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Monthly archives for October, 2011

Dodge Ram Launches 3 new Models

Dodge Ram Trucks near Wood RiverAll Star Dodge Dealer is pleased to announce that the Dodge Ram truck available near Wood River is pleased to announce that sales of the new Dodge Ram pickup are up 26% in the first 3 quarters of 2011 and there is no sign that sales will slow down in the near future, particularly since the Ram brand has just unveiled 3 new products to its line-up.

Power Wagon Laramie and the Power Wagon ST, both reveal their own version of the off-road truck. Each retains all the rugged performance offered by the Power Wagon SLT, with the Laramie adding the following features;

  • Leather seats
  • Premium audio features
  • Dual-zone air-conditioning
  • Wood-grain-trimmed door panels and dash
  • Body-colored fender flares and other unique exterior accents
  • Chrome mirrors, bumpers and grille

The Power Wagon ST delivers off-road performance with the bare essentials, making it perfect as a fleet vehicle to be used off road, such as fire and emergency services.

“When it comes to off-road capability, no other pickup truck compares to the Ram Power Wagon,” said Fred Diaz, president and CEO of the Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico. “Expanding the Power Wagon’s availability to ST and Laramie models is not only what our customers have asked for, but also a true measure of the truck’s success and popularity with truck buyers.”

Ram will also introduce the 2012 Ram 1500 Mossy Oak Edition, limited run pickup.  This edition was designed in the spirit of the recently launched Ram Outdoorsman-a 4×4 crew cab model stocked full of outdoor friendly features such as the “RamBox Holster” gun rack accessory holder.  The Mossy Oak style has a camo pattern on the tailgate, bedcaps, instrument panel and door inserts.

“Ram Truck owners are deeply involved with the outdoors and proudly participate in hunting and fishing,” said Fred Diaz, president and CEO of the Ram Truck Brand. “In recognition of the millions of American hunters, we’re launching the Ram Mossy Oak Edition, as we did the Ram Outdoorsman, to keep our focus on the needs and wants of our customers so that they can enjoy their enthusiasm for the outdoors and their sport of choice.”

Quality Chief Betts Helps Dramatic Rise in Dodge Ram Ratings

Dodge Ram trucks near St. LouisAll Star Dodge, home of a great line up of new Dodge Ram trucks near St. Louis, knows that one good explanation for Chrysler’s dramatic improvement in quality this year is due to Doug Betts, Chrysler’s head of quality.  Betts is said to have worked diligently since he was hired by Chrysler in 2007 at improving quality in every aspect of operations.

Betts originally came to Chrysler Corp. from Nissan.  Betts knew how much stock new car buyers put into consumer report and he persuaded former CEO Bob Nardelli to hire him to oversee Chrysler’s quality operations.

“I told him my view, which is that the way quality needs to be managed is similar to the way a CFO manages money in a company,” Betts told Automotive News in 2008. “Everybody in the company has an effect on customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction and somebody needs to oversee that plan.”

After Fiat took over control of Chrysler, CEO Sergio Marchionne recruited Betts into his core management team because Marchionne knew what a vital job that Betts had at the company.

Betts was recently given affirmations by David Champion, senior director of Consumer Report’s Automotive Test Center. “Doug Betts has a single focus on bringing Chrysler back into the field of quality and reliability.”

Betts efforts paid off in this year’s Consumer Report survey.  Jeep rankings jumped 7 spots to become the top-rated domestic brand. Chrysler brand jumped 12 places and Dodge as well as Dodge Ram improved by 3 spots.

Champion stated in a press release; “I’ve known Doug for some time. He’s a good guy, but he’s not a guy you want to get on the wrong side of.” Translation: He does not compromise on quality.

Champion also stated that Chrysler had no choice when it revised 16 new vehicles for the 2011 model year when faced with the possibility of going out of business.

“They had to improve. Had they launched their new crop of vehicles with bad reliability that would have been the final nail in the coffin.”

Marchionne Makes a Statement on Chrysler Earnings for 2011

Dodge Ram Trucks in MissouriAll Star Dodge home of a great line-up of Dodge Ram trucks in Missouri, is committed to keeping its loyal blog readers updated on the latest in Chrysler automotive news.

In a recent webcast, CEO of Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne made a statement for Italy regarding Chrysler’s 2011 Financial Earnings.  His opening comments are below;

“It’s been a terrific quarter for Chrysler; I think the numbers speak for themselves. I’ll let Richard (Palmer, Chrysler CFO) take you through the details of the performance in the quarter, but I think, fundamentally, the third quarter of this year is a confirmation of the fact that the plan that we put together back in 2009 has got legs. We are on our way to closing off the year with roughly two million in shipments for the year, making about two billion-plus worth of operating profit. We’re, as Richard will explain in a few minutes, we feel relatively comfortable with our cash generation capabilities; the investment plans are on track.

“We’re looking forward to a pretty exciting 2012 with the introduction of our C-sedan for Dodge which is the first tangible proof of the collaboration between Fiat and Chrysler on an architectural basis and it’s the basis of a series of launches that will accompany Chrysler from 2012 until 2014 which is the completion of the plan that we laid out back in November of ’09.

“I really have no negative news: I could give you a litany of issues that have impacted on us operationally including issues that actually impacted on the number of vehicles that we shipped out by the end of the quarter. These are normal things; Richard will explain what impact they have had in terms of operating income for the quarter, but these have now become normal events within the running of the businesses, and they were, in hindsight, I think they were part of what we expected the past to do going forward.

“I know that there were a lot of skeptics back a couple of years – we’re not here to prove anybody wrong – I just feel comfortable that what we told you, we’re delivering on.

“The commitment remains to deliver 2012 plan as we laid out back almost three years ago.

“I’m delighted by the fact that we were able to close our deal with the UAW: it was handled in as professional a way as anybody could possibly handle these events. I can tell you from having had experiences across the world on this matter that the UAW and ourselves took the high road on this site, regardless of the skirmishes that happen in all these types of negotiations, we ended up with a set of answers that are crucial to underpinning the operational performance of the house until 2015.

“I’m delighted that we could find a way to get this done. I’m glad that we got the majority of our people to subscribe to the agreement; it makes us a lot more confident going forward and I think what remains a key challenge for us going forward is the ability to deal effectively with the two-tier wage structure which is still embedded in the contract and which, in some fashion, needs to be resolved as we go forward. I think we looked at this issue as part of the negotiations and we tried to find a way, whether we had enough time and enough runway, to get this resolved in this round – we came to the conclusion that the immediacy that was required in signing an agreement was the predominant factor here and that we had to postpone the longer-term solution to the next round of negotiations.

“I think there’s a willingness on our part and on the part of the UAW to build a hell of a solid basis for this business going forward. I am really confident and hopeful that between now and the time we sit with them again that we’ll be able to find a permanent solution going forward.”

To test drive a new or used Dodge Ram, visit your local Missouri Dodge Dealer, All Star Dodge located in Bridgeton today.

New Options for Dodge Ram Trucks

new Dodge Ram in Missouri

All Star Dodge knows that when Ram split from Dodge back in 2009 the idea was to develop an image that would appeal to “real truck customers,” since that time Ram has introduced the new RamBox, the Express model, as well as the 1500 Tradesman Heavy Duty model.

The new RamBox twin storage bins are now offered on trucks including the Crew and Mega Cab models.  The RamBox storage bins are waterproof and span the entire length of the truck bed and it can be drained, and locked for security. Mounting racks are available to customize that box for holding fishing poles, hunting equipment, and tools with long handles, while the bins were designed to hold toolboxes, chain-saws, and even canoe paddles. The bins can also be used as large capacity coolers.

The new 1500 Express truck has a 390 hp 5.7 liter V8 engine.  Features and options include; a monochromatic paint scheme, fog lights, 20 inch aluminum wheels, chromed grille inserts, a sport performance hood, and a fiberglass or a folding tonneau cover. The Express will now be offered in Crew and Quad Cab options. The 2012 Ram 1500 Express regular cab model has a starting price of $23,080 and the Quad Cab starts at $28,050 and the Crew Cab is $30,210.

The 1500 Tradesman HD model for 2012 is at the top of its class for pay load with a towing rate of 11,500 lbs and a gross vehicle weight of 17,500 lbs.  The Tradesman HD has a 5.7 liter Hemi V8 engine which delivers 383 hp.  In order to tow heavier cargo, the Tradesman has heavy duty brakes and wheel hubs, a stronger frame, and a Class IV hitch.  The 1500 Tradesman HD model will be available in Dealer’s showrooms in spring of 2012.

To test drive a new Dodge Ram in Missouri, visit your local All Star Dodge Dealer in Bridgeton today.

Jeep Named Top Domestic Brand for Reliability

Used Jeep Dealer Near EllisvilleAll Star Dodge new and used Jeep Dealer near Ellisville is pleased to announce that Jeep has moved up 7 slots in Consumer Reports Predicted Reliability rankings, making it the most reliable domestic brand according to owner responses out of 1.3 million domestic and imported vehicles.

Chrysler and Dodge moved up 12 and three spots which was the largest jump of any brand, its ranking was partially based on the new 200 sedan, which scored well above average.

Consumer Reports denounced Ford and GM brands in its recent annual reliability survey and dropped recommendations for Ford’s Explorer, Focus, and Fiesta, Chrysler’s Town and Country, Buick’s Regal and LaCrosse, Cadillac’s SRX, and Chevy’s Cruze.

The infotainment system in the Explorer, focus and Fiesta and the MyFordTouch system as well as the new automated manumatic transmission were all named as problematic in the report by CR.

“We have often found that new or revamped models have more problems in their first year than in subsequent model years. Ford’s problems illustrate why we recommend to our subscribers to hold off buying a first-year model,” said David Champion, Senior Director of Consumer Reports’ Automotive Test Center.

Only 63 domestic models that were considered in the survey rated average or better in new car reliability reports.

The following vehicles are listed in order of ranking for reliability on Consumer Report’s list:

1.Scion 2.Lexus 3.Acura 4.Mazda 5.Honda 6.Toyota 7.Infinity 8.Subaru 9.Nissan 10.Volvo 11.Hyundai 12.Kia 13.Jeep 14.Lincoln 15.Chrysler 16.Volkswagen 17.Chevrolet 18.Mercedes-Benz 19.BMW 20.Ford 21.Dodge 22.GMC 23.Mini 24.Buick 25.Cadillac 26.Audi 27.Porsche 28.Jaguar

To test drive a new or used Jeep, visit your local All Star Dodge Dealer located in Bridgeton Missouri today.

Jeep Wrangler Receives 2012 Active Lifestyle Vehicle Award

new Jeep Dealer in IlinoisAll Star Dodge new Jeep Dealer in Illinois is pleased to announce that the new 2012 Jeep Wrangler was selected as the “Best Value Off-Road” award and the Jeep Grand Cherokee received the top award in the “Luxury Off Road” vehicle category.

The awards were given in Phoenix by a group of auto journalists and elite athletes who got together to select the Active Lifestyle Vehicle (ALV) winners for 2012.

“Both the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee beat out vehicles which had dominated their competitive segments for multiple seasons,” said Nina Russin, automotive journalist and ALV program founder. “The new, more powerful engine and the reconfigured cargo area make the Wrangler a very easy vehicle to live with on a daily basis, as well as a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts who like to get off the grid on the weekends.

“The tremendous improvements to the interior of the Grand Cherokee in terms of design, fit, and finish, as well as the new engine were in my opinion both game changers. And of course, the Grand Cherokee remains capable of navigating the most extreme off-road trails,” Russin added.

The awards winners were selected by considering overall design, engine power, fuel efficiency as well as cargo space.

“Jeep vehicles offer the perfect blend of fun, performance and capability – and are built for any adventure – so Grand Cherokee and Wrangler were right at home in this unique competition,” said Mike Manley, Jeep brand CEO. “We are delighted to have earned awards in both the Value and Luxury categories with the two pillars of the Jeep brand.”

More Votes in Favor of Chrysler’s new Contract with UAW

new Dodge Dealer in West CountyAll Star new Dodge Dealer in West County is committed to keeping its loyal customers updated on the latest in Chrysler automotive news.

Auto workers at Chrysler’s largest automotive plants have voted in approval of the tentative 4 year labor contract between the United Auto Workers Union and the company.  This is the last of the Detroit 3 contracts to be ratified this year.

The UAW will announce the final results this week.

Hourly labor workers at Chrysler’s Toledo assembly complex which produces the Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Nitro, and Jeep Liberty, voted to approve the contract.

Toledo auto workers voted 54 percent to 46 percent in favor of the contract according to Dan Hanneman, Jeep Unit chairman.  The Toledo plant has maintained a separate contract since 1987 and this was the first time that workers there voted on a national contract in 24 years.

“It’s not a great contract, but it’s a good contract in tough economic times,” Henneman told the newspaper. “Mostly though it’s about putting product in the plant, and I think this helps secure our plant’s long-term future.”

Ford workers at the Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit and the Sterling Heights Assemble plant in the suburbs of Detroit voted to ratify the contract last week according to UAW officials.

Through the 23rd of October, 9 Chrysler UAW locals have voted in favor of contract ratification and 5 locals rejected it, but an updated total of votes have not been released because the UAW doesn’t want early votes to influence those voting later on in the ratification process.

“Please do not post results on this page,” an administrator for the UAW Chrysler Talks Facebook page requested of members. “There are smaller locals that will vote later and we do not want them to think that their vote does not matter.”

Social media sites including Facebook and Twitter were used frequently by Ford and GM workers to post results during ongoing contract negotiations.  Both companies have already ratified new labor contracts from 2011 through 2015.

The new 2011 Jeep Compass

New Jeep Dealer in MissouriThe 2011 Jeep Compass has been dramatically upgraded with a new appearance inside and out.  The cabin was upgraded with higher quality materials.  The engine, ride, and handling were all improved in all road conditions.  This year’s Compass model has also been given substantially improved off road capability in its Freedom Drive II.  The Compass was styled after the tremendously successful Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Standard features include air conditioning, power windows and locks; power heated exterior mirrors, keyless entry, and fog lamps.

The new hood, front fenders, fascia, headlamps, and grille distracts from the quad reflector headlamps and high output projector fog lamps. The body gets a luxurious look with new brightwork, and protective cladding was added to prevent damage when driving off road.  The rear spoiler and LED hedlamps along with other new features really improve the overall appearance of the new Compass. The 17 inch aluminum wheels are standard and 18 inch are available on the Limited edition.

Standard safety features include; side curtain airbags for both rows, stability control with roll mitigation, hill start assist (with manual transmission), and optional seat-mounted side airbags.

The base 2 liter 4 cylinder engine delivers 158 hp and 141 lb/ft of torque with a 5 speed manual transmission.  Fuel efficiency is equivalent to 23 mpg city driving and 29 mpg on the highway.  The higher trim level engine is a 2.4 liter with 172 hp and 165 lb/ft and a 5 speed manual transmission available in FWD only with a fuel efficiency rating of 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.  Towing capacity is rated at 2,000 lbs.

A new All Weather Capability option package is available with all terrain tires, all season floor mats, engine block heater, and tow hooks. Jeep Freedom Drive II and Freedom Drive I is also included in the all-weather package as well as a new 4 wheel drive system.   Freedom Drive II includes a continuously variable transaxle (CVT automatic) with a low range; the ride height was raised one inch and a full size spare, skid plates, tow hooks, and manual seat adjuster are bundled for moderate off-road situations including steep grades, occasional wheel lift, and rock or log climbing. Chrysler achieved Trail Rated status with this configuration.

The new Jeep Compass is expected to arrive at your local Missouri Jeep Dealer’s showroom at All Star Dodge in Bridgeton in late December, with a sticker price expected at $19,995.

Wrangler Stolen from Indiana Jeep Dealer Using a Crane

Missouri Jeep Dealer in BridgetonAll Star Dodge, your local Missouri Jeep Dealer in Bridgeton, is committed to keeping customers updated on the latest in Chrysler news.  In recent automotive media; a Jeep Wrangler was stolen in a shocking way never before heard of.

The perpetrator of the crime must have badly wanted a Jeep Wrangler because he used a crane, similar to the process used in the well known game where stuffed animals are grabbed with a toy crane.  Who would have thought the method could be used to steal a full size Jeep?

A brazen theft that occurred last week in LaPorte Indiana involved a crane that was driven into the local Chrysler dealership the proceeded to use it to lift the new Jeep Wrangler onto a flatbed truck and drive away with it-the theft took only 6 minutes as it was portrayed on the dealership’s video surveillance camera.

“He clamped into the roof, put the jaws through both doors and lifted it up,” Matt Magnuson, LaPorte Chrysler’s general manager, told the Chicago Tribune. “The Jeep has to be heavily damaged.”

There was a suspect who was taken into custody just two days after the theft occurred, according to LaPorte Police Chief of Detectives, Adam Klimczaz, but the suspect’s identity has not been released yet.

The red 2008 used Jeep Wrangler that still had the plow attached to it, was not recovered until 3 days after the theft occurred.  The dealership had actually already sold the vehicle the day before for $25,000 but the new owner had not yet picked up the vehicle according to Magnuson.

The truck used in the car theft was described by Magnuson as similar to a logging or railroad truck with a Prentice crane.

To test drive a new or used Jeep Wrangler, visit your local Missouri Jeep Dealer, All Star Dodge near St. Louis, you won’t be disappointed!

Chrysler Lowers Production due to Shortage of Components

New Dodge Dealer in MissouriAll Star new Dodge Dealer in Missouri knows that Chrysler Group is being forced to lower production output and decrease staff with rotating layoffs at the Windsor Ontario minivan plant, due to shortages of engines that are assembled in Detroit.

Spokeswoman for Chrysler Group, Jodi Tinson commented that the company was forced to cut down to 2 shifts instead of 3 to assemble minivans due to component shortages.  According to Chrysler the change is not expected to affect skilled trade workers.

According for Ford News; “Chrysler did not disclose further details about the reduction in minivan output, but CAW officials cited a shortage of engines built at a company plant in Trenton, Michigan.” Rick Laporte, president of CAW Local 444, told The Windsor Star that Chrysler has been struggling to produce enough Pentastar V-6 engines at its Trenton, Michigan plant.”  He also stated that Chrysler was diverting engines to assembly plants which are building the vehicles in the highest demand.

The Windsor plant has 4,800 employees who build the Chrysler Town & Country as well as Dodge Caravan and the Volkswagen Routan.

According to Automotive News; “On Thursday, one of the three locals representing workers at the Trenton, Mich., plant that supplies Windsor voted against ratification of a four-year contract between the UAW and Chrysler.”

Workers at the Trenton Plant are not happy about the shift cuts and voiced that the new work guidelines are a threat to quality and safety at the plant-according to the Wall Street Journal.  Chrysler Corp. is reportedly evaluating the situation-according to the Journal.

To test drive a new or used Chrysler, see your local All Star Dodge Dealer located in Bridgeton Missouri today, you won’t be disappointed.