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The first-ever online version of the Mopar ‘Top Eliminator’ program has revealed its 10 finalists, after having gone through nearly 80 entries. Fans can now vote for their favorite in crowning one lucky winner.
In not-so-shocking news, Chrysler has officially pulled the plug on the Dodge Dakota compact pickup’s production. The expected move will result in 39 temporary workers losing their jobs and could lead to additional layoffs at Chrysler’s Warren Truck Plant where the Ram 1500 pickup is also produced. The union currently believes that layoffs could reach 150 or more at the plant with the Dakota’s production now discontinued.
Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson did state that in the event of layoffs, many of those employees will be redeployed to other Chrysler facilities – perhaps some good news from all of this for the workers. It had already been announced back in May that Chrysler plans to replace the Dakota with a car-based “lifestyle” vehicle for the Ram brand, but no decision has been made as to where production will be done for that particular vehicle.
In 2000, Chrysler had sold more than 177,000 Dakotas, but when compared to last year’s sales of 13,000, it’s no surprise that the Dakota’s plug has officially been pulled.
[Source: The Detroit News]
Dominating the headlines following Chrysler‘s first dealer meeting in three years yesterday was news of a new Viper planned for 2012. But apart from headline-grabbing sports cars, Chrysler execs made plenty of comments regarding the company’s commitment to the truck and SUV segment.
For the new RAM brand, CEO Fred Diaz commented that his team is studying bringing a “Baby Ram” to market, with an estimated 30-mpg and room for four. This could replace the Dodge Dakota as RAM’s entry-level work truck, with a next-generation Dakota confirmed to take more of a lifestyle direction.
The RAM brand also has plans to target lifestyle truck buyers with a luxurious “Longhorn” model that will debut at the Texas State Fair in two weeks. RAM execs didn’t comment on if it would bear any resemblance to the Mopar Dodge Ram Bianco model shown at last year’s SEMA Show. The truck will, however, feature a Longhorn logo that can be removed from the floor mat and used as a belt buckle.
As for features, the “Ram Box” storage area currently found on the 1500 model trucks, will be made available on the 2500 and 3500 heavy duty work trucks.
And finally, Jeep execs hinted at expanding their lineup to include a pickup truck, rolling out what is believed to be the Jeep Gladiator Concept from several years back. Jeep execs would not comment on if this model was slated for production.
Consumer watchdog, Consumer Reports has released its list of 2010 cars, which includes the Hyundai Accent and the Chevrolet Aveo, that do not come with the electronic stability control (ESC) safety feature.
A computerized technology that improves the safety of a vehicle’s stability by detecting and minimizing skids in a turn, electronic stability control will become a standard feature in all light-passenger vehicles come 2012. This category includes cars, pickup trucks and SUVs. According to Consumer Reports, the majority of manufacturers have already equipped their vehicles ahead of the mandate.
The list was a short one – only nine other cars managed to make the cut. Others on the list include the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Dodge Dakota, Dodge Viper, Kia Rio, Lotus Elise, Tesla Roadster and Scion tC.
But don’t worry if you’re in the market for a Hyundai Accent – it will have electronic stability control upgrade shortly. According to Hyundai spokesman Dan Bedore, “The Accent is our only non-ESC vehicle. It is also the oldest in our lineup. We continue to roll out new technologies as vehicles are freshened and replaced.” At this time, the Accent is the only current vehicle made by Hyundai that does not come with ESC.
[Source: Inside Line]