News of former Ram divsion head Fred Diaz defecting to Nissan has sparked a hiring shuffle over at Chrysler. Reuters is reporting that former Dodge chief Reid Bigland will be moving over to head up Ram, while Tim Kuniskis will move from Fiat to replace Bigland at Dodge. Jason Stoicevich takes over from Kuniskis at Fiat.
The end of Q1 2013 in the United States saw numerous competitors in the mid-size sedan segment duking it out for the Number 1 spot. North of the border, the situation followed a familiar pattern as well; the race for the sales crown was dominated by compact sedans, rather than mid-sizers.
The Chrysler 300 is already equipped with a diesel for world markets, and there’s a possibility we may see an oil-burning 300 on our shores as well.
The driving force behind the 12 man protest at Chrysler’s Warren, Michigan plant has gotten the boot.
The Detroit News, which broke the story, reported that protest organizer Alex Wassell was suspended without pay after nearly 20 years on the job. The protest was not sanctioned by the UAW, and led to the leaking of some documents outlining quality problems with the 2013 Ram 1500, a crucial product for Chrysler.
Since Wassell’s suspension, groups like the ACLU and Labor Notes, a union activist group, have spoken out about the firing, which Chrysler described as being due to “…engaging in activity constituting or appearing to constitute a conflict with the interest of the company.”
Meanwhile, the UAW has been curiously silent on the whole matter, which gives us an indirect example of the inherent conflict that occurs when the labor union and the corporate owners are one and the same.
A few months back you helped me sort out a plan of action for my Ford Fiesta transmission problems, and I have another stick-shift quandary I thought you might have some insight on.
My second vehicle is a 2003 Ram 1500 (bare bones work-truck, standard cab, manual everything), which I’ve recently been doing a lot of maintenance on (new plugs, pads, rotors, u-joints, carrier bearing, and a few other things). One issue I haven’t been able to sort out is an odd grinding/squealing I get when the car is in gear at high rpms (3000+) with the clutch peddle fully depressed (on the floor), something akin to what you hear if you come off the clutch with the shifter only part-way into gear. (Read More…)
Even though Ford Ranger is dearly missed, Ford is claiming that Ranger customers are content with upgrading to an F-150 with one of Ford’s V6 powerplants – and they’re hardly alone in opting for the smaller powerplant.
The 12-person protest that took place at Chrysler’s Warren, Michgan truck plant got little notice in the automotive news cycle, save for a couple of mentions on the usual aggregators. In truth, it’s not the juiciest story to sell in this click-driven wasteland, though these stories tend to raise the most interesting questions. This example highlights an issue that is going to dog the UAW for some time – how will the UAW control their workers when they are also the owners?
Chrysler will be the first truck maker to offer a diesel engine on a half-ton pickup, when the Ram 1500 gets an oil-burner in Q3 of this year.
Behold, the Citroen Jumper…err, the Fiat Ducato. Ok, it’s the Ram Promaster. Instead of the Mercedes-based Sprinter, this is the new commercial van from Chrysler. It can be equipped with a Pentastar V6 or a 3.0L diesel four-cylinder. It has two-piston Brembo brakes and, horror of horrors, it’s front-drive. I’m not sure that really makes a difference, but somebody will doubtlessly criticize Ram for importing a “wrong-wheel-drive” commercial van.
TTAC alum Justin Berkowitz hit the jackpot with Chrysler, managing to make sense of the umpteenth new product rollout they’ve announced since getting in bed with Fiat, and posting the most accurate rendering of the new Jeep Liberty replacement (according to TTAC sources, it is dead on).
Congratulations to the Big H; Honda managed to capture the top spot in Canadian passenger car sales for the 15th year running, while also earning the dubious honor-or, honour, as it would be spelled in Canada – of offering the slowest-selling vehicle in Canada.
Two doors. 390 horsepower. 8 cylinders. Two seats. Just a hair under $25k. Sound too good to be true? It might be one of the best muscle car deals going, as long as you’re willing to drive a pickup.
Following in the footsteps of the Ford F-Series multiple luxury times and Ram Laramie, Chevrolet will offer a new luxury trim level for the Silverado – complicating things for GMC, which is positioned as an upscale truck brand.
Charles Murray’s Coming Apart, an examination on the class divides in present-day America, features a handy quiz for “cultural elites” to answer, as a means of getting a sense of how much of a “bubble” one lives that isolates them from rural America. Among the questions asked are whether one owns or has owned a pickup truck (also: whether one knows an evangelical Christian, whether one has eaten at T.G.I Friday’s in the past year, and have you ever participated in a parade that did not involve global warming, gay rights, or a war protest). (Read More…)