Guest Josh

DC Builds as GM, Ford Shutter

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Chrysler Group needs more production space — and it’s getting it.

DaimlerChrysler AG is moving to cash in on its momentum in North America to create some space between Chrysler Group and its traditional rivals - the troubled General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.



The Chrysler Group is expected to announce officially today that it plans to build the production version of the Dodge Nitro concept on the same assembly line in Toledo, Ohio, now used to build the Jeep Liberty. The announcement will underscore how deft the Chrysler Group has become during the past couple of years at spinning off new variants of its most popular vehicles.



While the Nitro will use the Liberty's basic chassis, the exterior sheetmetal has been designed to give it a distinct identity. The interior package also has been redone to separate the Nitro from the Jeep line. The Nitro is expected to reach showrooms next fall.



The Chrysler Group also is moving ahead with plans to replace its valuable minivans with new models, starting in 2007, with the help of the Canadian federal government and the provincial government in Ontario. The announcement marks the first confirmation that the new minivan models will be ready in the next two years.



DaimlerChrysler officials rolled out plans last week to spend $508 million over the next three years at the company's minivan plant in Windsor, Ont., to get it ready for the new products and to build a new, state-of-the-art paint shop that will be operational by 2007. Paint quality is enormously important to consumers and it is very important to get it right, Chrysler officials noted.



Tom LaSorda, the Chrysler Group's chief executive officer, said that the new paint shop will increase the Windsor plant's manufacturing flexibility, quality, capacity, and productivity while reducing material costs, emissions, waste, and energy consumption. The 185,000-square-foot paint shop will be the most flexible in the Chrysler Group system and be capable of accommodating the dimensions of at least eleven different body styles.

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Straight Shot. Right to the Babymaker. It's great to see DCX doing well...although I wouldn't pop open the champagne bottles yet. Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep have a slew of products coming to market...some that don't seem like surefire hits (ie underpowered Nitro, ugly-as-sin Compass), and the next Sebring is a crucial product that doesn't have the pizzaz of the 300...in other words they're definitely not out of the bunker yet. Check back next year...
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Paint quality is enormously important to consumers and it is very important to get it right, Chrysler officials noted. Seeing the black paint on many Dodge trucks shows that Chrysler indeed needs to improve in this area. Talk about major orange peel. And the person and or machine that applys door moldings on the trucks needs to lay off the crack pipes for a while. 3 out of 10 trucks I saw at a Dodge dealer had misaligned door moldings. Dodge's car lineup is getting pretty weak with the elimination of the Stratus coupe and now the Neon. The Nitro is silly and just another in the huge line of small sport utes cluttering up the highways. The Stratus is old and the Charger/Magnum ugly but rear drive and powerfull. Sadly there is not a Dodge product that I would even consider other than a Caravan if I was in the market for one.
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and this proves what we all know: PRODUCT SELLS. Chrysler has long been leading the way with interior design (a 2002 Sebring convertible still looks better inside than a Malibu or Equinox!) and has had some drop dead gorgeous designs. Look at a Pacifica, then at a Maxx. I know they aren't in the same price bracket, but the Maxx could have been so much more. I like the looks of the new Grand Cherokee over the Trailblazer or Explorer any day.
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  Look at a Pacifica, then at a Maxx.  I know they aren't in the same price bracket, but the Maxx could have been so much more.
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The street price for the Pacifica seems to be less than the Maxx here in the L.A. area.
My neighbor across the street has had Ram pickups for as long as I have known him. He is now driving a new Silverado crew cab with DVD.
His neigbor has a beatiful new Black CTS (also not a GM owner). I really think GM is starting to seel better out here.
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Wait till they start building that Challenger. They are really going to need more production space. Chrysler sells well here in my town it has for years. THe Durango is really ugly and I see them all over.
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