Archive for the ‘detroit’ Tag

Detroit auto show to raise awareness of auto industry careers

What if you’re not necessarily looking for a new car but maybe you’d like a new job?

The North American International Auto Show is rolling out a way to showcase strategies for building a career in the auto industry.

On Jan. 20-21, the Detroit auto show at Cobo Center will host a new concept called the Future Automotive Career Exposition at the AutoMobili-D section of the show, an exhibit featuring technologies related to self-driving cars. The group includes automakers, suppliers and startups.

Sure, we’re talking about job openings in the highly cyclical auto industry, even though we’re increasingly captivated by the race to build highly technical self-driving cars and trucks.

Yet experts say we’re likely to see all sorts of creative approaches for filling many jobs in 2018.

Driving around town during the holidays, I actually spotted a billboard advertising jobs in auto factories. Really? I had to do a double take.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles put up billboards in the Detroit area to fill skilled trades, hourly UAW jobs at its plants, including specific opportunities at the Sterling Heights Assembly where FCA is launching the all-new Ram 1500. The new 2019 model truck will launch this quarter. The starting hourly salary for a skilled trades employee is about $34, according to an FCA spokesperson.

The automaker began using the billboards in late November, along with job fairs, in-plant postings, referrals, social media and radio ads to fill jobs. The two billboards that went up were at I-75 north, just south of 9 Mile Road, and on Van Dyke, south of 14 Mile Road, according to FCA.

Fiat Chrysler has no plans to recruit at the Detroit auto show.

We shouldn’t be surprised to spot employers doing all they can to hire the right fit for the job in 2018 when we’re looking at ultra-low unemployment levels. The U.S. jobless rate was 4.1% in December — and the expectation is that the rate will drop further into 2018.

“This unemployment rate is going south,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

It’s possible, Zandi said, that the jobless rate will fall into the mid-3% range this year. He’s predicting an extraordinarily tight labor market, similar to times back in the 1950s.

Zandi said large multinational companies could have a competitive advantage when it comes to hiring and make it difficult for some small businesses to hold onto workers.

Manufacturing should have a good year in 2018, he said, given a strong global economy and a declining dollar that will boost U.S. trade.

To be sure, U.S. auto industry production is expected to pull back. Cox Automotive, for example, is forecasting that 16.7 million new cars and light trucks will be sold in North America in 2018. If so, we could be looking at nearly a 3% drop this year from the 17.2 million cars and trucks sold in 2017.

After seven years of growth, the industry had its first down year in 2017 after hitting a record 17.55 million cars and trucks sold in 2016.

This year, it’s likely that automakers could need to adjust production with shifts in consumer demand and deal with anticipated lower sales volumes.

“Auto manufacturing jobs will be fluid in the next few years,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader.

At the same time, though, auto manufacturers and suppliers often express some difficulty in trying to fill engineering, software and technically skilled jobs.

“Software engineers remain in high demand, particularly those with experience in driver-assist technologies,” said Charlie Chesborough, senior economist at Cox Automotive, which includes the Kelley Blue Book and AutoTrader sites.

“Detroit’s major automakers are competing with Silicon Valley for these type of workers, as well as other manufacturing sectors.”

Fiat Chrysler, for example, noted that skilled trades positions are harder to fill because of the unique qualifications. Skills needed include electrical, mechanical, tool maker, die maker, pipefitter, machine repair and energy center operator. See FCA job openings at http://www.fcagroupcareers.com. Candidates can search for positions by state at manufacturing facilities in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The career-related event at the Detroit auto show takes place only during the first two days that the show is open to the public. The career event is a partnership with Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and NAIAS.

“The event isn’t designed to be a typical job fair,” said Dave Murray, communications director at the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development.

Instead, the goal is to raise awareness about the types of jobs that exist. A series of panels and presentations will feature employers, educators and others who can talk about the skills in demand, opportunities for training, and where these evolving industries are headed, Murray said.

Michigan employers looking to fill high-skill jobs in many industries also are listed at http://www.mitalent.org. The site includes information about career fairs and hiring events.

Many companies that have a presence at AutoMobili-D have jobs listed on their web sites. Many jobs listed will be outside Michigan.

Murray said participants with jobs listed at their sites include ABC Group, Ainstein, BlackBerry, Carnegie Mellon University, Delphi Automotive, DropCar, General Motors, P3 North America, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), and Wind River.

Interview rooms also will be available at AutoMobili-D, if companies wish to meet face-to-face with potential applicants.

Lori Pessina, director of talent acquisition for P3 North America in Southfield, part of the P3 Group, said the international management consulting and engineering solutions company is looking for “out-of-the-box thinkers with an entrepreneurial mindset.”

She said the company has never tried attracting talent at an auto show and it is still getting information from coordinators of the event.

The job openings, she said, are primarily highly skilled, technical positions such as electrification engineer, infotainment engineer, software developer and functional safety engineer.

“There is a low supply and high demand for these types of candidates,” Pessina said. “The candidates with this skill set entering the workforce are often plucked by large, big-brand companies before they even graduate, so the competition is fierce.”

She said P3 North America is projecting another year of growth, including expanding into electrification and anticipating growth in fields such as autonomous data and analytics testing. The U.S. operation is based in Southfield with six other locations in the United States, including 160 employees in Michigan. The company was founded in Germany in 1996 and P3 North America was started in 2008.

The company helps its customers overcome disruptive changes in mobility technologies throughout the connected and autonomous vehicle ecosystem. Access to AutoMobili-D — which includes the panel discussions about careers in automotive and mobility, and access to the companies — is included with an auto show ticket. Some of the participating companies are arranging interviews with applicants, and those people would have access without needing a ticket, Murray said.

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2016 North American International Auto Show

Experience the next generation of transportation at the North American International Auto Show 2016. See more than 750 vehicles on display representing the most innovative designs in the world, and experience North America’s largest and most prestigious automotive showcase.

Dates and Times

Early access for handicapped individuals 8 a.m. each day
Enter at the Hall C Entrance only

Saturday, January 16 – Saturday, January 23, 2016
9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (no admittance after 9 p.m.)

Sunday, January 24, 2016
9 a.m. – 7 p.m. (no admittance after 6 p.m.)

Ticket Pricing

– Adults: $13 per person
– Seniors: $7 (65 and older)
– Children: $7 (7-12 years old; 6 and under free with a parent or guardian)
PLEASE NOTE: Every child in a school group must have a ticket to enter the show

PLEASE NOTE: Seniors’ and childrens’ tickets must be purchased at the door and are only valid the day of purchase.

eTickets

– Print voucher to redeem tickets at the eTicket window, located outside the Hall C entrance.
– The Ticket window is open 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., January 16 – 23 and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., January 24.
– Each order must be picked up in its entirety.
– A photo ID is required to pick up tickets.
– Tickets are non-refundable

Visit http://naias.com/tickets/#public-show for Tickets!

Group Tickets

– Discounted rate of $9 per ticket is available for groups of 30 or more.
– Pickup is located at the window outside the Hall C entrance.
– American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and business checks accepted. Personal checks and cash not accepted.
– A photo ID is required to pick-up tickets.
– Children 6 and under are free when accompanied by a parent or guardian and do not require a ticket.

PLEASE NOTE: Every child in a school group must have a ticket to enter the show
– There is no group discount for senior tickets.
– Tickets are non-refundable.

Visit http://naias.com/tickets/#public-show for Tickets!

Purchase Tickets at the Door

– Tickets may be purchased the day of the show at ticket booths located in the Cobo Center concourse (cash only).
– Ticket kiosks located in Cobo Center in the concourse (credit card only).
– Children 6 and under are free when accompanied by a parent or guardian and do not require a ticket.
PLEASE NOTE: Every child in a school group must have a ticket to enter the show and tickets are non-refundable
Ticketing Office

Please contact the Ticketing Office at:
1900 West Big Beaver Road
Suite 100
Troy, MI 48084
Phone: 248.283.5173
Fax: 248.283.5172

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cobo Hospitality Scooter Rentals

Cobo Center provides motorized scooters on a first-come, first-served basis for people with disabilities. Each scooter is $35.00 per 4-hour period. Valid driver’s license and signed rental agreement required with each reservation. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and cash payments accepted.

Visit Visit http://naias.com/ for more details about the upcoming show!

Rockin’ on the Riverfront Free Detroit Summer Concerts 2015

Rockin’ on the Riverfront Free Detroit Summer Concerts 2015 – The annual free summer concert series kicks off Friday, July 10 outside GM Renaissance Center. Enjoy free summer concerts in the heart of Detroit this summer on Friday evenings from 7:30p-10p in July and August.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront Free Detroit Summer Concerts 2015

– Friday, July 17, 2015 – 38 Special

– Friday, July 24, 2015 – Dennis DeYoung

– Friday, July 31, 2015 – Burton Cummings

– Friday, August 7, 2015 – Creedence Clearwater Revisited

– Friday, August 14, 2015 – Kansas

Admission to the concerts is always free and no tickets are necessary. Viewing space is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets, but outside food, beverages and coolers are not permitted.

Local restaurants will provide refreshments and food concessions at several locations across the plaza. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront and Joe Muer Seafood will accept dinner reservations before and after the concert and both restaurants offer outdoor patios overlooking the Detroit River and the Rockin’ on the Riverfront stage.

Convenient parking is available for a small fee per vehicle, starting at 5 p.m., at the GM surface lot at the intersection of St. Antoine and Atwater streets, adjacent to the GM Renaissance Center. For more info on Rockin’ On The Riverfront, visit their Facebook page.

As read on: http://oaklandcountymoms.com/rockin-on-the-riverfront-free-detroit-summer-concerts-27743/

Chrysler compact still coming

The Chrysler compact car, normally referred to as the 100, is still on the way, according to both the company’s strategic plan and insiders.

Some believe the forthcoming Chrysler is closely linked to the new Fiat Linea replacement, which will be unveiled shortly. It seems likely that most of the work will be done by Fiat, which traditionally has more expertise in small cars, especially since Chrysler itself has its hands full with yet more revisions to its pickups, work on next-generation large cars, Dart upgrades, nine-speed fixes, the next-generation Compass, new minivans, possibly bringing over a Ram version of the big Daily commercial van, and other projects.

At minimum, Chrysler is likely to retune the suspension to fit American roads, and adjust the interior and exterior styling to match American tastes. Unfortunately, the Microsoft-based Fiat Blue & Me system, now renamed UConnect, may be the only connectivity system available, at least on lower models.

The company recently trademarked the Hornet name, first used by Hudson for its only “small” car, then used by AMC (the company formed by the merger of Hudson and Nash), and made famous by the movie Cars. So far, there has been no indication of what the name might be used on — they may replace Dart or Avenger with Hornet, or set up a midsized, rear-wheel-drive hatchback or coupe with the name — but it’s possible, albeit unlikely, that it will be used for the small compact Chrysler.

The launch of the upcoming Chrysler car might be timed so that it comes close to the relaunch of the Dodge Dart. Some observers believe that the Dart will be made into more of a niche car, perhaps with the lowest performance version matching today’s Dart GT, or having a turbocharged “Hurricane” engine, while the Chrysler 100 will cater to the mainstream.

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/05/chrysler-compact-still-coming-28662

FCA’s lineup for New York show

While Fiat Chrysler will not be showing any new vehicles at the New York Auto Show, whose press days start tomorrow, the company will bring a wide range of cars and trucks for those who don’t travel the country to see unveilings as they happen.

The most controversial entry is the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited, first shown in Chicago, which Ram called “the benchmark in truck opulence.” From Detroit, Ram is showing the 2015 Ram Rebel, which includes a suspension lift, 33-inch tires, a custom interior, and the first non-crosshair grille in some time.

Alfa Romeo is showing off the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, which follows the coupe version; it has absurdly low weight thanks to a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, allowing it to use a 1.75 liter turbocharged engine to from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds.

As one might expect, the new Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger will all be shown; each of these cars has a standard eight speed automatic (Challenger also has six-speed manuals for every V8). Among the Challengers will be the 392 Hemi Scat Pack Dodge Challenger Shaker, and both Hellcat Charger and Hellcat Challenger.

Fiat is showing the new 2016 Fiat 500X, a larger-than-500 hatchback, presumably along with the 500L, 500C, and 500.

The Jeep Renegade will be shown, and since it was on the off-road demonstration track in Chicago, we expect it to be in the New York track as well.

Mopar will spotlight four customized models; the Jeep Performance Parts-equipped Jeep Renegade makes the Trailhawk model more trail tough, the Sublime Green Dodge Challenger T/A Concept blends vintage design cues with Mopar parts, the Chrysler 200S Mopar shows a new body kit, and the Fiat 500L Custom has been, as the name indicates, customized.

We also expect Maserati to show off their full line, and Ferrari is bound to be present.

Camp Jeep will return to New York, with an 18-foot high Jeep Mountain and Trail Rated Pass three-wheeling demo. Other interactive rides include the 2015 Dodge Charger racing simulator; 2015 Ram Truck off-road simulator; and Chrysler brand’s “Beneath the Surface” 4-minute, 4D-immersive experience using the Oculus Rift DK2 headset, showcasing how the 2015 Chrysler 200 is made.

The New York Auto Show is held at the Javits Center, which is walking-distance from Penn Station, the midtown ferry, and the 42 bus line; the adventurous can also try to reach it by subway or the Port Authority bus terminal. Public show dates are April 3-12; the show opens every day at 10 am, and closes at 10 pm except on Sundays (7 pm). The cost is $16 anyone 13 and older, $7 for children under 13; there are discounts for adult groups of 20 or more, and for child groups of 10 or more. Annual public attendance is over one million, and the display area is now 950,000 square feet including the new Javits Center North.

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/03/fcas-lineup-for-new-york-show-28245

Water Fun in Ann Arbor: Pools, Spraygrounds, & Beaches

There’s nothing like water when it comes to beating the heat and entertaining kids! KidsOutAndAbout provides its extra-special list of great places in and around Ann Arbor – Detroit where kids can splash to their heart’s content.

Buhr Park Outdoor Pool features a six-lane, 25-yard pool with a deep well and a separate zero-depth entry children’s wading pool with interactive play toys. Also 39 acres of rolling hills, picnic areas with grills, a children’s play area, softball diamonds, soccer fields & outdoor tennis courts are features at our park.

Canton Parks: Splash Playground: Cool down at Canton’s Splash Playground located in Heritage Park near Heritage Hideout. Just touch the fire hydrant to start the water fun!

Fuller Park Pool has something for everyone to enjoy, including a waterslide; seven-lane, 50 meter lap pool; shallow area with ramp access; 12 foot deep diving well and plenty of open space and lounge chairs to relax.

H2O Zone Sprayground In Westland: The H20 Zone is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.,Memorial Day through Labor Day (weather permitting).

Independence Lake Park: Spray Zone: Blue Heron Bay is the perfect place to bring your family for some water fun! Whether you are taking a ride on our water slides, eating a delicious lunch at our new concessions building, or running through our many water-spraying structures, you are sure to have a great time.

Indian Springs Spray ‘n’ Play: Children of all ages will enjoy Indian Springs Metropark’s Spray ‘n’ Play. Get soaked in the water spray area, scale a rock-climbing wall or cargo net and explore a maze. Three distinct areas accommodate older children. A toddler area includes a painted labyrinth and sand pit with oversized scoopers for digging. The Spray ‘n’ Play play area is open year round while the water spray area is open Memorial Day to Labor Day 11 am – 7 pm daily.

Island Lake Recreation Area: The park has great canoeing, volley ball courts, picnic shelters, swimming and cabins to rent.

Kensington Metropark: Enjoy a day in the water at Martindale Beach all summer long. Martindale Beach will be open May 24 through Labor Day, from 10 am to 8 pm daily

KLR Splashpad in Oxford: Memorial Day through Labor Day, Noon -7:00 pm

Lake Erie Metropark: Escape the hot days of summer and take a plunge into the “Great Wave” wave action pool at Lake Erie Metropark. Hold steady and practice your balance against three foot waves for hours of fun.

Lake St. Clair Metropark: Swim in Lake St. Clair or at the Olympic-sized swimming pool at Lake St. Clair Metropark. The lake waters and 50-meter pool with waterslides and a diving well are the perfect places to cool off and enjoy a warm day. The pool is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, and the lake is open from May 1 to September 30. A beach shop and food concessions are conveniently located nearby.

City of Livonia Aquatics: Outdoor Splash Pad – Open June – Labor Day, The City of Livonia has two fifty-meter outdoor pools and one twenty-five meter outdoor pool. They all offer lessons, open swimming, pool rentals for parties, swim passes and special events. Outdoor Summer Swim Lesson Registration starts Mid-May.

Mack Indoor Pool is the city’s only indoor public pool and offers a variety of programs and opportunities for every swimmer. Our six-lane, 25-yard main pool has an attached 30 by 42 foot children’s tot pool. A ramp leading into the pool provides for easy accessibility. Our heated indoor pool allows you to swim, even if the weather is not “summer like,” while our huge windows let in the sunshine.

Macomb Township Aquatic Center: 2 pools with water slide, a lazy river, and other water features

Mt. Elliott Park Water Feature on the Riverfront: universally accessible water feature with cascading waterfalls, water cannons and shooting bubblers, paved pathways stamped with animal prints, fishing outlooks, lush landscaping, restrooms, a security station and numerous seating options, Mt. Elliott Park is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, water feature runs from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day

Splash at Palmer Park: OPEN: 10 am – 8 pm every day, FREE to the public; parking at the Splash Park lot in Palmer Park, (former swimming pool lot) on Merrill Plaisance between 6 and 7 Mile Roads,west of Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48203

Plymouth Sprayscape: If you’re looking for a place to cool off this summer venture out to Township Park and take a run through our Sprayscape! Township Park is located at 46640 Ann Arbor Trail, just east of Beck Road.The Sprayscape includes approximately 2600 square foot of space with 24 spray features including: Water Cannons, Horse Charger, Froggy-O, Daisy Mae, Water O’s, 12 ground sprays. The Sprayscape is designed to accommodate all ages and is available at no cost!

Red Oaks Waterpark: Kids enjoy the Soak Station, children’s water playground with 68 features, including water jets, curtains and slides, plus bubbler jets and a six-foot tipping bucket; must be 56″ or shorter and be accompanied by an adult. Or the Spray & Play, a water play area for toddlers, with 15 water jets and bubblers at zero depth.

Rolling Hills Water Park: With so many attractions, we’ve got something for everyone to enjoy – Float down the lazy river, catch a wave in the wave pool, or take a trip down one of our awesome water slides! The Activity Pool is popular with younger children due to its zero-depth entry, gentle bubbler, geysers, a waterfall and a kiddy slide for children under 45″ tall. Relax in the chaise lounges and sand chairs on an extensive sun deck located throughout the waterpark and natural shade or shade umbrellas in several grassy areas surrounding the deck.

Stony Creek Metropark: Enjoy a summer day in the water at Baypoint and Eastwood Beaches at Stony Creek Metropark. Beaches are open 10 am to 8 pm throughout the summer, Memorial Day to Labor Day. Comfort stations, food bars and first aid facilities are available. Fires, alcohol and glass containers are not permitted at the beaches.

Veterans Memorial Park Outdoor Pool features a fan-shaped zero-depth area with a “raindrop,” interactive water play apparatus, a handicap access ramp and a 125 foot waterslide. Minimum height requirement for use of the slide is 42 inches. We offer lounge chairs, picnic area, grills, tennis courts and a shaded deck area.

Warren Indoor Water Park: At the Warren Community Center, 5460 Arden (South of 14 Mile Road, west of Mound Road) 586.268.8400

Wayne County Family Aquatic Center: The Wayne County Family Aquatic Center opened originally in 1998, located at 12600 Chandler Park Dr. Detroit, Michigan 48213. We are located inside the City of Detroit’s Chandler Park 1/2 mile south of the Conner Exit (Exit 220B off I-94).

Willow Metropark: Cool off at the swimming pool: glide down the family slide, play a game of water basketball or just soak in the shallow area while your kids run through the water.

Dodge is 100 Years Old

DETROIT — Let’s be honest: For 100 years, Dodge has been spinning its wheels.

During the good times, it has done so literally: delivering performance, power and passion to a domestic audience that hungered for vehicles that stood out in a crowd, with the smell of burning rubber.

But when times were bad, Dodge lost its way. The brand’s history is strewn with vehicles that shouldn’t have worn the Dodge name.

On July 1, Dodge will be 100 years old.

Dodge’s muddled history explains why it’s hard today to say clearly what the brand is all about. Over the years, Dodge has pitched a woman’s car, muscle cars, pickups, family haulers, rebadged Japanese compacts and more.

But the muddle is also why the brand’s current mission — affordable performance — strikes a chord. Unlike the past, the new mission is well-defined and compelling.

The mission was spelled out by the team of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne in May when it unveiled the automaker’s five-year product and business plan.

Dodge’s potential first blossomed 100 years ago in Detroit with its founders, brothers John and Horace Dodge.

The inseparable business partners and tinkerers had made a killing as suppliers for other automakers, including Ford Motor Co. and Oldsmobile. Most would have been happy with the success.

Yet, in 1914, John and Horace Dodge risked everything they had built on the belief that they could make a better car than the competition.

Their first car, an all-steel-bodied sedan, rolled off the assembly line on Nov. 14, 1914, one of 249 built that year.

Six years later, only their former client Ford would sell more cars and trucks in the United States. Those early Dodge cars were more costly than the Ford Model T — $785 compared with $490 — but they were technically more advanced and more powerful, and they had an all-steel chassis.

But since then, Dodge has struggled at times with its identity. It has been a part of Chrysler since 1928 when Walter P. Chrysler bought the brand from New York investment bankers.

In the 1950s, Dodge created both the high-performance D-500 and the La Femme, a car for women, whose defining feature was a matching umbrella.

Three decades later, Dodge had helped create an entirely new segment with the Caravan minivan, yet it also sold the strange-looking Rampage, a compact car with a cargo bed mashed on the back.

Still, Dodge produced some exceptional and iconic vehicles over the decades. The Charger and Challenger were favorites during the muscle-car era of the late 1960s and early 1970s. When those nameplates were resurrected in the 2000s, their fans returned.

In 1993, Dodge also redefined what the pickup truck should look like with its “Big Rig”-inspired Ram 1500.

A year earlier, the brand began selling what some consider was the original American supercar, the crude, boorish and absolutely thrilling Dodge Viper.

Today’s Dodge finds itself in the midst of another brand refocusing.

When Italian automaker Fiat took over in 2009, it wanted to make Dodge a multiline competitor to Ford and Chevrolet, only without its pickups or commercial vehicles, which were spun off to create Ram.

But in May, Dodge’s role as Chrysler Group’s Ford and Chevy fighter was transferred to the Chrysler brand.

Under current brand head Tim Kuniskis, Dodge is being restored to its originalplace as an affordable performance brand, much as John and Horace Dodge had envisioned. It’s dropping some models — the lackluster Avenger sedan and the Caravan minivan — and adding high-performance versions of the rest of its lineup.

Other than SRT versions of existing nameplates, Dodge isn’t scheduled to expand its lineup until early 2018. So, under the brand’s plan, it will take at least four years for the brand’s sales to return to the 596,000 units it hit in 2013.

But now, Dodge has a clear identity. We’re not talking BMW-like refined performance. This is the domestic variety — loud, brash, bold. Fun.

It’s a risky plan — one that would make John and Horace Dodge proud.

As read on: http://www.autonews.com/article/20140616/OEM/140619925/after-100-years-dodges-identity-still-tough-to-pin-down#

Chrysler Commercial Vehicle Heritage | Dodge Brothers Inc. Joins the Chrysler Group Family

May 28 marks an important milestone in our history here at Chrysler Commercial Vehicles.  It was on this day in 1928 that Dodge Brothers Inc. — a pioneer in utility and work vehicles — became a part of the Chrysler family.

The official history of the Dodge automobile begins in 1914, but the story of the Dodge brothers in the automobile business reaches back even further. Brothers John and Horace Dodge, talented machinists and ambitious businessmen, rose from humble beginnings to become giants in the early American automobile industry.

In 1901, after several years of building bicycles and piecework components for the budding auto industry, the brothers founded a machine shop in Detroit and began producing transmissions.

In 1914, the brothers formed a new company, Dodge Brothers, Inc., capitalized with $5 million in common stock, and began building their own vehicles — the world’s first mass-produced all-steel touring cars. In 1915, more than 45,000 Dodge cars were built and sold, the best first-year sales record for a new car in the industry at the time.

With their early passenger cars earning recognition for durability and value, the Dodge brothers soon began considering ways to convert their successful car platform to truck applications. During 1917, their firm began producing “commercial cars,” including military ambulances and screen-sided business trucks. Panel delivery trucks, fire trucks, pickups, chassis-cabs and other models were soon offered.

1924 Dodge Brothers Screenside truck

During 1920, the company lost its founding fathers. John Dodge died in January, and his younger brother Horace succumbed the following December.

A New York investment banking firm paid the brothers’ widows, in a single cash payment, $146 million for the Dodge Brothers firm. Within three years, the bankers initiated negotiations, and on May 28, 1928, Walter P. Chrysler purchased Dodge Brothers, Inc. for $170 million, making it, at the time, the largest business transaction in history.

When the transaction was complete, the Chrysler Corporation had grown fivefold overnight to become the third of Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers.

Read more at: http://blog.chryslercommercialvehicles.com/2014/05/22/dodge-brothers-inc/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=THMay2814Facebook6&ism=THMay2814Facebook6

Sergio: Wrangler and Alfa

“To redesign the Wrangler is the riskiest thing you could do… if you’re talking about stubstantially upgrading the Wrangler… yes.”  So said Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne at today’s “executive briefing,” webcast live from Cobo Hall in Detroit.

There have been debates over the knockdown windshield and removable door. “I don’t know how many people who own Wranglers have ever done that.” Still, Jeep can’t remove those attributes, even though the vehicle must be lightened and the powertrain must be updated. “You can update it, but you can’t change it.”

Full implementation is less than 24 months away. Volume is a problem, especially since the company has committed to not making Wranglers (for North America) outside of Toledo.

As for the Cherokee, Mr. Marchionne said they still needed a larger market share, but that he thought they could achieve it.

“There’s a brand new lineup of products coming out of Alfa Romeo that you will see in 2015.” These will be sold from Alfa Romeo dealerships.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/01/sergio-wrangler-and-alfa

Chrysler’s Jefferson Avenue Plant Builds its 5 Millionth Vehicle

The Jefferson Avenue plant stands close to a plant that ran for 83 years, making 8.3 million cars for Chalmers, Maxwell, Imperial, Dodge, DeSoto, and Plymouth, closing around 1990. Jefferson Avenue North plant has made Grand Cherokees, Grand Cherokee-based Commanders, and Grand Cherokee-based Durangos — and nothing else.

Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) has been manufacturing Chrysler vehicles since January 1992, starting with a 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee. 21 years later, workers on hand celebrated and cheered as the plant’s 5,000,000th vehicle was built in the motor city. On display for the assembled guests was an original 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, one of the first made, with around 8,000 miles on the clock.

Chrysler’s “JNAP” opened with 1.75 million square feet of manufacturing space, and has since expanded to over three million. The plant originally had 1,600 employees on two shifts, and now has over 4,500 workers on three shifts, for 120 hours of production every week.

I had the opportunity to visit JNAP in 2011, when Chrysler group was beginning to roll out WCM. The attitude of the workers in the plant was inspiring as they joked and laughed, everyone smiling and coming together to build a world class set of vehicles (Jeep Grand Cherokee, SRT Grand Cherokee, and Dodge Durango). Two years later, the attitudes and smiles of the workers are even brighter.

Chrysler invited 30 year veterans to attend this morning’s celebration; most have been at the plant since it opened.

Manufacturing chief Scott Gaberding said, “I had the privilege of being plant manager here in 2000, working alongside this very skilled workforce. Now as the head of manufacturing, I continue to be impressed by the commitment that is demonstrated here every day. As sales of the Grand Cherokee continue to increase to record levels, we are asking our employees to do more and they have responded by rising to the challenge. They are the heart and soul of this plant and this company, and have been entrusted to build a vehicle that is critical to the continued success of Chrysler Group.”

Chrysler will donate the 5,000,000th vehicle, a billet silver Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, to the USO as part of the partnership that continues Jeep’s commitment to the military by providing support and aid to returning troops.

“In 1991, when this plant was built and preparing to produce the first Jeep Grand Cherokee, the USO was celebrating its 50th anniversary of supporting our troops, so it seemed obvious to us at Jeep was by donating a new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee to our partners at the USOs” said Mike Manley, head of Jeep. “The USO and Jeep, both founded in 1941, share a common history and commitment to supporting our military men and women. We’re honored to support the USO as they continue their dedication to lifting the spirits of American troops and families.”

The Jeep Grand Cherokee will be used by the USO at its facilities in Pensacola, Florida and outfitted with a commemorative plaque signed by CEO Sergio Marchionne to show its very special history.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/corporate/factories/5-million.html