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    This Is What A Driverless Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid Looks Like


    • The end result after making their announcement six months ago


    Back in May, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made a startling announcement. The two would partner on building 100 specially prepared Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans with Google's autonomous driving technologies to be used for testing. Today, Waymo (the offshoot of Google's self-driving program) and FCA revealed what the van would look like.

    Yes, the van looks a little bit goofy with sensors sticking out on the front fenders and under the grille, along with massive radar dome. Other changes include major modifications to the chassis, electrical system, powertrain, and structure. Considering this took around six months, it is quite the achievement.

    “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months. They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer of Waymo in a statement.

    The vans will join Waymo's test fleet early next year.

    Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
    Press Release is on Page 2


    CA Delivers 100 Uniquely Built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans to Waymo for Self-driving Test Fleet

    • Waymo and FCA reveal first look at fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan
    • Program kickoff to full vehicle assembly completed by technical teams in six months

    December 19, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and FCA announced today that production of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans uniquely built to enable fully self-driving operations has been completed. The vehicles are currently being outfitted with Waymo’s fully self-driving technology, including a purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems, and will join Waymo’s self-driving test fleet in early 2017. Waymo and FCA also revealed today the first images of the fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicle. 
     
    This first-of-its kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan thereby leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo’s fully self-driving technology.
     
    “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo. “They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”
     
    Waymo and FCA co-located part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the overall development process. In addition, extensive testing was carried out at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona, as well as Waymo test sites in California.
     
    “As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part of our daily lives.”
     
    Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 1.2 million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Waymo better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.

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      U.S. Sales Summary March 2017
                      Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
      Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
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      7,823
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      8,552
      22,987
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      9,264
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      16,180
      29,211
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      17,586
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      41,311
      41,922
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      16,302
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      48,438
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      16,693
      22%
      56,600
      47,658
      19%
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      212,370
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      200
      2,565
      4,971
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      6,620
      15,915
      -58%
      300
      4,969
      6,172
      -19%
      15,063
      17,141
      -12%
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      95
      14,200
      -99%
      341
      37,228
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      30
      New
      25,052
      140
      New
      CHRYSLER BRAND
      16,969
      25,373
      -33%
      47,076
      70,424
      -33%
      Dart
      1,578
      5,137
      -69%
      4,658
      16,241
      -71%
      Avenger
      0
      8
      -100%
      0
      23
      -100%
      Charger
      8,236
      8,798
      -6%
      22,319
      26,345
      -15%
      Challenger
      6,225
      5,325
      17%
      15,725
      16,128
      -2%
      Viper
      71
      65
      9%
      178
      137
      30%
      Journey
      11,858
      5,931
      100%
      34,400
      23,892
      44%
      Caravan
      15,602
      13,124
      19%
      40,054
      38,057
      5%
      Durango
      6,506
      7,241
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      16,729
      20,093
      -17%
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      45,629
      10%
      134,063
      140,916
      -5%
      Ram P/U
      46,384
      43,647
      6%
      119,199
      113,298
      5%
      Cargo Van
      0
      1
      -100%
      0
      3
      -100%
      ProMaster Van
      4,048
      3,263
      24%
      10,047
      8,302
      21%
      ProMaster City
      1,317
      1,886
      -30%
      3,333
      4,551
      -27%
      RAM BRAND
      51,749
      48,797
      6%
      132,579
      126,154
      5%
      Giulia
      484
      0
      New
      966
      0
      New
      Alfa 4C 
      71
      43
      65%
      140
      158
      -11%
      ALFA BRAND
      555
      43
      1191%
      1,106
      158
      600%
      500
      1,671
      1,494
      12%
      4,020
      3,595
      12%
      500L
      106
      535
      -80%
      284
      1,262
      -77%
      500X
      726
      1,056
      -31%
      1,966
      3,258
      -40%
      Spider
      419
      0
      New
      961
      0
      New
      FIAT BRAND
      2,922
      3,085
      -5%
      7,231
      8,115
      -11%
      TOTAL FCA US LLC
      190,254
      199,467
      -5%
      510,798
      558,137
      -8%
          Total Car & MPV
      51,432
      59,902
      -14%
      136,381
      172,370
      -21%
          Total UV's
      87,073
      90,768
      -4%
      241,838
      259,613
      -7%
          Total Truck & LCV
      51,749
      48,797
      6%
      132,579
      126,154
      5%
                    MASERATI BRAND
      1,312
      997
      32%
      3,288
      2,250
      46%
                 
    • By William Maley
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      Dodge brand and Ram Truck brand sales increased year over year in March. Dodge brand sales were up 10 percent, led by the 100 percent increase in Dodge Journey crossover sales. Ram Truck brand sales were up 6 percent in March as the Ram pickup and Ram ProMaster van each posted year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Jeep® Grand Cherokee – the Jeep brand’s volume leader in March – were up 22 percent compared with the same month in 2016. Sales of the Fiat 500 and the all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan increased year over year as well in the month.
      Dodge Brand
      Four Dodge brand vehicles posted year-over-year sales increases in March, led by the Dodge Journey crossover’s 100 percent sales gain. Sales of the Dodge Challenger were up 17 percent in March. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – the Dodge brand’s new ultimate performance halo car – will be unveiled this month during the 2017 New York International Auto Show week. The Dodge Grand Caravan minivan and the Dodge Viper also turned in year-over-year sales gains for the month. Dodge brand sales were up 10 percent compared with the same month in 2016.
       
      Ram Truck Brand
      Ram pickup truck sales increased 6 percent in March, compared with the same month a year ago. In addition, sales of the Ram ProMaster van were up 24 percent for the month. Ram Truck brand sales, which include the pickup, ProMaster and ProMaster City, were up 6 percent in March. The brand last month unveiled a new exterior color shade for its luxurious and capable Laramie Longhorn line of pickup trucks. RV Match Walnut Brown will serve as the model’s new two-tone contrast color, replacing White Gold. The Ram Laramie Longhorn is the Texas Auto Writers Association’s Luxury Truck of Texas.
       
      FIAT Brand
      Sales of the Fiat 500 increased 12 percent in March, compared with the same month a year ago. Fiat 124 Spider sales were up 39 percent compared with the previous month of February. Experts at Cars.com consider the all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider best in its segment, naming it the “Best New Convertible” of 2017.
       
      Jeep® Brand
      The Jeep Grand Cherokee – the brand’s volume leader for the month – recorded a 22 percent year-over-year sales increase in March for its best sales month this year. The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass – the most capable compact SUV ever with the most advanced 4x4 systems in its class – began shipping to Jeep dealerships in March. The new Compass expands the Jeep brand’s global reach with an unmatched combination of attributes that includes legendary and best-in-class 4x4 off-road capability, advanced fuel-efficient powertrains, premium and authentic Jeep design, superior on-road driving dynamics, open-air freedom, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings.
       
      Chrysler Brand
      Sales of the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica – the most awarded minivan of 2016 and 2017 – were up in its third month of year-over-year comparisons, and increased 3 percent compared with sales in the previous month of February. March also was the Pacifica’s best sales month so far this year. The Pacifica continues to earn a plethora of awards and accolades in 2017, landing on Kelley Blue Book’s list of the “12 Best Family Cars of 2017” in the best minivans category, and “2017 North American Utility of the Year.”
       
      Alfa Romeo Brand
      Alfa Romeo brand sales of 555 units were up 1,191 percent compared with the same month a year ago.
       
      Maserati Brand
      Maserati brand sales of 1,312 units were up 32 percent compared with the same month in 2016.
      U.S. Sales Summary March 2017
                      Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
      Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Compass
      2,651
      7,823
      -66%
      8,552
      22,987
      -63%
      Patriot
      5,968
      9,264
      -36%
      16,180
      29,211
      -45%
      Wrangler
      16,336
      17,586
      -7%
      41,311
      41,922
      -1%
      Cherokee
      14,589
      16,302
      -11%
      40,755
      48,438
      -16%
      Grand Cherokee
      20,374
      16,693
      22%
      56,600
      47,658
      19%
      Renegade
      8,065
      8,872
      -9%
      25,345
      22,154
      14%
      JEEP BRAND
      67,983
      76,540
      -11%
      188,743
      212,370
      -11%
      200
      2,565
      4,971
      -48%
      6,620
      15,915
      -58%
      300
      4,969
      6,172
      -19%
      15,063
      17,141
      -12%
      Town & Country
      95
      14,200
      -99%
      341
      37,228
      -99%
      Pacifica
      9,340
      30
      New
      25,052
      140
      New
      CHRYSLER BRAND
      16,969
      25,373
      -33%
      47,076
      70,424
      -33%
      Dart
      1,578
      5,137
      -69%
      4,658
      16,241
      -71%
      Avenger
      0
      8
      -100%
      0
      23
      -100%
      Charger
      8,236
      8,798
      -6%
      22,319
      26,345
      -15%
      Challenger
      6,225
      5,325
      17%
      15,725
      16,128
      -2%
      Viper
      71
      65
      9%
      178
      137
      30%
      Journey
      11,858
      5,931
      100%
      34,400
      23,892
      44%
      Caravan
      15,602
      13,124
      19%
      40,054
      38,057
      5%
      Durango
      6,506
      7,241
      -10%
      16,729
      20,093
      -17%
      DODGE  BRAND
      50,076
      45,629
      10%
      134,063
      140,916
      -5%
      Ram P/U
      46,384
      43,647
      6%
      119,199
      113,298
      5%
      Cargo Van
      0
      1
      -100%
      0
      3
      -100%
      ProMaster Van
      4,048
      3,263
      24%
      10,047
      8,302
      21%
      ProMaster City
      1,317
      1,886
      -30%
      3,333
      4,551
      -27%
      RAM BRAND
      51,749
      48,797
      6%
      132,579
      126,154
      5%
      Giulia
      484
      0
      New
      966
      0
      New
      Alfa 4C 
      71
      43
      65%
      140
      158
      -11%
      ALFA BRAND
      555
      43
      1191%
      1,106
      158
      600%
      500
      1,671
      1,494
      12%
      4,020
      3,595
      12%
      500L
      106
      535
      -80%
      284
      1,262
      -77%
      500X
      726
      1,056
      -31%
      1,966
      3,258
      -40%
      Spider
      419
      0
      New
      961
      0
      New
      FIAT BRAND
      2,922
      3,085
      -5%
      7,231
      8,115
      -11%
      TOTAL FCA US LLC
      190,254
      199,467
      -5%
      510,798
      558,137
      -8%
          Total Car & MPV
      51,432
      59,902
      -14%
      136,381
      172,370
      -21%
          Total UV's
      87,073
      90,768
      -4%
      241,838
      259,613
      -7%
          Total Truck & LCV
      51,749
      48,797
      6%
      132,579
      126,154
      5%
                    MASERATI BRAND
      1,312
      997
      32%
      3,288
      2,250
      46%
                 
    • By William Maley
      It was only a week ago that Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller rebuffed FCA's CEO Sergio Marchionne'sidea of having talks between Volkswagen and FCA.
      “We are not ready for talks about anything. I haven’t seen Marchionne for months,” said Müller.
      “We have other problems.”
      This week, Müller seems to have changed his tune. Speaking with reporters at the company's annual press conference, he said that he was open to talks with FCA.
      "I am not ruling out a conversation," Müller told reporters. “It would be very helpful if Mr. Marchionne were to communicate his considerations to me.”

      What changed? There are two possibilities. First is the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group, which makes them the second-largest automaker in Europe. Volkswagen could see this as a threat and might consider teaming up with another automaker as an additional layer of protection. The other comes from the massive costs as a result of the diesel emission mess. Volkswagen has so far agreed to pay $25 billion in fines and buyback programs.
      Source: Reuters

      View full article
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