Thursday, March 6, 2008

CRUDE OIL PRICES: 1869 thru 2006

This Day in Auto History:

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly
This Day in Auto History:

Gottlieb Daimler dies in Canstatt, Germany at age 65
The tenth Vanderbilt Cup is held at the Pan-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, CA and won by Dario Resta in a Peugeot
William Francis Nolan, biographer of Barney Oldfield, is born in Kansas City, MO
The Auto Union Type C Grand Prix car makes its public debut at the Avus track in Berlin, Germany with Hans Stuck setting a world record by covering 134.90 miles in one hour
Pontiac’s World War II effort begins with a government order for Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannons

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

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Dodge Reveals Redesigned '09 Ram

Dodge recently introduced its completely redesigned 2009 Ram pickup truck, which has an all-new exterior plus more powerful engines, and other new features. The top engine is a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 rated 380 hp and 404 lb-ft of torque. A 4.7-liter V-8 with 310 hp and 330-lb-ft of torque, and a 3.7-liter V-6 developing 215 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque also are offered. A new, first-in-segment multi-link coil-spring rear suspension improves ride quality and handling performance without reducing payload (which is up to 1,840 pounds) and towing capacity (up to 9,000 pounds, depending on options).

Ram buyers will be able to choose from four-and five-speed automatic transmissions, as well as part-time and on-demand 4WD transfer cases. The interior is also completely revamped and the new Ram is offered in regular cab, Quad Cab and crew cab configurations.

There are three box lengths; 8' with the regular cab, a medium 6' 4" on regular cabs and Quad Cabs, and a new-for-2009 box length of 5'7" with crew cabs only. Five trim levels are offered: ST, SLT, TRX, Sport, and the top-of-the-line Laramie.

Pricing and the on-sale date have not yet been announced.

This Day in Auto History:

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly

The Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers (ALAM) is organized with 18 manufacturers as charter members following a successful patent infringement lawsuit against the Winton Motor Carriage Company on behalf of George B. Selden
John David Caplan of General Motors is born in Weiser, ID
Allen Edward Murray of the Mobil Corporation is born in New York City
A. O. Dunk, prolific buyer of defunct automobile manufacturer inventories, dies in Los Angeles, CA at age 62
Robert H. Duff, a Scottish-born truck engineer with the Chrysler Corporation since 1926, dies in Detroit, MI at age 54

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

Chrysler plant to get update

$280.6M investment will boost Jefferson North to produce new Grand Cherokees, 2 future models.

Eric Morath / The Detroit News

Chrysler LLC is expected to invest $280.6 million to upgrade its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit to produce the next generation of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and two new models at the facility.

The investment -- largely for equipment and technology improvements -- would create 419 new jobs and the updates are expected to be completed in June 2010, according to documents filed with the City of Detroit.

The Detroit City Council was scheduled to discuss a tax exemption Chrysler is seeking for the project at a meeting today. However, the item was requested to be removed from the agenda so Chrysler could provide the city with more details about its plans.

" We do plan to make this investment," Chrysler spokeswoman Curtrise Garner said Tuesday evening.

She said the City Council's request for more details on the operation of the plant and the demographics of its workers -- current and future employees -- delayed the presentation.

Garner said the delay should not push back plans to bring in new machinery and equipment in July. She said securing the tax-break is essential to Chrysler making the investment, and she did not expect any difficulty in securing an exemption.

"We've enjoyed a great relationship with the city of Detroit," she said. "We look forward to making future investments in the city."

The matter should be back on the council's agenda in the next few weeks.

The $280.6 million investment is slated for "the acquisition of machinery and equipment to manufacture and assemble the next generation of the Jeep Grand Cherokee sport-utility truck at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant," documents filed with the city in October stated. Those documents said "two new future models" also will be produced at the plant -- Chrysler would not divulge further details. Plans also call for increasing plant capacity and making operations more flexible to produce different types of vehicles.

In January, the city Planning and Economic Development Department determined Chrysler's investment met the criteria for a tax exemption and forwarded the request to the council.

Chrysler filed investment plans last fall, just days after it reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers union on a historic new contract. With that cost-cutting agreement, Chrysler promised investment and future products at four plants, including Jefferson North.

In late October, the state approved a $4 million tax credit for what was at the time a proposed $366 million project at Jefferson North. Garner said the discrepancy between the two investment numbers reflects different criteria considered by the state and the city, and not necessarily a reduced level of investment.

City documents did not detail the value of the exemption, but last October state officials said the city was considering a $40.2 million tax abatement.

Chrysler's $280.6 million investment is specific to tooling and machine improvements, including an improved paint shop, new conveyor system, chassis assembly and line upgrades.

The plan to add 419 jobs at the factory comes weeks after Chrysler eliminated a 900-person second shift at the plant. Some of those workers were laid off, while others accepted buyouts or early retirement packages. Jefferson North employs nearly 1,500 workers and produces the Grand Cherokee and Jeep Commander.

Retaining auto jobs in the city is a much-needed win, said Comerica Bank economist Dana Johnson. However, he said that while the investment will improve technology, the plant will need fewer workers than in decades past.

"This is exactly the success that needs to happen if we're going to see the city rebuild," he said. "If Michigan wants to continue to be a node of auto manufacturing facilities, they need to maintain their critical mass."

Mopar(R) Kicks off the Second Year of Its 'Top Eliminator' Awards for Best-in-Class Enthusiast-built Vehicles

 -- The 2008 "Top Eliminator" vehicles will be chosen at events during the
year and displayed in Mopar Alley at the 2008 SEMA Show from Nov. 4 - 7 in
Las Vegas
-- Mopar(R) launched the national recognition program in 2007 to showcase
some of the most meticulously modified and customized Chrysler, Plymouth
and Dodge vehicles in the U.S.

CENTER LINE, Mich., March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Mopar(R) announced the
return of its popular "Top Eliminator" awards recognition program that
showcases the most skilled Mopar enthusiasts and their restyled or
customized Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge vehicles. Mopar, Chrysler LLC's
original equipment parts manufacturer and supplier, launched the national
program in 2007.

Mopar will look for meticulously customized and modified vehicles at
popular enthusiast and car collector events in 2008 including:

-- Detroit Autorama, March 7 -- 9
-- Mopars at the Strip in Las Vegas, March 28 -- 30
-- Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, Pa., July 11 -- 13
-- Mopar Nationals in Columbus, Aug. 8 -- 10

Mopar will select three vehicles on display at these events and
showcase them in Mopar Alley at the 2008 Specialty Equipment Market
Association (SEMA) Show from Nov. 4 -- 7 in Las Vegas.

"The exterior, interior customization and mechanical upgrade work done
by the 2007 Mopar 'Top Eliminator' Award winners was outstanding," said Rob
Richard, Director -- Mopar Parts, Sales and Service Marketing, Chrysler
LLC. "For our 2008 'Top Eliminator' program, we're looking for that same
spirit, craftsmanship and attention to detail in this year's
enthusiast-crafted Mopars."

As part of its first "Top Eliminator" awards, Mopar showcased
enthusiast- built vehicles at the 2007 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The modified
and customized vehicles displayed included: a rare 1964 Dodge Ramcharger, a
rare 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T, a 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger 340, a 1973 Plymouth
Barracuda, a 1970 Plymouth HEMI(R)Cudzter, a rare 1971 Plymouth 'Cuda
440-6BBL and a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T.

According to SEMA, retail sales of specialty automotive products
reached $36.7 billion in 2006. Retail sales of the industry's niche
categories reached:

-- $2.1 billion for Street Performance -- products to change the
vehicle's appearance, performance and handling
-- $1 billion for Street Rod and Custom -- products to construct,
modify, maintain and operate street rods and custom vehicles
-- $1.4 billion for Restoration -- products to restore a vehicle to its
factory/showroom operational condition
-- $1 billion for Racing -- products for "off-street" professional and
amateur racing and motorsports competition vehicles
70 Years of Mopar

When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts
manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing
enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation
(CMPC) in 1929.

Originally used in the 1920s, Mopar (a simple contraction of the words
MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937.
It was also widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. The Mopar brand made its
mark in the 1960s -- the muscle car era. The Chrysler Corporation built
race- ready Dodge and Plymouth "package cars" equipped with special
high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of "Special Parts" for super
stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar
Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing

Today, Chrysler LLC's Global Service & Parts division is responsible
for the manufacturing and distribution of nearly 250,000 authentic Mopar
replacement parts, components, restoration parts, accessories and
performance parts for Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge vehicles sold around the
world. To assure quality, reliability and durability, all Mopar parts and
accessories are designed in strict adherence to Chrysler engineering

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hemidakota blasts Mercury News Wire

“Gas prices set records in California; oil hits all-time high”

You need to research on why energy companies are using the Californian model for the rest of nation in creating this artificial demand when they have cut back the supplies. Then, what is new here, when it is nothing more than what DeBeers been doing for years in creating an artificial demand when the worth of real carat diamond is a handful of dollars if the world inventory is dumped onto the open market. Now looking at the government energy website that tracks [national /state/ foreign imports] California production output [including imports] retail deliverables:

2003 - 12mil bpd

2007 - 1.2mil bpd

Is there something here we are missing in seeing the real agenda in California? This has nothing to do with anyone claiming interior state oil wells are drying up. It is matter creating an image as if the demand is increasing when infact, it is the reversal. Even in the North Eastern portion of this nation for the last 18-months has shown dramatic drop in consumption as it has been nationally since the last five years [2001 thru 2006 Overall Consumption]. The conclusion in the overall analysis, Californians have done a stupendous job in curtailing the usage when sales and new drivers increase every calendar year.

The real question of the day, when seeing artificial inflated retail gasoline consumer cost, which drives other consumer deliverables, what is the real government inflationary rate today? Why doesn’t the government tell us, we are really in a recession?

QUOTE: "The day will come that all truth will be known openly. Nothing will be hid from the world."


Chrysler plans to double international sales in 5 years

Neil Winton / Autosinsider

GENEVA, Switzerland -- Chrysler LLC said it plans to double international sales to 400,000 a year by 2012 from 2007's level.

James Press, Chrysler Vice Chairman and President, made the forecast at a news conference at the Geneva Car Show.

Mark Manley, executive vice-president international sales, said the company was carrying forward the sales momentum it generated last year, when international sales rose 15 percent. In the first 2 months of 2008, sales rose 10 percent.

Press said Chrysler was in the process of regionalizing international sales responsibilities, and some European functions would be moved to Stuttgart, Germany from Detroit. Press gave no details.

Siemens Puts Business Communications Division Up for Sale


TMCnet - USA
Potential acquirers are Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert), Nortel Networks and hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management. Alcatel-Lucent would be an interesting ...

Jet Powered Chysler Van

This van has been retrofitted with a Rolls-Royce Nimbus helicopter jet turbine by Chris Krug, who should really be working for Tony Stark. The jet turbine has about 1,000 shaft horsepower at 2,100 RPM, which allows it to do 1/8th of a mile at 103MPH in 7.14 seconds. Not bad for a Dodge Caravan, specially one that can ride with the normal combustion engine, then reveal the turbine flipping its rear window. The turbine exhaust doesn't provide any thrust, however:

The jet exhaust is at wide angles for the helicopter application it was in. They wanted the exhaust to go away from the tail boom and have just enough velocity to keep the hot exhaust from being recirculated into the intake. The exhaust provides no thrust, it's all shaft driven but I do spray fuel into the exhaust to make some smoke and fire. It's funny how people think a jet engine isn't working properly if fire isn't spewing out the back, unless it's the engine on the passenger jet they're sitting in.

According to Chris, it can do the 1/4 mile in 11.17 seconds, and it topped at 113mph because he hasn't adjusted the rear axle ratio yet. [RunRyder via Hacked Gadgets]

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