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Jay-Z and Chrysler nearly inked a deal on a Jay-Z Edition Jeep Commander, which would have featured 22-inch chrome wheels, a unique shade of blue paint, and a digital entertainment system filled with the rapper’s entire discography.
The slow-selling Commander would have been in Jay-Z’s own favorite color with a cream-colored interior, according to Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office by Forbes Magazine editor Zack O’Malley Greenburg. But Chrysler executives pulled out at the last minute, concerned over Jay-Z’s nefarious past and the idea that rappers aren’t as clean cut as, say, Ricardo Montalban.
Chrysler later killed the Commander quietly, but not before introducing a slew of Dub Edition 300Cs and attempting to recapture their hip-hop cred with Snoop Dogg—who actually killed a man—and Lee Iacocca, who merely killed the K-Car. And, of course, we haven’t heard any complaints from Eminem.
As Jay-Z said it best himself: “baby I’m a boss, I dunno what they do, I don’t get dropped, I dropped the label.”
Chrysler is recalling 40,000 2010 Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Charger and Ram, Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee vehicles due to a faulty ignition system.
The vehicles use a Wireless Ignition Nodule that has the key sit in a special slot before the vehicle is started. The wireless transmitter could malfunction, allowing the key to be removed before the vehicle is placed in Park. This could cause the vehicle to move unintentionally, increasing the likelihood of a crash.
Dealers will replace the defective part free of charge, and owners are encouraged to contact Chrysler at 1800-853-1403.
[Source: Consumers Report]
Last week Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne set out a long-winded plan for the future of the American automaker and how its future will be closely tied to its new Italian parent company. There was a lot to digest at the seven hour press conference and so we thought a model by model breakdown would be helpful and would shed some light on what appears to be the general plan to eliminate old Chrysler products and replace them with new Chrysler Group-branded Fiat models. So let’s start with Dodge…
From the smallest to the largest vehicles, Dodge will see the introduction of a subcompact car in 2013 based on the Alfa Romeo MiTo. Currently Dodge does not offer a sub-compact with its smallest offering being the compact Caliber, which receives a mild update this year but will be eliminated in 2012 and then replaced the same year by a Fiat Group-based vehicle. Presumably it will be another Alfa Romeo platform, however, the car will be built in the U.S.
Moving to the mid-size segment, the Avenger will also be updated for 2010 and then replaced by a Fiat Group platform in 2013.
The future for the Journey, Grand Caravan and Charger is more positive, with the Journey and Grand Caravan getting updates for 2010 with a new Grand Caravan due in 2014. The Charger will be all-new for 2011 with a new interior and exterior, after originally launching in 2006. A new rear suspension will also be part of the package. As for its Challenger sibling, it will be updated for the 2012 model year.
Two vehicles that will be eliminated are the Nitro and Viper, with the Nitro slated to be scraped in 2011 (with a possible successor), while the Viper will cease production mid next year with a potential sports car replacing it in 2012.
One new model will be added to the Dodge lineup; a seven-seater crossover based on the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee (pictured above).
The new Ram brand still won’t have a lot going on, although Fiat is looking to expand its offerings. The Dakota is scheduled to cease production late in 2011 with a possible unibody pickup to replace it. As for the Ram 1500, it will get a mid-cycle refresh in 2012, as will the heavy duty Ram trucks. A chassis cab version of the Ram will also arrive in 2010.
Two additions to the lineup include a front-drive small work van and full-sized van in 2012. The small van will be similar in purpose to Ford’s Transit Connect and will be based on the next-generation Fiat Doblo. It will be imported from either Turkey or Brasil. As for Ram’s new full-sized van offering, it will be one of two vehicles: either the body-on frame Iveco Daily or the unibody Fiat Ducato. Unlike the small van, this full-sized unit will be assembled in the U.S.
Starting in the small scale, the Chrysler Brand will also get a subcompact, although (surprisingly) it will not be based on the same Alfa Romeo vehicle as the Dodge sub-compact. Instead, it will be underpinned by the next-generation Lancia Ypsilon five-door hatch and will go on sale in 2013.
A new compact sedan (based on a Fiat Group platform) will be launched in 2012. It is not clear if the Fiat Group platform is the same one that will underpin the Dodge compact sedan. The same can be said for the Sebring, which, like its current Dodge counterpart (the Avenger) will get styling updates next year and be replaced by a Fiat Group platform in 2013.
As for the PT Cruiser, it will be eliminated late next year – although we’ve heard that one before.
The Chrysler 300, like the Dodge Charger, will be all-new for 2011 with the new model arriving some time next year. Styling is expected to be evolutionary, so don’t expect much change – which is probably a good thing.
And as for Chrysler’s final product, the Town & Country minivan, it will get updates next year with a new model in 2014. Fiat hopes to differentiate the Chrysler minivan from its Dodge counterpart by taking it more up-market. (Have we learned nothing from the R-Class?)
Finally, there’s the Jeep brand, where we’ve already learned the Patriot, Compass and Commander will be eliminated over the next few years. The first to meet the scrap heap is the Commander, with production ending late next year, while the Patriot and Compass will be get mild updates for 2010 before being retired in 2012. Interestingly, Fiat may build and sell the Commander overseas after 2010.
At the low end of the spectrum, a new subcompact SUV will arrive in 2013 based on the next generation Fiat Panda Cross, while a new compact crossover will arrive the same year based on an unnamed Fiat Group platform. A new Liberty will also arrive that year, again based on a Fiat.
As for Jeep’s core vehicles, the Wrangler will get a new interior next year, with a new engine offered in 2011. The Grand Cherokee will continue on as planned with the new model debuting next year as a 2011 model.
[Source: Automotive News]
A week ahead of a planned Fiat/Chrysler press conference in which Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of both automakers, was to outline the future of Chrysler, much of the information has been revealed in an in-depth report in the Wall Street Journal. But before we get to the new products that the Italian-owned automaker is planning to bring into the North American marketplace, it’s time to learn the fate of the vehicles being axed. And judging from the list, it appears as though Fiat is intent on moving its products in and Chrysler’s products out.
The vehicles to be cut include the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Sebring. On the Dodge side, four models will be eliminated, including the Caliber, Nitro, Avenger and Grand Caravan. Three Jeeps will also meet their maker: the Commander, Compass and Patriot.
In place of these vehicles Fiat is ready to announce the introduction of the 500 in 2011, along with three Alfa Romeo vehicles: the MiTo (shown above), Milano (which will replace the 147) and another yet unnamed mid-sized sedan.
The rest of the plan will see the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger redesigned in 2011, with the Grand Cherokee due out soon. And with only two Chrysler products left, the rumored decision to axe that brand’s name may just happen.
The Wall Street Journal made no mention of past reports that the Fiat Panda would see its way to the U.S. as a Jeep. There is also no word on if the Fiat 500 will be offered in just it’s standard hatchback form, or if a convertible and sporty Abarth version will also join the product lineup.
GALLERY: Alfa Romeo MiTo
[Source: WallStreetJournal via KickingTires]
UPDATE: Since posting this article Chrysler has announced that the three vehicles slated for elimination are the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango – all three of which the company had already announced were doomed. Feel free to read our exercise in creative writing/wishful thinking anyway.
When Chrysler announced yesterday in its Viability Plan submitted to the U.S. Treasury that it would reduce its workforce by 3,000 jobs and eliminate three vehicles from its lineup they didn’t mention which models would get the axe.
Not prepared to wait and find out, we’ve gone over the sales numbers and the recent reports from Chrysler to come up with a short list of models that have the best chance of being canned. And then we’ll choose our top three dead-pool picks.
For starters, Chrysler currently sells a total of 27 vehicles: 7 Chrysler models, 13 Dodge models (if you list all the Rams as one), and 7 Jeep models.
From the list we can already eliminate the PT Cruiser, Aspen, Aspen Hybrid, Durango and Magnum because all of those models have already been slated for the history books. So now we have just 22 models.
The Viper can also be eliminated fro the list because Chrysler has continuously announced that it wants to sell the brand and is currently in talks to do just that.
Based on the fact that both the Chrysler 300C and the Jeep Grand Cherokee appeared in Chrysler’s Viability Plan, we can assume these models are safe. And considering the Charger shares the same platform as the 300C and actually suffered only an 18 percent loss in sales versus the 300C’s 48 percent decline, we can’t see Chrysler eliminating that model either.
Now we’re down to 18.
Other keepers are sure to be the Ram and the Dakota, which despite a 49 percent drop in sales for 2008 is a necessary vehicle in the Dodge lineup. The Sprinter commercial truck is also a necessity. Also safe are both minivans, the Chrysler Town and Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan.
The Jeep lineup continues to be cluttered but on the whole it does very well and with the Wrangler listed as Jeep’s top seller, we can’t see Chrysler cut it or the Wrangler Unlimited from the list.
All of a sudden, we’re down to 11.
Some other simple eliminations from our list would include any brand new platforms and any compact crossover-type vehicles that are most popular right now. That being said the new Challenger and Journey are keepers. The Caliber is also likely to stay as it is essentially the Chrysler brand’s entry level vehicle.
Naturally we’d say the Nitro and Liberty are safe, but rumors have already surfaced that Chrysler plans to axe one of the two vehicles – likely the poorly selling Nitro.
And there you have it.. one of the three in Chrysler’s dead-pool. But we still have six vehicles to go. For the record, they are: the Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler Sebring Convertible, Dodge Avenger, Jeep Commander, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.
Shockingly this short list of potential vehicles-to-be-cut includes both the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger. The fact that they are high volume vehicles and mid-sized sedans should put them out of harm’s way. Then again, they are terrible. We’ll say they’re safe for now though. As for the Sebring Convertible, well, nobody needs a convertible and in this economic climate needs certainly outweigh wants, and so it’s a definite candidate for elimination.
Our remaining three vehicles to discuss are the Jeep Commander, Compass and Patriot, three similar SUVs (especially the Compass and Patriot). And while the redundancy does seem to put either the Compass or Patriot up on the chopping block, the Commander is our dead-pool pick considering it’s sales decline of 56 percent from last year.
So there you have it, our list of the most likely three vehicles to be eliminated from the Chrysler family are:
Chrysler Sebring Convertible
Official Chrysler 2008 sales figures afte the jump: