At the conclusion of this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Mercedes-Benz issued a release claiming a new record: the Mercedes-Benz C250d 4MATIC was the fastest production diesel to ever make it from base camp to summit. Driven by Uwe Nittel, the compression-ignition, tri-star sedan navigated the mountain’s 156 corners in 11 minutes 22 seconds.
Since the manufacturer-favorite Nürburgring has imposed speed restrictions at certain high speed sections and outright banned hot lap record attempts, a new battleground is needed.
Will that frontline be in Colorado?
Despite the numerous recalls over the past year, recall completion rates are not at 100 percent. The NHTSA and automakers hope to change this.
Automotive News is reporting that last week’s conference call on Chrysler’s quarterly financials and the structure of the newly merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, CEO Sergio Marchionne said that Fiat Chrysler managers were considering whether or not to build a third pickup truck assembly plant to cope with high demand for Ram light and heavy duty trucks. Marchionne had earlier vowed to never build another assembly plant in North America and in the conference call he reiterated his preference to run existing pickup plants in Warren, Mich., and Saltillo, Mexico, “flat-out.” (Read More…)
Most automakers are suspending operations in Egypt while riots continue. Here is a list of current closures: (Read More…)
Holy lack of internal controls Batman! Automotive News [sub] reports the “now it can be told” story behind the story of a Minnesota mega-dealer’s collapse. Chrysler pulled the plug on Denny Hecker last fall, forcing Hecker to close six of his 16 dealerships and sell three others. Turns out Chrysler Financial lent the “flamboyant 56-year-old entrepreneur” $550 million. And get this: $50m of that went to Hecker personally. The information surfaced after Hecker sued Chrysler Financial for canceling his dealerships’ credit lines “without warning.” Chrysler countersued, revealing that it loved them some Hecker. Post-Cerberus, ChryCo threw money at—I mean, “invested”—in Hecker’s dealerships, a rental car agency (since bankrupt), real estate and “investment firms.” Ford was behind the curve on this one; they’ve sued Hecker for a relatively paltry $3.1m for missing vehicle and parts payments. As the Detroit-shaped crater grows larger, look for more “revelations” from American automakers’ go-go past. Others may have done the same thing, but they won’t be facing the same volume or genre of music if/when their dealers end up in bankruptcy court. Meanwhile, Denny better hope his tagline doesn’t apply to his forthcoming court battles: “Nobody walks!”