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    • By William Maley
      Last week, we brought forth the rumor the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles canceled plans for the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The issue dealt with the Grand Cherokee/Durango's unibody platform could not be stretched out to accommodate the size of the vehicle.
      Many of us here at Cheers & Gears along with some other outlets smelled something fishy with rumor. Wouldn't FCA think to consider whether or not the Grand Cherokee/Durango's unibody platform actually work for a larger model?
      Automotive News has done some investigating into this rumor and has learned from supplier sources that the Grand Wagoneer has been put on hold. No reason was given by the sources as to why, but Automotive News has a theory and it comes down to money.
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles doesn't have enough to work on this project. At the moment, the company is trying to relaunch the Alfa Romeo brand in the U.S., finish work on the redesigned Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500, and launch a Jeep Wrangler pickup. There is also the retooling of FCA's Sterling Heights, MI and Toledo, OH plants to get them ready to build more SUVs and pickups. 
      FCA could build the Grand Wagoneer at their Jefferson North plant — home to the Grand Cherokee and Durango production. But the plant isn't setup to build a long-wheelbase model, which means more money has to be spent. Money that FCA doesn't have.
      Like our story from last week, Automotive News floats the idea of the Grand Wagoneer possibly using the Ram 1500's platform
      We'll end this piece with the last lines of Automotive News' story as it sums up the choice FCA has to make.
      "If covering FCA for a decade has taught me anything, it is that the company has its own internal Occam’s razor: If there are two choices, and one is cheaper and easier, that’s the choice FCA will make.
      Let’s see if that’s the case with the Jeep Grand Wagoneer."
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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    • By William Maley
      Last week, we brought forth the rumor the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles canceled plans for the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The issue dealt with the Grand Cherokee/Durango's unibody platform could not be stretched out to accommodate the size of the vehicle.
      Many of us here at Cheers & Gears along with some other outlets smelled something fishy with rumor. Wouldn't FCA think to consider whether or not the Grand Cherokee/Durango's unibody platform actually work for a larger model?
      Automotive News has done some investigating into this rumor and has learned from supplier sources that the Grand Wagoneer has been put on hold. No reason was given by the sources as to why, but Automotive News has a theory and it comes down to money.
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles doesn't have enough to work on this project. At the moment, the company is trying to relaunch the Alfa Romeo brand in the U.S., finish work on the redesigned Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500, and launch a Jeep Wrangler pickup. There is also the retooling of FCA's Sterling Heights, MI and Toledo, OH plants to get them ready to build more SUVs and pickups. 
      FCA could build the Grand Wagoneer at their Jefferson North plant — home to the Grand Cherokee and Durango production. But the plant isn't setup to build a long-wheelbase model, which means more money has to be spent. Money that FCA doesn't have.
      Like our story from last week, Automotive News floats the idea of the Grand Wagoneer possibly using the Ram 1500's platform
      We'll end this piece with the last lines of Automotive News' story as it sums up the choice FCA has to make.
      "If covering FCA for a decade has taught me anything, it is that the company has its own internal Occam’s razor: If there are two choices, and one is cheaper and easier, that’s the choice FCA will make.
      Let’s see if that’s the case with the Jeep Grand Wagoneer."
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      Automakers go to great lengths to avoid being hit with the 25 percent chicken tax when they import trucks or vans into the U.S. Mercedes-Benz takes the cake for the most absurd method.
      For the past decade, Mercedes-Benz would build Sprinter vans fully in Germany before disassembling them and shipping the pieces to South Carolina. Workers in a small assembly building would put the vans back together. This method allowed Mercedes-Benz to claim the vans as "locally made".
      "I really couldn't believe it. To build up and tear down, that's really something that hurts me, personally. And the costs!" said Volker Mornhinweg, worldwide head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
      Mornhinweg first learned about this back in 2010 and like us, found himself wondering 'WHY?!' Thankfully, Mornhinweg began working on making this process not seem like Rube Goldberg machine which will fully culminate with a new assembly plant in South Carolina that will be tasked with building the next-generation Sprinter, most likely in 2018.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) 

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Automakers go to great lengths to avoid being hit with the 25 percent chicken tax when they import trucks or vans into the U.S. Mercedes-Benz takes the cake for the most absurd method.
      For the past decade, Mercedes-Benz would build Sprinter vans fully in Germany before disassembling them and shipping the pieces to South Carolina. Workers in a small assembly building would put the vans back together. This method allowed Mercedes-Benz to claim the vans as "locally made".
      "I really couldn't believe it. To build up and tear down, that's really something that hurts me, personally. And the costs!" said Volker Mornhinweg, worldwide head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
      Mornhinweg first learned about this back in 2010 and like us, found himself wondering 'WHY?!' Thankfully, Mornhinweg began working on making this process not seem like Rube Goldberg machine which will fully culminate with a new assembly plant in South Carolina that will be tasked with building the next-generation Sprinter, most likely in 2018.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) 
    • By William Maley
      Mercedes-Benz Reports November Sales Of 30,363 Units, Up 1.1%
      ATLANTA, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported November sales of 30,363 vehicles, increasing 1.1% from the 30,043 vehicles sold during the same month last year. Mercedes-Benz Vans also reported November sales with 2,564 units, and smart reported 563 units, bringing MBUSA grand total to 33,490 vehicles for the month. On a year-to-date basis, Mercedes-Benz retails totaled 308,226. Adding year-to-date-sales of 30,444 for Vans and 5,025 for smart, MBUSA posted a grand total of 343,695 units in November, increasing 0.6% from the previous year.
      "As we begin the last month of 2016, November momentum positions us for a strong close to the year," said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of MBUSA.
      Mercedes-Benz volume leaders in November included the C-Class, GLE and E-Class (including the CLS) model lines. The C-Class took the lead at 7,261, followed by the GLE at 4,694. The E-Class, rounded out the top three with 4,642 units sold.
      Mercedes-AMG high-performance models sold 2,590 units in November, with a total of 20,135  units sold year-to-date (up 37.4%).
      Separately, Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (MBCPO) models recorded sales of 10,091 vehicles in November, an increase of 7.1% from last year (9,422). On a year-to-date basis, MBCPO sold 112,347 vehicles, an increase of 3.3%.
      MERCEDES-BENZ USA 
      Sales -- November 2016
      Mercedes-Benz
      Passenger Vehicles
      Nov-16
      Nov-15
      Monthly %
      YTD 2016
      YTD 2015
      Yearly %
                    B-CLASS
      52
      41
      26.8%
      578
      1,809
      -68.0%
                    CLA
      2,070
      2,611
      -20.7%
      23,916
      27,731
      -13.8%
                    C-CLASS
      7,261
      7,239
      0.3%
      69,822
      79,057
      -11.7%
                    E-CLASS/CLS
      4,642
      5,205
      -10.8%
      46,045
      50,308
      -8.5%
                    S-CLASS
      1,475
      1,856
      -20.5%
      17,309
      19,825
      -12.7%
                    SLC/SLK
      270
      239
      13.0%
      3,067
      3,892
      -21.2%
                    SL
      273
      296
      -7.8%
      3,418
      3,680
      -7.1%
                    AMG GT
      89
      118
      -24.6%
      1,128
      1,115
      1.2%
                    *SLS AMG
      0
      1
      -
      1
      29
      -
                    GLA
      2,227
      2,721
      -18.2%
      22,194
      23,393
      -5.1%
                    GLC/GLK
      3,876
      1,216
      218.8%
      43,854
      23,536
      86.3%
                    GLE/M-CLASS
      4,694
      5,250
      -10.6%
      46,217
      46,577
      -0.8%
                    GL/GLS
      3,108
      2,916
      6.6%
      27,180
      24,858
      9.3%
                    G-CLASS 
      326
      334
      -2.4%
      3,497
      3,075
      13.7%
                    TOTAL
      30,363
      30,043
      1.1%
      308,226
      308,885
      -0.2%
                    Vans1
      2,564
      2,770
      -7.4%
      30,444
      25,843
      17.8%
                    smart
      563
      662
      -15.0%
      5,025
      6,815
      -26.3%
                    MBUSA
      Combined Total
      Nov-16
      Nov-15
      Monthly %
      YTD 2016
      YTD 2015
      Yearly %
                    GRAND TOTAL
      33,490
      33,475
      0.0%
      343,695
      341,543
      0.6%

      1Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner Sprinter and Metris Vans are sold and marketed in the U.S. by Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler Vans USA, respectively.

      *out of production
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