Ralph Gilles, global design head for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, just loves the little Fiat Toro pickup. He can’t get enough of it.
Unfortunately for FCA, and especially the Fiat brand, Americans certainly can say “no” to FCA models adorned with a classic Italian badge. Fiat, which returned to these shores just six short years ago, is floundering in North America, so ears perked up in Chicago yesterday when Gilles seemed to imply the brand might introduce a life-saving model into the U.S. market.
Alas, the company appears to have no intention of trying something desperate to stop the sales bleeding. (Read More…)
Our European correspondent, Vojtěch Dobeš, is at the 34th Annual GTI Meeting in Worthersee this week. Hopefully he will have some interesting stories to share if he isn’t too distracted by Austria’s fräuleins.
Here’s your news from overnight.
It’s official: FCA North American Design Office senior vice president and SRT CEO Ralph Gilles is now FCA’s Head of Design.
Citing increased inventory due to slower than expected sales, Chrysler will cut production of the SRT Viper from 9 cars a day to just six and reassign some of the workers at the Conner Avenue assembly facility that assembles Chrysler’s V10 powered sports car.
Ralph Gilles, who runs the SRT brand in addition to being in charge of styling for the Chrysler group, said that quality control issues slowed the new Viper’s deliveries to the 443 Chrysler dealers that are certified by SRT to sell the Viper.
With stiff competition coming from both Holden’s HSV sedans and the Ford Falcon FPV, Chrysler is looking to make the 300C SRT8 more competitive by offering a decontented version, that’s actually a bit quicker than the standard-spec car.
Pursuant to our continued discrediting of the “Jeeps built in China” lie, Donald Trump took to Twitter to further propagate that falsehood. And the Donald ended up getting a virtual earful from Ralph Gilles, head of Chrysler’s SRT Division.
Chrysler dealers hoping to sell the SRT Viper will have to pony up $25,000 – about the price of a loaded Dodge Dart – to be able to sell the supercar.