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Found 227 results

  1. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 25, 2013 The Chrysler IPO will not happen this year. Forbes is reporting that Fiat has decided to not to launch the initial public offering of Chrysler before the end of 2013, citing that the short window before the end of 2013 is "not practicable." Not surprisingly, the hold up on the IPO is the disagreement between Fiat and the UAW's healthcare trust. Fiat currently owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler, while the trust owns the remaining 41.5 percent. The company wants to buy the trust's share, but for how much is what the two cannot come to an agreement. The IPO was going to be the way of figuring out how much the UAW's healthcare trust share was. It's not entirely clear why Fiat decided to put the IPO on hold till next year. A possibility could be that advisers working for Chrysler are discussing a valuation of about $10 to $11 billion for the IPO. Given that amount, it would mean Fiat would be paying $4.15 billion for the share owned by the healthcare trust, a figure that considered to be much higher than what Fiat is looking to pay. Source: Forbes, Detroit Free Press William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  2. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 25, 2013 The Chrysler IPO will not happen this year. Forbes is reporting that Fiat has decided to not to launch the initial public offering of Chrysler before the end of 2013, citing that the short window before the end of 2013 is "not practicable." Not surprisingly, the hold up on the IPO is the disagreement between Fiat and the UAW's healthcare trust. Fiat currently owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler, while the trust owns the remaining 41.5 percent. The company wants to buy the trust's share, but for how much is what the two cannot come to an agreement. The IPO was going to be the way of figuring out how much the UAW's healthcare trust share was. It's not entirely clear why Fiat decided to put the IPO on hold till next year. A possibility could be that advisers working for Chrysler are discussing a valuation of about $10 to $11 billion for the IPO. Given that amount, it would mean Fiat would be paying $4.15 billion for the share owned by the healthcare trust, a figure that considered to be much higher than what Fiat is looking to pay. Source: Forbes, Detroit Free Press William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  3. Chrysler Group LLC Reports October 2013 U.S. Sales Increased 11 Percent; Best October Sales Since 2007 43rd-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and Ram Truck brands each post sales increases in October compared with same month a year ago Six Chrysler Group vehicles each set sales record for month of October Jeep Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Compass and Patriot each post year-over-year sales gains led by the 68 percent increase in Compass sales Two all-new models – 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV and 2014 Ram ProMaster van – arriving at dealerships across the country; first sales recorded in October for both new vehicles Ram Truck, Jeep and Dodge brand vehicles take top honors at the annual Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Texas Truck Rodeo All-new 2014 Fiat 500L and all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee each earn a Top Safety Pick from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) November 1, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 140,083 units, an 11 percent increase compared with sales in October 2012 (126,185 units), and the group’s best October sales since 2007. The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and Ram Truck brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in October compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 22 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand during the month. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 43 consecutive months in October. “After a choppy start to the beginning of the month, Chrysler Group sales accelerated in the second half of the month with renewed consumer confidence and the launch of our all-new Jeep Cherokee,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Following a meticulous focus on quality, our new Jeep Cherokee began shipping to dealers and quickly selling which helped us to achieve our 43rd-consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases.” The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee and the all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster went on sale in October, expanding the Chrysler Group product lineup. Six Chrysler Group vehicles logged their best October sales ever, including the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Patriot, and the Dodge Journey crossover, Dodge Dart compact car and the Dodge Challenger. This was the Wrangler’s seventh sales record this year, including an all-time sales record in May. The Ram Cargo Van also logged its best October sales ever. Chrysler Group finished the month with an 86 days supply of inventory (445,271 units). U.S. industry sales figures for October are projected at an estimated 15.7 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). October 2013 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand Ram Truck Brand Ram Truck brand sales were up 22 percent compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 18 percent, its 42nd-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and its best October sales since 2004. The Ram Truck brand recorded its first sales of the all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster van in October. The Ram Truck brand took home eight awards last month at the annual Texas Auto Writers Association Texas Truck Rodeo, including the Truck Line of Texas. The 2014 Ram 1500 was named Truck of Texas for the second-consecutive year, as well as Full-Size Truck and Luxury Truck of Texas. The 2014 Ram 2500 received the Heavy Duty Truck of Texas award and Best Technology award for its five-link coil rear suspension. The 2014 Ram ProMaster was named the Commercial Vehicle of Texas, while the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee shared the Best Powertrain award for the 3.0L EcoDiesel engine. Sales of the Ram Cargo Van were up 120 percent, its best October sales ever. Dodge Brand Dodge brand sales were up 12 percent in October, the brand’s best October sales since 2005 and its 29th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Dodge Dart, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Journey mid-size crossover each recorded their best October sales ever, while sales of the Dodge Charger sport sedan were up 60 percent. Sales of the Dodge Grand Caravan were up 9 percent, the minivan’s best October sales in seven years. To celebrate 30 years of minivan leadership, the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition, available on both the SE and SXT models, is now on sale featuring unique content, including commemorative badging, special paint and black interior trim. The Dodge Durango full-size SUV extended to 12-consecutive months its run of year-over-year sales gains with its 59 percent increase. The Durango was named the 2014 Full-Size SUV of Texas during TAWA’s Texas Truck Rodeo in October. Jeep® Brand Jeep brand sales were up 7 percent in October as all Jeep brand vehicles, excluding the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee, posted year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep Compass, with its 68 percent sales gain, recorded the largest percentage increase of any Jeep brand model in October. The Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Patriot each set a sales record for the month of October. The Wrangler has set a sales record in seven months this year, including an all-time record in May. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the SUV of Texas for the fourth-consecutive year, were up 20 percent in October, its best October sales since 2005. The flagship Grand Cherokee also won Mid-Size SUV and Luxury Mid-Size SUV of Texas during last month’s Texas Truck Rodeo. The Wrangler took home the award for Off-Road Utility Vehicle of Texas. The all-new Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV went on sale in October in dealerships across the country, recording sales of 579 units in its partial month of sales. The Cherokee has already won an award in its first head-to-head vehicle competition – Compact SUV of Texas – in TAWA’s Texas Truck Rodeo. In addition, the Cherokee earned a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in October. The Cherokee completely redefines the mid-size SUV segment, delivering legendary Jeep 4x4 capability, a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent (versus the former Jeep Liberty model), superior on-road ride and handling, a cutting-edge, revolutionary design, world-class craftsmanship, class-exclusive technology and more than 70 advanced safety and security features. Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales were up 6 percent, the brand’s best October sales performance since 2007. Sales of the award-winning Chrysler Town & Country were up 28 percent, the minivan’s best October sales in six years. As the creator of the minivan segment, Chrysler Group is celebrating 30 years of the minivan this fall. Now on sale, the 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition is based on the Touring L model and features unique exterior and interior content. Town & Country sales are up 6 percent through October this year compared with the same period in 2012. FIAT Brand FIAT brand sales were down slightly in October compared with the same month a year ago. The Fiat 500e all-electric model, available in the state of California, logged its best sales month so far this year. Sales of the all-new 2014 Fiat 500L were up 26 percent in October versus the previous month. October was the 500L’s best sales month since launch in June. The 500L was named a 2013 Top Safety Pick in October by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 500L recorded the highest-possible rating in each of four IIHS tests to determine the Top Safety Pick. The innovative, four-door B-segment hatchback was one of two Chrysler Group vehicles to earn the designation during the latest round of IIHS evaluations. Top Safety Pick testing simulates a side impact, front moderate-overlap impact, roof-crush consistent with a rollover, and a rear collision capable of inducing whiplash.
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 29, 2013 Fiat has become the sole owner of VM Motori after paying General Motors 34.1 million Euros ($47.1 million) to buy out its stake in the company. A Chrysler spokesman tells Automotive News that the transaction was completed yesterday. VM Motori currently supplies diesel engines for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500. VM Motori manufactures approximately 90,000 engines per year for automotive, marine, industrial and other uses. The company employs around 1,150 people. Chrysler executives have said they'll be watching how consumers react to the new diesels and make decision on whether to expand diesels to other models. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 29, 2013 Fiat has become the sole owner of VM Motori after paying General Motors 34.1 million Euros ($47.1 million) to buy out its stake in the company. A Chrysler spokesman tells Automotive News that the transaction was completed yesterday. VM Motori currently supplies diesel engines for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500. VM Motori manufactures approximately 90,000 engines per year for automotive, marine, industrial and other uses. The company employs around 1,150 people. Chrysler executives have said they'll be watching how consumers react to the new diesels and make decision on whether to expand diesels to other models. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  6. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 29, 2013 Next week comes a bit of madness. I'm referring to the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show taking place in Las Vegas next week. The show gives automakers a chance to show what crazy things they have cooked up. For Chrysler, SEMA is where their Mopar brand can show off some of their new parts and accessories. Plus some crazy ideas as well. I had the chance to head down to Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan to see some of the twenty vehicles that will be at SEMA next week. Ram Sun Chaser Out of all the vehicles shown at Chrysler's SEMA preview, the Ram Sun Chaser was the most polarizing. Draped in a Vibrance Orange Blast color, with two-tone Brilliant Black paint, the Ram Sun Chaser isn't for the faint of the heart. This concept was built with the surfer in mind and includes such touches such as concept Mopar roof rack, dubbed the “surf rack” and two adjustable support rails to hold varying sizes of surfboards. There is also a shower kit in the Ram Box which consists of a water tank, pump, hose, and shower head to rinse off items. Other modifications to the Sun Chaser include a two-inch lift, beadlock wheels, cut-back exhaust, and leather seats. Jeep Cherokee Trail Carver For Jeep, Mopar focused on making the Cherokee more capable, while keeping a distinctive looks on the road. Hence the Cherokee Trail Carver. Mopar started with the Cherokee Trailhawk and built from there. There is a set of meaty off-road tires, rock rails, and orange tow hooks shows it's ready to tackle anything. The Cherokee's exterior is dipped in a Auburn Pearl paint color. The hood and roof feature a topographic map graphic. The roof also sports a concept roof basket design. Fiat 500L Adventurer Mopar's take on the 500L is something quite unexpected. They took the subcompact crossover and made more rugged. To pull this off, Mopar raised the 500L by about an inch, added body cladding and a black stripe around it, and a set of eighteen-inch wheels. The body is painted in a Bright White with a 500L graphic on the doors. The roof is draped in a orange with a set of roof rails and a basket. Inside, the 500L Adventurer has a set of seats wrapped in black perforated suede and pearl leather. There is some orange trim pieces around the bezels, speaker surrounds, and the steering-wheel badge. 2014 Chrysler 300S Mopar didn't make many modifications to this 2014 300S, but the ones they did make really change the 300S. To start, this 300S is painted in a Phantom Black Tri-coat paint color. Adding some menace is a black “Gotham” grille surround and lowering kit. Finishing off the exterior touches is a SRT rear spoiler and a set of twenty-inch wheels from the 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition finished in a bronze color. Inside, the 300S comes with black and Katzkin “Bisque” leather on the seats, center console, and doors. The seatbacks have the 'Imported from Detroit' logo embroidered. Source: Chrysler William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group LLC Reveals Mopar-Modified Show Vehicles Ahead of 2013 SEMA Show Mopar Flashes Creative Muscle Twenty customized Chrysler Group LLC show vehicles to be exhibited in 15,300 square-foot SEMA Show display Exhibit to highlight hundreds of Mopar performance parts and Jeep® Performance Parts from the Mopar Off-Road Division Ram Sun Chaser show vehicle features makeshift shower kit and “Flip-Up” seatback tailgate bench Jeep Cherokee Trail Carver carries a unique concept roof-rack basket design to store off-road gear Fiat 500L Adventurer takes new five-seater off the beaten path And even more Mopar magic applied to the Chrysler 300 Mopar news and images, as well as link to the livestream broadcast from SEMA, are available at mopar.com/sema October 29, 2013, Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC is preparing to head west with a Mopar-customized contingent of creations along for the ride. At the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Nov. 5-8, 20 vehicles customized with existing Mopar parts and accessories, as well as concept products designed to elicit feedback, will take the spotlight in the 15,300 square-foot Mopar display at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Mopar-modified vehicles from Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram, SRT, and FIAT brands will be prominently featured at the premier aftermarket event. “The SEMA season is our favorite time of the year,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “It’s a chance for us to flex our creative muscles and showcase our vast portfolio of proven, quality-tested performance parts and accessories.” Following are select Mopar-modified 2013 Chrysler Group LLC SEMA display vehicles headed for this year’s SEMA show: Ram Sun Chaser When Ram isn’t hard at work, it’s back to the beach with the Ram Sun Chaser show truck. Vibrance Orange Blast, with two-tone Brilliant Black paint, color this Ram 1500 Quad Cab. A unique concept Mopar roof rack, dubbed the “surf rack,” and two adjustable support rails housed within the tracks of the truck’s bed, accommodate a long surfboard. As an added bonus, hooks on the side of the rails can also carry up to four boards. To wash off salt water or seaweed, Ram Sun Chaser’s exclusive RamBox bed-side storage features a concept water tank equipped with a hose and a portable shower head, forming a makeshift shower kit that may be clipped on to the rack for a quick rinse. A bed step enables easy access to gear. Surfers or paddle boarders can take a seat when taking off gear or waxing their board with the concept “Flip-Up” seatback tailgate, which converts into a bench by folding back toward the cab of the truck. New concept 17 x 8-inch beadlock wheels with color-keyed rings, concept flares with exposed fasteners and modified black tubular side-step rails fit the sand dune-ready theme of the vehicle. Orange tow hooks, a satin badge, and a spray-on bedliner are also added by Mopar. Inside, Katzkin leather seats feature stitching accented to match the Vibrance Orange Blast paint, as well as the dash, display bezels and door inserts. Sill guards and all-weather mats also accent the interior. Powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI® engine, the Ram hits the sand with a sport performance hood, a 2-inch performance lift kit and a Mopar cat-back exhaust. Fiat 500L Adventurer The Fiat 500L Adventurer illustrates the versatility of the new five-seater, with modifications that transform the vehicle and equip it with a tough, rugged appearance. The exterior is enhanced with Bright White body paint, two-tone accent wheel flares and rockers painted in Satin Black. Color is added with Vibrance Bright Orange on the roof, which totes Mopar roof rails and a large roof basket. The vehicle sits on 18 x 7.5-inch custom concept wheels embellished with FIAT logo center caps. A custom 500L graphic augments door panels, with the L painted orange to match the roof. Orange mirror caps, tinted taillights, tinted chrome exhaust tips, molded splash guards, and a chrome FIAT logo ring further enhance the exterior styling. The interior is upgraded with black perforated suede Katzkin seats and pearl leather seatbacks. Matching orange accents are featured inside as well, with orange-painted bezels and orange accents surrounding the speaker grills and steering-wheel badge. The two-tone instrument panel is black with a white leather insert. A Mopar seatback coat hanger, all-weather mats, a pedal kit, doorsill guards and a cargo organizer are included from the Mopar catalog. A performance boost is achieved with a Mopar cold-air intake and Mopar cat-back exhaust. Jeep® Cherokee Trail Carver Jeep Cherokee is for trail addicts seeking a vehicle with the capabilities to handle the rugged off-road, while projecting a unique, customized and luxurious look on the streets. Going to the next level of customization, the Mopar-modified Jeep Cherokee uses the Trailhawk 4x4 package powered by a 3.2-liter V-6 engine as a starting point. Its exterior is colored in Auburn Pearl paint, with low-gloss black and Granite Crystal with low-gloss clear touches. Unique Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk hood and roof topographical graphics are bordered in Crush Orange, with matching orange tow hooks. The top of the modified Jeep Cherokee sports a concept roof basket design, with orange accent side panels wrapped in woven metallic fabric. A front wind deflector, which includes the Mopar logo, completes the design. Aggressive tires highlight the off-road flavor of the vehicle, and rock rails protect this Jeep Cherokee from trail obstacles. The inside is enhanced with Katzkin Amaretto leather seats, with colored leather in the center, ensuring a premium feel. Leather wrapping on the center console, storage door and armrest, and matching color stitching on the seats, offer even more appointments. The top and bottom of the steering wheel are leather, and painted trim provides highlights throughout the inside. Other Mopar goodies include bright door-sill guards with the Jeep Cherokee logo, a wireless smartphone charger, and WiFi. The Jeep Cargo Management Receiver System (JCMRS), a unique option that features a running bar along the left interior, to which Mopar items may be mounted, is also utilized. The Mopar roadside emergency kit, Trailhawk bag and first-aid kit are mounted to the JCMRS. In the Jeep Performance Parts department, a Mopar cold-air intake and a cat-back exhaust are put to work to achieve horsepower gains. 2014 Chrysler 300S The iconic and elegant Chrysler 300 is elevated even further to reach the ultimate in style and street cred with a variety of Mopar appointments utilized to create the 2014 Chrysler 300S for the SEMA Show. Phantom Black Tri-coat colors the exterior, maintaining the elegance of the Chrysler 300S, while adding a menacing edge. Fitting its gritty, big-city vibe, the front is reinforced by a 13-bar black “Gotham” grille surround, with a lowering kit, dropping the 2014 Chrysler 300S closer to the streets. The wheels pull from the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition with 20 x 8-inch wheels finished in a Mopar bronze, accented with Mopar wheel center caps. A black SRT spoiler embellishes the tail and helps drive the rear towards the pavement when in motion, enabling the 300S to corner urban canyons with impressive agility. Luxurious touches rule the interior, with seats and door bolster inserts wrapped in Katzkin “Bisque” leather. Leather seatbacks are embossed with the “Imported From Detroit” logo, and matching Katzkin “Bisque” threads border the seats, door and console armrests. All bright trim is changed to Satin Black, and the Mopar Lite Bronze found on the wheels is also featured in the trim accents. View full article
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 29, 2013 Next week comes a bit of madness. I'm referring to the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show taking place in Las Vegas next week. The show gives automakers a chance to show what crazy things they have cooked up. For Chrysler, SEMA is where their Mopar brand can show off some of their new parts and accessories. Plus some crazy ideas as well. I had the chance to head down to Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan to see some of the twenty vehicles that will be at SEMA next week. Ram Sun Chaser Out of all the vehicles shown at Chrysler's SEMA preview, the Ram Sun Chaser was the most polarizing. Draped in a Vibrance Orange Blast color, with two-tone Brilliant Black paint, the Ram Sun Chaser isn't for the faint of the heart. This concept was built with the surfer in mind and includes such touches such as concept Mopar roof rack, dubbed the “surf rack” and two adjustable support rails to hold varying sizes of surfboards. There is also a shower kit in the Ram Box which consists of a water tank, pump, hose, and shower head to rinse off items. Other modifications to the Sun Chaser include a two-inch lift, beadlock wheels, cut-back exhaust, and leather seats. Jeep Cherokee Trail Carver For Jeep, Mopar focused on making the Cherokee more capable, while keeping a distinctive looks on the road. Hence the Cherokee Trail Carver. Mopar started with the Cherokee Trailhawk and built from there. There is a set of meaty off-road tires, rock rails, and orange tow hooks shows it's ready to tackle anything. The Cherokee's exterior is dipped in a Auburn Pearl paint color. The hood and roof feature a topographic map graphic. The roof also sports a concept roof basket design. Fiat 500L Adventurer Mopar's take on the 500L is something quite unexpected. They took the subcompact crossover and made more rugged. To pull this off, Mopar raised the 500L by about an inch, added body cladding and a black stripe around it, and a set of eighteen-inch wheels. The body is painted in a Bright White with a 500L graphic on the doors. The roof is draped in a orange with a set of roof rails and a basket. Inside, the 500L Adventurer has a set of seats wrapped in black perforated suede and pearl leather. There is some orange trim pieces around the bezels, speaker surrounds, and the steering-wheel badge. 2014 Chrysler 300S Mopar didn't make many modifications to this 2014 300S, but the ones they did make really change the 300S. To start, this 300S is painted in a Phantom Black Tri-coat paint color. Adding some menace is a black “Gotham” grille surround and lowering kit. Finishing off the exterior touches is a SRT rear spoiler and a set of twenty-inch wheels from the 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition finished in a bronze color. Inside, the 300S comes with black and Katzkin “Bisque” leather on the seats, center console, and doors. The seatbacks have the 'Imported from Detroit' logo embroidered. Source: Chrysler William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group LLC Reveals Mopar-Modified Show Vehicles Ahead of 2013 SEMA Show Mopar Flashes Creative Muscle Twenty customized Chrysler Group LLC show vehicles to be exhibited in 15,300 square-foot SEMA Show display Exhibit to highlight hundreds of Mopar performance parts and Jeep® Performance Parts from the Mopar Off-Road Division Ram Sun Chaser show vehicle features makeshift shower kit and “Flip-Up” seatback tailgate bench Jeep Cherokee Trail Carver carries a unique concept roof-rack basket design to store off-road gear Fiat 500L Adventurer takes new five-seater off the beaten path And even more Mopar magic applied to the Chrysler 300 Mopar news and images, as well as link to the livestream broadcast from SEMA, are available at mopar.com/sema October 29, 2013, Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC is preparing to head west with a Mopar-customized contingent of creations along for the ride. At the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Nov. 5-8, 20 vehicles customized with existing Mopar parts and accessories, as well as concept products designed to elicit feedback, will take the spotlight in the 15,300 square-foot Mopar display at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Mopar-modified vehicles from Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram, SRT, and FIAT brands will be prominently featured at the premier aftermarket event. “The SEMA season is our favorite time of the year,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “It’s a chance for us to flex our creative muscles and showcase our vast portfolio of proven, quality-tested performance parts and accessories.” Following are select Mopar-modified 2013 Chrysler Group LLC SEMA display vehicles headed for this year’s SEMA show: Ram Sun Chaser When Ram isn’t hard at work, it’s back to the beach with the Ram Sun Chaser show truck. Vibrance Orange Blast, with two-tone Brilliant Black paint, color this Ram 1500 Quad Cab. A unique concept Mopar roof rack, dubbed the “surf rack,” and two adjustable support rails housed within the tracks of the truck’s bed, accommodate a long surfboard. As an added bonus, hooks on the side of the rails can also carry up to four boards. To wash off salt water or seaweed, Ram Sun Chaser’s exclusive RamBox bed-side storage features a concept water tank equipped with a hose and a portable shower head, forming a makeshift shower kit that may be clipped on to the rack for a quick rinse. A bed step enables easy access to gear. Surfers or paddle boarders can take a seat when taking off gear or waxing their board with the concept “Flip-Up” seatback tailgate, which converts into a bench by folding back toward the cab of the truck. New concept 17 x 8-inch beadlock wheels with color-keyed rings, concept flares with exposed fasteners and modified black tubular side-step rails fit the sand dune-ready theme of the vehicle. Orange tow hooks, a satin badge, and a spray-on bedliner are also added by Mopar. Inside, Katzkin leather seats feature stitching accented to match the Vibrance Orange Blast paint, as well as the dash, display bezels and door inserts. Sill guards and all-weather mats also accent the interior. Powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI® engine, the Ram hits the sand with a sport performance hood, a 2-inch performance lift kit and a Mopar cat-back exhaust. Fiat 500L Adventurer The Fiat 500L Adventurer illustrates the versatility of the new five-seater, with modifications that transform the vehicle and equip it with a tough, rugged appearance. The exterior is enhanced with Bright White body paint, two-tone accent wheel flares and rockers painted in Satin Black. Color is added with Vibrance Bright Orange on the roof, which totes Mopar roof rails and a large roof basket. The vehicle sits on 18 x 7.5-inch custom concept wheels embellished with FIAT logo center caps. A custom 500L graphic augments door panels, with the L painted orange to match the roof. Orange mirror caps, tinted taillights, tinted chrome exhaust tips, molded splash guards, and a chrome FIAT logo ring further enhance the exterior styling. The interior is upgraded with black perforated suede Katzkin seats and pearl leather seatbacks. Matching orange accents are featured inside as well, with orange-painted bezels and orange accents surrounding the speaker grills and steering-wheel badge. The two-tone instrument panel is black with a white leather insert. A Mopar seatback coat hanger, all-weather mats, a pedal kit, doorsill guards and a cargo organizer are included from the Mopar catalog. A performance boost is achieved with a Mopar cold-air intake and Mopar cat-back exhaust. Jeep® Cherokee Trail Carver Jeep Cherokee is for trail addicts seeking a vehicle with the capabilities to handle the rugged off-road, while projecting a unique, customized and luxurious look on the streets. Going to the next level of customization, the Mopar-modified Jeep Cherokee uses the Trailhawk 4x4 package powered by a 3.2-liter V-6 engine as a starting point. Its exterior is colored in Auburn Pearl paint, with low-gloss black and Granite Crystal with low-gloss clear touches. Unique Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk hood and roof topographical graphics are bordered in Crush Orange, with matching orange tow hooks. The top of the modified Jeep Cherokee sports a concept roof basket design, with orange accent side panels wrapped in woven metallic fabric. A front wind deflector, which includes the Mopar logo, completes the design. Aggressive tires highlight the off-road flavor of the vehicle, and rock rails protect this Jeep Cherokee from trail obstacles. The inside is enhanced with Katzkin Amaretto leather seats, with colored leather in the center, ensuring a premium feel. Leather wrapping on the center console, storage door and armrest, and matching color stitching on the seats, offer even more appointments. The top and bottom of the steering wheel are leather, and painted trim provides highlights throughout the inside. Other Mopar goodies include bright door-sill guards with the Jeep Cherokee logo, a wireless smartphone charger, and WiFi. The Jeep Cargo Management Receiver System (JCMRS), a unique option that features a running bar along the left interior, to which Mopar items may be mounted, is also utilized. The Mopar roadside emergency kit, Trailhawk bag and first-aid kit are mounted to the JCMRS. In the Jeep Performance Parts department, a Mopar cold-air intake and a cat-back exhaust are put to work to achieve horsepower gains. 2014 Chrysler 300S The iconic and elegant Chrysler 300 is elevated even further to reach the ultimate in style and street cred with a variety of Mopar appointments utilized to create the 2014 Chrysler 300S for the SEMA Show. Phantom Black Tri-coat colors the exterior, maintaining the elegance of the Chrysler 300S, while adding a menacing edge. Fitting its gritty, big-city vibe, the front is reinforced by a 13-bar black “Gotham” grille surround, with a lowering kit, dropping the 2014 Chrysler 300S closer to the streets. The wheels pull from the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition with 20 x 8-inch wheels finished in a Mopar bronze, accented with Mopar wheel center caps. A black SRT spoiler embellishes the tail and helps drive the rear towards the pavement when in motion, enabling the 300S to corner urban canyons with impressive agility. Luxurious touches rule the interior, with seats and door bolster inserts wrapped in Katzkin “Bisque” leather. Leather seatbacks are embossed with the “Imported From Detroit” logo, and matching Katzkin “Bisque” threads border the seats, door and console armrests. All bright trim is changed to Satin Black, and the Mopar Lite Bronze found on the wheels is also featured in the trim accents.
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 8, 2013 Fiat dealers have been feeling the strain since the brand started selling vehicles in 2011 and it appears that it is only going to get worse. Automotive News reports that only 45 percent of the 2010 Fiat dealers in the U.S. are making a profit. Moreover, the majority of those dealers happen to be tied in with other Chrysler dealerships. This means other dealers are losing their shirts if they don't have any other storefronts. "I think most dealers have been disappointed in the performance of their Fiat dealerships," said Alan Haig, president of automotive services for Presidio Group. Making the matters even worse is the large 24 percent decline in sales Fiat saw in September sales. This means sales so far for the year stand around 33,000 units, the same number as last year. Most of decline can be attributed to 500. As for the 500L, it still is too early to tell as it went on sale back in the summer. "It's sad to say, but it's become a stepchild. Chrysler doesn't want to hear that, but that's the reality," said an unnamed Chrysler dealer. Many Fiat dealers were counting on Alfa Romeo to help bring more people in. But a recent report says that the Alfa Romeo 4C will will instead be sold in Maserati stores. Add in the fair number of delays for other Alfa Romeo models, and many dealers are left wondering if they'll ever see the brand. Now Fiat has said there is a new model that will help dealers "take the next step", but that will not happen till 2015. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 8, 2013 Fiat dealers have been feeling the strain since the brand started selling vehicles in 2011 and it appears that it is only going to get worse. Automotive News reports that only 45 percent of the 2010 Fiat dealers in the U.S. are making a profit. Moreover, the majority of those dealers happen to be tied in with other Chrysler dealerships. This means other dealers are losing their shirts if they don't have any other storefronts. "I think most dealers have been disappointed in the performance of their Fiat dealerships," said Alan Haig, president of automotive services for Presidio Group. Making the matters even worse is the large 24 percent decline in sales Fiat saw in September sales. This means sales so far for the year stand around 33,000 units, the same number as last year. Most of decline can be attributed to 500. As for the 500L, it still is too early to tell as it went on sale back in the summer. "It's sad to say, but it's become a stepchild. Chrysler doesn't want to hear that, but that's the reality," said an unnamed Chrysler dealer. Many Fiat dealers were counting on Alfa Romeo to help bring more people in. But a recent report says that the Alfa Romeo 4C will will instead be sold in Maserati stores. Add in the fair number of delays for other Alfa Romeo models, and many dealers are left wondering if they'll ever see the brand. Now Fiat has said there is a new model that will help dealers "take the next step", but that will not happen till 2015. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  10. Chrysler Group LLC Reports September 2013 U.S. Sales Increased Slightly; Best September Sales Since 2007 42nd-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Chrysler, Dodge and Ram Truck brands each post sales increases in September compared with same month a year ago Four Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in September Jeep Grand Cherokee sales up 19 percent; best September sales in 10 years Dodge Durango sales up 66 percent; largest percentage sales increase of any Chrysler Group vehicles October 1, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 143,017 units, a 1 percent increase compared with sales in September 2012 (142,041 units), and the group’s best September sales since 2007. The Chrysler, Dodge and Ram Truck brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in September compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 8 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand during the month. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 42-consecutive months in September. “Even though industry sales dipped during September, Chrysler Group still managed to eke out a slight sales increase for the month,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Our dealers had two less selling days in September compared with a year ago, but they still outperformed the industry and extended our sales streak to 42-consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains.” Chrysler Group had four models that set sales records in September. The Jeep® Compass and Jeep Patriot each set a sales record for the month of September, as did the Dodge Dart compact sedan and the Dodge Challenger. Sales of the Dodge Durango full-size SUV were up 66 percent, the largest percentage sales gain by any Chrysler Group vehicle in September. Chrysler Group finished the month with a 62-days supply of inventory (187,153 units). U.S. industry sales figures for September are projected at an estimated 15.7 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). September 2013 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand Ram Truck Brand Ram Truck brand sales were up 8 percent in September, the brand’s 26th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. It was the brand’s best September sales since 2007 and the largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in the month. Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 8 percent, its 41st-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and its best September sales since 2007. The first of the all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster vans began rolling into Ram Truck dealerships across the country in September. The ProMaster lineup offers a list of key best-in-class features including fuel economy, cargo capacity and total cost of ownership. The new 2014 Ram Heavy Duty pickups, with best-in-class towing and best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), begin arriving in dealerships this month. Dodge Brand Dodge brand sales were up 3 percent in September, the brand’s best September sales since 2005 and its 28th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Dodge Challenger and Dodge Dart compact sedan each recorded their best sales for the month of September. It was the Dart’s fourth straight month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Dodge Durango full-size SUV were up 66 percent, the largest percentage sales gain by any Chrysler Group vehicle in September, and its 11th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Dodge Charger were up 49 percent, its best September sales in three years. Chrysler Group is celebrating its 30 years of minivan leadership this fall with special 30th-anniversary editions of the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Town & Country minivans. The 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition will be available on both the SE and SXT models, and will continue to set the mark in minivan value. Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales were up 2 percent in September, its best September sales since 2007. Sales of the award-winning Chrysler Town & Country minivan were up 4 percent, its best September sales since 2006. Chrysler Group is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the minivan as one of the leading innovators in the segment created back in late 1983. New for 2014 is the Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition which features unique exterior and interior trim in addition to its already extensive list of standard equipment. The first luxury minivan, the Town & Country debuted in 1989. Sales of the flagship Chrysler 300 full-size sedan were up 6 percent, its best September sales performance in six years. Jeep® Brand Two of the four Jeep brand models set sales records in September. The Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass each registered their best ever September sales. The Compass, with its 27 percent sales increase, had the largest percentage sales gain of any Jeep brand model. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 19 percent, its best September sales in 10 years. Jeep brand sales were down 5 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep brand announced in September that it will offer a 2014 Wrangler Dragon Edition this fall, built from the popular concept first seen at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exposition. Based on the Jeep Wrangler Sahara, the Dragon Edition has numerous unique exterior and interior styling cues consumers will appreciate. Available only in black and as a four-door Unlimited model, the Wrangler Dragon Edition features Bronze Satin Gloss trim inside and out. FIAT Brand FIAT brand sales were down 24 percent in September, compared with the same month a year ago. But 2013 has been a good year for the FIAT brand in the United States. The brand added the larger Fiat 500L and the Fiat 500e all-electric models to its product lineup, and until September, the brand realized 18-consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth.
  11. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 24, 2013 Last night, Chrysler announced they are preparing to do an initial public offering of some of its shares. This comes as a result of Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and the UAW's Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (AKA the VEBA trust) not coming to an agreement concerning the 41.5 percent stake of Chrysler the trust holds. Chrysler hasn't announced the amount of shares nor the price in their IPO documents, but it did set a maximum proposed offering price of $100 million. J.P. Morgan is the the investment bank for Chrysler's IPO. The shares will come from the VEBA trust. Why is Chrysler doing an IPO? Fiat and the UAW have been arguing over how much those shares are worth and have taken this court for a judge to decide. By doing an IPO, this allows the two parties to possibly see how much those remaining shares are worth. This move presents risk for both parties. Fiat and Chrysler have the most to lose in the IPO. The IPO complicates Sergio Marchionne's plan to merge the two companies. “Completion of this offering will prevent or delay Fiat from meeting this objective. Fiat has informed us that it is reconsidering the benefits and costs of further expanding its relationship with us and the terms on which Fiat would continue the sharing of technology, vehicle architectures and platforms, distribution networks, production facilities and engineering and management resources,” said Chrysler in its filling. If Fiat really wants Chrysler badly, they could boost their offer for the remaining shares. Also, Fiat and Chrysler are on the hook for IPO. The money made from selling the shares would go to VEBA. The UAW also has a big risk. If the share prices are much lower than UAW expects, Fiat could go low on their offer. “Chrysler’s IPO is being motivated by the need of the UAW health care trust to cash in on the company’s gains over the past several years to shore up their own cash reserves. This goes against Fiat’s desire for a 100-percent ownership stake in Chrysler, and in the end, may only serve as a negotiating tactic,” said Kelley Blue Book analyst Alec Gutierrez in a statement. Marchionne says the IPO could come as early as the end of November, but the end of the year is not generally seen as a good time to take a company public. If the IPO goes through, this would be the first time Chrysler has been publicly traded since 1998. Source: Chrysler, The Detroit News, USA Today William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group LLC Files Registration Statement for Proposed Initial Public Offering September 23, 2013, Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") relating to a proposed initial public offering of common shares. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. The common shares to be sold in this offering are proposed to be sold by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (the "VEBA Trust"), which has exercised demand registration rights under a shareholders' agreement with Chrysler Group LLC. The VEBA Trust will receive all of the net proceeds from this offering. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC will be the lead book-running manager of the offering. This offering will be made only by means of a prospectus. A copy of the preliminary prospectus, when available, may be obtained by contacting J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, New York 11717, or by calling (866) 803-9204. A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the SEC but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. Copies of the registration statement can be accessed through the SEC's website. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 24, 2013 Last night, Chrysler announced they are preparing to do an initial public offering of some of its shares. This comes as a result of Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and the UAW's Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (AKA the VEBA trust) not coming to an agreement concerning the 41.5 percent stake of Chrysler the trust holds. Chrysler hasn't announced the amount of shares nor the price in their IPO documents, but it did set a maximum proposed offering price of $100 million. J.P. Morgan is the the investment bank for Chrysler's IPO. The shares will come from the VEBA trust. Why is Chrysler doing an IPO? Fiat and the UAW have been arguing over how much those shares are worth and have taken this court for a judge to decide. By doing an IPO, this allows the two parties to possibly see how much those remaining shares are worth. This move presents risk for both parties. Fiat and Chrysler have the most to lose in the IPO. The IPO complicates Sergio Marchionne's plan to merge the two companies. “Completion of this offering will prevent or delay Fiat from meeting this objective. Fiat has informed us that it is reconsidering the benefits and costs of further expanding its relationship with us and the terms on which Fiat would continue the sharing of technology, vehicle architectures and platforms, distribution networks, production facilities and engineering and management resources,” said Chrysler in its filling. If Fiat really wants Chrysler badly, they could boost their offer for the remaining shares. Also, Fiat and Chrysler are on the hook for IPO. The money made from selling the shares would go to VEBA. The UAW also has a big risk. If the share prices are much lower than UAW expects, Fiat could go low on their offer. “Chrysler’s IPO is being motivated by the need of the UAW health care trust to cash in on the company’s gains over the past several years to shore up their own cash reserves. This goes against Fiat’s desire for a 100-percent ownership stake in Chrysler, and in the end, may only serve as a negotiating tactic,” said Kelley Blue Book analyst Alec Gutierrez in a statement. Marchionne says the IPO could come as early as the end of November, but the end of the year is not generally seen as a good time to take a company public. If the IPO goes through, this would be the first time Chrysler has been publicly traded since 1998. Source: Chrysler, The Detroit News, USA Today William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group LLC Files Registration Statement for Proposed Initial Public Offering September 23, 2013, Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") relating to a proposed initial public offering of common shares. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. The common shares to be sold in this offering are proposed to be sold by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (the "VEBA Trust"), which has exercised demand registration rights under a shareholders' agreement with Chrysler Group LLC. The VEBA Trust will receive all of the net proceeds from this offering. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC will be the lead book-running manager of the offering. This offering will be made only by means of a prospectus. A copy of the preliminary prospectus, when available, may be obtained by contacting J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, New York 11717, or by calling (866) 803-9204. A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the SEC but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. Copies of the registration statement can be accessed through the SEC's website. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. View full article
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 23, 2013 Reuters is reporting that Fiat will be buying General Motor's share of Italian engine manufacturer VM Motori. VM Motori currently supplies engines for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. "GM's notification to exercise its put option to sell to Fiat its 50 percent interest in VM Motori SpA is in line with the contracts Fiat entered into when it acquired a 50 percent stake in VM in 2010," said Fiat in a statement. Fiat expects to have full control of VM Motori by the end of this year. No word on what the future holds for GM products with engines from VM Motori. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 23, 2013 Reuters is reporting that Fiat will be buying General Motor's share of Italian engine manufacturer VM Motori. VM Motori currently supplies engines for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. "GM's notification to exercise its put option to sell to Fiat its 50 percent interest in VM Motori SpA is in line with the contracts Fiat entered into when it acquired a 50 percent stake in VM in 2010," said Fiat in a statement. Fiat expects to have full control of VM Motori by the end of this year. No word on what the future holds for GM products with engines from VM Motori. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 7, 2013 Bob Lee, head of Fiat and Chrysler global Powertrain said that the company will not be investing in electrified powertrains till consumers are willing to pay for it. He said this at the 2013 CAR Management Briefing’s Advanced Powertrain Forum this week. Lee explained that consumers aren't willing to pony up the money to cost of battery packs, electric motors and chargers that hybrids and electric vehicles are saddle with. He said that it might take up to ten years before consumers are willing to pay for the tech. "Many customers want to reduce C02, but they aren't willing to change their lifestyle or pay the cost -- yet," said Lee. In the meantime, Chrysler will focus on developing more diesel and turbocharged engines to help improve fuel economy. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 7, 2013 Bob Lee, head of Fiat and Chrysler global Powertrain said that the company will not be investing in electrified powertrains till consumers are willing to pay for it. He said this at the 2013 CAR Management Briefing’s Advanced Powertrain Forum this week. Lee explained that consumers aren't willing to pony up the money to cost of battery packs, electric motors and chargers that hybrids and electric vehicles are saddle with. He said that it might take up to ten years before consumers are willing to pay for the tech. "Many customers want to reduce C02, but they aren't willing to change their lifestyle or pay the cost -- yet," said Lee. In the meantime, Chrysler will focus on developing more diesel and turbocharged engines to help improve fuel economy. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 2, 2013 The California-only Fiat 500e has been a resounding success for the brand. So much so that according to Jason Stoicevich, president and CEO of the Fiat brand in North America says they have sold out the production run of the 500e for the remainder of the year. “We’re pretty much sold out for the year,” said Stoicevich. Source: Wards Auto William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 2, 2013 The California-only Fiat 500e has been a resounding success for the brand. So much so that according to Jason Stoicevich, president and CEO of the Fiat brand in North America says they have sold out the production run of the 500e for the remainder of the year. “We’re pretty much sold out for the year,” said Stoicevich. Source: Wards Auto William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  19. Chrysler Group LLC Reports August 2013 U.S. Sales Increased 12 Percent; Best August Sales in Six Years Best August sales since 2007 41st-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck, and FIAT brands each post sales increases in August compared with same month a year ago FIAT brand records its best sales month since launching the Fiat 500 in the U.S. in 2011 Six Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in August Ram Truck brand sales up 29 percent; largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in August All Jeep brand vehicles in production record double-digit percentage increases Ram Truck brand named “Most Ideal Popular Brand” in AutoPacific’s 2013 Ideal Vehicle Awards; Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler Town & Country named “Most Ideal Mid-Size SUV” and “Most Ideal Minivan” in their respective classes September 4, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 165,552 units, a 12 percent increase compared with sales in August 2012 (148,472 units), and the group’s best August sales since 2007. The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in August compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 29 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand during the month. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 41-consecutive months in August. “Last month we achieved our strongest retail sales in the past 60 months,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “All aspects of our business continue to improve as evidenced by our streak of 41-consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains.” Chrysler Group had six models that set sales records in August. The Dodge Journey mid-size crossover, with its 12 percent increase, had its best sales month ever. In addition, the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Dart, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot each recorded their best sales for the month of August. Chrysler Group finished the month with a 62-days supply of inventory (364,641 units). U.S. industry sales figures for August are projected at an estimated 16.1 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). August 2013 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand Ram Truck Brand Ram Truck brand sales were up 29 percent, the brand’s best August sales since 2007. August was the sixth-consecutive month in which the Ram Truck brand registered the largest percentage year-over-year sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand. Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 31 percent, its 40th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and its best August sales since 2006. Sales of the Light Duty Ram pickup were up 34 percent in August, driven by a sharp increase in Crew Cab pickups, while Heavy Duty Ram sales increased 26 percent. The Ram Truck brand was named the “Most Ideal Popular Brand” in AutoPacific’s 2013 Ideal Vehicle Awards in August. The Ideal Vehicle Awards are based on responses to AutoPacific’s New Vehicle Satisfaction Survey. AutoPacific asked owners to indicate a desire to change their vehicle in 15 different categories, ranging from power and acceleration to safety features and storage, after having owned and driven their vehicle for 90 days. Dodge Brand Dodge brand sales were up 12 percent in August, the brand’s best August sales since 2003 and its 27th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Dodge Challenger and Dodge Dart compact sedan each recorded their best August sales, while the Dodge Journey midsize crossover, with its 12 percent increase, had its best sales month ever. The Dart recorded its third straight month of year-over-year sales gains. The Dart added to its list of awards in August with a Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Dodge Charger sales were up 37 percent in August, while sales of the Dodge Durango full-size SUV increased 117 percent. Durango registered its best August sales in eight years. Jeep® Brand Jeep brand sales were up 8 percent in August, the brand’s best August sales in 11 years. All Jeep brand models in production recorded sales gains in August compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot each recorded their best sales ever for the month of August. Sales of the Patriot were up 42 percent, the largest percentage increase of any Jeep brand model for the month. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 40 percent, its best August sales since 2003. It also was the Grand Cherokee’s best sales month so far this year. The Grand Cherokee was named “Most Ideal Mid-Size SUV” in August for the third-consecutive year in AutoPacific’s 2013 Ideal Vehicle Awards. Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales were up 2 percent in August led by the Chrysler 300 full-size sedan’s 27 percent year-over-year sales gain. It was the 300’s best August sales since 2007 and best sales month so far this year. Sales of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan were up 11 percent, its best August sales since 2002, as well as the vehicle’s best sales month so far this year. The award-winning Town & Country in August captured an additional honor being named the “Most Ideal Minivan” in AutoPacific’s 2013 Ideal Vehicle Awards based on owners’ ratings of their 2013 vehicles. FIAT Brand The FIAT brand recorded its best sales month since launching the Fiat 500 in 2011 and its 18th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. FIAT brand sales were up 1 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the all-new 2014 Fiat 500L, the newest addition to the FIAT brand product lineup, increased 26 percent in August compared with sales in the previous month of July. FIAT studios across the U.S. began selling the 500L in June. The 2014 Fiat 500L was named in August by Kelley Blue Book to its list of the “10 Best Back-to-School Cars.” Kelley Blue Book’s editors praised the 500L’s iconic styling and Euro charm, as well as its fuel economy, safety, versatility, and value. The FIAT brand also unveiled in August the Fiat 500 Cattiva, which provides the 500 Sport and 500 Turbo models with a factory-tuned look, and the Fiat 500c GQ Edition, continuing the brand’s tradition of premium, limited-production lifestyle cars for discerning customers.
  20. Chrysler Group LLC Reports July 2013 U.S. Sales Increased 11 Percent; Best July Sales in Seven Years Best July sales since 2006 40th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each post sales increases in July compared with same month a year ago Six Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in July Ram Truck brand sales up 31 percent; largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in July and best July sales since 2007 All Jeep brand vehicles in production record double-digit percentage increases Dodge Charger and Fiat 500 lead their segments in J.D. Power’s 2013 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study™; Ram Truck brand ranks as the highest non-premium brand in the industry August 1, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 140,102 units, an 11 percent increase compared with sales in July 2012 (126,089 units), and the group’s best July sales since 2006. The Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in July compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 31 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in July. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 40-consecutive months in July. “We continue to see strong retail sales, particularly with our pickup trucks and SUVs, and that has helped to propel Chrysler Group to our 40th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “In addition, the all-new Fiat 500L is off to a great start with 962 units sold in its first full month on sale.” The Ram Truck brand sales gain was driven by the 31 percent increase in Ram pickup truck sales. Dodge brand sales were up 18 percent in July, driven in part by the 88 percent increase in Dodge Durango full-size SUV sales. Jeep brand sales were up 2 percent as all Jeep brand models in production recorded year-over-year sales gains in July. FIAT brand sales were up 2 percent in July compared with the same month a year ago. Six Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in the month of July. Three Dodge brand vehicles – the Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan, Dodge Challenger, and Dodge Dart compact sedan – each recorded their best sales for the month of July. The Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Compass also registered their best sales for the month of July. Sales of the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 30 percent, its best July sales since 2005. Chrysler Group finished the month with a 66-days supply of inventory (371,889 units). U.S. industry sales figures for July are projected at an estimated 15.8 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). July 2013 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand Ram Truck Brand Ram Truck brand sales were up 31 percent, the brand’s best July sales since 2007. July was the fifth-consecutive month in which the Ram Truck brand registered the largest percentage year-over-year sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand. Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 31 percent, its 39th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and its best July sales since 2006. Sales of the Light Duty Ram pickup were up 25 percent in July, driven by the Crew Cab pickups, while Heavy Duty Ram sales increased 35 percent. The Ram Truck brand in July celebrated the start of production of its new 2014 Ram ProMaster Van at Chrysler Group’s Saltillo Van Assembly Plant in Coahuilla, Mexico. The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is Ram Commercial’s latest addition to its popular vehicle lineup. The ProMaster takes its place in the expanding, purpose-built, full-size van segment with a number of best-in-class features focused on the commercial customer. Coming from a strong background of commercial vehicles produced by Fiat Professional, the ProMaster is based on the Fiat Ducato, which has been in production for more than 30 years. Also in July, the brand introduced its newest model, the 2013 Ram Black Express, distinguished by its all-black exterior. Dodge Brand Dodge brand sales were up 18 percent in July, the brand’s best July sales since 2005 and its 26th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and the Dodge Challenger each recorded their best July sales ever, while sales of the Dodge Durango full-size SUV were up 88 percent. The Dodge Dart compact sedan had its second straight month of year-over-year sales gains. For the third-consecutive year, the Dodge Charger has ranked highest in the Large Car segment in J.D. Power’s annual U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study™. Sales of the Charger are up 10 percent this year through July. The APEAL Study measures how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive, based on customer evaluations of 77 vehicle attributes of new 2013 model year vehicles. According to J.D. Power, the most appealing vehicles have greater owner loyalty, command higher transaction prices and spend less time on dealer lots before purchase. Jeep® Brand Jeep brand sales were up 2 percent in July, the brand’s best July sales since 2005. All Jeep brand models in production recorded sales gains in July compared with the same month a year ago, led by the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Sales of the Grand Cherokee were up 30 percent, its best sales month since 2005 and largest percentage increase of any Jeep brand model. The Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Compass each had their best sales for the month of July. Sales of the Jeep Compass were up 27 percent compared with the same month a year ago. The new 2014 Grand Cherokee was the winner in July of the 2013 Cars.com/USA Today Midsize SUV Challenge. The Grand Cherokee topped five other popular SUVs. Evaluators included experts from Cars.com, USA Today, Motorweek, and a family representing the average midsize SUV buyer. FIAT Brand FIAT brand sales were up 2 percent in July compared with the same month a year ago. It was the brand’s best July sales since the Fiat 500 was launched in 2011 and its 17th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Fiat 500 was ranked highest in the City Car segment in J.D. Power’s APEAL Study in July. Sales of the Fiat 500L, the newest addition to the FIAT brand product lineup, increased 78 percent compared with sales in the previous month of June. FIAT studios across the U.S. began selling the all-new 2014 Fiat 500L in June. The 500L expands the appeal of the iconic 500, with two more doors, accommodations for five passengers, best-in-class interior volume, and advanced European technology. The all-new fully electric Fiat 500e, which went on sale in California in July, was voted “Top Electric Vehicle” by the Northwest Automotive Press Association during its first annual “Drive Revolution” green-car competition in Portland, Ore. NWAPA members tested 17 of the market’s most technologically advanced and fuel efficient models around Portland – including electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and clean-diesel models from both import and domestic manufacturers. Chrysler Brand Sales of the brand’s flagship Chrysler 300 full-size sedan were up 12 percent, the vehicle’s best July sales since 2008. Chrysler brand sales were down 4 percent in July compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of both the Chrysler Town & Country minivan and Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan are up this year through July compared with the same period in 2012. The Town & Country was the highest-ranking minivan in J.D. Power’s recent 2013 U.S. Initial Quality Study.
  21. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 9, 2013 Yesterday, Fiat exercised its option to purchase another 3.3 percent of Chrysler shares from the UAW's VEBA retirement fund. This brings Fiat's current share of Chrysler to 68.49 percent. This is the third time that Fiat has purchased shares from VEBA. Last July and earlier this year, the Italian automaker purchased 3.3 percent of the VEBA shares. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to buy up the remaining shares so Fiat can have full control of the company and hopefully help curb the large losses the Italian automaker is currently experiencing. That doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon. Currently, Fiat and VEBA are in court to try and reach agreement on buying the remaining shares. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  22. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 9, 2013 Yesterday, Fiat exercised its option to purchase another 3.3 percent of Chrysler shares from the UAW's VEBA retirement fund. This brings Fiat's current share of Chrysler to 68.49 percent. This is the third time that Fiat has purchased shares from VEBA. Last July and earlier this year, the Italian automaker purchased 3.3 percent of the VEBA shares. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to buy up the remaining shares so Fiat can have full control of the company and hopefully help curb the large losses the Italian automaker is currently experiencing. That doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon. Currently, Fiat and VEBA are in court to try and reach agreement on buying the remaining shares. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  23. Chrysler Group LLC Reports June 2013 U.S. Sales Increased 8 Percent; Best June Sales in Six Years Best June sales since 2007 39th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each post sales increases in June compared with same month a year ago Seven Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in June Ram Truck brand sales up 23 percent; largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in June and best June sales since 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee sales up 33 percent in June; all Jeep brand vehicles in production record double-digit percentage sales gains Dodge Durango sales up 39 percent; largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group vehicle in June Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Challenger win AutoPacific 2013 Best-In-Class Vehicle Satisfaction Award July 2, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 156,686 units, an 8 percent increase compared with sales in June 2012 (144,811 units), and the group’s best June sales since 2007. The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in June compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 23 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in June. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 39-consecutive months in June. “Last month Chrysler Group set seven individual vehicle line sales records and achieved our 39th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth. The fundamentals for continued industry gains in new vehicle sales remain intact,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. Sales of the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 33 percent in June, the largest percentage sales gain of any Jeep brand vehicle in the month. It was the Grand Cherokee’s best June sales in eight years. All Jeep brand vehicles in production recorded year-over-year sales gains in June. Seven Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in the month of June. The Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot SUVs each recorded their best June sales ever. The Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, Dodge Challenger, and Dodge Dart compact sedan also registered their best sales for the month of June. The Ram Cargo Van had its best sales month since launch. Sales of the Dodge Durango full-size SUV were up 39 percent, the largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group vehicle in the month. Chrysler Group finished the month with a 68-days supply of inventory (408,336 units). U.S. industry sales figures for June are projected at an estimated 16.0 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). June 2013 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand Ram Truck Brand Ram Truck brand sales were up 23 percent, the brand’s best June sales since 2007. The Ram pickup truck, with its 24 percent sales gain, logged its best June sales since 2007. It was the Ram pickup truck’s 38th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Light Duty Ram pickup were up 36 percent, driven by the Quad and Crew Cab pickups, while Heavy Duty Ram sales were up 5 percent. The Ram Cargo Van had its best sales month since launched in 2011. When the 2014 Ram 1500 full-size pickup arrives in dealerships in the fourth quarter this year, it will offer a new, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine, mated with the TorqueFlite® eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine delivers an outstanding combination of best-in-class fuel efficiency, unsurpassed torque and impressive capability. The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty, with the all-new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8, will deliver best-in-class horsepower and best-in-class torque among pickups with gasoline engines. Dodge Brand Dodge brand sales were up 12 percent in June, the brand’s best June sales since 2007 and its 25th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Dodge Durango full-size SUV were up 39 percent, the largest percentage year-over-year sales gain of any Chrysler Group vehicle in June. Sales of the Dodge Charger were up 15 percent, its best June sales since 2007. The Dodge Challenger and Dodge Dart compact sedan each recorded their best June sales ever, and earned two respected awards during the month. Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com picked the Dart as one of its “10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000,” while the Challenger tied for Best-In-Class Sporty Car in AutoPacific’s 17th-annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. The Challenger has set seven-consecutive monthly sales records. Chrysler Brand Chrysler brand sales were up 1 percent compared with the same month a year ago, the brand’s best June sales since 2007. Sales of the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan were up 14 percent, a sales record for the month of June. The Chrysler 200 Convertible was recognized as the “Best Full-Size Convertible” in June by the Southern Automotive Media Association during its third annual “Topless in Miami” Convertible Awards. Chrysler Town & Country minivan sales were up 18 percent, the minivan’s best June sales since 2006. Already the most-awarded minivan, the Town & Country in June earned another honor as the highest-ranking minivan in the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Initial Quality Study. In addition, for the second time in the last three years, automotive research group AutoPacific named the Town & Country as its Best-In-Class Minivan. FIAT Brand FIAT brand sales were up 1 percent in June compared with the same month a year ago. It was the brand’s best June sales since the Fiat 500 was launched in 2011 and its 16th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The FIAT brand’s product lineup expanded in June as the all-new 2014 Fiat 500L began arriving in FIAT studios across the country with a starting price of $19,100 and four value-loaded models. The 500L expands the appeal of the iconic 500, with two more doors, accommodations for five passengers, best-in-class interior volume (120.1 cu. ft.) and advanced European technology. The brand picked up several new awards in June. Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com chose the 2013 Fiat 500 as one of its picks for this year’s “10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000.” Also, the Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio was recognized as the “Best Small Convertible” by the Southern Automotive Media Association during its “Topless in Miami” Convertible Awards in June. It is the third time that the FIAT brand has been awarded this honor. The Fiat 500c by Gucci Edition won in 2012, as did the Fiat 500 Cabrio during the inaugural event in 2011. Jeep® Brand Jeep brand sales were up slightly in June, the brand’s best June sales since 2005. All Jeep brand models in production recorded sales gains in June compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot each recorded their best June sales ever. Sales of the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 33 percent, its best June sales since 2005. The Grand Cherokee’s 33 percent sales gain was the largest percentage increase of any Jeep brand model during the month. For the third year in a row, AutoPacific named the Grand Cherokee Best-In-Class Mid-Size SUV in its Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Sales of the Compass compact SUV were up 24 percent in June compared with the same month a year ago, while Patriot sales were up 20 percent. Available to consumers in the third quarter of this year, the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be offered at a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $22,995 (plus $995 destination). The Cherokee’s starting price is hundreds of dollars less than the outgoing Liberty model, while offering more fuel economy, more advanced safety and technology features, even more class-leading 4x4 capability, a modern and progressive new design, and significantly improved everyday on-road ride and handling.
  24. Chrysler Group LLC Reports May 2013 U.S. Sales Increased 11 Percent; Best May Sales in Six Years Best May sales since 2007 38th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains Eight Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in May; Jeep® Wrangler and Jeep Compass record their best monthly sales ever Ram Truck brand sales up 24 percent; largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in May Dodge Dart, Dodge Durango, Chrysler Town & Country and Chrysler 200 Convertible are segment award winners in Strategic Vision’s “Total Quality” awards FIAT brand reaches new milestone in May as North American sales surpass 100,000 units since its reintroduction in 2011 June 3, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 166,596 units, an 11 percent increase compared with sales in May 2012 (150,041 units), and the group’s best May sales since 2007. The Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in May compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 24 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in May. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 38-consecutive months in May. “Our best May sales in six years enabled us to extend our sales streak to 38-consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “We continue to see strong retail sales throughout our product lineup as eight Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in May, including best sales ever by the Jeep Wrangler and Compass.” The Jeep Compass’ 42 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Jeep brand vehicle in the month. Sales of the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 21 percent in May compared with the same month a year ago, its best May sales in eight years. All Jeep brand vehicles in production recorded year-over-year sales gains in May. Eight Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in the month of May. The Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Compass SUVs each recorded their best sales ever. In addition, the Dodge Avenger and Dodge Challenger, the Fiat 500, the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, and the Ram pickup truck were among the Chrysler Group vehicles that registered their best sales for the month of May. Chrysler Group finished the month with a 62-days supply of inventory (398,869 units). U.S. industry sales figures for May are projected at an estimated 15.5 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR). May 2013 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand Ram Truck Brand Ram Truck brand sales were up 24 percent, the brand’s best May sales since 2007. The Ram pickup truck set a sales record for the month of May with its 22 percent increase. It was the Ram pickup truck’s 37th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Ram 1500 was named in May as a 2013 All-Star by Automobile Magazine for the third time in the past four years. For 2013, the new Ram 1500 offers buyers best-in-class 25 MPG Highway fuel efficiency, new technology and new features without sacrificing capability. In addition, the Ram 1500 4x4 was named “Best All-Weather Pickup Truck” by the New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) in May. The Ram Cargo Van set a sales record for the month of May, the vehicle’s best sales month so far this year. Dodge Brand Dodge brand sales were up 23 percent in May, the brand’s best May sales since 2007 and its 24th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Dodge brand sales gain was led by the Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and the Dodge Challenger, each setting a sales record for the month of May. Sales of the Dodge Journey mid-size crossover were up 15 percent, its best May sales since 2008, while Dodge Durango full-size SUV sales were up 24 percent, the largest percentage increase of any Dodge brand model in the month. Dodge Dart sales were down 8 percent month-over-month in May, following five months of gains. The Dodge Grand Caravan had its best sales month this year and its best May sales since 2008. The Dart and the Durango earned “Best of 2013 Total Quality™” honors in Strategic Vision’s annual Total Quality Index™ (TQI). The Dart and Durango ranked highest in their segments based on responses from owners of 2013 model-year vehicles in Strategic Vision’s quantitative study of 17,568 owners. Strategic Vision measures “Total Quality” by studying more than 440 variables that encompass positive and negative experiences, including reliability, driving excitement, emotional attachment, and overall sales and service satisfaction. FIAT Brand The Fiat 500 set a sales record for the month of May with its 1 percent increase. It was the vehicle’s 15th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and its best sales month so far this year. In addition, the FIAT brand reached a new milestone in May as it surpassed 100,000 units sold in North America since its reintroduction in 2011. The FIAT brand’s product lineup expands this month as the all-new 2014 Fiat 500L begins arriving in FIAT studios across the country with a starting price of $19,100 and four value-loaded models. The 500L expands the appeal of the iconic 500, with two more doors, accommodations for five passengers, best-in-class interior volume (120.1 cu. ft.) and advanced European technology. Also coming this summer to the state of California is the all-new 2013 Fiat 500e electric vehicle. The 500e will be offered to California residents at launch with a $199 a month/$999 due at signing lease for 36 months, same as the current lease offer on a Fiat 500 Pop powered by a gas engine. Jeep® Brand Jeep brand sales were up 1 percent in May, the brand’s best May sales since 2000 and its best sales month so far this year. All Jeep brand models in production recorded sales gains in May compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Compass each recorded their best sales ever. Wrangler sales (16,272 units) were up 13 percent, shattering the sales record the vehicle set in June 2012. Sales of the Compass compact SUV were up 42 percent in May, the largest year-over-year percentage gain of any Jeep model in May. The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s 21 percent increase represented its best May sales since 2005, while the Jeep Patriot’s 13 percent gain marked its best May sales since 2008. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was named the “Official Winter Vehicle of New England” for an unprecedented third-consecutive year by NEMPA in May. Chrysler Brand Sales of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan were up 4 percent in May, the minivan’s best May sales in three years. The Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan set a sales record for the month of May. The Town & Country and the Chrysler 200 Convertible each earned “Best of 2013 Total Quality” honors in Strategic Vision’s annual Total Quality Index in May. Chrysler brand sales were up 4 percent month-over-month, but were down 2 percent compared with the same month a year ago. The Town & Country also took a record-breaking 12th-consecutive Polk Loyalty Award in the minivan category earlier this year. Sales of the Chrysler 300 Motown Edition started in May, a car that celebrates the passion and the music that defined the Motor City.
  25. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com May 30, 2013 According to Bloomberg, Fiat is reportedly seeking $10 Billion in financing to buy out the remaining 41.5% of Chrysler that is being held by the retiree trust of the United Auto Workers and refinance the two automakers' debt. Fiat has been in talks with a number of banks such as Bank of America Corp., Deutsche Bank AG, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., to secure financing. Earlier reports said Fiat was seeking around $4 Billion, but that figure has risen considerably. This is most likely due to a court case in Deleware between Fiat and the UAW arguing the total price for the remaining shares. “The merger is the right choice for Marchionne and the only possible option to avoid Fiat being marginalized or bought by a competitor in the medium term. I see it as likely that they will get favorable financing by the end of the summer and then list in the U.S,” said Emanuele Vizzini, chief investment officer of Investitori Sgr in Milan. The cquisition of remaining shares could happen by this summer, but the merging of the two companies isn't likely to happen until till next year. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article

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