Friday, September 21, 2007

Dallas: Ron Capps final report

Racing series NHRA
Date 2007-09-23


ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 23, 2007) - Ron Capps dropped to fifth from third in the Countdown to Four point standings today after being dismissed by Ashley Force in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.

Under cloud cover, Capps beat Force off the line in the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T, recording a .080 reaction time (.000 is perfect) to Force's .102. But it was Force first across the finish stripe, winning the round with a 4.786-second elapsed time at 319.52 mph. Capps followed 34 feet behind with a 4.880/318.54.

Ashley Force then defeated Del Worsham, but withdrew from competition when her father John Force was taken to the hospital following a collision with Kenny Bernstein in the Funny Car second round.

"The Brut Revolution Dodge just didn't run in the middle as hard as we wanted it to," said Capps. "These fuel cars, especially here at this track when the weather gets good and the track condition gets better, with no sun on it, have to run hard in the middle. For whatever reason we didn't do that.

"And Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) is trying to figure out why it didn't run harder in the middle clutch-wise. We're going to stay and test tomorrow. We think we may have found the problem, which could have been the reason it hasn't run good the last few races.

"We thought it was a case of just getting used to this new chassis. We struggled in qualifying, that's a fact," added Capps, who was No. 12 qualifier. "And Ashley and Guido (Dean Antonelli, Ashley Force's crew chief) went down the track every run.

"We were sort of an underdog not having lane choice going into today, but I still expected to win. I knew Ace was getting after it in the middle of the track, more than we had, and it still didn't respond.

"I saw the whole back of her car at half track. She pulled around me and, in these Dodges, when you see somebody out of the window and you see the back of their car, that means they're way out in front.

"Ace is adamant about fixing this problem because we're going to go to Richmond, Va., and I guarantee you it's going to be cool conditions there and it will be fast, like last year. We hear there is cloud cover coming tomorrow here, and it will be perfect for testing for Richmond.

"But we're going to have to let it all hang out."

-credit: dsr

Chrysler recalls Jeep vehicles due to brake defects

Detroit News Wire Services

Chrysler LLC recalled 28,755 Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee sport-utility vehicles to replace front-brake parts that could fail because they may be made of the wrong type of metal, Bloomberg News reported today.

The recall affects 2007 and 2008 models, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its Web site. Some brake calipers may have been made with gray iron instead of ductile iron and could fracture, increasing stopping distance and possibly causing an accident, the Washington-based agency said.

Chrysler hasn't gotten any reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem, a spokesman told Bloomberg. The recall covers vehicles built from May 17 to July 13.

Chrysler and Union Face Crucial Talks in Canada

Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times

A DaimlerChrysler plant in Windsor, Ontario. Contract talks begin this summer and the company wants to slow the growth in labor costs.

Published: May 27, 2005

WINDSOR, Ontario, May 25 - Overtime is a familiar word to Chrysler workers in Canada, who build the Chrysler 300 sedan, the flagship of Chrysler's recent revival, at a plant near Toronto. And in this city, across a bridge from Detroit, they build a briskly selling crop of minivans known for their two rows of seats that fold flat.

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The New York Times

So, the stakes are high for Chrysler in summer contract talks with the Canadian Auto Workers union. Executives of Chrysler, a division of the German automaker DaimlerChrysler, contend that their Canadian workers are fast becoming uncompetitive in the global economy. While Canada's nationalized health care helps Chrysler undercut labor costs at its plants in the United States, Canadian workers have in the last three years become more expensive than workers at nonunionized plants in the United States run by Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and other Asian automakers. Chrysler's Canadian workers are aware of both the competitive burdens that the company faces as well as its recent spurt of success. By contrast, both General Motors and the Ford Motor Company are struggling to keep customers and hold onto profits.

"Everyone basically wants to keep their jobs, that's the biggest thing," said Dean Getty, a 37-year-old who works in the paint shop of Chrysler's Windsor plant. "We make good money and we have good benefits. You can't ask for much more."

But Denis Caza, a 58-year-old millwright, wants more. Chrysler's sales in the United States, where the vast majority of Canadian-built vehicles are sold, are up 6.6 percent this year.

"To me, they should be able to get more than they got last time because they have three hot sellers now up in Bramalea," he said, referring to the Toronto-area plant that produces the Chrysler 300 sedan, the Dodge Magnum and the Dodge Charger.

"If you don't get any marbles now, you won't be able to give any back later, you know what I'm saying," he added, before heading to his car, blue Thermos in hand, to beat the traffic streaming from the plant.

Chrysler executives say a series of generous contracts granted to Canadian workers have offset the roughly $4-an-hour advantage over the United States resulting from Canada's health care system. One factor is that Canadian Chrysler workers get roughly 11 weeks of paid time off, compared with more than 8 weeks off for an American Chrysler worker and more than 7 weeks for workers at the nonunionized American plants of foreign automakers.

Chrysler contends that Canada should be compared with the plants of the Asian automakers because they are the fastest-growing competitors. The company would like overall labor costs to grow by no more than 2.5 percent annually in the new contract, compared with 5.8 percent in the last contract.

"We need to craft an agreement that slows down the growth of these costs and contributes to the long-term viability of the auto economy in Canada," Dave Elshoff, a Chrysler spokesman, said.

Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, is unmoved and says the financial woes of G.M. and Ford have less to do with labor costs and more to do with a trade policy too favorable to Asian automakers. He said he would like his workers to get even more time off and richer pension benefits.

"My advice is not to get their expectations too high," he said in an interview this week. "The Big Three have some serious problems but they aren't problems we can resolve in bargaining. We can work for nothing, and they'd still have the problems."

Jim Stanford, the economist for the Canadian union, said much of the shift since the last contract was simply due to the strengthening of the Canadian dollar, which has moved from about 63 cents on the American dollar in 2002 to 80 cents now. "In a way," he said, "they should be telling this to the Bank of Canada."

Last year, Ontario passed Michigan for the first time to become the largest auto producing state or province in North America, though much of the increase has come from nonunionized plants producing brands like Honda. Still, the Canadian union covers 39,000 active workers, a fraction of the roughly 280,000 workers covered by the United Auto Workers union, which negotiated a separate four-year contract in 2003. Both unions pick out one of the three companies, negotiate a contract with it and use that as the pattern for the others. The talks open in mid-July.

Posturing ahead of labor talks is standard procedure, of course, and Canadian auto workers seceded from the United Workers union in 1985 because they wanted to take a harder line.

But the Canadian talks follow the recent downgrade of both G.M. and Ford by Standard & Poor's, which put their debt rating below investment grade for the first time.

In the 2003 talks with the U.A.W., that union's president, Ron Gettelfinger, struck an unusually conciliatory tone with the Big Three, indicating that the union and the American automakers were increasingly seeing companies like Toyota and other Asian automakers as their main adversaries. Now, G.M. is pressing the U.A.W. to take the unusual step of reopening contract talks on health benefits.

Gary Chaison, professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., said the C.A.W. "can't ignore the reality of the industry."

"The C.A.W. was formed as an anticoncession breakaway," he said. But "they can't argue with the overall trends. It's very easy to make a case that it's time to break from the past."

Chrysler's Press Says US Auto Makers Will Regain Share

Dow Jones

DETROIT -(Dow Jones)- The new president and vice chairman of Chrysler LLC, who recently headed Toyota Motor Corp.'s (TM) North American business, said Thursday he expects Chrysler and other U.S. auto makers to re-gain market share after years of slipping to foreign rivals.

Jim Press, who was tapped by new Chrysler majority owner Cerberus Capital Management LP to head up sales, marketing and product strategy, also said he can bring more of a customer focus, and long-term outlook to Chrysler.

Press, speaking during a radio interview on Detroit radio station WJR-AM 760, said Chrysler has a capable organization and a "gold plated" culture, but that it needs "some good, fresh direction and some consistent thoughts and observations."

Press said Chrysler will increase its share and said, "I think the domestic auto industry will increase their share."

He also indicated that Chrysler's effort to shrink its dealer base would continue.

"There's no question that there's been shifts in the market and we haven't made the responses necessary to keep our retail organization profitable and growing and prosperous," Press said. "So we need to take a look at that and the other thing we need to do is grow the business."

He said Chrysler has a lot of opportunities to expand its market share, and that he, Tom LaSorda and Chief Executive Bob Nardelli make a strong team.

Cerberus, which acquired an 80.1% stake in Chrysler from Daimler AG (DAI), has brought a more aggressive style to the Detroit auto scene with the hiring of Nardelli, the former chief executive of Home Depot Inc. (HD), and Press, who helped build Toyota's successful North American business.

LaSorda, who was chief executive of Chrysler under DaimlerChrysler, is president and vice chairman in charge of manufacturing, procurement and supply. Both LaSorda and Press report to Nardelli.

Press said he rebuffed offers over the years from other auto makers but was compelled by Cerberus's offer to help rebuild an American icon. He said he wasn't displeased or unhappy at Toyota.

Chrysler is undergoing a restructuring after losing $1.5 billion in 2006.

"Toyota is a very successful organization and they've got their act together and they're really doing well," Press said. "The course is set. This is a chance to not sit by the window and watch things happen, but be part of making history, making things happen."

Press said at Toyota, there were "different reactions from different levels of the company" on his decision to leave.

Press said the U.S. auto industry is going to come back and "come back strong."

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

Stanley W. Ostrander of General Motors and the Ford Motor Company is born in Whittemore, MI
The (Societa) Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobile (A.L.F.A.) is forced into receivership, leading to the creation of the Societa Anonima Italiana Nicola Romeo e C., manufacturers of the Alfa Romeo
Jean-Pierre Wimille makes his major racing debut in the French Grand Prix at Pau, but his Bugatti Type 37A retires after just two laps with supercharger problems
The SS 4-door saloon is introduced
Henry Ford II is elected President of the Ford Motor Company

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

Chrysler's Press out to make things happen

Sought-after ex-Toyota executive says he'll bring 'good, fresh direction' on his first day at new job.

Josee Valcourt / The Detroit News

Jim Press, who was Toyota Motor Corp.'s highest-ranking American executive before making a surprise career move to join Chrysler LLC, said the time was right for a job change.

"This is a chance to not sit by the window and watch things happen but be part of making history, making things happen," Press said Thursday in an interview on WJR Radio. "The timing couldn't be better. The U.S. auto market is going to come back and come back strong."

Press, whose first day at Chrysler was Wednesday, said his new gig as vice chairman and president gives him an opportunity to apply lessons learned at Toyota, the Japanese powerhouse known for its manufacturing discipline and quality.

"They need some good, fresh direction and some consistent thoughts and observations," Press said. "I can bring those."

The interview was Press' first public comments since he made headlines two weeks ago when Chrysler parent company Cerberus Capital Management LP said it had nabbed the sought-after Toyota executive.

Chrysler, now privately held, is in the midst of a turnaround after losing $680 million in 2006 and $2 billion in the first quarter this year. The company did not release specific figures for the second quarter but is believed to have had break-even results.

Cerberus, which bought an 80.1 percent stake in the U.S. automaker in August, has been making moves to build a top-notch management team in an effort to accelerate Chrysler's comeback.

Press, 60, called Cerberus "for real," meaning the company was committed to Chrysler. "Mr. (Stephen) Feinberg, when he contacted me, he said he wants to build a great American icon," Press said, recounting his conversation with the Cerberus chief. He described the recruitment process as not "drawn out."

"It wasn't long," he said. "It was obviously meant to be."

Press shares the chairman and president titles with former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda, who was replaced by former Home Depot Inc. CEO Bob Nardelli.

"Tom, he knows the company. He's a great inside guy," Press said. "Bob knows business. And I know a little bit about cars. The three of us together can provide some leadership and guidance, some strategy, some vision."

Press will work closely with Chrysler's 3,750 dealers. The executive, who was well-liked by Toyota's dealers, called Chrysler's retailers "the strongest dealers" because they've been through the highs and lows of the business and said they were "key" to the automaker's success.

But Press hinted that the number of Chrysler dealers may have to be reduced to strengthen the network. There are about 1,200 Toyota dealerships countrywide, including its Lexus luxury arm.

"We (Chrysler) haven't made responses necessary to keep our retail organization profitable, and growing and prosperous," he said. "We need to take a look at that and the other thing we need to do is grow the business. Part of the solution is to get the size right and part of the solution is to grow into your shoes."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chrysler promotes diversity

Carmaker unveils supplier incentives



Simon Boag, Chrysler executive vice president of procurement and supply, describes the company's diversity initiative on Thursday.


Chrysler LLC said Thursday that it plans to ask its suppliers to report on just how diverse their workforces are.

A workforce that that beats the state average for minority employment would put a supplier in a better position to win more business from the Auburn Hills-based automaker."For us, it's not just about the ownership of our minority suppliers, but it's the number of employees that our suppliers use that are minority employees," said Simon Boag, Chrysler's executive vice president of procurement and supply.

Boag made the announcement in Chrysler's tech center on the Auburn Hills campus during an event aimed at connecting the company and its largest suppliers with women- and minority-owned businesses.

The idea to measure minority employment came from Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Boag said.

"The essence here is employment," Boag said. "We want to be a catalyst in terms of increasing employment in our communities."

The automaker will ask suppliers that sell to Chrysler and to Chrysler's largest suppliers to report their percentage of minority employment each year.

That figure will be measured against a state average for minority employment, which in the case of Michigan is 20%, said Jethro Joseph, senior manager of Chrysler's diversity supplier development.

"It's an incentive to go over that number," Joseph said.

The annual reporting will be optional. Companies that don't exceed the state average will still get points for disclosing their numbers.

Kim Korth, president of automotive consulting firm IRN in Grand Rapids, expects suppliers to be skeptical.

"There's just so many of those initiatives that come down," she said. "A lot of times they're just not sustainable."

But Korth called the idea creative and new in the auto industry.

"This gives some additional incentive to expand your minority presence," she said. "It would almost be a reward for more progressive suppliers."

Latest 2008 Dodge Charger SRT8 images

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

Taine Gilbert McDougal of the AC Spark Plug Company is born in New Lexington, OH
Racer Horace Gould is born in Southmead, England
Adrian Squire, designer of the 1934-1936 Squire sports car, is killed in Bristol, England during a German air raid
Heatley Green, an automobile parts manufacturer since 1901, dies in Detroit, MI
The 1964 Plymouths are introduced

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

Spy tools: A camera and a scream

September 20, 2007

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. -- A century ago, prospectors combed the hills of this desert wasteland searching for specks of gold.

Today's prospectors search for cloaked cars. Instead of picks and shovels, they tote still and video cameras. Occasionally, they hit the jackpot.

It happened recently to shooter Glenn Paulina, 36, of Linden. He says he tracked a nervous Mercedes-Benz engineering crew for 200 miles as it tried to outwit spy photographers to road test what he believed was an SLC coupe.

After a 12-hour pursuit, Paulina says he got his shot.

"It's great fun," says Paulina, standing behind a trailer in Stovepipe Wells Village, a motel and store in Death Valley National Park, as he staked out what he believed to be a Chevrolet team across the road.

The queen of the spy photographers is Brenda Priddy, a 15-year veteran who spends weeks in Death Valley at a stretch and acts as a photo agency for other shooters as well.

She is known for being brazen, walking right up to vehicles to shoot pictures, then smothering engineers in smiles and conversation.

Reached by phone, she said one automotive crew recently text messaged her at her Beatty, Nev., hotel, just outside Death Valley, to meet them for a drink. She did, but they never divulged what they were testing.

"It's a love-hate relationship," Priddy, 47, said.

In this Internet age, filing spy photos immediately from a hotel room can make all the difference compared with the old days, when Priddy would process film and send pictures in overnight packages.

She has been threatened but never seriously hurt. If an engineer tries to grab a lens, she unleashes a noisy tirade. Of one episode last summer, Priddy recalled, "My daughter says she never heard me scream like I screamed at that guy."

Simon Avenia, 27, a photographer based outside of Stuttgart, Germany, who was on his first foray in Death Valley, said he understands the nature of the game from the engineers themselves.

"One guy told me everyone has to do their best to protect the cars," Avenia said. "They know we're going to catch them, so it's no big deal anyway."

US: Chrysler LLC announces manufacturing launch of multiple models at St Louis South assembly plant

By Automotive World staff writer (MP)
17 September, 2007
Source: Automotive World
Chrysler LLC has announced the manufacturing launch of the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Grand Voyager and Chrysler Town & Country minivans for global markets at its St Louis South assembly plant in Fenton, Mis...


Dodge Avenger
The Dodge looks striking, build quality is poor and it is expensive.
On the road price: £14,995 - £17,995

For: Strong diesel engine, good driver comfort, smooth ride
Against: Overpriced, major concerns over build quality

The Dodge is no sports car, but it’s reassuring and deals well with quick changes in direction. It’s also composed over rough surfaces, while the steering is nicely weighted. Two engines are offered, but we’d avoid the disappointing 2.4-litre petrol, and go for the Volkswagen sourced 2.0-litre diesel. It offers good low-down power, and vibration is well contained. It is, however, far from refined and sounds coarse at both idea and on the move. It’s quick, though, with good acceleration figures and strong in-gear pace. It pulls well from low speeds as well, and the six-speed gearbox is slick.

Dodge is hoping its muscle car heritage will help it gain a foothold in the competitive large family car sector. The Avenger is boldly styled, with oversized dimensions including that bulky rear haunch. It’s a big car – longer than Ford’s Mondeo – and the oversized appearance gives it a really robust appearance. There are two trim lines, and both are lavishly trimmed: the SE has ESP and climate control, with the SXT adding full leather. Prices for the five-door hatch are on a par with the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Vectra, though it’s a more natural rival for the Hyundai Sonata and its sister car, the costlier Chrysler Sebring.

The Avenger’s interior is an expanse of hard, grey plastic, while the finish smacks of lacklustre workmanship. It’s neat and well laid out, though, while the driving position is good. Legroom isn’t quite as ample in the rear, but it’s accommodating – unlike the boot, which is also hampered by a narrow opening. Rear visibility is restricted as well. As for economy, it’s acceptable if you go for the diesel – the petrol is poor, particularly with the optional auto gearbox. Retained values aren’t great either, and overall, you have to consider the Avenger poor value when compared to some of its rivals. Against a Ford Mondeo, there’s no comparison.

2008 Chrysler 300C rolled out quietly

click above image for more pics of the 2008 Chrysler 300

Late last year we posted on spy shots of the 2008 Chrysler 300, which showed a test vehicle with its front and rear covered. No one was really sure how extensive the changes would be, though we could see through the covering that the taillights had been redesigned. At the time we thought the 300's mid-cycle enhancement (MCE) might be more substantial, but we were wrong. Chrysler has quietly updated its website with information and images of the 2008 Chrysler 300 sedan, and as far as we can tell, the new taillight design is the only real difference aside from a new lip spoiler supposedly inspired by the SRT-8 model. While Chrysler claims in its press release that both the front and rear fascias were altered, the changes are so minor as to be practically invisible.

The interior was also upgraded, though the most visible difference between the two model years is a new nav system for 2008 and a slightly different center console around where the shifter resides. You can compare the two interior designs after the jump.

Other additions for 2008 include optional adaptive cruise control, new soft-touch surfaces for many interior panels, Chrysler's MyGIG entertainment system (hence the new nav screen), and a "Fuel Saver Mode" display between the gauges. Seeing now how Chrysler handled the 300's MCE, by avoiding it really, we're very curious how the automaker will ever be able to redesign an exterior as instantly iconic as this one.

[Source: Chrysler]

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Michigan State Police hit the test track with latest cop cars

Click the Dodge Charger cop car for a high-res gallery

Every September since the 1950s, the Michigan State Police have conducted vehicle performance testing on the latest cop cars. Prior to the early 1970s when the first oil embargo occurred, they would go out for bids every year and then test just the low bid vehicle. In those days, testing was limited to acceleration, top speed and braking distance.

According to Lt. David Halliday of the Michigan State Police, as carmakers were struggling at that time and scrambling to sell their bigger vehicles, they all started submitting bids around the same price with only a $45 spread covering all the contenders one year. Around that time they decided to start testing all of the available vehicles and they also made their test results available to all interested police agencies. For the past three decades, a chunk of that annual testing has been conducted at the Chrysler Proving Ground in Chelsea, MI.

Continue reading Michigan State Police hit the test track with latest cop cars

Chrysler Proving Ground high-speed oval re-opens after rebuild

The Chrysler proving ground from space

After a six month rebuild program the high-speed oval track at Chrysler's Chelsea Michigan Proving Ground has re-opened. The first official test run on the new track was the 2007 Michigan State Police vehicle evaluation. The 4.71 mile oval was originally constructed in 1953 and had never been completely resurfaced until now. The increasingly bumpy surface has turns banked at an angle that allows for driving at 140 mph without steering input.

The old surface was made of concrete and repairs required significant amount of downtime for the track so that sections could be cut out, refilled and allowed to set. Rather than just resurface the facility, Chrysler completely ripped out all the concrete and rebuilt the base. The old concrete was ground up and used to build the base of the new track. Full drainage was provided around the underside of the entire surface of the track which allowed the ditches that used to line the inside of the road surface to be eliminated.

Continue reading about changes to the oval after the jump.

Continue reading Chrysler Proving Ground high-speed oval re-opens after rebuild

DaimlerChrysler Cars

RED Indicates changed or new information

The lead time represents the estimated order to delivery period under normal conditions and does not take into consideration holds or delays. Extended lead times (when available) are noted under the Key Production Hold or Delay column.

*All models and constraints are for the 2008 MY unless noted otherwise.

** Orders should be placed at least 30 days prior to the option’s final build date for all DaimlerChrysler vehicles.

Due to various assembly plant assignments for specific model lines or ordered options; the DaimlerChrysler constraints listed below may or may not apply at the time an order is placed.





Chrysler 300/300C,

Dodge Magnum,

Dodge Charger


  • (PKG) Light Sandstone has a Job #1 of 9/17/07
  • (29R) Pkg. has a Job #1 of 9/17/07 (LX*D49) and 9/25/07 (LX*C48)

The following options have a Job #1 of 10/1/07:

  • (AHB) Police Group
  • (26P) Pkg. (LXC*48)
  • (NHP) Adaptive speed control

  • (ESF) 6.1L SRT Hemi V8 engine has a Job #1 of 10/3/07
  • (PBG) Clearwater Blue Paint has a Job #1 of 10/8/07
  • (RSV) Satellite video has a Job #1 of 10/8/07
  • (29V) Pkg. has a Job #1 of 12/3/07 (LX*D48)

Chrysler Pacifica


  • (29W) Pkg. has a final build date of 12/21/07
  • (PHF) Deep Crimson Crystal paint has a Job #1 of 10/22/07

Chrysler PT Cruiser


  • (PBS) Borden Blue paint has a Job #1 of 9/24/07
  • (2DP) Pkg. has a Job #1 of 10/1/07 (PT*C44)
  • (PPL) Melbourne Green paint has a Job #1 of 2/4/08
  • (PVJ) Sunset Crystal paint has a Job #1 of 2/4/08

Chrysler Sebring Sedan, Dodge Avenger


  • (24P) and (28P) Packages have a Job #1 of 12/31/07 (JS*C41)

Dodge Caliber


  • (*V8) Cloth seats w/ color-keyed insert and (CXP) blue seat insert has a Job #1 of 9/28/07
  • (AJU) Sport Appearance Group w/ (CXP) blue seat insert has a Job #1 of 9/28/07
  • (ED4) 2.4L 4-cyl turbo engine has a Job #1 of 11/1/07
  • (*Z5) Yes Essentials cloth seats have a Job #1 of 11/26/07

Jeep Compass


  • (BRJ) Anti-lock brake option has a Job #1 of 9/17/07

DaimlerChrysler Trucks

RED Indicates changed or new information

The lead time represents the estimated order to delivery period under normal conditions and does not take into consideration holds or delays. Extended lead times (when available) are noted under the Key Production Hold or Delay column.

*All models and constraints are for the 2008 MY unless noted otherwise.

** Orders should be placed at least 30 days prior to the option’s final build date for all DaimlerChrysler vehicles.

Due to various assembly plant assignments for specific model lines or ordered options; the DaimlerChrysler constraints listed below may or may not apply at the time an order is placed.





Chrysler Town & Country

Dodge Grand


  • (PBD) Marathon Blue paint has a Job #1 of 9/24/07
  • (PXR) Brilliant Black paint has a Job #1 of 9/24/07
  • (PBG) Clearwater Blue has a Job #1 of 10/1/07
  • (PHF) Deep Crimson Crystal has a Job #1 of 10/1/07
  • (CY4) 2nd row swiveling bucket seats has a Job #1 of 10/15/07
  • (AVM) Cargo Van Group has a Job #1 of 10/22/07

The following options have a Job #1 of 11/19/07:

  • (CKL) Cargo compartment floor mat
  • (CMF) Molded wall liner
  • (CMP) Carpeted wall liner
  • (CWG) Half-width cargo divider
  • (CWC) Full-width cargo divider
  • (XGC) Solid window inserts
  • (XGE) Wire mesh window inserts
  • (XGL) Exterior vinyl window shading

  • (WFX) Aluminum wheels have a Job #1 of TBD

Dodge Dakota


  • (TXX) P265/65R17 OWL tires have a Job #1 of 11/5/07

Dodge Durango


  • (CGS) Side air bags have a fleet Job #1 of 10/8/07

Chrysler Aspen


  • (2TG) Pkg. has a Job #1 of 10/8/07

Dodge Nitro



Dodge Ram Pickup DR 1500, 2500, 3500 and Mega Cab


  • (ETJ+DG0+AHD) 5.7L Hemi engine with automatic trans and HD Snow Plow Prep Group has a Job #1 of 9/24/07 (DH*741)
  • (WLA+PJC+XBS) Dual rear wheels w/ Light Khaki paint and box-on has a Job #1 of 9/28/07 (D1**42, D1**62)
  • (AR9) Single Rear Wheel Group w/ (DG3) 6-speed auto transmission has a Job #1 of 10/30/07 (DC*863)
  • (DR) Quad Cab w/ leather and (AFY) Sun Value Group has a Job #1 of 11/5/07
  • (EZA) 5.7L engine w/ (XBC) pickup box delete has a Job #1 of 11/15/07 (DH)
  • (DH) Heavy Duty has a Job #1 of 1/1/08

Jeep Grand Cherokee


  • (RSV) Sirius satellite streaming video has a Job #1 of 10/1/07
  • (26W) and (28W) Packages have a Job #1 of 10/1/07
  • (26Y) and (28Y) Packages have a Job #1 of 2/1/08

Jeep Commander


  • (26R) and (28R) Packages have a Job #1 of 9/17/07
  • (RSV) Sirius satellite streaming video has a Job #1 of 10/1/07
  • (26W) and (28W) Packages have a Job #1 of 10/1/07
  • (26Y) and (28Y) Packages have a Job #1 of 2/1/08

Jeep Liberty


  • (JHC) Rain sensitive wipers have a Job #1 of 10/29/07

Jeep Wrangler


  • (WPB) 18” Aluminum machined wheels are no longer available for ordering
  • (WPK) 18” Aluminum Machined wheels have a Job #1 of 10/15/07
  • (CKT) Cargo tie-down loops have a Job #1 of 1/3/08

Jeep Patriot



(words only): NASSAU

Standard Character claim: Yes

Current Status: Opposition period completed, a Notice of Allowance has been issued.

Date of Status: 2007-02-20

Filing Date: 2006-05-05

The Notice of Allowance Date is: 2007-02-20

Transformed into a National Application: No

Registration Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)

Register: Principal

Law Office Assigned: LAW OFFICE 106

Attorney Assigned:
LAVACHE LINDA M Employee Location

Current Location: 700 -Intent To Use Section

Date In Location: 2007-09-17



CIMS 483-02-19 1000 CHRYSLER DRIVE
United States
Legal Entity Type: Ltd Liab Co
State or Country Where Organized: Delaware


International Class: 012
Class Status: Active
Basis: 1(b)
First Use in Commerce Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)






2007-09-17 - ITU Incomplete Extension Request

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

Albert Vidal Alexandre Boudarel, a sculptor and designer of animal mascots for automobiles, is born in Paris, France
Harry Joseph Seaman, founder of Seaman Motors and developer of improved roadbuilding techniques, is born in Berlin, WI
Mr. and Mrs. Willaim Warwick and daughter Daisy arrive in New York City in a GMC truck loaded with Carnation Milk products after a 70-day trip from Seattle, WA to promote the National Parks Highway
Ab Jenkins completes a 24-hour solo run at the Bonneville Salt Flats, UT in a stock Pierce-Arrow V-12 roadster, covering 2,710 miles for an average speed of 112.94 mph - this was the first 24-hour run done at Bonneville
The 1949 Kaisers are introduced

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ralph Gilles | automobile designer with a vision

Ralph Gilles | automobile designer with a vision

When he was just six years old, Ralph Gilles developed a deep enthusiasm for automobiles. By the time he was eight years old, he was drawing concept vehicles.

Gilles’ aunt spotted his talent and when he was just 14, wrote to Lee Iacocca to tell him about it. The chief of design at Chrysler, K. Neil Walling, wrote back and suggested some design schools that Gilles might attend. He chose the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and later graduated with an Executive MBA from Michigan State University.

His passion for designing automobiles continued and he was hired by Chrysler in 1992. Eventually he was appointed head of Daimler Chrysler Corporation’s creative Studio 3.

It was in that studio that he led the designing of the the 2005 Chrysler 300, which was named the Car of the Year.

Some say the Chrysler 300 is classy. Some say it is sporty. What it is for everyone is eye catching. It draws admiring looks and compliments no matter where it goes. And speaking of going places…

Eventually, Gilles was charged with the huge task of revitalizing Chrysler and rebranding the Dodge. They wanted to differentiate them and appeal to new customers. The move was a big success and follwed the successes he had had with the Dodge Magnum, Dodge Viper. and Jeep Liberty. Those cars, especially the Chrysler 300, turned the company around. Almost immediately they went from the red into the black in terms of profit.

Ralph Gilles, ever the creative designer and innovator, is currently the Vice President of Jeep and Truck Design at the Chrysler Group. His Chrysler 300 and other visionary designs will go down in automobile history as true classics. Classics that originated in the the mind of a boy who had a dream. A dream that he followed.

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

The Republic Rubber Company of Youngstown, OH is issued a United States patent for its tire tread pattern marketed as “Staggard”
Automobile historian Alfred DuPont Chandler Jr. is born in Guyencourt, DE
The new administration building of the Auburn Automobile Company opens in Auburn, IN - the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum now occupies the restored building
The 1940 Nashes are introduced
The Aston Martin DB3/1 makes its racing with debut at the RAC Tourist Trophy race at Dunrod, Ireland, but the car driven by Lance Macklin had to retire due to bearing failure

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

The Packard Motor Company begins removing the machinery at its Warren, OH facility for transfer to the new factory in Detroit, MI
General Motors holds the first meeting of its General Technical Committee, formed to prevent problems within the corporation similar to those encountered during the development of the copper-cooled engine
The Graham-Paige Motors Corporation contracts with Hupmobile to build its Cord-based Skylark, also acquiring the right to manufacture its own Cord-based car, the Hollywood
Bayard D. Kunkle of General Motors dies at age 70
The Organization of the Petroleum exporting Countries (OPEC) is founded in Baghdad, Iraq

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

Testing is completed for the Packard Model F
Racer Josef Peters is born in Dusseldorf, Germany
A GM T-95-C tractor/trailer unit operated by the Southern California
The post office at the Ford Motor Company Navy Service School closes
The United States Auto Club (USAC) is organized with Duane Carter

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

Lester L. Whitman and Eugene I. Hammond arrive in New York City to complete the third trans-United States automobile trip which included a route from Windsor to Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada to give the journey an international flavor
Henry, Clara, and Edsel B. Ford become sole owners of the Ford Motor Company
Racer Stirling Craufurd Moss is born in London, England
The Packard Custom Super Eight 180 is introduced
Edgar W. Smith, an executive with General Motors 1919-1954, dies in Morristown, NJ at age 66

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

Raminator Monster Truck 1st Ever Rollover!

Mark Hall went nearly two full years without rolling the Raminator monster trucks. Then he met up with some tacky midwestern dirt that instead of providing an area for donuts, flipped the Dodge Ram onto its lid in a blink of an eye.

Daimler initiated with "outperform" - update

Monday, September 17, 2007 12:59:59 PM ET
Bear Stearns

LONDON, September 17 ( - Analyst Daniel Cunliffe of Bear Stearns initiates coverage of Daimler (DCX.ETR) with an "outperform" rating. The target price is set to €100.

In a research note published this morning, the analyst mentions that after the sale of Chrysler, Auto revenues have declined to 50% of total revenues, from 75%. The truck division is expected to drive 75% of Daimler’s earnings change in 2007-2009, the analyst says. While truck volumes are expected to rise by 11% in 2008-2009, truck margins are estimated at 12%, Bear Stearns adds. Daimler could repurchase 60% of its stock, valued at €40 billion, with the buyback being funded through the sale of non-core assets, such as EADS, according to the analyst.

Chrysler recalls SUVs, Avengers, Sebrings

Chrysler is recalling nearly 300,000 SUVs because of reported braking problems while driving uphill. The recall includes more than 156,000 2006-2007 model year Jeep Grand Cherokees and Commanders, more than 90,000 2007 Jeep Wranglers and nearly 50,000 2007 Dodge Nitros. Max Gates, a company spokesman, said Chrysler had received about twenty complaints of drivers experiencing a delay in braking when they tried to stop their vehicles after coasting uphill. There has been one crash associated with the problem, but no injuries have been reported. Under the recall, Chrysler will reprogram the antilock brake system’s computer. Owners of vehicles affected will be notified by mail beginning later this month. Chrysler will also recall 72,333 of its 2008 Dodge Avenger sedans and Chrysler Sebring convertibles because of issues with the front door latches and locks. Gates said the company discovered the problems through its own internal monitoring program. No accidents or injuries have been reported and Chrysler will notify owners about what they need to do to obtain any necessary repairs next month.Owners of the recalled vehicles can get more information by calling Chrysler toll-free at (800) 853-1403.

Chrysler vehicles make cheap-to-repair list

The Car Book priced out nine items likely to need repairs in the first 100,000 miles and used those prices to build an index. All five of the lowest repair cost vehicles are Chrysler LLC vehicles: Jeep Wrangler, Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Ram Pickup and Chrysler PT Cruiser. The five most expensive to repair are all foreign-made and include the Chrysler Crossfire and Toyota Avalon. The largest difference was between the Jeep Wrangler and Mercedes M-Class; replacing all nine items would cost $1,584 on the Jeepp and $4,011 on the Mercedes.

Jeep J8 Multipurpose Reports for Duty [OZ]

It all started in June 1941 when the U.S. Army received its first shipments of the Willys MA, the rugged 4×4 vehicle that came to be called the Jeep. The U.S. army was so impressed with the vehicles that Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower declared that the war could not have been won without the Jeep.

Jeep J8 Multipurpose Reports for Duty

Times have changed, and the current Jeep Wrangler is a distant, grown up and more civilised version of this former 4×4 but for a brand that made its name in the military, the new Jeep J8 Multipurpose is back to reclaim some lost ground.

Jeep says the J8 marks the company’s renewed commitment to supply the defence community with the highest-quality 4×4 vehicles available anywhere in the world. Much like the Hummer H1, there will be demand for this vehicle for civilian use, and Jeep have already made the vehicle available to civilian government applications.

Jeep J8 Multipurpose Reports for Duty

Based on the all-new 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the Egypt built J8 has more capability and versatility than the standard Wrangler. To start with, the car’s frame has undergone some tweaking to allow for more ruggedness and greater payloads (max 1,339 kg).

The Axles, brakes and suspension components have also changed to meet the demands of military personal with the rear suspension reverting back to leaf-spring.

Jeep J8 Multipurpose Reports for Duty

The Jeep J8 is powered by a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 118 kW and 400 Nm of torque which allows a towing capacity of 3,500 kg.

Being a military vehicle, it is fitted with Jeep’s latest air-intake systems that allow the car to go 76 cm deep in water as well as surviving sandstorm conditions for up to five hours.

Jeep J8 Multipurpose Reports for Duty

Although not destined for the frontline, the J8 can act as a troop/cargo carrier, ambulance and other non combat rolls. The J8 comes in two variants, a two-door with an extended pickup bed for personnel or equipment transport, or a four-door multipurpose vehicle.

Challenger, ENVI Coming from Chrysler

Musclecar, electric car on the way, Chrysler says.

Chrysler LLC officials have confirmed the production version of the two-door Dodge Challenger will be unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in February.

Camouflaged Challengers have been spotted driving around Detroit, and the car's retro exterior lines are making it easy to spot. Chrysler officials, however, declined to comment on when the new Challenger will reach showrooms.

Deborah Meyer, who joined Chrysler in mid-August after a tour of duty with Toyota, said it was going to be an exciting year for Chrysler. Meyer, in her first public appearance since joining Chrysler, told reporters she was looking forward to her mission with the new Chrysler.

Meyer did not have a hand in designing the marketing campaign for the Chrysler minivans that will go on sale Oct.1. The campaign is significantly toned down from recent ad runs for vehicles like the Nitro and Caliber. Those ads, and their controversial themes, left dealers bewildered and alienated some audiences, particularly the gay market.

The minivan campaign is family-oriented and takes deliberate aim at consumers in their 30s and 40s, who have children living with them at home and have very active lifestyles. The campaign also designed to spark some new life in a segment that some analysts have written off as dying.

ENVI for electrics

Chrysler also announced it is setting up a new organization to focus on bringing electric vehicles and related advanced-propulsion technologies to market. No date has been set for launching an all-electric Chrysler, but Chrysler will have hybrid SUVs ready in 2008.

The new organization, ENVI, will be headed Lou Rhodes, a Chrysler veteran. Rhodes will report to Frank Klegon, Chrysler executive vice president of product development, and Simon Boag, executive vice president of procurement and supply, who will serve as ENVI's co-chairman.

"The creation of ENVI allows us to focus on the development of a new generation of environmentally responsible Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles," said Robert Nardelli, Chrysler chairman and CEO. "Under Lou's leadership, ENVI will develop electric-propulsion vehicles that will provide customers with more fuel-efficient vehicle options."

Even though it is located within the company, ENVI will have an opportunity to create a unique, entrepreneurial culture all of its own, Chrysler officials said.

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

John Lyon Collyer of the B. F. Goodrich Company is born in Chelsea-on-Hudson, NY
The Narragnasett Park Asphalt Speedway in Providence, RI stages its first races - the 100-mile main event is won by Eddie Rickenbacker in a Maxwell
Diesel engine authority Dr. Ing. Adolph Nagel dies at age 63
Racer Charles de Tornaco is killed at age 26 when his Ferrari crashes during a practice run in Modena, Italy
The last episode of the television program Route 66 airs

Source: Automobile History Day By Day, by Douglas A. Wick

2006 Jeep Cherokee SRT8 1/4 mile Drag Racing timeslip specs 0-60

A 2006 Jeep Cherokee SRT8 driven by Claude was added to the drag racing database running a 12.434 @ 112.080 MPH.

1/4 Mile ET: 12.434
1/4 Mile MPH: 112.080
1/8 Mile ET: 7.921
1/8 Mile MPH: 0.000
0-60 Foot ET: 1.734
Temperature F: 55.4
Timeslip Scan: Jeep Cherokee SRT8 Timeslip Scan
Car Make: Jeep
Car Model: Cherokee SRT8
Car Type:
Car Year: 2006
Driver: Claude
E-Mail: Private
Videos: Click HERE for a Video
Web Site:

Horsepower @ wheels: 378.70
Torque @ wheels: 375.90
Dyno Type: DYNAPACK 5000
Dyno Graph: Jeep Cherokee SRT8 Dyno Graph Results

Classifieds: Cherokee-SRT8 For Sale