Category: Chrysler

Chrysler Reviews

The beginning of Chrysler stemmed from the ailing Maxwell Motor Company, which Walter P. Chrysler had been appointed to overhaul. While many Chryslers were simply re-branded Maxwells in the early years, the new direction of the company was to build affordable quality transportation.
By on September 15, 2016

2017 minivans Quest Sedona Caravan Pacifica Odyssey SiennaA long ways from the 1.1 million minivans sold in 2005, U.S. sales of sliding-door people carriers are on track to rise to a nine-year high of more than 600,000 units in calendar year 2016.

Through the first eight months of 2016, year-over-year minivan volume is up 19 percent in the United States, though an industry-wide slowdown stalled the minivan sector’s expansion in August.

More than a year after a plant shutdown in Windsor, Ontario, enabled retooling for a new generation of Chrysler MPV product — and severely cut into fleet sales — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles currently owns 45 percent of the American minivan market, up from 33 percent in the first eight months of 2015.

A portion of the credit for FCA’s resurgence belongs to the all-new Chrysler Pacifica, a direct Town & Country replacement that we’re testing this week. After forming only 25 percent of Chrysler brand sales at this stage of 2015, minivans are suddenly responsible for half of all volume at the fading Pentastar brand. Read More >

By on September 14, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

In keeping with my current life stage, a bunch of my friends own minivans. Three of my four siblings have each owned multiple minivans. I own a minivan.

And this week, the test vehicle at GCBC Towers is this FCA Canada-supplied 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited, with a not-at-all limited array of options. As-tested, U.S. market pricing for this Pacifica climbs just beyond the $50K marker to $50,270.

Honda Odysseys top out below $46,000; Toyota Siennas below $49,000. FCA, however, wants the new Pacifica — which adopts the name of a failed crossover that died eight years ago — to be perceived as the automaker’s premium player. Buyers who want a value-oriented FCA van continue to have the Dodge Grand Caravan as an option, at least for the time being.

But we wonder if it’s a tenable position in the long-term; if, when FCA’s Windsor, Ontario assembly plant finishes its Grand Caravan run, the Chrysler brand can maintain the automaker’s longstanding dominance in the minivan sector. Read More >

By on September 13, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited Billet Silver

From the get-go, the nine-speed automatic designed by Germany’s ZF in the United States and built and tuned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was deserving of criticism. It was criticism that FCA could not righteously label as unfair, criticism the automaker could not deny.

“We have had to do an inordinate amount of intervention on that transmission, surely beyond what any of us had forecast,” FCA boss Sergio Marchionne said early last year.

The nine-speed, responsible for sending power from a variety of engines to the front wheels of a large number of vehicles, became a reliability nightmare for many buyers who either didn’t perceive its shortcomings on a test drive, or didn’t care. Unless drivers ventured well beyond posted speed limits, the nine-speed wasn’t even able to benefit from its ninth gear. Surely deserving of partial blame for the Chrysler 200’s demise, the ZF 9HP was clearly launched long before it was ready.

Nearly three years since my first exposure to the nine-speed in a 3.2-liter V6-powered Jeep Cherokee, I’m driving a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited this week. It’s a stunning minivan, and at CAD $62,340, it’s a minivan with which one needs a whole week to get a full picture. Yet only a few minutes into our first drive in the new Pacifica, it was clear that FCA had finally sorted the previously dreadful nine-speed.

Almost. Mostly. Sort of. Read More >

By on September 8, 2016

Alfa Romeo Giulia QV at LAAS2015 with Reid Bigland

Reid Bigland gained plenty of accolades during his rise up the corporate ladder at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but the company’s U.S. sales head now finds himself in a different type of spotlight — the center of the automaker’s sales tampering scandal.

Sources close to the issue claim that federal investigators have turned their focus to Bigland, whose signature is found on many questionable documents, Bloomberg reports. Read More >

By on September 3, 2016

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, Image: FCA

Federal investigators probing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for alleged sales tampering have uncovered a strange phrase that they believe is a code word.

According to the Wall Street Journal, company executives would sometimes call up regional managers and dealers and utter a specific phrase. Investigators believe this was a signal for dealers to go ahead and boost end-of-month sales in any way necessary. Read More >

By on August 25, 2016


His commercials were a sign of the times — desperate, struggling times that suddenly turned prosperous.

In the 1980s, Ronald DeLuca was the hidden face behind an instantly familiar one — Chrysler Corporation chairman Lee Iacocca, who walked into his company’s own commercials to personally pitch front-wheel-drive K-car platform products to a recession-weary America.

DeLuca, the advertising whiz hired by Iacocca to help turn around Chrysler’s late-1970s death plunge, died last week at 91, according to The New York Times. During his tenure DeLuca and Iacocca cranked out a slew of unusually frank, bold commercials that paid off in a big way. Read More >

By on August 9, 2016

Michigan Assembly Plant Launches C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid

Detroit Three automakers need to invest in their Canadian operations or it’s no deal, the president of the union representing hourly workers said yesterday.

Contract talks kick off tomorrow between the automakers and Unifor, but a cloud already hangs over the negotiations in the form of recent threats of a strike and GM’s reluctance to talk about its Oshawa plant’s future.  Read More >

By on August 3, 2016

2016 Chrysler 200C

After an attractive design, all-wheel-drive availability, a powerful V6 (and incentives) powered the Chrysler 200 to 16 consecutive months of improved U.S. sales through October 2015, demand for the midsize 200 suddenly dried up.

During that 16-month stretch between July 2014 and October 2015, sales of the 200 jumped 72 percent, an increase of more than 6,000 sales per month for the Sebring’s replacement. But between November of last year and January 2016, U.S. sales of the 200 were essentially chopped in half.

As a result, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles skipped quickly from a temporary shutdown at the 200’s Sterling Heights assembly plant, to a prolonged shutdown, to an announcement that the 200 and its Dodge Dart cousin would be gradually wound down. It wasn’t so gradual: Dart production is about to end and 200 production will be over before year’s end.

Coinciding with these sedan cancellations, FCA also mired itself in a sales fixing scandal. FCA now claims in 2011, 2014, and 2015, the company was under-reporting real total sales volume, FCA also clarified that sales through the first-half of 2016 were 7,450 units lower than the company first announced.

Though lacking specific monthly data for the early part of this year, we now know which brands and models were the key offenders with July figures in hand. No drum roll required. Read More >

By on July 26, 2016

2016 Dodge Charger R/T, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

In response to media reports, a lawsuit, and federal investigations into potential sales figure tampering, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is changing the way it records sales.

This means that the automaker’s much-touted 75-month sales streak is dead. FCA admits that under the new method, its year-over-year monthly sales gains ended in September 2013. Ad copy is likely being rewritten as you read this. Read More >

By on July 25, 2016


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles stopped inflating monthly sales figures after uncovering the practice last year, according to sources within the automaker.

The two insiders told Automotive News that the practice, which involved artificially boosting sales numbers before rolling them back the following month, was discovered by an internal review in mid-2015. FCA sales chief Reid Bigland reportedly put a stop to the practice.

FCA is now under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Read More >

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