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In a recent article, Automotive News praised the new Dodge Dart as an example of true synergies between Fiat and Chrysler, declaring, “the Dart uses savings from its shared Fiat platform and co-developed technology to give Chrysler a larger, more powerful and technologically advanced compact sedan at a lower price than its competitors.”
It looks like the days of plugging in your mobile device to a 12-volt power outlet might soon be over, at least if you drive a Chrysler product. Beginning with the 2013 Dodge Dart, the company has announced it will be introducing a wireless in-car charging system.
The system uses a storage bin that measures 8.27 x 9.5 x 3.25 inches. Mounted below the center stack and in front of the console, it features an integrated charging grid that allows a smart phone or other portable device to be charged when placed on top of it (a special device casing with pins on it is required for your phone or other devices to be charged).
The wireless charging device, which will be offered through Chrysler’s Mopar Parts and Accessories division, will retail for $199.99 plus installation by your local dealer. It will be available starting this summer, timed for introduction alongside the new Dodge Dart.
It seems, from a financial standpoint, things are getting better for Chrysler Group. The company reported a total net income of some $183 million last year.
This money earned, included a $551 million loss, required to service outstanding debts (namely repaying the money it owed to the US Treasury and Canadian governments in full, some six years ahead of schedule and we might add, with interest).
Considering that a year ago, Chrysler reported a net loss of $652 million and that 2011′s income exceeded estimates, the report represents rather good news.
In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2011 alone, Chrysler earned some $225 million (versus a loss of $199 million in Q4 2010) even though it’s been introducing a number of new or significantly refreshed vehicles, programs, which tend to eat up considerable resources.
As of this month, Chrysler has achieved all the goals laid out two years ago following the companies restructuring. This, plus performance resulting from transactions, has led Fiat S.p.A,to increase its stake in the company to some 58.5 percent.
Upon the announcement of Chrysler’s 2011 earnings, Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne (shown above) declared, “the house is in good order. We are proud of the work we’ve done. Now we greet a new year of high expectations with our heads down, forging ahead and focused on executing the goals we’ve set for ourselves as a company.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Jeep Liberty SUVs built between 2002 and 2003 for an issue regarding the premature deployment of airbags.
NHTSA said that they’ve received 7 complaints regarding airbags deploying without a crash, with 5 of these incidents having caused injuries. 387,356 vehicles are said to be affected by the issue.
[Source: Automotive News]
After several rumors and reports, Chrysler has now confirmed that the Dodge Ram will be spun off into its own brand with the appointment of two individuals. Fred Diaz Jr., formerly Director of the Denver Business Center, will now head up the RAM brand, while Ralph Gilles will take over at the helm of the car brand. Gilles will also continue to run the product design department at Chrysler Group.
“The brand-focused strategy has been refined further with the unbundling of the Dodge Brand which now consists of the Dodge RAM Brand and the Dodge Car Brand organizations,” said Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. “This reorganization will allow us to protect and develop the unique nature of the product offerings within the Dodge Brand.”
Within this new corporate structure, Marchionne also appointed a new Chrysler brand CEO; Olivier Francois, who comes from Fiat’s Lancia Brand and will continue in his position there as well.
Official release after the jump: