Business Insider transportation editor Matthew DeBord (formerly of Jalopnik too) said Tesla and Fiat Chrysler’s stock show both companies’ susceptibility to market volatility and that each automaker could be in dire situations if a mild recession were to rear its head again.
(Although he does note that the best return on an investment this time last year would have been a few hundred bucks into FCA’s stock.)
Tesla may have more in common with FCA than it likes in terms of market unpredictability, which could raise the specter of a merger if its Model 3 isn’t on time or if the economy takes a dive, DeBord writes. As long as Musk doesn’t talk openly about hugging Mary Barra, he may have a decent shot.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced this week that they would be recalling nearly 500,000 SUVs — including more than 350,000 in the U.S. — for a vanity mirror wire that could potentially overheat and increase risk for a fire.
The affected SUVs are model year 2011-2012 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos made before Sept. 2, 2012. Those cars were the subject of an earlier recall that, if conducted improperly, could leave those cars more susceptible to a short circuit.
FCA said it was unaware of any injuries.
Who would have known that one of the largest parts supply recalls in U.S. history could poison the well for the rest of your business?
That, and Jeep needs you to keep it dry for a minute, Porsche pulls another player from Volkswagen’s bench and how big does Magna International’s yacht need to be anyway, after the jump.
Federal regulators Thursday fined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles $70 million for under-reporting death and injury claims from vehicles as far back as 2003, officials announced in a statement. The fine is related to a September announcement from the automaker to the Transportation Department that the automaker had violated terms of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act.
The automaker issued a statement saying it would accept the penalty and agree to a consent order that would require FCA to submit crash data from the cars.
“FCA US LLC accepts these penalties and is revising its processes to ensure regulatory compliance. However, FCA US is confident that it identified and addressed all issues that arose during the relevant time period, using alternate data sources,” the company said in a statement.
There comes a point in our lives when we all fly off the handle. It can happen when we’re still young and ready to believe anything or when we’re old and the voice of those young’uns make us instinctively say nasty, insensitive thoughts.
Temporary insanity comes and goes with the seasons. With that I am about to recommend a [s]car[/s] [s]truckster[/s] [s]minivan[/s] lame duck vehicle that has a surprisingly good fit for one type of buyer in particular: Those with large families who want a new car but don’t really give a shit about cars.
This isn’t the first SRT product to wear the Digestible Collectible title, but it is certainly the oddest. Ever since our news editor Aaron Cole sent this to me earlier this week, I’ve been looking over the ad in bewilderment.
Perhaps that’s the point. I can’t see any other reason why one would take a limited-production, low-slung, high-powered, long-wheelbase pony car and lift it a couple inches other than to make people point and stare. It certainly isn’t going to be of any use off-road beyond well-groomed trails.
To top things off, this 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8 has been fitted with an Edelbrock supercharger, making this a proto-Hellcat.
A proto-Hellcat with light truck off-road tires.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Friday that it would recall nearly 900,000 cars worldwide — including more than 550,000 cars in the U.S. — for defective airbag and brake systems.
The company said some 2003 Jeep Liberty and 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee models were fitted with faulty airbags that could deploy. The automaker acknowledged that seven injuries had been caused by the airbags, which were not made by Takata. In all, 284,089 cars are affected by that recall.
Additionally, the company said more than 275,000 Dodge Journey models from 2012-2015 may have defective anti-lock brake systems that could fail due to excess moisture.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration selected former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater as an independent monitor over Fiat Chrysler Automobiles safety compliance, the automaker announced Friday.
Slater was transportation secretary under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001. After his federal post, Slater has held a slew of automobile safety-related posts including his recent appointment as special counsel to Takata.
Slater was the first black director for the Federal Highway Administration and the second black transportation secretary.
The Dodge Viper will end production in 2017 when the current model expires, according to approved language included in the United Auto Workers’ contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
According to Automotive News, the Conner Avenue plant, which makes the sportscar, doesn’t have future product planned beyond 2017, effectively sealing the fate for the flagging car. The Viper was re-launched in 2011 after a three-year hiatus and has struggled ever since.
United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plants voted to overwhelmingly approve a contract with the automaker three weeks after turning back its first proposal, the union reported.
According to a statement posted on the UAW’s website, 77 percent of hourly production, 72 percent of skilled trades and 87 percent of salaried bargaining unit workers approved the contract.
In the past few days there has been a flurry of posts about Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ending production of the Dodge Viper in 2017 and closing the Conner Avenue Assembly facility where the v-10 powered sportscar is hand-built.
When I see a news story, I’ll try to seek out the original reporting and if possible, the original source material. Now that I’ve seen that source material, and asked Conner’s plant manager about the matter, I’m not convinced that the Viper’s demise is a certainty. Viper fans shouldn’t go hanging snakeskin* crepe just yet.
Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, Dodge will end production of its supercar Viper in 2017 when the current generation has finished its run, Allpar reported.
(OK, so the Viper wasn’t exactly perfect.)
The website reported that United Auto Workers proposed contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles doesn’t include a product at the Viper’s Conner Avenue plant when Viper finishes in 2017. Viper has languished since its introduction in 2013, suffering from a high price and increased competition from the Chevrolet Corvette. Last year, Dodge sold 760 coupes, which was the best year for the current generation so far, but far from the nameplate’s zenith in 2003 when it sold 2,103 examples.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may double the amount of temporary workers it uses under a new deal negotiated with the United Auto Workers, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).
The negotiated terms include a provision for the automaker to use the workers any day of the week, instead of the previously allowed Monday, Friday and weekend shifts.
According to the report, the terms may have been negotiated as a way to keep labor costs lower and offer more workers raises. Temp workers are hired at rates lower than any of the tiered-pay scales. Temp workers can be terminated at any time by the automaker.
United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles facilities will vote next week on a newly proposed contract to cover 40,000 workers, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Workers will have until Oct. 20 to review the proposed deal, which was reached last week before a threatened strike. According to the report, workers will vote on the deal Oct. 20-21. Roughly 65 percent of workers reportedly voted down the first deal between the automaker and the UAW because of concerns over its tiered pay structure, health care co-op and lack of communication from union leadership.
On Wednesday night, as the deadline for strike action came closer and closer, the United Auto Workers-Fiat Chrysler Automobiles National Bargaining Committee announced they had “secured significant gains” over the last proposed tentative agreement that was widely rejected by UAW membership.
Details on the new agreement were not published.
The new proposed agreement averts a strike — for now — and will be sent Friday to local union leaders that comprise the UAW National Chrysler Council for discussion and voting.
“We heard from our members, and went back to FCA to strengthen their contract,” said UAW President Dennis Williams early Thursday morning in a statement. “We’ve reached a proposed Tentative Agreement that I believe addresses our members’ principal concerns about their jobs and their futures. We have made real gains and I look forward to a full discussion of the terms with our membership.”
FCA acknowledged they reached a new proposed tentative agreement with the union, but declined to give specifics due to the pending vote by UAW members.
Ram production will be coming back to the United States and car production moving to FCA’s Mexican operations, Automotive News is reporting citing anonymous sources.
The news comes just days after FCA and the UAW tentatively agreed to a new national contract while locals continue to hammer out the finer details at the plant level. According to the report, there will also be some movement of products within U.S. borders between FCA plants.
Dodge announced for its Charger Pursuit cars Friday an available 12.1-inch Uconnect touchscreen, which is five times larger than its 5-inch model available in some of its cars.
The 12.1-inch screen — which is only available on Charger cars for police for now — is meant to eliminate mounted laptops in the front seats of many police vehicles. The screen can be connected to a laptop in the trunk via ethernet cord, and can display functions such as lights, sirens, forward-mounted cameras and radio information.
Farmers are the ultimate craftsman when it comes to small-scale production. The level of management needed to stay competitive and above the high water line is, simply put, astounding. Consolidation in certain areas of agriculture has lead to factory farming, the widespread adoption of automation and genetically modified seeds that keep seed producers competitive. Private farmers are constantly at war with the market and their own budgets.
The agriculture industry has wholly transformed itself over the last 100 years. The automotive industry, which has only really existed for that same period of time, has seen similar levels of change. We are now building more cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, trikes and quadracycles than ever before, just like we are growing more food than we’ve ever seen in human history.
But, there’s one major stumbling block ahead — and Sergio Marchionne sees it.
The Durango was last redesigned in 2011, so a SRT version could be a victory lap for the three-row SUV. Jeep may take over three-row crossover duty with its Grand Wagoneer.
If you’re pressed between a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk or a Durango SRT — there is a third option, this Kia Sorento with an LS engine swap.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may be showing off a Dodge Barracuda convertible, a next-generation Charger, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and a Grand Wagoneer — they probably put root beer in the fountains too — according to multiple media reports.
At the dealer meeting in Las Vegas, FCA executives outlined the future for the brands (Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Fiat) that may include up to 30 new or refreshed products within two years.
According to reports, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne also addressed reports that the automaker was seeking a merger with another automaker, and any potential deal would be “to strengthen the competitive position of the companies involved,” he said according to Automotive News.
At virtually every other automotive outlet for whom I’ve worked, the communication between writer and reader has been a one-way street. I give advice. The reader listens. Whether the reader acts on that advice is completely unknown. Also, the reader never gives advice to the writer.
Thankfully, TTAC is different and the Best & Brightest will drop a nugget of information in the comments that I can use not only in my professional life, but in my personal life as well.
And it’s on this advice that I drove 2 1/2 hours to Moncton to drive a 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Road and Track.
Just in time for super-low gas prices, Dodge’s Hellcats will cost $3,650 to $4,200 more next year — at least — Autoblog is reporting.
The 2016 Challenger Hellcat will start at $65,190 — including destination and gas guzzler tax, an increase of $4,200 over 2015. The Charger will start at $68,640 — including destination and tax, which is an increase of $3,650.
(Those prices don’t reflect the “market adjustment” one could likely see for the highly coveted, limited-production vehicles. Although, Dodge really doesn’t like that.)
The automotive journalism industry is infinitely weird. I’m much more likely to be recognized by someone in a foreign land than I am in my own city. Just recently, during Halifax’s Pride Parade, a man I didn’t know walked up to me and asked, “Are you Mark Stevenson?” It’s the first time that’s ever happened to me in Halifax. Maybe I have the local LGBT demographic on lock, or at least the “G” part of the initialism.
Regardless of my popularity with the sharply dressed set, I can walk into virtually any local dealer and nobody will know who I am — which is absolutely perfect when you run into a salesman who states: “Let me be honest with you: I make $100,000 a year at this place and it’s made me not care about cars anymore.”
Of course, this was at a Dodge dealer that lacked any kind of automotive enthusiasm on its lot.
Legendary DJ and hip-hop artist Grandmaster Flash is asking fans for help in finding his Dodge Charger that he said was “given away” at a New York parking garage July 16, ABC News is reporting.
Grandmaster Flash, whose real name is Joseph Saddler, asked for help Sunday on his social media accounts, saying he dropped his white Dodge Charger off and returned two hours later July 16 to discover a parking attendant had given the car to someone else who looked like Saddler.
According to ABC News, Saddler reported the car as stolen to the NYPD on July 16, three hours after the incident happened. Saddler said the car was full of vinyl records and equipment.
Dodge will roughly double the number of Charger and Challenger Hellcat models it makes next year and will significantly change the way dealers can order the 707-horsepower model in the future, the company announced Monday. Dodge also announced that it would be cancelling nearly 900 unfulfilled 2015 orders and honoring those prices for 2016.
Dealers will begin taking new orders for the super-performance cars sometime around Aug. 10 and will only be allowed to order their specific allocation. According to Automotive News, reports surfaced last year of Dodge dealers accepting deposits for many more Challenger and Charger Hellcat models than they were allotted.
Dealers will begin receiving Hellcats in September through February.
You know what a Venn diagram is, right? It’s one of those drawings where you have two or more circles representing the members of different groups, and the area where the circles overlap shows common members of those groups. One of my favorite jokes goes like so: “The Venn diagram of people who care about font choice and people who care about food trucks is a single circle.”
Here’s another Venn diagram for you: the circle of people who have the talent and training to drive the new-for-2016 Viper ACR to its limits, and the circle of people who can afford the $117,500 plus-tax-and-title MSRP on the window sticker. How much overlap do you think there is between those circles?
Looking at all the full-size sedans available in America is certainly a case of “one of these things is not like the other.” Dodge’s latest iteration of the LX-platformed, rear-wheel drive sedan sticks out like a sore thumb covered in beer and barbecue sauce.
The freshly facelifted, second-generation new Charger (it’s the seventh generation overall to use the nameplate) is exactly what I want in a pony car with four doors: mean looks, lots of power and a suspension more tuned for going in a straight line than around corners.
But, I am not going to say its better than the new Maxima — another full-size(-ish) sedan that makes a sporty claim. Actually, it’s definitely not as good as the Maxima.
And I couldn’t care less.
We just had a fight.
Scratch that. We were still having a fight. This was just the tense calm between volleys of verbal mortar fire. I won’t even tell you what we were fighting about. The subject was so stupid it would make my girlfriend and I both look like utter idiots — like those times when you shout at a character in a TV show to grow up and “just say you’re sorry already!”
Instead of doing what any rational human would do, I figured my only chance of peace was to escape the waves of relationship-drama ordnance. I grabbed the keys to this week’s Charger along with my vaporizer and fled the front line to regroup and regain my sanity.
“Let me show you how this works,” Danger Girl laughed, as we descended the stairs in the airport parking garage. I call her Danger Girl because
0. I keep putting her in danger, sometimes mortal;
1. She soloed in a Cessna before she turned seventeen;
2. She has certain other dangerous habits that, this being a different kind of publication than it was in days past, cannot be discussed in the full and frank fashion with which it was once my delight to oppress our more delicate readers.
She’d told me that we were renting a Camry. I was happy about this. I like renting Camrys. But as we walked towards a line of cars that clearly included Camrys, Danger Girl took a sharp right turn towards a black Challenger in what I was pretty sure was the rental return lane. “I can take any car I want,” she informed me, “so I’m going to take this one.” I loaded our luggage into the wide, flat, Seventies-style trunk as she fired up the Pentastar and adjusted the seat. “Off we go!” she laughed, and we drove up two levels of a circular ramp and out into the warm California night.
As we entered the freeway, something occurred to me.
“Hey… aren’t you supposed to, like, tell somebody you’re taking this car?”
Sergio Marchionne sent Mary Barra a detailed email in the middle of March in an effort to start merger talks. Barra, CEO of General Motors, was uninterested in the offer and rebuffed Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
It was the first time the two executives had ever spoken, but it wouldn’t be the last Barra would hear of Marchionne’s merger desires.
That’s the story being told by the New York Times today, detailing the lengths to which Marchionne is going to trigger consolidation within the automotive industry.
The first car I bought new was a 2000 Chrysler LHS. (I single handedly lowered the model’s average age demographic.) It was the very pinnacle of Chrysler’s Iacocca turn-around. It was large, competitive and made from Chrysler’s universal parts bin. Then Mercedes came on the scene promising to “synergize” product development with their luxury brand. The plan had a promising start with the 300 HEMI C concept, but the production reality was a big sedan with a plastacular interior and Mercedes hand-me-down parts.
Now that Mercedes and Chrysler have divorced, we’re starting to see what a real German-American synergy looks like. For 2015, the Dodge Charger has gone under the knife to look leaner and meaner with a new German transmission. Like my 2000 LHS, this may just be the pinnacle of the Marchionne turn around. It’s big, it’s bold and it’ll make you forget why you stopped to look at that Toyota Avalon last week.
It was one of those weekends where nothing went quite right. The first rental car I got was pretty banged-up on all corners, and the interior reeked of menthol cigarettes. Worst of all, it wasn’t even a Mopar, and since I was on the way to Thunderhill so I could race a Neon with famous Mopar engineer, Hellcat inventor, and Viper-related head-shaver Erich Heuschele, I decided to Gold Choice my way into a Dart. Both Erich and I are still awfully passionate about Neons despite the fact there hasn’t been a Neon for sale for quite some time now, and I thought that the Dart, as the Neon’s authentic successor, would be a good choice.
The first thing I noticed about the Dart was that it had nearly 35,000 miles on it. The second thing was that someone had swapped the front tires out for astoundingly noisy, unbalanced cheapo replacements. The third thing I noticed was that it did not have cruise control, and by then it was too late to turn back.
Is the standard color palette for the 2015 Dodge Viper not enough for you? Have you looked at your child’s Twilight Sparkle and Sonata Dusk brushables and thought to yourself, ‘Those hair colors might look good on on a Viper’? Dodge has a program just for you.
Were you hoping to have a red Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT or Dodge Durango Ron Burgundy Edition in your driveway in time for Christmas? You may have to try your luck on the lot, as new orders will be painted black, white, gray and silver all over for the next few months.
Since the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat roared at the 2014 New York Auto Show, enthusiasts have been waiting for the day the big cats would enter the showroom.
When ordering opened in October, so did the floodgates.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Not long ago, we were told that gas was going to $6 a gallon, maybe even higher. CAFE, crash safety regulations and government interference would force us all into autonomous, emissions-free transportation pods.
How lucky am I to be filling up a 707-horsepower rear-drive sedan with 93 Octane? More shocking than an auto journalist paying for his own gas is the fact that 13 gallons of the good stuff cost me about $45.
Most customers purchasing a 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat aren’t likely considering fuel economy as a reason for wanting one of the most brutal machines ever assembled. That said, the pony car is fairly efficient on the highway in comparison to more exotic fare.
Getting decent conclusions from very limited data is the sort of thing of which Nobel Prizes are made. What you’re about to read won’t be Nobel-worthy; however, I believe it will help you understand how fast the Hellcat and how it compares to both the other Challengers and the external competition.
To some degree, it’s about the number, right? Seven hundred and seven. The Dodge people certainly made the point again and again about how the Hellcat stacks up to everything from the Z06 to the Murcielago. Mine’s bigger than yours. And that other number — 10.9 seconds with drag radials and 11.2 without. That actually isn’t such a big deal; there are people out there who have put stock C6 Z06es with draggies into the tens. Still, they closed the freaking road course after just ninety minutes so the journalists could line up and try their hand at quarter-miles. I didn’t bother to do that. Nor did I get any street time in the Hellcat. What I got was this: four laps, none of them unimpeded. When you come back in the afternoon, I’ll tell you what my TrackMaster data showed about the Hellcat vis-a-vis the 6.4L. But for now let’s talk about what the Hellcat is and what it does.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary deﬁnes muscle cars as “any group of American-made 2-door sports coupes with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving.” Wikipedia goes further, and says that “a large engine is ﬁtted in a 2-door, rear wheel drive, family-style mid-size of full-size car designed for 4 or more passengers. Sold at an affordable price, muscle cars are intended mainly for street use and occasional drag racing, and are distinct from two-seat sports cars.”
I am here to report that my 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T hits those deﬁnitions very squarely on the head.
Among the TTAC staff, the consensus is clear: the Ford Mustang is the top choice in the pony car segment. For cheap thrills, the Mustang V6 with the Performance Package is the most comprehensive “performance per dollar” option on the market. The 5.0, Boss 302 and Shelby GT500 represent increasing levels of performance that rival the best of the sports car world, at prices accessible to the common (or, slightly better off) consumer. The Camaro is not as highly regarded, but of course, what would this site be without a dissenting voice.
So what about the Dodge Challenger?
Four hundred cubic centimeters. That’s not a whole lot of volume. A cylinder that’s about 3 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall. It’s rather amazing what a difference that about a coffee cup’s worth of displacement will make in the character of an automobile. In my first look at the Dodge Dart, I felt that the Dart is a nice compact car, but that it was deeply compromised by a powertrain that combined the 2.0 liter four cylinder with a six speed automatic transmission. In a quest for a calibration that yields impressive EPA fuel economy numbers, Chrysler produced a car that’s a chore to drive. Now that I’ve had a chance to drive the Dart with the 2.4 liter MultiAir Tigershark engine, I’m happy to report that those 400 ccs of displacement make a night and day difference, changing “chore to drive” to “fun to drive”.
A while back Chrysler loaned me a Dodge Dart Limited with the 2.0 liter Tigershark engine and six-speed automatic transmission for the purpose of writing a review. That’s how it works, they loan you the car, you write the review. A social contract, if you will. In this case, however, though I drove the car for a week and took scores of photos and copious notes, I decided not to write the review at the time. That sort of behavior comes with some risk, particularly if the next time you ask for a press car and they ask for a link to your last review. I had my reasons for putting off the review, and now that I’ve driven a Dart with the larger 2.4 liter motor, I’m glad that I waited, and I think Chrysler should be glad that I waited as well.
I’ll explain all that gladness in Part Two, my review of the 2014 Dodge Dart GT 2.4 L, but everything has a backstory.