Hola! ChryCo Says 2011 300 Will Be CAFE-Compliant

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

They didn’t call Ford’s founder “Crazy Henry” for nothing. But Henry Ford had a knack for aphorisms, such as “You don’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” I’d stick the word “say” in the middle of that, but what do I know? I know that on the same day Chrysler’s monthly sales cratered by a staggering 47 percent, Automotive News [sub, AN] revealed that ChryCo product development chief Frank Klegon told the world that the 2011 300 sedan and variants will be “CAFE positive.” One wonders why AN waited until yesterday to run the story. Anyway, it’s nice to hear that Chrysler– the automaker that says it need $7b worth of federal funds by the end of the month or goodnight moon– plans on conforming to new U.S. fuel efficiency regs. Of course, like the 2011 300 sedan, those laws don’t actually exist. “The U.S government has not released regulations for the new corporate average fuel economy [CAFE] law, Klegon said, but ‘we think we know what it is.'” Franks identified “the biggest factor” underlying its democratic party positive environmental optimism: “a new, more efficient V-6 engine family, code-named Phoenix.” Rising from the ashes, eh? Maybe…

“The engines will replace all current Chrysler car and light-truck V-6s.” Yes, well, The Detroit News provided our last update on the Phoenix program. “Chrysler officials also confirmed construction continues on new engine plants in Trenton and Saltillo, Mexico, to build the new Phoenix family of V-6s. Those facilities now have floors and walls and will be the only sources of the Phoenix engine. Early production is scheduled for late 2009.”

Yes, you read right. Bailout billions may well go to support a Mexican engine plant. But don’t take my word for it. Yesterday, on hopes that Detroit will get its bailout billions, Mexican had a fiesta (so to speak). According to yesterday’s Reuters story, “Mexican stocks rose on Tuesday, following steep losses the previous session, as investors eyed a bailout of the U.S. auto industry, which is closely tied to Mexico’s industrial production.”

And then… “Mexico’s peso and stock market pared gains on Tuesday after General Motors Corp posted grim November sales data, stoking worries of a downturn in the local car industry, which is closely linked to Detroit.”

In short, watch the fine print on that bailout bill. If it precludes investment in production outside the U.S., a not-unthinkable condition, Chrysler– and Mexico– will feel the burn.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Davekaybsc Davekaybsc on Dec 03, 2008

    I really can't wait for the 2011 Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg range.

  • AJ AJ on Dec 03, 2008

    Good to see Chrysler working on a future... even tho' I'll never buy from them again as long as their in bed with unions. (bye-bye!)

  • FreedMike I like the looks of the Z, but I'd take the Mustang. V8s are a disappearing breed.
  • Picard234 I can just smell the clove cigarettes and the "oregano" from the interior. Absolutely no dice at any price.
  • Dartdude The Europeans don't understand the American market. That is why they are small players here. Chrysler Group is going to die pretty soon under their control. Europeans have a sense of superiority over Americans that is why the Mercedes merger didn't work out and almost killed Chrysler. Bringing European managers aren't going to help. Just like F1 they want our money. We need Elon Musk to buy out Chrysler, Dodge and Ram from Stellantis.
  • Michael S6 I would take the Mustang for the soundtrack. However, practically a BMW M340ix or M240ix would be my choice.
  • Michael S6 Took my car for oil change on Friday and dealership was working on paper. Recently one of the major health care system in our area was hacked and they had to use paper backup for three weeks. What a nightmare.