AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Bland Like Unsalted Popcorn
Are you self-conscious? Don’t like to stand out in a crowd? Would you rather blend into the background than be the center of attention? Well, when it comes to the automotive world, you are in luck. Some vehicles seem to have skipped class when it came time for their styling lesson. This is not to say they are ugly, but more that they lack any style whatsoever.
We’ve all heard the clichés to describe these anonymously styled cars; plain vanilla, beige, white bread, etc. We like to think of them as stylistically-challenged. Regardless, if you don’t want to draw any undue attention towards yourself, here are ten vehicles that are guaranteed to blend into the landscape.
After several announcements of various models that were awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick Plus” rating, the IIHS has released its full list of its safest cars for 2013.
Rumors are brewing that Chrysler may be considering dropping their Dodge Avenger within three years in order to focus on the better-selling Chrysler 200 sedan – which is built on the same platform as the Avenger.
Head of the Dodge brand, Reid Bigland, recently said “”Chrysler Group will likely consolidate around one midsize car in the future.” It’s almost a no-brainer move, with Chrysler being able to lower marketing and development costs by focusing on a single model. It also removes the risk of cannibalization of one model’s sales.
US sales of the Avenger rose 26-percent last year to 64,023 but 200 sales reached 87,033. Unfortunately both models’ sales still lag behind the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu.
[Source: Automotive News]
Chrysler is issuing a recall for a small number of vehicles equipped with the new 3.6-liter “Pentastar” V6. According to the automaker a total of 657 vehicles may be affected and could exhibit a loss of power as a result of manufacturing debris left in the engine.
Chrysler saw the problem was caught early on, but not until those 657 models had been shipped out. Models affected include the Chrysler 200, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Journey, Durango, Grand Caravan and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Chrysler says it will be sending out letters to retail and fleet customers in October, but that the majority of the vehicles have yet to be sold.
Fans of Italian cars should prepare to dry heave, as Lancia has just released an image of their new Flavia Cabrio, looking like a poorly rebadged Chrysler 200.
The only engine available is a 175-horsepower 2.4-liter V6 mated to a 6-speed automatic. Thrilling. Lancia will also get a re-badged Chrysler Town & Country, known as the Voyager as part of their rejuvenated, Chrysler-infused lineup. You can check back for AutoGuide’s for live Frankfurt coverage starting on September 13th.
Hit the jump to see the press release below
The Chrysler 200-based Lancia Flavia, unveiled at March’s Geneva Auto Show, may never see the light of day beyond the auto show floor, according to the latest reports from a Dutch publication.
Parent company Fiat was apparently concerned that the Flavia would not be profitable enough to sell as a Lancia, and would not sell in large enough volumes. European consumers were never fans of the Chrysler Sebring, the 200′s predecessor, and a simple re-badge is unlikely to win them over.
Lancia will apparently wait until 2013 for an all-new 200 to debut, one designed with European consumers in mind. In the meantime, Lancia will sell a re-badged version of the Chrysler 300, a poor seller, but one flashy and competent enough to make a splash in the marketplace.
[Source: Left Lane News]
In between light-beer dick jokes and Justin Bieber cameos, Chrysler’s now-famous “Born of Fire” ad was one of the Super Bowl standouts. The experts in the industry agree, too: the Eminem-infused ad swept four awards at the 85th annual Cannes International Festival of Creativity.
The ad took home Best Direction, Best Use of Music, Best Script and—to top everything off—Best Automotive Commercial. It was developed by Wieden+Kennedy, who hold such well-known brands as Coca-Cola, Nike, and Old Spice (but not Secor Laxatives), and can now add a few more “Lions” to their trophy cabinet.
“Chrysler is humbled to be awarded with such a prestigious honor,” said Olivier Francois, president of Chrysler. “The ‘Born of Fire’ commercial and the ‘Imported from Detroit’ campaign describes the comeback of the Chrysler brand and truly defines American luxury.”
Don’t remember the ad? Or just want to watch it again? Check it out after the jump:
Hard-hitting Consumer Reports, recently tested a plethora of updated Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles, revealing that while Detroit’s number three automaker has made significant gains in terms of vehicle improvement, levels of quality between vehicles remain varied and there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Speaking at CR’s Auto Test Center, located in East Haddam, Connecticut, David Champion, senior director at the center, said, “we see major improvements for models that have had a significant redesign. When Chrysler invests the time and money in a true redesign, the result has been a much more competitive model.”
The models rated as the most significantly improved, were the re-designed seven-passenger Dodge Durango SUV and the 2011 Charger full-size sedan, both of which received ‘very good’ ratings during CR road tests.
The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country minivan also received a ‘Very Good’ rating, however other vehicles tested at the same time, including the Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, as well as Dodge Journey, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot, while still improved over their predecessors, were still rated as ‘mediocre’ by the publication.
Consumer Reports also said that in terms of overall reliability, based on its Annual Auto Survey, Chrysler vehicles still rank below average, in fact scoring the lowest overall road test scores for any major automaker. In the last three years, CR has only only given a single Chrysler vehicle a ‘recommended’ rating, the Ram 1500 half-ton pickup.
The results from the eight 2011 Chrysler models tested will appear in the August issue of Consumer Reports, the publication had planned to also include the Fiat 500, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Challenger, but those vehicles weren’t available for testing at the time.
It’ll be interesting to see what the magazine makes of those when it gets around to evaluating them.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
Chrysler has said that it is recalling some 11,351 vehicles from the 2011 model year, including Chrysler 200s and Town & Country minivans, Dodge Avengers, Calibers, Journeys, Nitros and Grand Caravans, as well as Jeep Compass, Patriot and Wrangler models.
The problem? An incorrectly installed steering column rivet that could potentially cause the steering system to fail, resulting in loss of vehicle control and even an accident.
The automaker said the cause of the problem was “improper identification of rejected components by new employees during the second shift.” Out of some 14,000 steering columns Chrysler inspected, it found that seven of them boasted missing or incorrect rivets.
So far the Auburn Hills, Michigan automaker has said there have been no consumer complaints nor records of accidents or injuries resulting from the issue. Nevertheless, owners of the affected vehicles will be notified starting next month and urged to contact their nearest Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealer to have the problem fixed free of charge.
[Source: The Detroit News]
The last time the Jeep Grand Cherokee was sold in Japan, only 88 units found homes among Japanese buyers. After a hiatus for 2010, Chrysler is re-introducing the SUV on March 12, and is ambitiously targeting sales of between 500 and 1,000 units.
Chrysler sold a high of 15,000 vehicles in 1996, but sold only 2,350 last year. Chrysler’s top selling vehicle in Japan remains the Jeep Compass, with 760 units sold in 2010. The Chrysler 200 and 300 are both slated to arrive by 2013, although both cars, like the Grand Cherokee, seem more suited for North American, rather than Japanese tastes.
[Source: Automotive News]
Lancia’s version of the Chrysler 200, likely dubbed the Flavia, will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March. While the idea of a Lancia-badged Chrysler is unpalatable to many enthusiasts, the fact that Chrysler has decided use the much vilified 200 will surely make it the automotive equivalent of the Antichrist.
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne rubbed salt in the wounds of Italian car fans everywhere with his announcement, also confirming that the 200 convertible will be a part of the Lancia lineup. The Flavia will get a new front end, a diesel engine and a manual transmission as part of its adaptation for Europe.
Brighter news for Lancia comes with the announcement that the Chrysler 300 will be sold as the Lancia Thema, and the new Lancia Ypsilon will be based off the highly lauded Fiat Panda. A 5-door version will also be offered for the first time in the car’s history.
[Source: Automotive News]
Get AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Geneva Auto Show preview here.
We aren’t sure if the press shots for the 2012 Chrysler 200 Convertible are supposed to be ironic, but the lush shots of the 200 cruising through Miami, one of the top vacation spots in the world, are entirely appropriate.
While the motoring press loved the 200 about as much as the Ebola virus, and while the new car is supposedly a step above the old one, that’s not saying much. Hopefully the redesigned interior and 3.6L Pentastar V6 make this car suitable for consumption outside the Hertz parking lot.
For more information on the Chrysler 200, such as news, information and discussions, please visit http://www.200forums.com/
Gallery: Chrysler 200 Convertible
The new Chrysler 200 is reportedly set to add another trim level to its lineup, with an emphasis on sportier handling and more agressive looks. Dubbed the 200S, the new car will echo the Chrysler 300S, a trim level offered on the larger 300 cars that bridges the gap between the standard 300C and the rowdy 300C SRT-8.
Although Chrysler hasn’t confirmed any specifications, except it to shed the 200′s discrete, rental lot looks for some bigger wheels, a lowered suspension and possibly a body kit.
For more information on the Chrysler 200, such as information, pricing and the latest news, please visit http://www.200forums.com.
Chrysler has announced pricing details for their upcoming 200 mid-size car and their Town & Country minivan. Both cars are notable for their upgraded interiors and 3.6L Pentastar V6s, which should make them infinitely more palatable than the vehicles they replace.
The 200 will start at $19,995 for the base LX model, with the Touring model going for $21,995 and $24,995 for the Limited. A 200S trim level will appear sometime after launch, with no pricing information released.
The Town & Country, on sale for over two decades, is being offered as a more upscale alternative to the Dodge Caravan, and starts at a lofty $30,995, with the mid-level Touring L starting at $33,995 and the top level Limited topping out at $39,495. Prices for both cars include destination charges.
Hit the jump to see the official press release
The Chrysler Sebring is one of America’s least liked cars, and the convertible has the ignominious honor of being lampooned on The Office as the official car of Michael Scott, the incompetent, ostentatious company boss.
Chrysler is hoping that the Sebring droptop will get a fresh start when it adopts the new nameplate and look of the Chrysler 200 sedan. We’re fairly confident that the 200 convertible will still drive like a wet towel stretched stretched over a pipe-cleaner, but the Sebring-err-200 will have a built-in audience among rental car companies looking for a low-cost convertible for their fleets. That alone is reason enough to keep the car in production.