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Monthly archives for February, 2012

Former Head of Chrysler LaSorda named CEO at Fisker

Dodge Ram trucks near All Star Dodge, home of a great selection of new Dodge Ram trucks near Jerseyville is committed to keeping its loyal blog readers updated on the latest in Chrysler news. According to a recent Automotive News article, Tom LaSorda, former Chrysler CEO was named Chief Executive at Fisker Automotive, the electric vehicle maker. Company co-founder Henrik Fisker will become executive chairman, according to a company statement. “I will be taking a new role…building the brand and creating brand awareness, styling and design and future vision of the company,” Fisker told journalists during a conference call. According to Automotive News; “although it has launched its $103,000 Karma extended-range hybrid vehicle, the company recently missed milestones to collect its next round of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.” The completion of Fisker’s lower priced Project Nina has been put on hold. According to LaSorda:“Fisker Automotive will be profitable in 2013 from Karma sales alone. Hopefully, that revelation will be enough to spur the next round of financing, either from the DOE or other sources.”LaSorda reported that there was a possibility of forming an alliance with another automaker.”If any auto company would call, we would be open to that,” LaSorda said. “But we are not out in the marketplace pushing that.” Approximately 2000 Karmas were built by Fisker so far and of those, 840 were delivered in the U.S and Canada. Regarding the Project Nina, LaSorda said, “I really can’t say when production would start and what’s going on in Wilmington.” Before joining Chrysler Corp. LaSorda worked at General Motors and he has a total of 32 years in the automotive industry and he became a Chrysler COO in 2004 then served as CEO from the year 2005 to 2007. LaSorda said he was “quite impressed by the passion here and the brand itself.”He added that he is “personally invested in the company” “I never would have taken the job if I didn’t think the future of this company was bright,” LaSorda said. “Henrik didn’t have to twist my arm very hard.”

Fiat Plans to Build Jeeps in Russia

used Jeep dealer near EllisvilleAll Star new Jeep Dealer near Ellisville is committed to keeping its loyal customers and blog readers updated on the latest in Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep automotive news.

In recent automotive news, according to Corriere Della Sera, an Italian newspaper report; Fiat has signed a new agreement for a joint venture to produce Jeep models in Russia.  According to one source the partner is Russia’s Sberbank

Chrysler Group and Fiat are reportedly working toward expansion of their automotive production in foreign markets such as Russia in order to offset recent slow growth in many geographic markets in Europe.

The new deal has been in the works since 2011 after an agreement which was previously signed with OAO (which is Sollers, Russia’s second largest automaker) fell through.

According to Russian officials the new deal to expand Russian auto production would result in a Russian partner building a major new auto plant in St. Petersburg during the first quarter of this year.  Many sources identified the Russian partner as Sberbank.

Corriere stated that the letter that was signed proposes a joint venture with Fiat keeping an 80 percent ownership.   The project will be financed by Sberbank offering a credit line to the new company.

According to All Par.com; “Corriere said the joint-venture would invest 850 million euros ($1.14 billion) in the St. Petersburg plant which would produce 120,000 cars a year. It said a second plant would be opened in Moscow most likely the ZiL factory as reported here on Allpar.com.” Fiat refused to comment on the venture.

To test drive a new or used Jeep, Dodge, or any other Chrysler model, visit your local All Star Dodge Dealer located in Bridgeton MO today, you won’t be disappointed!

The New Dodge Dart

Dodge Dealer near St. PetersAll Star Dodge Dealer near St. Peters is committed to keeping its loyal customers and blog readers updated on the latest in Chrysler automotive news.  According to a recent article by All Par, the Dodge Dart is making a big come back.  The last car was produced in the 60’s and now the Dart is back thanks to the help of Fiat SpA.

Chrysler Group LLC CEO and Fiat SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne said, “This compact wide is the Swiss Army knife of Fiat and Chrysler.”

The compact model starts at $15,995 and will arrive in dealer’s showrooms this year.  All Par says this will be the biggest test in the 2 and ½ year partnership between Fiat and Chrysler.  The Dart will deliver 40 mpg and will be produced in Belvidere Illinois.

“This is really their first test of true sharing across platforms and technology,” Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of global forecasting at LMC Automotive, said in a phone interview. “That’s been pushed internally and externally as their strategy and why this makes sense. Dart will give us some indication of what direction Chrysler and Fiat are going.”

“This compact wide is the Swiss Army knife of Fiat and Chrysler,” Marchionne said in April during an interview at his office in Turin. The platform will be the basis of vehicles selling in China and may eventually be used by the Jeep brand in addition to Alfa Romeo, Chrysler and Dodge models, he said.

Chrysler and Fiat are able to decrease the total amount that each needs to spend on engineering and development by sharing in vehicle architecture which results in costs being spread between them.

Fiat increased its stake in Chrysler Corporation to 58.5 percent from 53.5 percent after its agreement to produce the Dodge Dart.  Marchionne stated that this was a major step in integrating the two companies.  According to Marchionne, the government no longer owns any of Chrysler and the additional 41.5 percent is owned by the United Auto Workers union’s retiree health care trust.

Jeep Recieves 2 Million Facebook Fans

new Jeep Dealer near All Star new and used Jeep Dealer near Florissant MO is committed to keeping its loyal customers and blog readers updated on the latest in Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep news.  In a recent All Par article Jeep is in the headlines as the brand gains popularity in social networking sites.

Jeep brand is celebrating a major milestone according to All Par as the brand’s Facebook page has reached over 2 million fans.  In fact, Jeep is the very first U.S. automaker’s nameplate to reach two million fans on Facebook, winning over its competition (other domestic brands) by nearly 700,000 fans.

According to Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC President and CEO, Mike Manley; “On behalf of the entire Jeep brand team, I would like to extend a personal thank you to our consumers – and literally millions of fans – for their continued loyalty and support,” Manley sated; “We are proud of our 70-year history and all that the Jeep brand has accomplished along the way. Jeep vehicle owners are unlike any others; from those who embrace the ‘Jeep wave’ to those who look forward to helping a fellow off-roader along the trail, there is a sense of community and passion among Jeep owners that makes our brand unique.”

Check out the Jeep brand Facebook page for yourself at Facebook.com/Jeep.

Jeep currently offers a diverse lineup of fuel efficient vehicles including; Jeep Compass SUV Fuel economy: 23 city/29 hwy mpg MSRP from $19,295 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 12 city/18 hwy mpg MSRP from $54,470 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV Fuel economy: 17 city/23 hwy mpg MSRP from $26,995 Jeep Liberty Fuel economy: 16 city/22 hwy mpg MSRP from $23,360 Jeep Patriot Fuel economy:23 city/29 hwy mpg MSRP from $15,995 Jeep Wrangler Fuel economy: 17 city/21 hwy mpg MSRP from $22,045

To test drive a new or certified used Jeep, or Dodge model, visit your local All Star Dodge Dealer located in Bridgeton Missouri today, you won’t be disappointed!

Chrysler Workers Will Receive Bonus Checks

new Jeep Dealer near JerseyvilleAll Star Dodge Dealer located near Jerseyville is pleased to announce that Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that hourly and salaried workers alike would receive a performance award, but the email sent by Marchionne didn’t indicate just how much workers would receive.

Salaried employees received an award based on performance and hourly workers bonus was based on the company’s profit sharing with a formula ratified by UAW members last year, according to a Chrysler spokesperson in an interview with USA Today.

The Chrysler profit sharing formula has been calculated based on the Detroit automaker’s modified operating profit in North America.

Chrysler reported an operating profit of $1.97 billion for the year 2011.  Of that total, approximately 85 percent of the profits come from North American sales according to the financial disclosure listing the sales summary in Chrysler’s 2011 labor contract with the United Auto Workers.

USA Today sates; “According to profit-sharing formula distributed by the UAW last fall that would mean that Chrysler’s 26,000 hourly workers would receive a pretax profit-sharing check of more than $1,500.”

“This is a reward that you have earned,” Marchionne told employees in an e-mail today. “The more difficult the task, the more satisfying it is to overcome all obstacles. … Your efforts rewrote the history that so many naysayers had forecast.”

Chrysler spokesperson Shawn Morgan would not comment regarding the total amount of the awards neither for the hourly nor salary workers at the company.

2005 was the last year that Chrysler workers received a profit sharing check which totaled around $650.

To test drive a new or used Chrysler, visit your local All Star new Jeep Dealer near Jerseyville, home of a great selection of new and used Chrysler vehicles.

Chrysler Retracts Application for U.S. Green Car Loan

new Jeep Dealer near O'Fallon All Star Dodge and new Jeep Dealer near O’Fallon is committed to keeping its loyal blog readers updated on the latest Chrysler automotive news.  Chrysler LLC has decided to withdraw its application for $7 billion in loans from the Department of Energy.  The loan was intended to assist automakers in producing more fuel efficient vehicles.

Chrysler Corporation has announced its decision to retract the loan application as the company filed a notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “The DOE’s proposed terms were very restrictive and compliance would have negatively affected our operational flexibility,” a Chrysler spokesperson said today.

Chrysler originally requested funding under the advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program.   The $25 billion program was approved by Congress in 2007 in order to support automakers in updating plants in order to build more fuel efficient vehicles.

In a written statement, Chrysler Corporation stated that its withdraw request; “will not impact Chrysler’s ability to achieve its previously announced business plan targets.”

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has expressed that he is dissatisfied with the amount of time it had taken for the government to make a decision regarding the company’s request.

The Detroit automaker lowered its request for under $3.5 billion, although the original amount of the loan request was never made public.  Marchionne stated the loan “will put us in a very, very uncompetitive position against the other two [automakers] in Detroit.”

Marchionne also made a statement about Ford Motor Co. and General Motors:”One blocked DoE funding and the other one was using equity capital, which is probably even a better substitute than DoE funding at a lower rate. So I’m the only guy who is sitting over here that pays back everything with interest and I am sitting over there and I don’t want to be favored, I just don’t want to be mistreated.”

New SRT Brand Website

used Dodge Dealer near St. Peters All Star Dodge new and used Dodge Dealer near St. Peters is pleased to announce that Chrysler’s Street Racing Technology (SRT) brand has recently introduced a newly redesigned website at driveSRT.com.

Chrysler Group designs Street Racing Technology vehicles and manufactures them through the Detroit automaker’s in house performance division with a goal to reach 5 new benchmarks including; awe-inspiring powertrains; outstanding ride, handling and capability; braking; aggressive and functional exteriors; and race-inspired and high-performance interiors, which all puts SRT into a class of its own.

DriveSRT.com provides an exclusive journey into the design studios and engineering labs and the factory floors of Chrysler to allow users to view the step by step process that occurs throughout the entire vehicle production process.

According to AllPar.com; “The five requisite SRT hallmarks ensure each new vehicle is delivered with world-class performance and stunning curb appeal. These hallmarks are explored in great detail on driveSRT.com.”

In addition to the extensive information on SRT vehicles found on the driveSRT.com website, visitors are also invited to connect with owners and fans in real time through direct feeds to SRT on Facebook at facebook.com/driveSRT, Twitter @driveSRT, and YouTube at youtube.com/driveSRT, and Flickr at flickr.com/driveSRT.

According to AllPar; “Brand news as well as motorsports and consumer events, and community stories are frequently updated to give visitors regular doses of fresh content. Site visitors also can expect owner profiles and information on SRT clubs nationwide.”

“We’re excited to bring the newly redesigned driveSRT.com to life,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports. “The new site not only offers more exclusive content but it also provides unique ways to connect and stay connected with many enthusiasts groups that we’re building the new SRT brand around.”

To test drive a new or used Dodge or Jeep, contact All Star Dodge in Bridgeton MO today, you won’t be disappointed!

Chrysler adds 1800 Jobs for Production of the new Dodge Dart

new Dodge Dealer in Bridgeton MOAll Star new Dodge Dealer located in Bridgeton MO is pleased to announce that Chrysler Group LLC announced it will add approximately 1800 jobs at its Belvidere Assembly Plant.  Hundreds of new jobs and an entire 3rd shift will be added by the end of the 3rd quarter in 2012 in order to produce the new Dodge Dart.

CEO Sergio Marchonne confirmed the future plans during a ceremony at the plant.  The last time Belvidere operated with 3 shifts was back in March of 2008 when there were approximately 3,600 employees.  After all the hiring is finished the employee count will total over 4,500.

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed the plans this morning during a ceremony at the plant with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Belvidere Mayor Frederic Brereton, UAW Region 4 Director Ron McInroy and hundreds of current employees. The last time Belvidere ran three shifts was in March 2008 when there were about 3,600 employees. When all hiring is complete, the employee population will be more than 4,500.

Marchionne also announced future plans for an investment of $600 million for a new state of the art body shop an addition of new tooling and material handling equipment exclusively designed for the production of Dodge Dart.

“It was not by chance that we chose Belvidere to make this investment and build the new Dodge Dart,” Marchionne told employees. “Our decision is evidence of the faith we have in your level of commitment and your passion to deliver great products for our customers. You have been essential in our ability to author a remarkable story of recovery.

“I want to thank Governor Quinn, Mayor Brereton and the UAW for working with us to bring jobs, investment and a new product to this area,” said Marchionne. “With their help and this dedicated workforce, we are creating a work environment here in Belvidere that is dedicated to quality, and with the flexibility to compete with the best plants anywhere in the world.”

“This announcement is proof that America’s auto industry is indeed back,” said General Holiefield, Vice President, UAW Chrysler Department. “With the continued commitment and hard work of its UAW-represented workers, Chrysler will continue to add more good manufacturing jobs and introduce more industry-leading vehicles, securing the future for the Company and its entire workforce.”

Mossy Oak Dodge Ram Provides Camo

New Dodge Ram Truck near KirkwoodAll Star Dodge, home of a great lineup of new and used Dodge Ram trucks near Kirkwood knows that the Mossy Oak camouflage is commonly known for being of assistance to hunters in keeping a low profile in nature.

Last year the Ram 1500 Mossy Oak Edition contributed to Ram trucks becoming the fastest growing pickup in the country in 2011.  With Mopar partnering up to offer even more style to Ram owners, the truck became even more popular than ever before.

Mossy Oak features durable vinyl graphics and heavy duty durable seat covers were added from Mopar to provide an innovative way for Dodge truck drivers to customize their ride.  The seat covers are composed of a “poly cotton drill-weave fabric boasting double stitched seams custom tailored for the Ram 1500,” according to All Par.  The fabric in the seat covers are machine washable for easy clean up and they can even be dried in the dryer.

The camo graphics are made from 3M’s premium cast vinyl specifically designed to prevent shrinking and cracking.  The pressure sensitive adhesive provides a unique air releasing property to provide smooth cover and bubble free appearance to the custom badges.  They are also laminated to provide even more protection from scratches and fading.

“A large portion of our Ram Truck customers are true outdoorsmen and proudly wear the brands they use while they hunt,” said Fred Diaz, president and CEO of the Chrysler Group’s Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico. “We’re enjoying a great relationship with Mossy Oak and this new line of graphics will allow owners to customize their trucks, and display their passion for hunting and the outdoors.”