By on August 28, 2016

0530unifor

Canadian autoworkers represented by Unifor have authorized strike action against all Detroit Three automakers “if a fair and reasonable settlement is not reached before the September 19th deadline,” announced Unifor Sunday night.

“With this clear mandate our members have demonstrated they are in full support of their bargaining committees, and our direction in this set of negotiations. The bargaining committee will not accept a deal without a commitment to investment in Canada’s auto sector,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

(Read More…)

By on August 27, 2016

2016 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary edition

A Houston-area vehicle-theft ring that used laptops to enter, then steal, over 100 Jeep and Ram vehicles exposed a serious internal security breach at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Now that two arrests have been made in the case, FCA is talking tough and threatening criminal proceedings against anyone who provides outsiders with key vehicle data, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)

By on August 11, 2016

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, Image: FCAThe fourth-generation ND Mazda MX-5 Miata is undoubtedly, indisputably, undeniably the best addition you could make to your garage.

Some people disagree.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported 480 U.S. sales of the Fiat 124 Spider in July 2016. The Spider is a thoroughly transformed version of Mazda’s fourth Miata: different body, distinct suspension tuning, unique powerplant.

With the 124 Spider’s arrival in the United States, 13 months of Mazda MX-5 Miata sales growth came to a screeching halt. (Read More…)

By on August 10, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica44 percent of the new vehicles sold by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in the United States in July 2016 were Jeeps. As Fiat Chrysler, under a new sales reporting methodology, flatlined in July, Jeep volume jumped 5 percent, year-over-year.

Total new vehicle volume rose by a scant 0.6 percent in the United States in July, a gain of fewer than 11,000 units for an auto industry which grew by an average of 19,400 units in the first six months. Overall sales at FCA grew at half that rate, a gain of a few hundred units in July after FCA volume jumped by more than 9,000 sales per month in the first-half of 2016.

A 27-percent drop in passenger car volume at FCA created greater need for Jeep to pull more than its fair share of the automaker’s U.S. sales load in July, particularly with pickup truck sales growth at Ram quickly slowing.

Yet Jeep isn’t the only division at FCA that continues to counteract the automaker’s disappearing car volume. And we do mean disappearing in a literal sense. (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 5, 2016

20-2014-jeep-cherokee-chrome-grille

The same two guys who brought you last year’s remote hacking of a Jeep Cherokee on a Missouri highway (and resulting 1.4 million vehicle recall) are at it again.

This time, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek entered the same Cherokee’s electronic brain, bypassing security software to gain control over key driving functions, according to Wired. (Read More…)

By on August 5, 2016

2016 Dodge Viper ACR

We know that Chrysler put its Viper operations up for grabs as the company — and country — spiraled into economic disaster back in 2008, but the date of the V10-powered sports car’s near-salvation at the hands of investors is hazy.

James Glickenhaus, the actor, economic adviser and small-batch supercar builder, told TTAC’s Ronnie Schreiber that a group of buyers almost saved the Viper and its Detroit assembly plant, but the deal fell through. Which is why the Viper is going away, right about….now.

But Glickenhaus left out a key detail of his recollection — the date. (Read More…)

By on August 4, 2016

Dodge Viper Conner Ave , Image: © 2016 Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

After Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that 2017 would be the last model year for the Viper, I suggested a wealthy collector, or perhaps a group of Viper dealers, could conceivably keep the V10-powered supercar alive.

It turns out that suggestion wasn’t too far from the mark.

According to James Glickenhaus, the former movie director, actor and financial professional who owns a significant collection of rare and unique collectible cars, a group of well-heeled enthusiasts attempted to buy Viper from FCA several years ago, but the group decided against the move after due diligence.
(Read More…)

By on August 3, 2016

2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude side rear

The parents of Anton Yelchin filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in a Los Angeles court yesterday, alleging that the automaker knew about the defective gear shift design in their son’s Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Yelchin, the actor who played Chekov in the Star Trek film franchise, died in late June after his vehicle, equipped with FCA’s maligned Monostable shift lever, rolled down his driveway and pinned him against a gate post. The 2015 Grand Cherokee was found in neutral, with the engine running. (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…)

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