Archive for the ‘chrysler group’ Tag

Auto Shows The 2019 Jeep Gladiator Is the Glorious Jeep Pickup You've Been Dreaming of for the Past 26 Years

The last time Jeep offered a pickup truck, Lee Iacocca was CEO. Over the 26 years since, enthusiasts clamoring for a Jeep with a bed have been let down by Chrysler Corporation, DaimlerChrysler AG, Chrysler LLC, Chrysler Group LLC, and FCA US LLC. But now the wait is over. The 2019 Jeep Gladiator is here, and it is glorious. Here’s what we know about the long-awaited Jeep truck.

Official images of the Jeep truck have been revealed by Truck Trend, and it appears that the spy shots we saw earlier this month showing a very Jeep Wrangler-looking vehicle were on point. The front half of the Gladiator looks just like the Wrangler.

According to Truck Trend’s post, which has since been taken down, the Gladiator’s frame is 31 inches longer than the JL Wrangler Unlimited’s, and the wheelbase is up 19.4 inches. The story also says the larger axles, brakes, and also the 33-inch tires and the suspension are unique to the truck. Truck Trend says the Gladiator will be able to carry 1,650 pounds of payload, with a towing capacity of 7,650 pounds.

The windshield folds flat and the roof comes off, just like on the JL Wrangler. That makes the new Jeep truck the first pickup on the U.S. market with a removable top since the the 1991 Dodge Dakota Sport convertible (and no, the Chevy SSR doesn’t count).

Under the hood is apparently the same 3.6-liter Pentastar “Upgrade” engine found in the JL, making 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It can be had with either an automatic (Truck Trend, strangely, says it’s a six speed auto and not the eight speed found in all other Pentastar applications) or a six-speed manual. Truck Trend also says the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel should come in 2020 with 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft, bolted to an eight-speed auto. We don’t know if a 2.0-liter will be available.

As for off-road bits, the story says the new Gladiator, in Rubicon trim, will get “Fox aluminum-bodied 2-inch-diameter shocks,” lockers, a disconnecting front sway bar, a 4:1 low range transfer case ratio, and 33-inch mud terrain tires. The new truck apparently has an approach angle of 43.6 degrees, a breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, and a 26 degree departure angle, along with 11.1 inches of ground clearance. Aside from the breakover angle, those are all at the top of the mid-size truck segment.

As for protection, the Rubicon will apparently get rock rails along the rocker panels to keep the big-bellied truck’s body safe from dings, and also metal bars aft of the rear axle to protect the long rear overhang.

Today is a big day for Jeep and for Jeep fans, who have waited since before Lee Iacocca retired from Chrysler in 1992 for another Jeep truck after the Cherokee-derived Comanche died off. And folks hoping for a true body-on-frame Jeep truck have waited even longer—since the departure of the full-size J10 (formerly called the Gladiator) in 1987. That’s the same year that Chrysler bought American Motors Corporation, which owned Jeep at the time.

Clearly, this has been a long time coming, but the recent resurgence of the mid-size truck segment means it was only a matter of time. The Jeep truck is here. And by the looks of it, it appears to be a legitimate, off-road worthy, solid axle-having, body-on-frame machine, just like Jeep diehards have been hoping for for over a quarter of a century.

Read more at: https://jalopnik.com/the-2019-jeep-gladiator-is-the-glorious-jeep-pickup-you-1830696134?utm_campaign=socialflow_jalopnik_facebook&utm_source=jalopnik_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&fbclid=IwAR2X7X0QywD79wOhcumtWG69fLhZ8CY3McspmEhLnybGtg5EHNmVvHWmcBQ

Five Years Later, Chrysler’s Gamble on Ram Trucks Is Paying Off

WARREN, Mich. — In December, the sprawling, four million-square-foot factory here where workers assemble Ram pickup trucks, along conveyors that weave for more than 30 miles, suddenly went quiet.

Thousands of workers looked on where a makeshift stage, draped in black, had been assembled. Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler Group’s chairman and chief executive, stepped up to address the crowd.

In the dark days of Chrysler’s bankruptcy — when the company barely escaped extinction thanks to a taxpayer bailout and the purchase by Mr. Marchionne’s Fiat of a major stake, which later turned into ownership — such a staged display and work stoppage could have meant trouble. But not this time.

Mr. Marchionne was there to acknowledge an industry award for the truck, but, more important, to convey a simple message to the workers: well done.

“Today I wanted to come to Warren to personally thank all of you,” he said, and in his signature style joked about the criticism that followed his decision in 2009 to create the stand-alone Ram division. “The skeptics, who were already predicting our company was going down the tubes, thought for sure that we’d been smoking something funny.”

In 2009, when Ram was carved out from Dodge into a stand-alone division, it was a big gamble — and far from a sure thing. Some industry critics scoffed at the idea of a brand dedicated to pickup trucks. Others were puzzled: After the bailouts, the trend was to consolidate brands to streamline automakers’ offerings, but Chrysler was adding a new one.

Five years later, the verdict is in: The gamble paid off. Ram trucks have captured an ever-greater share of the full-size pickup market dominated in the past by General Motors and Ford, and are on track to seize even more. By adding innovative features not found in other pickups, and aggressive pricing to lure truck buyers, who are among the most loyal in the automotive business, Chrysler’s Ram has managed to go from also-ran to a threat in only a few years.

Here in Warren, the plant is now churning out Ram pickups 20 hours a day, six days a week, with occasional Sundays — barely able to keep up with demand.

In the fourth quarter of 2009, when the new Ram division’s trucks were hitting the streets, the company eked out a paltry 11 percent of the market share for full-size trucks. The two other Detroit automakers were lapping Chrysler around the track, with shares of 42 percent for G.M. and 37 percent for Ford. Since then Ram has conquered more and more of the market every year. In August, when sales surged 33 percent over a year earlier, Ram commanded 21 percent of full-size pickup purchases in the United States.

Most of that success has come at the expense of G.M.’s Chevrolet Silverado pickup, which despite its own recent redesign has lost market share this year. Ford’s F-Series pickups remain the overall market leader, but their sales have also dipped this summer as the automaker prepares to introduce a new generation of trucks made with an aluminum body.

Reid Bigland, Chrysler’s head of United States sales and head of the Ram division from April 2013 to last month, said that what made the new division different was an intense focus on pickups, which under the Dodge umbrella and its muscle-car heritage had never quite received their due.

“Selling trucks is just a different business than cars,” Mr. Bigland said, “and we had a group of people who could come to work and do nothing but think about pickup trucks.”

One result was features competitors did not have, like air suspensions, cargo cameras, eight-speed transmissions and, last year, a diesel engine that gets 28 miles a gallon on the highway.

On the factory floor itself, new, lean manufacturing methods transplanted from Fiat began revolutionizing the Warren plant’s operations — not only creating more efficient ways of building vehicles and increasing quality but also giving workers a stake in decision-making.

“The floor has a voice now,” said Tracie Fern, a Warren worker who helps find ways to make jobs on the assembly line more efficient. “When someone has a suggestion, they listen to us.”

Go back to the 1980s, and the Dodge Ram was not even an also-ran. “It was just a blip on the radar back then,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book. “Ford and Chevy didn’t think about, or care about, what Ram was doing.”

The first real attention-grabber was the 1994 Ram, which featured the aggressive, curved “big rig” look the Ram still incorporates today. But while the muscular design change drew attention and increased sales, the truck languished in a distant third.

When the stand-alone experiment began in 2009, the near-death experience of the bankruptcy and taxpayer bailout had left its mark on Chrysler. Ram executives said they knew they would have to deliver results, and quickly.

“You either come out swinging or you roll over,” said Robert Hegbloom, a Ram executive who last month became head of the brand. (Mr. Bigland was tapped to lead Fiat’s Alfa Romeo unit in North America.)

A conference room in the basement of Chrysler’s headquarters was turned into a makeshift “Ram war room.” The new team members gathered regularly to brainstorm ideas, figure out ways for the trucks to distinguish themselves, and perhaps most important, zero in on what truck buyers wanted.

Mr. Marchionne, well known for his blunt style and attention to detail, held monthly meetings with the Ram executives, where he expected updates.

For light-duty pickups, the team decided to hone in on a priority they were hearing from truck customers. “It was all about fuel economy,” Mr. Hegbloom said, explaining that buyers used to willingly sacrifice gas mileage for hauling capability. Now they wanted both.

Ram engineers went to work, and by adding a host of features — shutters that close the front grille at high speeds to reduce drag, an eight-speed transmission and ultimately a new turbodiesel engine — they managed to increase the trucks’ hauling performance while also topping the charts on fuel economy.
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Designers also focused on upgrading the interiors. That was because the nature of pickup trucks was changing. A pickup used to be a bare-bones affair: Bench seats were common, back seats generally nonexistent. Now, so-called crew cabs are ubiquitous, and the comfort and technology match those of any sport utility vehicle.

“They’re really a lot like luxury vehicles these days,” said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst with Edmunds.com.

Jeff Jagoda, a fourth-generation autoworker, now at the Ram factory in Warren, has seen the evolution firsthand. He bought his first truck in 1975, and with its crank windows, bench seat and exposed steel inside, he said the last word to describe it would be luxury. “When I brought it home my mother said: ‘What are you doing with this thing? You’re not a farmer,’ ” he said. “But that’s what trucks used to be, something people bought to get work done, nothing more. Today, they’re something else entirely; you’ve got all the comforts of home if you want.”

Sean Kilmain, who lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, bought his new Ram 1500 in July after test-driving Ford and G.M. trucks. He said he wanted something that could be comfortable for family skiing trips to Vermont but also capable of towing his boat or hauling gear.

“When you’re looking to take two dogs and your nephews along for the ride, space becomes an issue,” Mr. Kilmain said. “This will be the truck that we take places.” What sold him on the Ram, he said, was that he felt the truck offered more features for less money than the competition, and that the fuel economy was also impressive.

“I didn’t want to get a gas guzzler, but also wanted something that could do pretty much anything I wanted,” he said. “Haul some stuff, carry some people.”

Mr. Brauer, the Kelley Blue Book analyst, predicted that Ram might give G.M. a run for its money, and could possibly seize the No. 2 spot in coming years — something that would have been unthinkable a decade ago.

“Ford is just a monster in the pickup category, and always will be. But what we could see is a Ford main show, with G.M. and Ram left to fight it out,” he said. “If that’s the case, then Ram is winning.”

As read on: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/18/business/ram-trucks-gain-on-their-detroit-rivals.html?ref=automobiles&_r=2

2014 Chrysler Town & Country | Segment Leader in Initial Quality

Consistency is everything.

For the second straight year, Chrysler Town & Country ranks “Highest Ranked Minivan in Initial Quality” in the annual J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality StudySM.*

The J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality StudySM is based on responses from more than 86,000 owners of new 2014 model-year vehicles after 90 days of ownership. The study asks customers to identify issues with vehicle design as well as defects experienced.

“This is the second time in a row Chrysler Town & Country leads the minivan segment in this quality study,” said Doug Betts, Senior Vice President — Quality, Chrysler Group LLC. “It reflects the commitment of employees who develop, build and test these vehicles and their recognition that every employee has a role in continually improving the quality of our products.”

To experience the 2014 Town & Country firsthand, especially the 30th Anniversary Edition pictured here, visit your nearest Chrysler dealer and schedule a test drive today.

*The Chrysler Town & Country received the lowest number of problems per 100 vehicles among minivans in the proprietary J.D. Power 2013-2014 Initial Quality StudiesSM. 2014 study based on responses from 86,118 new-vehicle owners, measuring 239 models and measures opinions after 90 days of ownership. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed in February-May 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

As Read on: http://blog.chrysler.com/vehicles/town-country/2014-chrysler-town-country-segment-leader-initial-quality/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=KMAug2714facebook1&ism=KMAug2714facebook1

Stop, Start, Save – Fuel-Saving Technology Standard on Jeep Cherokee

Chrysler Group is offering fuel-saving Engine Stop-Start (ESS)
technology as standard equipment on certain models of the award-winning
2015 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV and all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 mid-size
sedan.

Jeep Cherokee customers who choose the available 3.2-liter Pentastar
V-6, and Chrysler 200 customers who opt for the 2.4-liter Tigershark
I-4, and will experience estimated fuel-economy improvements of up to
three percent, compared with the conventional vehicle-engine pairings.

“We’re taking highly efficient engines and upping the ante to further
benefit our customers,” said Mike Duhaime, Global Director-Electrified
Powertrain Propulsion Systems. “ESS leverages intricate control
strategies to deliver a superior driving experience, as well as the
expected fuel-savings and emissions-reduction.”

ESS applications in the Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler 200 and will
account for an estimated C02 emissions-reduction of up to three percent.

Availability in the popular Jeep Cherokee is scheduled for third
quarter. ESS arrives the following quarter in the all-new Chrysler 200.

ESS works this way:

– Engine controls constantly monitor vehicle speed

– When the vehicle brakes to a stop, fuel flow is cut and engine turns off – events that save gas and reduce emissions

– Beefier batteries maintain other vehicle systems so in-cabin comfort is unaffected

– When the brake pedal is released, the engine automatically restarts and the nine-speed automatic transmission, the segment-exclusive
nine-speed automatic transmission is engaged – all within 0.3 seconds

If a driver chooses to forgo the benefits of ESS, the feature can be
deactivated with the push of a button, and then reactivated.

Efficiency and refinement are hallmarks of the Tigershark and Pentastar engine families. ESS just complements these attributes.

The Cherokee’s available 271-hp 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 is derived
from the acclaimed 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, named three times one of
Ward’s 10 Best Engines. The smaller-displacement V-6 helps the Cherokee
deliver fuel-economy improvements of up to 30 percent, compared with the
model it replaces.

Individual exhaust-manifold runners are integrated into the aluminum
cylinder-head casting, a key Pentastar-family differentiator. This
design feature reduces weight and affords packaging benefits.

The 24-valve engine’s 10.7:1 compression ratio aids in lowering fuel
consumption and improves performance while its variable-displacement oil
pump further reduces parasitic losses to maximize fuel economy. The
pump is programmed to operate as needed, staying in low-pressure mode
below 3,500 rpm, and then bumping up pressure as demand follows
engine-speed.

The high-tech transmission – which also comes standard in the Jeep
Cherokee – dispenses power smoothly for elevated refinement. Such
performance is made possible because the ratio steps between its gears
are smaller than those of other transmissions.

The Jeep Cherokee has earned multiple media accolades, from Rocky
Mountain Automotive Press Association’s SUV of the Year to 2014 Canadian
Utility Vehicle of the Year, courtesy of the Automobile Journalists
Association of Canada (AJAC).

As read on: http://www.chryslergroup360.com/featured_news/stop-start-save/

Behind the Numbers: Chrysler Group U.S. Sales

On the surface, numbers are just numbers.

But, if you dig a little deeper, you can get perspective.

And, that’s what we tried to do for Chrysler Group’s September 2013 U.S. sales, which grew 1% from September 2012 to 143,017. Read the below and then give us your perspective on our September U.S. sales.

With truck/SUV/crossover sales flat at 0% growth, and slightly down in raw numbers from September 2012, car sales grew 3% and accounted for a bit more than 30% of our total vehicle sales. Last September, car sales were 29% of our total vehicle sales.

While Jeep® brand sales were down 5% last month to 37,464 (from 39,245), you could make the case it was still a strong month given that the brand had to overcome the loss of Jeep Liberty sales of about 5,600 from September 2012. For September 2013, Jeep Grand Cherokee sales were up 19% to 14,906. Jeep Patriot sales were up 12% to 6,053. Jeep Compass sales were up 27% to 4,487. Jeep Wrangler sales were slightly down by less than 1%, to 11,984.

For those LX fans, it was a very strong month: Dodge Charger +49% to 8,713 sold, Chrysler 300 +6% to 5,036 sold and Dodge Challenger +22% to 3,932 sold. It was the best September ever for Dodge Challenger

For the plant* rivalry, Windsor, Ont., vehicles totaled 22,002, while Detroit’s JNAP vehicles sales were 19,870, followed closely by Belvidere, Ill., at 18,462.

Heading in to the final quarter of 2013, year-to-date sales are 82% of 2012 totals, and 99% of 2011 total sales.

As read on: http://blog.chryslerllc.com/blog.do?id=2174&p=entry