testing a Mercedes Benz roadster by driving the vehicle around the grounds of Daimler at approximately 40 mph when they were hit by a Mercedes SUV that was being driven at high speeds by a 25 year old trainee.  Kemmler died as a result of the crash and the other engineer was injured.

The trainee’s qualifications as well as safety measures on the testing grounds were brought into question by Kemmler’s family who alleged that Daimler AG was responsible for negligence that ultimately led to the death of their family member.

A statement released by Daimler AG regarding the allegations read; “With regard to reports about criminal charges and preliminary investigations of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, represented by Chairman of the Board of Management Dieter Zetsche, concerning alleged gross negligence resulting in death, the Company states as follows: “In legal proceedings against the perpetrator of the accident before the Papenburg District Court on July 12, both the judge and the public prosecutor explicitly stated that the company Daimler, and consequently also the Chairman of the Board of Management, were in no way to blame. In fact, the court found that the driver was solely to blame because he did not look straight ahead at the road in front of him for a distance of several kilometers. The initiation of preliminary investigations of the Board of Management is a pure formality. We assume that these proceedings will be discontinued.’”

To test drive a new or used Dodge Chrysler, visit your local All Star Dodge Dealer located in Bridgeton MO today, for a great selection of Chrysler Dodge and Jeep cars, trucks, and SUV’s.

 

Ram to Sell 2 Fiat Vans

Used Dodge Ram near IllinoisDodge Ram will launch a new Fiat based Ducato commercial van which will arrive in 2013. Chrysler Corp. plans to assemble 30,000 Ducato vans per year in Mexico according to sources.  The HD Dodge Ram pickup is built in Saltillo Mexico.

In 2009 Chrysler Group sold a commercial van called the Dodge Sprinter which was produced by Mercedes Benz after the Daimler Chrysler split.  The new Ducato will replace the old Sprinter in Chrysler’s Dodge Ram line-up.

Spokesman for the Ram Brand named refused to comment on Chrysler’s future plans.

The new Ducato Van is scheduled to arrive in 2013 and it will be the larger of 2 Fiat based commercial vans in Dodge Ram’s line-up.  On September 9th Fiat and Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi-the company’s Turkish joint venture-signed a MOU regarding a 7 year agreement to supply Chrysler’s Ram brand with 190,000 units of a small van which is based on the Fiat Doblo.

The new Doblo based model will be a competitor of Ford’s Transit Connect which is also assembled in a Turkish factory.

Chrysler’s plan is to market the two vehicles as business vehicles focusing on the appeal of the Ram brand.

The 2012 Ram Cargo Van is also being manufactured as commercial vehicles, assembled at Chrysler’s Windsor Ontario assembly plant and scheduled to arrive in your dealers’ showrooms in just a few weeks.  The Ram Cargo Van is actually a replacement vehicle for Dodge Grand Caravan; it is a windowless version of the Grand Caravan with the flat floor and heavy duty suspension for hauling heavy loads.

To test drive a new or used Dodge Ram, visit your local All Star Dodge Dealer serving Illinois and Missouri.

 

Jeep May Be Produced in China

Used Jeep Dealer near JerseyvilleAll Star Dodge, your local Missouri Jeep Dealer near Jerseyville, is committed to keeping its customers updated on the latest in Chrysler/Jeep news.  Some dealers feel that the Jeep Wrangler, Patriot, and Compass would be the most likely to be exported to China.

In recent automotive news; Chrysler representative- Mike Manley, went to China in an attempt to negotiate a new deal with a Chinese company called Guangzhou Automobile Group Co.-which has an agreement with Fiat.  “Fiat has a very strong partner there so I will be discussing various options with them,” Manley said during an interview at the Frankfurt auto show. “If I can localize Jeep you are going to see many, many multiples of what we sell today.”

According to automotive News; the Grand Cherokee, Patriot, Compass, and Wrangler are being exported to China.  Last year Chrysler sold 11,646 Jeep models in China including 7.736 Jeep Compass models.

A new unnamed SUV that is smaller than the Compass and Patriot will go into production in 2013 could be another possible export vehicle for China.

“For us to grow in China, you have to produce. The import duties are pretty high when you bring vehicles in,” Manley said. “Our vehicles really play in the premium segment in China. I would call them niche and for me the market is just too big an opportunity not to take advantage of it on a local manufacturing basis.”

After a new deal gets negotiated, Manley stated that the next step is to get government agency approval in China.

Manley stated; “If we found the right partner, and we got all of the approvals, you could have local production of Jeep in 18 to 24 months after that process.”

 

European Debt Crisis Causes Alfa to Delay U.S. Launch

dodge dealer in Bridgeton MO All Star Dodge Dealer located in Bridgeton MO near Jerseyville is committed to keeping its loyal customers updated on the latest in Chrysler automotive news.  Alfa Romeo has delayed the launch of new key Chrysler vehicles by another year and also changed its intention to manufacture a mid-sized SUV in Toledo in an attempt to scale back on its global expansion plan.

This is the most recent in many delays of the sporty Fiat S.P.A. brand.  Romeo’s statement came just one day after CEO Sergio Marchionne announced Europe’s debt crisis, stating that European currency could hit bottom if the crisis isn’t resolved soon.  Chrysler says that the debt crisis motivated Fiat to re-examine the plans to introduce new vehicles. “We are reviewing volumes and the timing of new products to see when it is really necessary to launch them,” Marchionne said.

Alfa Romeo stated that he planned to return to the United States in 2012.  Automotive News stated; “Under the revised schedule, the first car won’t come to the United States until mid-2013, when the 4C, a low-volume coupe arrives. The MiTo, a five-door hatchback, is scheduled to follow in the second half of 2013.”

Fiat dealers in the U.S. were hoping to get a large range of sporty new vehicles in addition to the Fiat 500 small car which is currently the only vehicle they sell.

A new compact hatchback was scheduled to be launched in early 2013 but the date has now been moved back to 2014.  Another vehicle with an arrival date pushed back is the Giulia mid-sized sedan and wagon which will not arrive until 2014.  New styling proposals for the Giulia sedan have been rejected by Marchionne on three separate occasions.

Automotive News says; “Alfa also canceled plans for a mid-sized SUV, originally due in 2014. The vehicle was to have been built in Toledo on a shared platform with the Jeep Liberty. The new plan now calls for a large rear-drive sedan — derived from the next generation of the Maserati Quattroporte — to appear beyond 2014.”