January 20, 2009
Chrysler has announced today that they will be forming an alliance with Italian Automaker Fiat. From the Chrysler Web Blog:
The alliance, to be a key element of Chrysler’s viability plan, would provide Chrysler with access to competitive, fuel-efficient vehicle platforms, powertrain, and components to be produced at Chrysler manufacturing sites. Fiat would also provide distribution capabilities in key growth markets, as well as substantial cost savings opportunities. In addition, Fiat would provide management services supporting Chrysler’s submission of a viability plan to the U.S. Treasury as required. Fiat has been very successful in executing its own restructuring over the past several years. The alliance would also allow Fiat Group and Chrysler to take advantage of each other’s distribution networks and to optimize fully their respective manufacturing footprint and global supplier base.
As a consideration for Fiat Group’s contribution to the alliance of strategic assets, to include: product and platform sharing, including city and compact segment vehicles, to expand Chrysler’s current product portfolio; technology sharing, including fuel efficient and environmentally friendly powertrain technologies; and access to additional markets, including distribution for Chrysler vehicles in markets outside of North America, Fiat would receive an initial 35 percent equity interest in Chrysler. The alliance does not contemplate that Fiat would make a cash investment in Chrysler or commit to funding Chrysler in the future.
35% is a pretty big chunk and this is only an “initial investment”. We’ll see how this progresses from here.
More on the subject at MSNBC.com.
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January 15, 2009
From Shane in Salt Lake City, UT:
All my life I’ve wanted to live in the mountains and own a Jeep. In the last year both of those dreams have come true. I am amazed a what this thing can do in the Utah mountains!
Congrats on both counts, Shane! Jeeps are made to be used in the mountains.
January 15, 2009
Amid renewed rumors of Chrysler potentially shopping the Jeep Brand to Renault, Chrysler Vice Chairman and President Tom LaSorda has publicly denied any possible sale.
From the Chrysler Media Site:
Chrysler Vice Chairman and President Tom LaSorda on Wednesday strongly denied reports and rumors that the company is in discussions to sell its Jeep brand, any manufacturing plants or the tooling for an existing vehicle.
“What was reported that we’re in discussions to sell the Jeep brand is absolutely false,” Lasorda told reporters on a conference call Wednesday morning.. “We will not separate the brands from the company.”
He said that the company has said for more than a year that it will sell non-earning assets, or assets that “may be coming due.” Chrysler has had discussions about selling the tooling of previous generation vehicles, or vehicles that are discontinued. But reports that the company would sell one of its manufacturing plants are untrue, and don’t make any sense.
“If we were to sell any assets, and if you looked at the loan agreement, the loan agreement would not allow us to do that without going through the ‘car czar’,” he added.
LaSorda also addressed rumors regarding deals with specific companies, such as Magna International Inc. or the automotive partners Nissan and Renault.
January 12, 2009
According to the Detroit Free Press, merger talks with GM are off. Federal loans have them continuing operations, for now.
Chrysler LLC Chief Executive Officer Bob Nardelli said the automaker is not looking for a buyer or a merger partner, and the company is working on getting another $3 billion in loans from the federal government.
The additional loans would be part of the $7 billion that Chrysler told Congress it needs to keep itself in business through 2012.
When asked if the company is looking for an acquisition or a merger, Nardelli said, “We don’t think we need that. There are no merger discussions on the table.”…
…Nardelli stressed that the automaker is looking for alliances, similar to its deal with Volkswagen to build minivans for the German automaker and with Nissan to build a pickup. Nissan plans to build a small car for Chrysler.
“We’re looking for global partnerships where we share to win,” he said.
That’s despite skepticism throughout the industry that Chrysler needs a buyer or merger partner to make it through the year and ultimately to produce the lineup of electric-drive concepts the company featured at the North American International Auto Show on Sunday.
Read the article in it’s entirety here.
January 12, 2009
Chrysler unveiled the new Jeep Patriot EV yesterday in Detroit at the NAIAS:
Jeep Patriot EV World Debut – Detroit – January 11, 2009 – Chrysler LLC unveils the all-new Jeep® Patriot EV at the North American International Auto Show today. A Range-extended Electric Vehicle, the Jeep Patriot EV has a range of 400 miles including 40 miles of zero fuel-consumption, zero-emissions and all-electric operation.
January 9, 2009
Leftlanenews.com has released exclusive spy pics of the new 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Chrysler may be hitting hard times, but the Michigan automaker hasn’t stop development of new products. A new Jeep Grand Cherokee is in the works, and our spy photographers have just spotted the new ‘ute for the first time while testing in the wild.
Design wise, we’ve been told by sources that have seen it sans camo that the Grand Cherokee “looks a lot like the Trailhawk concept, but with somewhat sharper lines.” We can certainly see a 7 slat grill through the camo that reminds us a lot of the Trailhawk grille. Beneath the camouflage, we think the doors have a similar stamping to the Trailhawk concept.
Click here to see the pics.
UPDATE: 2/19/09- Car & Driver reveals 2010 Jeep Cherokee Pictures!
This post brought to you by your online source for Jeep Grand Cherokee Accessories, JeepWorld.com.
January 6, 2009
Chrysler has released their sales figures for all of 2008, as well as the particularly bleak December 2008 numbers. Jeep sales fell -48% from December ’08 compared to the same time period in ’07. The Compass and Commander were the real stinkers of the group with sales falling -63% & -62% respectively. The Jeep Wrangler was the least offensive of the bunch with only -22% drop. All other models were -48% or worse.
For all of 2008, Jeep sales dropped -30% from the previous year. Patriot sales are up 38% for the year. The Jeep Liberty & Wrangler were the next “best” performers with only a -27% & -29% sales difference. Grand Cherokee sales fell -39%, while the not-so-fuel-efficient Commander saw it’s sales drop -56% on the year.