Friday, May 16, 2008

Chrsyler LLC Patent Updates

1 D568,792 Full-Text Automobile body
2 D568,211 Full-Text Automobile body
3 7,367,589 Full-Text Collapsible steering assembly with a stationary reaction surface
4 D567,410 Full-Text Vehicle tail lamp
5 D567,409 Full-Text Vehicle headlamp
6 7,363,250 Full-Text Market center based purchasing system and method
7 7,363,131 Full-Text Re-positionable vehicle control-by-wire assembly, method, and system
8 7,361,092 Full-Text Balance assembly for coupling first and second rotating members
9 7,360,512 Full-Text Low-thermal-inertia intake ports for port-injected, spark ignition engines and an associated manufacturing method
10 7,360,435 Full-Text Ultrasonic control of bolt tightening
11 D566,868 Full-Text Vehicle tail lamp
12 D566,622 Full-Text Automobile body
13 D565,765 Full-Text Vehicle headlamp

Chrysler LLC Trademark Updates

Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead
1 78768427
2 78938650
3 78972570
4 78866661
5 78764206
6 78639109
7 78607239

First Production 2008 Dodge Viper ACR for sale on EBAY

May 15th, 2008

The first production 2008 Dodge Viper ACR that was raffled off to a lucky Viper Club of America member is now up for auction on EBAY. Ron and Teri Wellington from Michigan won the car back in February by purchasing 3 raffle tickets for $300. Of course, winning has it’s additional costs from Uncle Sam, to the tune of around $30,000 in taxes that will be due next year. The 2008 Dodge Viper ACR (American Club Racer) was designed to fill the gap between the production Viper SRT10 and the Viper Competition Coupe. This raffle car came complete with every available ACR option including driver’s stripe, two-toned black center band and the Hard Core Package, which includes lap timer as well as other enhancements for the track.

It should be interesting to see how the bidding proceeds on this car (it does have a reserve, no fun!). Even with the Viper’s future being questionable with recent developments at Chrysler Headquarters, we don’t think it will come anywhere near to what the first production 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 that closed at a few months ago, a cool 1 million dollars. Not to mention this raffle car was given to all the magazines and testers to thrash around for a few months before the official owners actually took delivery. Click on the picture below to watch the auction unfold:

This Day in Auto History:

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly

The Ardsley Motor Car Company of Yonkers, NY is officially dissolved
Edward Macauley, son of corporation President Alvan Macauley, joins the Packard Motor Car Company
Charles F. Carroll, the inventor of many improvements in automobile design, dies in Cleveland, OH at age 69
John J. Caton, founder of the Chrysler Institute of Engineering, dies in Phillipsburg, NJ at age 76

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

Chrysler Beating Cash, Operating Goals, Nardelli Says (Update2)

By Jeff Green and Greg Miles

May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Chrysler LLC, the third-largest U.S. automaker, is ahead of its 2008 goals for generating cash and running the business, and will post a ``significantly lower'' loss than in 2007, Chief Executive Officer Robert Nardelli said.

``We're not out looking for more money,'' Nardelli, 59, said in a Bloomberg Television interview today. ``We're not going to run out of cash.'' He said he isn't considering bankruptcy or selling the Jeep brand.

Chrysler's ability to bring in cash takes pressure off owner Cerberus Capital Management LP, which is also trying to win support for a $3.5 billion bailout of the mortgage arm of its GMAC LLC unit. Cerberus owns 80.1 percent of Chrysler and bought 51 percent of GMAC from General Motors Corp. in 2006.

``We're generating cash very favorably, and adding to that stockpile going forward,'' Nardelli said. This year's loss will be ``significantly lower'' than 2007's $1.6 billion deficit, he added, without giving a figure.

After at least $2.2 billion in losses in the last two years, Chrysler is working to reduce expenses amid an 18 percent slide in U.S. sales through April. In November, the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based automaker canceled four models, cut 12,000 jobs and pared production in anticipation of falling sales.

U.S. Auto Market

Chrysler will continue to adapt to a weak U.S. auto market, Co-President Tom LaSorda, 53, said in the interview.

He said the company is ``right-sized'' for industrywide sales of about 15.3 million cars and trucks this year, which would mark a decline from last year's 16.1 million vehicles. Industrywide sales tumbled 7.7 percent this year through April.

Chrysler's U.S. market share through April was 12.5 percent, down from 14 percent a year earlier, in part because of the model cuts and reduced sales to rental car companies.

Fitch Ratings lowered Chrysler's corporate issuer default rating to B from B+ last week, citing the slides in sales and market share. ``Liquidity is expected to remain adequate over the near term to fund restructuring costs and operating losses,'' Fitch said.

In January, Nardelli said Chrysler ended 2007 with $1 billion more cash than anticipated.

As Nardelli works to end losses at Chrysler, Cerberus is trying to help GMAC's Residential Capital LLC mortgage unit avoid bankruptcy.

Rescap is offering to exchange or buy back $14 billion of bonds and is seeking to finance it with a $3.5 billion loan from GMAC. Should the mortgage unit default on the loan, Cerberus and GM are in talks to guarantee repayment of the first $750 million.

New Management, Focus

Cerberus appointed Nardelli, the former CEO of Home Depot Inc., to run Chrysler three days after taking over the 82-year- old automaker in August, demoting then-CEO LaSorda to president.

In September, Cerberus hired Jim Press, 61, a Toyota Motor Corp. director and the Japanese automaker's highest-ranking American executive, as co-president with LaSorda.

The company won't build a Chrysler-brand version of the Dodge Journey sport-utility vehicle in 2009 and will use the savings to help pay for designing a compact car to be manufactured by Nissan Motor Co., Press said in a May 12 interview.

The move reflects a push toward more fuel-efficient vehicles and Chrysler's goal of eliminating overlap between its brands. Abandoning the SUV will also leave Chrysler with fewer new or revamped products to introduce in 2009, putting the automaker at risk for further declines in market share, analysts said.

Press has said the automaker needs about half of the SUV models it currently sells. Chrysler dropped the Pacifica SUV, PT Cruiser convertible, Crossfire car and Dodge Magnum wagon in November.

Package Deal: Dodge Challenger Coming Soon in Drag-Racing Version

The eagerly anticipated Dodge Challenger will be sold in a drag-racing package version. Chrysler promises full details at a summer introduction. Where and when? Details will be announced later. (Photo courtesy of Chrysler LLC)

DETROIT, Michigan — Chrysler will introduce a drag-racing package for the Dodge Challenger, with an official debut announcement set for this summer — "probably July," Chrysler spokeswoman Patricia Georgevich told Inside Line today.

The drag-racing Challenger will be a latter-day version of the late-'60s Hemi Dart and Barracuda package cars from Chrysler, says Georgevich. The idea was first announced back at the 2007 SEMA Show, when a Challenger drag-racing package was shown with competition-bred versions of the third-generation Hemi engine.

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is working with Chrysler now to sanction the components for racing use.

No details about pricing, quantities, availability or specifications are available yet.

What this means to you: We'll keep you posted as Mopar fine-tunes this soon-to-be-classic drag package for the hot 2009 Challenger. — Mike Lysaght, Correspondent

Thursday, May 15, 2008

2009 Challenger Pre-Order

Fullerton Dodge in Southern California is offering any member of the opportunity to pre-order and purchase a 2009 Dodge Challenger at the trim level as well as options that you select for 500 Dollars over invoice. You can email me directly at

A small deposit will be required up front. I can also be reached at (714) 879-6880 which is the number for Fullerton Dodge or I can be reached on my cell phone which is (949) 742-1542. I hope to hear from you soon.


Trim level would be RT or SRT. Chrysler/Dodge plans on having an SE and SXT model too however those build out's are not available in I will keep you updated as to when they are.

As far as options available they are:

Challenger RT:

5.7L VCT ENGINE with a 6 spd
5.7L VCT ENGINE w/ MDS 6 spd
5.7L VCT ENGINE with Automatic
5.7L VCT ENGINE w/ MDS Automatic

20x8 Aluminum Chrome Clad Wheels
Compact Spare Tire
Engine Block Heater
High Intensity Headlamps
Light Slate Gray Insert
MyGIG with Navigation
Power Sunroof
R/T Hood to Fender Stripes
Sound Group II

Brilliant Black
Bright Silver
Dark Titanium
Deep Water Blue
Hemi Orange
Inferno Red
Stone White

Challenger SRT8:

SRT8 6.1L Hemi w/ 6 spd
SRT8 6.1L Hemi w/ Automatic

245/45ZR20 Performance Tires
Hood Stripe Delete
MyGIG with Navigation
Power Sunroof
SRT Option II

Bright Silver
Brilliant Black
Hemi Orange

Chrysler Canada changes

"Espon" wrote that his dealership was apprised of some changes for the 2009 models: The Caliber R/T will be been dropped (in Canada)The Compass Rally Edition will be availablleThe 3.8 liter engine will be replaced in Canada by the 4.0 liter engineMyGIG will be available in Caliber, Compass, and PatriotThe 300 Limited 26L is now available with the no-key starter.This list is currently unconfirmed.

Rumormill: Dodge to replace Sprinter will full-size van from Nissan

We've heard through the grapevine that another element of the collaboration between Chrysler LLC and Nissan, in addition to the latter giving the former a small car and the former giving the latter a pickup, is that Chrysler will be ditching its Daimler-sourced Sprinter commercial van in favor of a rebranded Nissan van by 2011. As we already know, Nissan is planning on producing three new light commercial vehicles for the U.S. at its plant in Canton, Mississippi, and it will be sourcing some engines for its new LCVs from Cummins. Thus, we would also expect to see the familiar sight of a Cummins diesel under the hood of Dodge's version, as well. Will we discover even more sharing between Chrysler and Nissan as time goes on? Our sources say these companies aren't finished raiding each other's parts bins by a long shot.

[Source: Wouldn't you like to know]

2010 Chrysler Sebring Spy Shot

2010-chrysler-sebring Remember all that hubaloo about how Chrysler admitted to their mistake with the Sebring? Considering the fact that they allowed blind monkeys to design the thing, the least they could do was admit their mistake. As retribution, the deal was that the engineers would get to work and remake the Sebring into something more, well, non-suckish.

As you can see from the above spyshot, they failed. The rear end is still just as awkward as the Sebring that currently languishes on dealer lots. Maybe they worked some magic inside…. but the outside needs to be addressed before anyone will ever realize the wonders inside.

In short, Chrysler over promises and under delivers. Again.

Photoshop fun: Plymouth Chrysler Barracuda concept

Click either image for a high-res gallery.

When Chrysler trotted out the 'Cuda concept this past November at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, our first thought, after wanting to give it our lunch money, was that it might be one of the few examples in recent memory where Chrysler's badge engineering boffins couldn't drop the ball. A Photoshop wizard from Sao Paulo, Brazil by the name of Rafael Reston figured that Chrysler wasn't working fast enough (if at all) and decided to mock up his own interpretation of a Barracuda revival. While we're not entirely sold on the styling cues he chose, which straddle the line between concept car gauche and an art student's waste basket, we still like the idea. But it's highly doubtful that Chrysler has the time or resources to pour into a low-volume seller that has the possibility of cannibalizing sales from the Challenger.

[Source: Serious Wheels via Carscoop]

This Day in Auto History:

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly

New York City issues its first driver’s license
The Fryckman automobile is unveiled in Souris, ND
Automotive historian Richard Alexander Hough is born in Brighton, Sussex, England
The Mercedes-Benz W154 race car records its first victory as Hermann Lang, Manfred von Brauchitsch, and Rudolf Caracciola take the first three places in the Tripoli (Libya) Grand Prix – Eugenio Siena, winner of the 1932 Spa (Belgium) 24-hour race, is killed during the race
Racer Chet Miller is killed at age 50 when his Novi crashes during a practice session for the Indianapolis 500

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

This Day in Auto History:

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly

George A. Matthews, a cofounder of the Jackson Automobile Company, dies in Jackson, MI at age 61
Mickey Thompson, driving the “Assault” at March Air Force Base, CA, breaks Bernd Rosemeyer’s 22-year-old records reaching 132.94 mph in the standing kilometer and 149.93 mph in the standing mile
Racer Stephan Gregoire is born in Neufchateau, France
The last Buick Reatta is produced

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

Steve Saleen's SMS 570 and 570X Challengers Revving Up for Year-End Debut

Steve Saleen's new project, the SMS 570, can be looked for by year's end. It's based on the 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T. (Photo courtesy of SMS)

ORANGE COUNTY, California — When Steve Saleen's street-legal SMS 570 Challenger and 570X Challenger arrive at the end of 2008, they will carry sticker prices ranging from an anticipated $55,000 to $80,000.

The SMS 570 Challenger will be based on the 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and use the existing R/T engine. The uplevel SMS 570X Challenger will use the block of Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi engine. But, says SMS spokesman Axel E. Catton, "Everything else is new, including the differential." The cars will be equipped with an SMS Supercharged 5.7-liter Hemi. Catton says the supercharger holds a "Saleen patent." More details about the supercharger are expected this summer. SMS said in a statement that the modified engine will deliver "respective power ratings from 500 to over 700 horsepower."

Saleen's new company, SMS (which stands for Steve Mark Saleen), issued an image of the SMS 570 Challenger on Monday. More images will be released over the summer. Catton said Saleen will not be able to get his hands on the 2009 Dodge Challenger R/Ts until September or October, thus making a late 2008 launch a distinct possibility.

Steve Saleen left Saleen Inc. in May 2007. His new company, SMS, will develop and produce performance versions of Dodges, Chevrolets and Fords, as well as supercars. SMS in a separate deal delivers technical support for CHAMCO, the U.S. importer of Chinese vehicles. SMS is said to be CHAMCO's technical arm.

What this means to you: When you combine Steve Saleen and Dodge Challenger you get the pairing of two powerhouse automotive icons. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent

Obama to make campaign stop Wednesday at Chrysler's Sterling Heights plant

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will visit Chrysler's Sterling Heights stamping plant Wednesday, the campaign announced today.

The morning visit is dubbed a "drop-by" by campaign satffers. Obama also is expected to meet with some Chrysler executives.

Michigan Democrats said the visit is important so Obama gets a first-hand look at the struggles of the U.S. auto industry

"We are all going to pull together. Everybody recognizes the importance of this trip," said Debbie Dingell, a Democratic party activist. "Sen. Obama clearly has shown he wants to take time to understand Michigan and its issues."

Obama hasn't spared automakers criticism or softened his rhetoric. He has touted his tough talk in campaign ads across the country.

"Detroit ended up making investments in SUVs and large trucks because that's where they perceived a competitive advantage and that's where they felt they could make the most profit," the Illinois senator told host Tim Russert on May 3. "I think it was a mistake for them not to plan earlier, and now we're seeing a huge growth in fuel-efficient cars that is benefiting the Japanese automakers and Detroit is getting pounded some more."

In May 2007, after accusing Detroit automakers of failing to do enough to improve the efficiency of their vehicles, Obama was criticized after it was disclosed he drive a hemi-powered V-8 Chrysler 300C.

Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said at the time he was "very disappointed" in Obama's comments and noted that Ford builds more efficient vehicles than the 300C at its Chicago Assembly plant, in Obama's home state of Illinois.

Soon afterward, Obama's campaign announced that the candidate had sold the 300C and bought a Ford Escape Hybrid.

Obama now is mostly shuttled around in large SUVs, since he is under Secret Service protection.

Obama visited a General Motors Corp. assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin on Feb. 13.

The senator also will hold a town hall meeting at Macomb Community College and make a stop in Grand Rapids Wednesday evening.

Dodge Challenger: A blast from the past

Officials from Chrysler LLC and the Canadian Auto Workers will negotiate until 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, to reach an early agreement on a three-year contract.

Chrysler and General Motors entered early talks with the CAW after Ford Motor Co. and the union shocked the industry by reaching an early agreement May 4.

CAW talks were scheduled to begin in mid-July for a contract to replace the deal that expires at midnight Sept. 16.

"They're saying the (Chrysler) package is much richer for them than it was for Ford, applying their demographics," said CAW President Buzz Hargrove. "But they haven't said they won't meet it."

If the two sides haven't reached an agreement by 6 p.m. Wednesday, they will decide whether they've made enough progress and can work quickly to resolve differences.

If not, negotiations could revert to the traditional timetable. Talks had been scheduled to begin with all three automakers on July 16.

Hargrove said the CAW needs a commitment on what Chrysler plans to make in its assembly plants in Brampton and Windsor, Ontario, and a casting plant in Etobicoke, Ontario.

The Ford-CAW agreement does not include a two-tier wage agreement such as the deals the Detroit automakers reached with the UAW last year.

Chrysler readies plant tour for Obama stop


Chrysler is getting ready to host a plant tour at its Sterling Heights stamping facility for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Wednesday morning – marking the front-runner’s first trip to Michigan in 10 months.However, Obama’s campaign had not yet confirmed the details, meaning they could change. The trip is also expected to include a town hall meeting in Macomb County. The plant tour would not be open to the public.

According to Chrysler’s Web site, the stamping plant on Van Dyke employs 1,400 workers on one shift and makes the Sebring sedan and convertible and the Dodge Avenger. The plant was built in 1953 to make jet engines, converted to an auto plant by Volkswagen in 1980 and bought by Chrysler three years later.

Obama’s trip to Michigan on Wednesday is also expected to include a nighttime rally in Grand Rapids.

The candidate is believed by many to have an almost insurmountable lead in delegates over Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Obama is making his first trip to the state after taking his name off the ballot for the Jan. 15 primary, which Clinton won handily. The state’s delegation to the national convention hasn’t been seated, however, being disallowed because the primary date violated national party rules.

100th Engine to Receive SAE Horsepower Certification - 2009 Corvette ZR1

    WARRENDALE, Pa., May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The LS9 engine in
General Motor's (GM) 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 holds the distinction of
being the 100th engine certified through SAE International's Engine Power
Test Code - Engine Power and Torque Certification (J1349).

The 2009 Corvette ZR1 engine is certified at 638 hp at 6,500 rpm, with
604 lb-ft torque at 3,800 rpm.

Engine certification is based on a series of self-certification tests
conducted by the manufacturer that are witnessed and verified by an
SAE-qualified observer. The procedure for certification is outlined in
SAE's standard J2723; the actual horsepower testing procedure is described
in J1349.

Although engine manufacturers are free to cite power and torque figures
derived from testing conducted outside the scope of the SAE standards, only
those that strictly follow all of the SAE procedures can claim to be "SAE
J1349 Certified Power."

In addition to GM's Corvette ZR1, other GM engines as well as those
from Ford and Chrysler make up the first 100 to have been certified.

Another GM engine - the LS7 used in the 2006 Corvette Z06 - was the
first engine to be certified under this SAE program.

The full list of certified engines can be accessed by visiting

Chrysler Cuts SUV to Invest in Compact, Press Says (Update2)

By Mike Ramsey

May 12 (Bloomberg) -- Chrysler LLC, the automaker owned by private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, canceled plans for a new sport-utility vehicle and is instead investing in a compact car.

The company won't build a Chrysler brand version of the Dodge Journey SUV in 2009 and will use the savings to help pay for designing a compact car to be manufactured by Nissan Motor Co., Co-President James Press said in an interview today.

The move reflects a push toward more fuel-efficient vehicles and Chrysler's goal of eliminating overlap between its brands. Abandoning the SUV will also leave Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler with fewer new or revamped products to introduce in 2009, putting the automaker at risk for further declines in market share, analysts said.

``Resources have been deployed to basically support our entry'' into the small-car segment rather than building two versions of the Journey, Press said. ``It's a segment we are not competing in now.''

Press said in March the company needed to cut the number of SUVs it offers in half, from 11. Chrysler gets about 70 percent of its sales from light trucks, which include SUVs.

Waiting for 2010

The automaker has cut four models. Chrysler's plan will help pare costs, and may broaden the customer base once vehicles under development get to market, analysts said.

In the meantime, cutting the Chrysler brand version of the Journey will leave the company with almost no new or redesigned vehicles to promote at dealerships in 2009, said Erich Merkle, an auto analyst at IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

``2010 can't get here fast enough for Chrysler,'' Merkle said in an interview.

Merkle expects Chrysler to introduce only a heavy-duty version of its Dodge Ram pickup in the 2009 calendar year. A redesigned version of the regular Ram pickup will go on sale later this year. The dearth of new products may allow other automakers to make further inroads on Chrysler's U.S. market share.

``We are going to see if Cerberus will have the fortitude to gut it out,'' he said.

Chrysler's market share through April was 12.5 percent, down from 14 percent a year earlier. U.S. sales have fallen 18 percent this year, in part because of the model cuts and reduced sales to rental car companies.

The company will discontinue the Jeep Commander SUV next year, according to people familiar with the company's plans.

Product Improvements

Chrysler is concentrating for next year on improving the vehicles it currently sells before it starts marketing the new compact and other vehicles in 2010, Press said. Chrysler has said it's invested $500 million on more than 400 minor improvements to existing vehicles since Cerberus bought 80.1 percent of the company in August.

``It's really a good time for us to absorb these quality improvements,'' Press said.

The automaker is planning to make upgrades to its Sebring sedan in 2009, the Detroit Free Press reported in April, citing an interview with Frank Klegon, product development chief. The car was fully redesigned in 2007 and automakers usually do only minor modifications for about five years.

This year, Chrysler will bring three Dodge vehicles to market, including the Journey, which went on sale in March. It begins selling a new version this month of its classic muscle car -- the Challenger -- and later this year will offer the redesigned Ram pickup.

2010 Introductions

Tracy Handler, a product forecaster for Global Insight Inc. in Troy, Michigan, shares the assessment of IRN's Merkle for Chrysler's product outlook for next year.

``We don't show anything in 2009,'' said Handler. ``What we may be seeing is a lot more of these minor refreshes and updating interiors.''

In addition to the Nissan-built compact, for 2010 Chrysler is expected to sell new versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango sport-utility vehicles and redesigned Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans, Handler said.

Chrysler isn't expected to offer updated versions of the Chrysler PT Cruiser, a small sport-utility vehicle. The company said in November it was canceling the convertible version of the vehicle.

Tina Jantzi, head of vehicle forecasting for North American at J.D. Power & Associates in Troy, Michigan, said Chrysler may try to bring a Nissan-built small car to the U.S. ahead of its announced schedule.

``Is 2010, or 2011 too late to come to the game? I think it would be in their best interest if they were able to utilize the collaboration with Nissan to bring something here sooner.'' Jantzi said.

This Day in Auto History:

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly

George Alonzo Jacoby of General Motors is born in Pleasureville, KY
The racing debut of Tatra is successful as Josef Vermirovsky wins the Ledec Alej flying kilometer in Brno, Czechoslovakia driving a T11
The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company is liquidated
Raymond Mays competes in his last automobile race, driving a BRM at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone – this was the first race under the new FIA Formula 1 world championship rules, with Giuseppe “Nino” Farina winning in an Alfa Romeo Tipo 158 – the Alta designed by Geoffrey Taylor and driven by Geoffrey Crossley made its debut but failed to finish
The Jeep Wrangler is introduced as a 1987 model, replacing the Jeep CJ

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

2009 Dodge Challenger R/T & SRT8 Order Banks Open


Just an FYI for those of you who would like to order a 2009 Challenger. As of May 12 the ordering process is under way for 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SRT8 models. Yes you heard me right, you can order a 2009 Dodge Challenger at your local Dodge stealership. If you are curious about price most dealers are selling them for MSRP and even cheaper. Below I have added the .pdf file for the 2009 order guide. Let me know in the comments if you place your order.

Chrysler Sends Unripe Cherys To Mexico

By Edward Niedermeyer

wwwcherry-clubru_chery_a1_001.jpgWe've known for a quite some time that Chrysler's partnership with Chery is a long ways off from bearing, um, fruit for the U.S. market. Automotive News [sub] reports that Chrysler has sent engineers over to China to ready the A1 for American importation. Again. Still. "We need small cars," says Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda, offering a piercing glimpse into the obvious while riffing on that old flick "Mars needs women." "Chery's cars are still not ready for that exposure into these markets." Nor will they be until that mythic 2010 debut date. LaSorda said China-built cars probably can't meet U.S. safety and emissions standards for "three years or more." Chrysler can't wait to pop its Chery in the North American market. The company announced it will be selling death traps Cherys in Mexico under a Chrysler nameplate while engineers ready the diminutive Chinese whips for the American market. The Bertone-styled Chery A1 will be imported to Mexico by year's end. While "lucky" Mexicans get to enjoy Chinese-market standards in reliability, build quality and emissions, Yanks will just have to wait before experiencing the joys of Chrysler-branded Chinese personal transportation. Or not. Meanwhile, what?

Chrysler updates all-wheel-drive system to yield one more MPG

Since the current LX platform Chrysler 300 along with the Dodge Magnum and the later Charger debuted in 2004, it has had an optional all wheel drive system. Much of the platform hardware of the LX was derived from the previous generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class including that all wheel drive hardware. The AWD system was designed to continuously drive all four wheels all the time and it can be a boon to those who live northern climes. However it comes at a price that includes reduced fuel economy. Driving the front axle all the time costs about 1 mpg compared to the rear wheel drive version. For the 2009 model year, a revised system will now disengage the front axle until excessive slip at the rear axle triggers drive torque to sent to the front. As a result, AWD models will now get the same fuel efficiency rating as the RWD variants.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]