Rare Rides: The 1979 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue Edition - Big and Brown

Rare Rides has featured plenty of Chrysler vehicles before, and some of them were even as large as today’s range-topping sedan. But none of them had quite as much trim as today’s subject.

From the last gasp of the truly full-size offerings from domestic manufacturers, it’s the 1979 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue Edition.

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Rare Rides: The 1953 Chrysler Special, by Ghia

Though Rare Rides has featured many examples of vehicles which wore Chrysler badges and Ghia designs, there’s never been a single car which represented both.

That changes today, with this very rare 1953 Chrysler Special.

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Back From the Grave: Grand Caravan Name to Live On - for Some, Anyway

In the Stephen King novel Pet Cemetery, a rural family discovers that burying the body of a dead pet (and later, larger mammals) in the old graveyard out back returns the deceased family member to the clan — miraculously reanimated, yet fundamentally changed.

That seems to be what Fiat Chrysler has in mind for a famously long-running nameplate.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: Economical, Basic American Sedans for 1985

It’s the mid-1980s, so having a gas-guzzling, rear-drive Malaise box from the late ’70s is unthinkable. No, you’re a modern consumer, and you demand something front-drive and economical, but still with Malaise build quality.

Today we pick a compact Ace of Base from 1985.

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Rare Rides: The 1986 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon - Adventures in Vinyl

Rare Rides previously featured the last rear-drive Town & Country wagon, a model closely related to the sturdy and reliable M-body Dodge Diplomat. Today’s wagon is a sign of its times: It’s front-drive, efficient, and based on the K-car platform (like 98 percent of Chrysler’s offerings for the years 1981 through 1995).

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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FCA Deferring Payment for Salaried Employees

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is deferring 20 percent of salaried workers’ pay until June while CEO Mike Manley endures a 50-percent cut to his annual earnings. With the pandemic still attempting to grip more of North America, this was to be expected. Other domestic nameplates have already issued notices of deferred payments to executives staffers, noting that additional measures would likely need to be taken if COVID-19 fails to recede in the coming months. Seeing the writing on the wall, FCA seems to have jumped straight into phase two.

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Junkyard Find: 1977 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham Hardtop Sedan
The New Yorker name goes way back for Chrysler, running from the 1940 model year all the way through a series of K-car- and Eagle Premier-based front-drivers in the 1980s and 1990s. To me, though, the greatest of the Chrysler New Yorkers were the ones built on the majestic C-Body unibody platform for the 1965 through 1978 model years, and I have the most affection for the “we don’t care about oil prices” cars of the Middle Malaise Era.Here’s a (nearly) two-and-a-half-ton ’77 Brougham hardtop sedan, which met its doom in a Denver self-service yard last fall.
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Chrysler at Chicago Auto Show: Refreshed 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Offers All-Wheel Drive

Snow Belt parents, rejoice. There’s one more minivan on the market with all-wheel drive.

The refreshed 2021 Chrysler Pacifica now offers an AWD system that can redirect power away from any wheel that’s lost traction. The system also disconnects when not needed, reducing driveline drag and improving efficiency.

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Fiat Chrysler Previews Next UConnect

No North American Auto Show in January? No problem, says Fiat Chrysler – “let’s bring some media to our neck of the woods to talk about the Chicago show.”

I can’t yet talk about the other stuff I learned in Auburn Hills last week – while I’m not a huge fan of encouraging OEM marketing plans by agreeing to embargoes, those same embargoes are meant to make sure we play fair with other media, and I’m on board with that – but there was one piece of news that’s no longer under embargo.

UConnect is getting an upgrade. A massive one.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: American Two-doors for a New Century

Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn is the first of two consecutive entries where we’ll be evaluating two-door offerings from the dawn of the new millennium. First up is the American car trio… though one of them is thoroughly European.

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Fiat Chrysler and PSA Flirting With a Merging?

It’s almost like celebrity gossip these days. Except instead of trying to see who’s seated next to Taylor Swift or Selena Gomez at a swank joint on the Sunset Strip, we’re looking to see who’s chatting up Fiat Chrysler at the party.

The Wall St. Journal is reporting that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group of France are in talks to merge.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: Floaty American Luxury Sedans From 1988

In the late Eighties, American auto manufacturers still sold large, traditional luxury sedans in decent numbers. Their aging sedan consumer base fondly remembered the vinyl and chrome of yesteryear and still relished brougham-style accoutrements.

Up for consideration today are three comfortable, luxury-oriented sedans from 1988. It’s hard to lose here.

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Beleaguered Minivan Plant Granted a Reprieve

Home to the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Pacifica, and now the lower-tier Chrysler Voyager, Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly won’t see an expected shift cut next month. Instead, thanks to an uptick in volume, company brass has decided to ride out the year.

Originally scheduled to shed a shift (and along with it, about 1,500 jobs) at the end of September, Windsor Assembly will continue with its current workforce until at least New Year’s, Driving reports.

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2020 Chrysler Voyager's Price Undercuts Today's Pacifica, but Only Just

It’ll be a different story when the 2020 model year arrives at Chrysler, at which point a large pricing gap will open up between the brand’s Pacifica minivan and the newly-arrived Voyager. The Voyager name, as you may recall, has been dusted off in order to serve as a stepping stone to the Pacifica.

It’s the same vehicle, to be sure, but one which replaces the former Pacifica L and LX at the bottom of the minivan totem pole. Here’s how the pricing breaks down between the two family-friendly siblings.

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There's More Than One Name in This Little Black Book, Manley Tells Renault

Maybe that’s a dated reference in this age of smartphones and [s]hookup[/s] romance apps. Regardless, the list of potential partners for a prowling Fiat Chrysler doesn’t begin and end with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.

Oh sure, it wouldn’t mind getting down to business with the French-Japanese auto giant, but there’s plenty of fish in the sea. FCA knows it’s a catch, and wants to put Renault on notice that it has plenty of choice in who it goes home with.

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Crawling Back? Renault Still Eager to Merge With Fiat Chrysler, Report Claims

The proposed merger between two auto giants — Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — went nowhere earlier this year, but the door to the deal never swung fully shut. That’s according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, in which sources claim talks are ongoing to rekindle the romance.

FCA snatched away its offer in June after the French government, which owns 15 percent of Renault, intruded into discussions, citing a need to have alliance partner Nissan fully on board. The Japanese automaker, embroiled in scandal and a serious financial slump, kept its distance from those earlier talks, offering polite but unenthusiastic public support as reports emerged of concerns about its autonomy and shrinking influence under such a marriage.

To get the deal back on track, Renault would need to loosen its ties with Nissan.

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Rare Rides: Be a Real Businessman With the 1983 Chrysler Executive Sedan

The demand for executive limousines in North America was once satisfied by OEM-lengthened versions of domestic sedans. The Detroit Three built them in-house, or sent regular cars to a domestic coach builder. The lengthened cars were then sold via the regular dealership network. The desired buyer was a wealthy customer who’d have a driver for their daily conveyance. By the Eighties, the limousine market shifted in favor of coming with length: Stretch limousines were in demand. Independent companies built super-extended wheelbase cars for livery-type needs. The factory limousine car market faded away as business magnates chose standard sedans, or long-wheelbase offerings that were not limousines.

But there were one or two holdouts in the factory limousine marketplace, and today’s Rare Ride is one such car. It’s the Chrysler Executive from 1983.

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Now, Voyager: Fiat Chrysler Blows the Cobwebs Off an Old Minivan Nameplate

The Dodge Grand Caravan isn’t dead yet, but minivan buyers in the market for a low-end people mover will have a new option come 2020. Earlier this week, FCA announced the reintroduction of the Voyager — a nameplate that began life as a full-size Plymouth van in the 1970s before morphing into a front-drive minivan for 1984.

Following Plymouth’s death, the Chrysler brand fielded a short-wheelbase Voyager model until 2003 in North America, with Grand Voyagers (LWB Town & Countrys) serving overseas until 2016.

While FCA doesn’t intend the new Voyager to be a cheap, bare-bones stripper, it will replace the lower-rung trim levels of the Pacifica, giving fleet operators something to consider once the Grand Caravan shuffles off into the afterlife.

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Rare Rides: The 1982 Plymouth TC3, Sporty Liftback Time

Today’s Rare Ride is the much sportier (but mostly the same) liftback version of the Horizon that everyone forgot. It’s a Plymouth TC3, from 1982.

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Renault Taking Time to Consider FCA Merger Proposal

As perviously reported, Fiat Chrysler is currently hard at work, hoping to impress Renault to a point where it will pull the trigger on possible merger. FCA is now in talks with the French government, which owns 15 percent of Renault, hoping it will also find the 50/50 proposal agreeable.

Concessions are already being made. FCA has agreed to France’s request to give the government a seat on an prospective eleven-member board, which also holds four seats for Renault and one for Nissan. Rumors have also suggested that the automaker is considering moving its headquarters to Paris to appease the country.

While France appears to be somewhat receptive, Renault appears to be taking things to the next level. Following a week of discussions with FCA, the company announced it would be taking the rest of the day to give the matter serious consideration.

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QOTD: Your Least Favorite Front-drive Nineties Ride?

Last week, Steph penned a QOTD where he let commenters loose on front-drive American cars made between 1980 and 2010. The ask was to pick a favorite from the wide selection; one you’d buy today as new.

This week we’re going to take the opposite tack and talk about the front-drive car you like the least.

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2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited - Long-distance Hauler

Today’s crossover craze may be in part a rebuke of minivans, but that hasn’t stopped Chrysler from putting effort into the class.

After all, if the company that more or less invented the modern version of the people-toting minivan was offering up a subpar effort in the class, that wouldn’t reflect well on it. Chrysler doesn’t have to worry about that, as its Pacifica minivan has fought the Honda Odyssey for top billing in the class seemingly since its launch.

One thing the Pacifica offers that the Odyssey doesn’t? A hybrid version.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: Old Man Garage Queens From the Early 2000s

Once upon a time in the early 2000s, a special convergence of factors created three very special cars. The most important element in the cars’ creation was the motoring public’s desire for things that appeared “retro” in the early part of the millennium. This retro desire occurred around the same time as some meetings in Michigan, where executives at the Big Three surely conducted consumer clinics with retired old men.

Remember, you can only burn one of these.

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Rare Rides: A Very Brown Talbot Tagora From 1982

Today’s Rare Ride is the European luxury sedan you’ve never heard of. Plush, brown, and boxy, it’s the Talbot Tagora from 1982.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: Classic Luxury Coupes From 1963

Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn brings three big and brawny American luxury coupes from 1963. You’ll have to burn one — no exceptions.

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'The Brand Has Seen Some Softening,' Is One of the Most Accurate Statements Chrysler Has Ever Made About Chrysler

“When I look at the new Imperial,” Chrysler Corporation chairman Lee Iacocca said in 1980, “I see an electronic marvel.”

He may have been reaching.

“We understand the speed with which we have to act,” Chrysler Group CEO Bob Nardelli said in mid-2008, months before Chrysler’s collapse showed that whatever understanding there was did not find itself successfully implemented.

More recently, however, in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ recap of its brands’ 2018 U.S. sales performance, the company’s own take on the Chrysler marque’s results was stunningly honest. “Overall,” FCA said in its press release, “the brand has seen some softening during the year following the continued wind-down of the Chrysler 200 and the Town & Country.”

Ya don’t say.

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Rumors and Omissions: Chrysler's Product Future Remains Hazy, but Might Not Be As Threadbare As You Think

The once-mighty Chrysler brand is not a purveyor of niche sports cars, so its two-vehicle lineup continues to draw attention to itself. To call its lineup sparse would be an understatement. Still, despite a change in its priorities (sparked by the ascension of Jeep and Ram), Fiat Chrysler’s not giving up on the 93-year-old brand.

It would be weird to hop on the Chrysler Freeway in Detroit, head to Auburn Hills, pass by the Walter P. Chrysler Museum on the way, then head to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles headquarters at 1000 Chrysler Drive if the Chrysler brand didn’t exist.

While 2018 brought us news of a new (and fairly wild) Chrysler product, it also pushed two anticipated models into the Maybe Not Zone while throwing away another model’s future. Is there any hope of a Chrysler lineup that’s not a two-car parade? Apparently, there is.

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A Straight-six for Fiat Chrysler's Big Guys?

For moving mountains of metal, Fiat Chrysler has no shortage of motivators. Larger vehicles scattered across the automaker’s various brands already have plenty of choice in powerplants, from the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 to the 5.7 and 6.4-liter V8s. There’s a supercharged 6.2-liter offered in a number of flavors should those mills prove too pokey.

As FCA slooooowly readies a new range-topper for the Jeep brand and prepares for a revamp of the long-running Grand Cherokee, a possible new engine has emerged as a V6 — or even a Hemi — replacement.

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Fiat Chrysler Offloads Magneti Marelli Parts Unit for $7.1 Billion

A key goal of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ financial fitness regimen, started under former CEO Sergio Marchionne, has come to pass under his successor, Mike Manley.

On Monday morning, FCA announced the sale of its Italian parts unit, Magneti Marelli, to Japan’s Calsonic Kansei, itself owned by KKR & Co. The deal, worth $7.1 billion, sees the parts unit don the name Magneti Marelli CK Holdings. It’s likely very good news if you’re an FCA shareholder.

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Chrysler's Pacifica Ads Grow Mildly Risque, As All Minivan Ads Should

Of all the automakers embroiled in the Mad Men-era rush to plumb the psyches of American car buyers, Chrysler’s Dodge division stood head and shoulders above the rest in one key marketing element: sex. It sells, apparently, and Chrysler Corp. made sure to instill a little bit of it, overtly or subconsciously, into its print and TV advertising. As the circa ’66-67 “Dodge Rebellion” campaign gave way to 1968-70’s “Dodge Fever” gambit, the impact of the counterculture movement and America’s rapidly liberalizing attitudes soon became apparent in Dodge’s ad copy.

It was this era in Chrysler’s marketing history that spawned what’s arguably the most sexist (and psychosexual) car ad ever printed: Dodge’s 1969 Charger R/T ad, titled “The Eternal Triangle.”

These were sexy times for America, but even sexier times for Dodge, which had clearly grown too hot under the collar. The onset of the 1970s saw the brand put the tie-dyed shirt and address book in storage, trading its hedonistic copy for the far tamer “Dodge Material” campaign, and the rest is history (some of it quite embarrassing). Given this rich marketing heritage, it’s nice to see Chrysler attempt to spice up a family-oriented minivan with sex.

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Manley Shakes Up FCA Ranks; Bigland Heads Back to Ram

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley just can’t keep his hands off the Jeep brand. In his first management reorganization since assuming the top position in July, Manley placed the responsibility for key FCA brands in trustworthy hands, though the CEO seems reluctant to part ways with his beloved Jeep.

Prior to becoming CEO, Manley headed up both the Jeep and Ram divisions. Now, Tim Kuniskis will add the Jeep North America file to his responsibilities, maintaining his grip on the Alfa Romeo brand. Given that there was no mention in Manley’s letter to employees of who’ll oversee Jeep’s global operations, it is assumed the chief executive will continue nurturing FCA’s most valuable asset on the world stage.

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Report: Stately, Ancient Chrysler 300 to Be Replaced by an Electric Minivan

The appearance of the unabashedly traditional, square-rigged Chrysler 300 in the mid-2000s inspired high-fives among car lovers sickened by the 1990s Ovoid Era. It’s unlikely those same revellers feel the same way about the 300 biting the dust to make room for a tech-savvy, electric minivan.

And yet, that’s what we’re hearing. In 2020, the last Chrysler passenger car will reportedly give way to a second Chrysler minivan, keeping the shrunken brand’s two-vehicle lineup intact. If only we could say the same for its heritage.

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Feds Wade Into Fiat Chrysler-Mahindra Spat, Promise to Get to Bottom of Roxor Affair

A decade-old document signed by Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra and Chrysler Group LLC will be at the center of an investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Announced Tuesday and reported by Reuters, the feds will look into the patent dispute that erupted when Mahindra began importing the very Jeep-like Roxor all-terrain vehicle into the United States. FCA claimed the Roxor looks too much like the classic Jeep CJ line, predecessor to the Wrangler, and filed an intellectual property complaint to the ITC. Nuh uh — we had a deal, Mahindra responded.

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A Post-Marchionne FCA Gets Ready to Name a Dream Team

After the sudden illness of industry titan Sergio Marchionne in late July, Fiat Chrysler enacted some quick changes in order to name a new CEO. Mike Manley, who had helmed powerhouse FCA brands, was installed into the role on July 21st, just four days before Mr. Marchionne’s passing.

Reuters reported this morning that Manley will announce his new team during an event towards the end of this month. Until now, little else has been said about the remainder of FCA’s management roster. In a post-Sergio world, who will head up each of the company’s brands?

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Buy/Drive/Burn: American Wagon Life, Circa 1975

Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn setup comes to us via commenter 87 Morgan, who suggested the trio a while ago. For consideration today: Malaise Era transportation for upper middle-class families. These gigantic wagons served as family haulers before the minivan came along and ripped the sculpted carpet from under their feet.

What will it be — the Chrysler, the Mercury, or the Buick?

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Concentrated Rides: An Imperial Collection

Certain extraordinary circumstances can move a vehicle from the standard Rare Rides classification and into Concentrated Rides. Take today, for instance, where a concerned collector has gathered together 24 Chrysler Imperials in a California desert.

The why here is unclear.

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Junkyard Find: 1982 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible
While Chrysler developed endless variations of the original K Platform, adding branches to the K-car Family Tree through 1995, only the Dodge Aries/400/600, Plymouth Reliant, and Chrysler LeBaron were true Ks. The K-cars saved Chrysler from near-certain bankruptcy, with the first Dodge and Plymouth versions rolling off showroom floors as 1981 models; the LeBaron came the following year, and the luxurious LeBaron convertible stood tall as the K-car King.Here’s a well-preserved 1982 Chrysler LeBaron convertible in a Denver-area self-service yard.
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Mahindra to Fiat Chrysler: Nah, We're Selling Our Little Jeepy-Jeep Thing

There’s an Indo-Italian-American battle heating up in Michigan. Mahindra and Mahindra, maker of the absolutely adorable, U.S.-built Roxor ATV, is fighting back against Fiat Chrysler’s efforts to squash the little all-terrain vehicle’s future in this country.

FCA’s beef is this: the generously proportioned ATV, which is not road legal here (but is in India), bears a striking resemblance to a classic Jeep CJ7. At the beginning of the month, the automaker filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission in an bid to stop the importation of Roxor parts to the company’s Michigan factory.

Not gonna happen, Mahindra says. You saw our grille and you gave it the thumbs up.

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In Vendita: FCA's Magneti Marelli Could Be Sold, Not Spun Off

In a story that’s been developing for some time now, Fiat Chrysler is inching closer to shedding its component supplier, Magneti Marelli.

According to a report, a private equity firm is reportedly in talks with the automaker to buy the parts business. This is a shift in direction for FCA which, in the past, was seemingly focused on spinning off Magneti Marelli rather than completing an outright sale.

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Rare Rides: The 1978 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country Gives You Wood

An aluminum garage door rattles open on its track. As the goldenrod-colored panels lift up and away, a luxurious family wagon comes into view. Once the kids, parents, and Golden Retriever are lightly secured inside, the luxury wagon glides out of the lightly sloped driveway and away from the bi-level with the paneled den.

It’s 1978, and it’s Town & Country time.

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Rare Rides: The 1975 Jensen Interceptor Convertible – A Very British Chrysler

The Jensen Interceptor brought together American power and British design and craftsmanship in a rare heavyweight sports-luxury liftback.

The company even made a few of them into convertibles, like today’s Rare Ride.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: A Chrysler Fuselage Trio From 1971

It started off casually enough, in the luxury Slack chat environment of TTAC just a day or so ago. Amidst a conversation about large Chryslers of the early ’70s, TTAC’s Steph Willems declared he wasn’t sure which fuselage-design Chrysler product he’d choose to take home.

Let’s see if we can’t venture some opinions on this topic.

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Fiat Chrysler's U.S. Sales Success Sure Didn't Make It Across the Border

In a month Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation Inc, described as a “ clunker,” numerous automakers took a hit. New vehicle sales in the U.S. fell by 3.7 percent compared to the same month last year, and lucky was the automaker that escaped the buying public’s cold shoulder.

Among the Detroit Three, Fiat Chrysler had the distinction of heading in the right direction as rivals GM and Ford fell. It wasn’t even a close race. FCA posted a year-over-year sales gain of 6 percent, with year-to-date volume up 5 percent. Naturally, Jeep led the way.

But not everything’s rosy on the North American continent. North of the 49th parallel, fate detained FCA’s good fortune at the border, leaving the automaker with a very steep sales loss. Only two brands posted a sales gain in July, and one of them seems to only have one model in the running.

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Rare Rides: A 1967 Chrysler 300 - Large and In Charge

A recent edition of Buy/Drive/Burn included a Chrysler 300M from the turn of the century — a car which represented the third time Chrysler created a line of vehicles wearing “300” badges. The other day, the Internet presented the 300M’s closest ancestor, and my curiosity piqued.

And since we’re into coupes on Rare Rides lately, come along as we check out a big, bold coupe from Chrysler.

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Marchionne Was Ill for More Than a Year; Hospital Speaks Out

Former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died Wednesday at the age of 66, underwent treatment for a serious, unspecified illness for more than a year, a Swiss hospital revealed Thursday.

The sudden change in the executive’s health threw Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari into a frenzied search for new CEOs on Saturday. It’s reported that Marchionne hadn’t informed either automaker of his condition, with their boards of directors only finding out from Marchionne’s family on Friday after his condition rapidly deteriorated.

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Mike Manley Hits the Ground Running As Storm Clouds Gather Over FCA

Former Jeep and Ram boss Mike Manley was a top choice among the candidates competing to succeed Sergio Marchionne, but no one could have expected his ascension to the CEO’s chair would occur in such a sudden, tragic manner.

During his first earning call, Manley was forced to address not just his predecessor’s death — which occurred mere hours before investors, analysts, and journalists picked up the phone — but also the automaker’s slipping grasp on the Chinese market. FCA’s revenue and net income took a haircut in the second quarter of 2018. The company’s share price plunged in the wake of news of Marchionne’s death. And, last but not least, there’s tariffs flying left and right, cutting into the automaker’s earnings — indeed, the company has already readjusted its earnings forecast downward.

Some first week on the job.

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Sergio Marchionne, Savior of Fiat and Chrysler, Dies At 66

With his passing, the auto industry returns to being a sea of suits. Sergio Marchionne, the outspoken, sweater-wearing former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and newly spun-off Ferrari, has died following complications from a recent surgery. The Italian-Canadian industry titan was 66.

Marchionne had been expected to retire from FCA in the spring of 2019, but his rapidly failing health saw the boards of FCA and Ferrari assemble on Saturday to choose successors and issue notes of condolences. Jeep and Ram brand boss Mike Manley took the helm of FCA by day’s end. Late Tuesday, an Italian newspaper claimed Marchionne suffered an embolism following a high-risk cancer surgery, falling into a unrecoverable coma.

How does one remember such a colorful figure? With cars and quips.

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QOTD: What Was Peak K-car for You?

It was one of those make or break moments. A company teetering on the financial verge which threw a Hail Mary at the right time — and at the right target. The company in question was Chrysler, and the Hail Mary was the K-car platform.

Today we ask you: What was peak K?

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Alfredo Altavilla, Fiat Chrysler's Europe, Middle East and Africa Chief, Hits the Road

A man in the running to replace Sergio Marchionne after his planned 2019 retirement has left the company, just two days after Jeep and Ram boss Mike Manley took over the CEO position from a seriously ill Marchionne.

The departure of Alfredo Altavilla, who headed up Fiat Chrysler’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, leaves the unexpectedly promoted Manley with another file on his plate.

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Mike Manley Chosen As Fiat Chrysler CEO: Report [UPDATED]

While the automaker hasn’t made anything official, sources tell Automotive News Europe that Jeep and Ram brand boss Mike Manley is Fiat Chrysler’s chosen successor to the ailing Sergio Marchionne.

The report follows this morning’s news that Marchionne has experienced complications from shoulder surgery, and that the boards of FCA, Ferrari, and CNH Industrial have reportedly assembled to replace him as CEO by end of day Saturday.

Update: Fiat Chrysler has confirmed the change via a press release. Mike Manley has been named CEO by the board of directors, and the board will propose that he be elected to the board and executive director of the company at a forthcoming shareholder meeting. The board has granted Manley the full powers of CEO in the interim. — Managing Ed.

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As Health Suffers, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne Could Be Replaced Today

Several news agencies are reporting that Sergio Marchionne, the colorful chief executive who returned Fiat, and then a combined Fiat Chrysler, to profitability, might not end the day as CEO.

Marchionne, who took the helm of Fiat in 2004, was due to retire next April, and recently unveiled the automaker’s upcoming five-year product plan. Two sources told Reuters that Marchionne suffered “massive” complications from a recent shoulder surgery. According to those sources, the boards of Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, and CNH Industrial are all meeting Saturday to name a successor.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: A Large, Front-drive Luxury Party in 1999

The other day, among the urbane, informed chatter happening in the TTAC Slack room, Adam Tonge suggested a little Buy/Drive/Burn trio to me. The year is 1999, and the subjects are full-size luxury sedans of the front-drive and comfort variety. Lincoln, Cadillac, and Chrysler are all represented, all wearing their conservative, double-breasted suits.

Come along, and select your turn of the century American luxury sedan.

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Chrysler, Dodge Brands' Hazy Future Doesn't Worry Union Boss

For two brands steeped in Americana, Chrysler and Dodge sure seem to love Canada. Two Ontario plants continue cranking out Grand Caravans, Challengers, Chargers, 300s, and Pacificas, even as the 9,600-strong workforce in Windsor and Brampton grow leery of the future.

It’s not just the complete lack of interest Fiat Chrysler displayed in those particular brands during last month’s five-year plan unveiling; it’s also the threat of import tariffs on foreign-made vehicles that could very well sink across-the-border manufacturing.

Nah, it’s all good, says Jerry Diaz, president of the union representing Detroit Three autoworkers in the Great White North.

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Always a Bridesmaid? FCA Could Be Going It Alone After All

Last week’s report in the Asia Times, citing unnamed sources, laid the foundation of a rumor that Hyundai has its eyes on Fiat Chrysler as a potential takeover target. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s history of attempting courtships with other major automakers only served to bolster the idea. If General Motors and Volkswagen seemed so attractive, why not Hyundai?

Forget about it, claims a Hyundai spokesman.

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Whatever Trump Decides, Fiat Chrysler's Prepared for What Comes Next

Without a functional plan, each episode of the A-Team would have ended with four funerals. For Fiat Chrysler, however, the solution to its problem doesn’t involve welding armor plating to a series of scrapyard vehicles while the guy from Breakfast at Tiffany’s lays down covering fire with a Ruger Mini-14.

FCA’s main concern involves the current occupant of the White House, and what his proclamations could mean for the automaker’s bottom line. A 25-percent tariff on imported vehicles could erase nearly a billion dollars in profit each year.

Don’t worry — FCA’s working on a plan.

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Hyundai's Getting Ready to Pounce on Fiat Chrysler, Report Claims

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles won’t comment on a report claiming Hyundai Motor Group plans to launch a bid for the automaker, but that’s what sources with knowledge of the matter tell the Asia Times.

The sources claim HMG CEO Chung Mong-koo is biding his time, waiting for FCA’s stock to fall before moving forward on the potential takeover. Reportedly, Hyundai could launch the bid within months.

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2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited Review - Hashtag Vanlife

For those of you voyeurs who enjoy peering at perfectly curated photos of strangers’ lives, do me a favor and click over to Instagram and search the “Vanlife” hashtag. It’s a seemingly endless parade of young folk who have eschewed traditional housing for a thoroughly modified full-size van — typically a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Ram ProMaster, kitted with beds, kitchens, and storage for implements of extreme living such as mountain bikes or kayaks.

The thing you’ll notice about nearly all of these vanlifers: no kids. It’s hard to get the little ones to hockey practice when you’re living life to the extreme.

I live a very different kind of vanlife here in suburbia. While certainly there are times when I’m hauling an empty box behind me, more often than not I have two kids and their assorted crap to haul. Other times, my van doubles as a truck, with a few sheets of OSB or 10 bags of mulch. I’ve even hauled a spare Miata engine to a race track for a friend who’d popped one in an early race session.

For those of us who need to get back and forth to the office, rather than to or from a trailhead, a traditional minivan is nearly perfect. The only downside? Fuel economy isn’t great, as you’re pushing a big, heavy box through the air. Chrysler recognized this with the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, offering a good bit more efficiency in a familiar package. Does it make #DadVanLife more palatable?

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Chrysler Adding Sinister S Appearance Package to Pacifica Hybrid

Minivans are great for a lot of things, but intimidating the neighbors is not among their many attributes.

While you could spend the weekend welding spikes onto one and giving everyone on your block “the stare down,” alternative options exist. You could purchase some custom wheels and replace the chrome accents with something darker, or you could have Chrysler do it for you if you’re in the market for a Pacifica.

As much as I hope this brings back a dark and sinister version of 1970s van culture, I would be satisfied with just seeing more of them on the road. According to Chrysler, the murdered-out look offered by the S Appearance Package has proven quite popular with standard Pacifica shoppers. Now, it wants to extend the opportunity to those interested in the plug-in hybrid model.

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QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Crapwagon Garage? (Part VIII: Convertibles)

Over the past seven weeks, we’ve spent time filling the various sections of our Crapwagon Garage with the sort of vehicles only a true connoisseur of cheap can appreciate. This eighth edition in the series is the last we have planned, unless one of you enterprising members of the commentary can think of some style of vehicle the series missed.

Otherwise, we wrap up the series with some convertibles. Many of you have been holding onto your convertible selections for about three weeks, as when we covered coupes all drop-tops were specifically off-limits. Now’s your chance to let loose and [s]take off your top[/s] talk about convertibles.

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QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Crapwagon Garage? (Part VII: Vans)

In last week’s Crapwagon Garage QOTD, we combined truck and station wagon to create an SUV, picking five winners. In part VII of the series, we’ll combine truck and station wagon a bit differently and end up with a van.

That’s right, it’s time for some #vanlife (ugh). Car-based minivans also apply, so we’re not limited to things like the sweet Safari GT above.

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  • Chris P Bacon It would be really nice if car sites like TTAC helped people find way to avoid these prices. It seems like stories like these just say "suck it up and pay the markup". No. In many cases, you don't have to. I just ordered a Wrangler 4xe and got Chrysler Affiliates price. That 1% under invoice. I know this is the price I got because I sat at the computer in the dealer's showroom and build the Jeep. i got Chrysler Affiliate pricing through my employer. Your employer doesn't offer it? Join treadlightly.org. For $100 membership, guess what? You get Chrysler Affiliate pricing! Want a Ford, but think you can't get X-Plan? Think again! Join EAA.org. X-Plan is included with their membership. A dealer in my area is offering Costco members a $1500 incentive. I'm guessing that has something to do with Costco's car buying service, so there must be some value to be found in that program.Will all dealers honor these discount plans? No. Then that's not the dealer you want to work with anyway. Find another place to shop. It would be nice if TTAC (or any car site) did a little leg work to show readers how to actually save on a car purchase.
  • KOKing I car-sat an A32 while its owner was out of the country, and the then whiz-bang VQ motor was great, but the rest of it wasn't any better than a XV10 or XV20. Definitely the start of its downward slide, unfortunately.
  • Norman Stansfield Why are leaf springs still a thing on this truck?
  • Syke The expected opening comments. Have had mine for two years now, the car has done exactly what I want out of it, and a little better. I'm quite happy with the car, haven't had to adjust my driving style or needs in the slightest, and . . . . oh, did a mention that I don't give a damn what today's price at the pump is?Probably going to go for a second one in the coming year, the wife's happy enough with mine that she's ready and willing to trade in the Nissan Kicks. Eventually, the not often used van will end up getting traded on a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, basically ensuring that we don't use gas for anything except the occasional long trip.And the motorcycles.
  • Bobbysirhan I've never found the Allegro appealing before, but a few years of EV rollouts make it seem downright desirable.