Tuesday, July 1, 2008

As we told you a day ago

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC posted the biggest sales decline in the U.S. auto industry last month.

The privately owned automaker sold 117,457 cars and trucks in June, down 36 percent from June a year ago.

"The June results reflect the industrywide impact of U.S. consumer confidence being at its lowest point since 1992," Jim Press, Chrysler's co-president, said in a statement.

Among the worst performances in the lineup for June: the Jeep Commander was down 68 percent to 1,961 vehicles, the Dodge Durango plummeted 67 percent to 1,723 vehicles, and the Chrysler Aspen fell 49 percent to 944 units sold.

To help offset slowing sales, Chrysler is extending its $2.99-per-gallon gasoline price guarantee to the end of July.

Chrysler did have a few bright spots in June. The Patriot small SUV posted a 6 percent sales increase over a year ago. The Dodge Grand Caravan was the company's star performer with sales of 14,214, a 52 percent increase over a year ago. And Dodge sold 1,024 new Challenger muscle cars, despite high gasoline prices.

The figures in this story and from Chrysler are not adjusted for the number of sales per month.

PRESS RELEASE: Chrysler LLC Reports June 2008 Sales; Let's Refuel America $2.99 Gas Guarantee Plus Cash Extended Through July 31

* Let's Refuel America extended through July 31; continues to help drive showroom traffic, sales of most fuel-efficient vehicles

* New Dodge Journey becoming a hit in the crossover market

* Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivan sales increase in June

* New fuel-efficient vehicles see increased year-to-date sales

Auburn Hills, Mich., Jul 1, 2008 - Chrysler LLC today reported total June 2008 U.S. sales of 117,457 units, which is 36 percent below the same period last year. Total June sales reflect a continued contraction of the market, especially of pickup trucks and SUVs, continued reductions in fleet sales, and increases in Chrysler's newest highly fuel-efficient vehicles. All sales figures are reported as unadjusted.

"The June results reflect the industry-wide impact of U.S. consumer confidence being at its lowest point since 1992," Jim Press, President and Vice-Chairman of Chrysler LLC said. "But Chrysler is fighting back and making progress by continuing to invest in our products and aligning our volume with the market.

"During difficult periods like this, it is critical that we continue to evolve our products to meet our customers' needs and as a result, be a stronger company when the economy recovers. Examples of this evolution are our six vehicles that get 28 miles per gallon, and the 2009 Dodge Ram and 2009 Chrysler Aspen/Dodge Durango Hybrids with improved fuel economy, innovative storage, and industry-leading Internet connectivity options."

Chrysler's Let's Refuel America $2.99 Gas Guarantee Plus Cash program has been extended through July 31. The program continues to help improve showroom traffic and drive sales of the company's most fuel-efficient vehicles. For July, the program will offer the unique opportunity for customers to lock in their gas prices at $2.99 for three years and get cash back (on the majority of vehicles). The other two incentive choices offered are cash back alone or 0 percent APR financing. Since the program began in May, the vehicles in Chrysler's lineup with the highest gas program take rate were the Chrysler Sebring Sedan, Dodge Journey, Dodge Caliber and Dodge Avenger.

The Dodge Journey is making its mark in the crossover segment with best-in-class fuel economy (19 city/25 mpg highway) and award-winning seven- passenger interior utility. The Dodge Journey reached 5,162 units in its fifth month of sales to become one of the most popular mid-size crossovers in the market.

Compact Vehicles Growth

The all-new Jeep® Patriot posted sales for June with 4,889 units, up 6 percent compared with June 2007 sales of 4,633 units. Combined year-to-date (YTD) total sales of the fuel-efficient Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot compact vehicles which each achieve 28 miles per gallon or better in highway driving, reached 114,188 units, up 18 percent from YTD 2007 combined sales of 96,553 units.

Minivan Highlights

The Dodge Grand Caravan posted total June sales of 14,214 units, an increase of 52 percent versus June 2007 sales of 9,342 units. The Chrysler Town & Country also saw strong sales in June with 9,833 units, up 21 percent compared with June 2007 sales of 8,151 units. Through June YTD, new customer sales increased (retail only) 27 percent for Chrysler's two, new long-wheelbase minivans, the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, compared with the same two long-wheelbase models last year. Minivans remain a fuel-efficient option over large SUVs for transporting seven passengers and cargo, getting up to 24 miles per gallon on the highway (3.3L engine).

Despite slow industry sales, the Company finished the month with 440,075 units of inventory, or a 90-day supply. As part of a planned reduction, inventory is down 9 percent compared with June 2007 when it totaled 485,429 units.

Cars and Compact Vehicles

Sales of these cars and car-based compact vehicles represent 40 percent of Chrysler's lineup through June, an increase from 35 percent of the lineup a year ago. Chrysler's lineup of cars and compact vehicles continue to connect well with consumers, led by six vehicles which achieve 28 miles per gallon or better in highway driving.

Chrysler's lineup of cars and compact vehicles includes:

Dodge Caliber, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Viper, Chrysler 300, Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Crossfire, Jeep Patriot and the Jeep Compass.

Minivans and Crossovers:

Sales of these car-like vehicles represent 20 percent of Chrysler's sales through June, an increase from 19 percent of the lineup a year ago. Chrysler's all-new long-wheelbase minivans continue to build on its segment dominance by offering exclusive features like Swivel 'n Go™ seating system and Sirius Backseat TV along with excellent fuel efficiency. Chrysler's crossover vehicles combine the versatility of a large sport-utility vehicle with the efficiency of a passenger car. The Dodge Journey gets best-in-class fuel economy (19 city/25 mpg highway).

Chrysler's lineup of minivans and crossovers includes:

Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Journey and the Chrysler Pacifica.

Pickup Trucks and mid and Large SUVs:

Sales of these vehicles represent 40 percent of Chrysler's sales through June, a decrease from 46 percent of the lineup a year ago. This fall, Chrysler will launch a more fuel-efficient 2009 Dodge Ram and hybrid versions of the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen. The new 2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and Dodge Durango Hybrid will deliver fuel economy up to 20 miles per gallon--a 40 percent improvement in the city and 25 percent overall. Hybrid and light-duty diesel versions of the new Dodge Ram will be available in the future.

Chrysler's lineup of pickup trucks and mid and large SUVs includes:

Dodge Ram; Dodge Dakota, Dodge Durango, Dodge Nitro, Dodge Sprinter, Chrysler Aspen, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Commander.

Supercharged 2009 Dodge Challenger coming to SEMA

Mopar (short for Motor Parts in some weird way), Chrysler’s aftermarket automobile parts and service arm, is working on a supercharger for the 2009 Dodge Challenger. According to InsideLine, Chrysler will officially unveil the package at teh SEMA show in Las Vegas this November.

No word on what the horsepower or torque increase will be but the supercharged 2009 Challegner will get a a cold-air intake, a high-flow cat-back exhaust system and a different sets of rims.

Tuner Speedfactory already offers supercharger upgrades for the Challenger that push power up to 630-hp to 800-hp for the SRT8 model. Click here to learn more about Speedfactory’s options.

2009 Dodge Challenger:

2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T and SE

Source: InsideLine

This Day in Auto History:

Automobile Quarterly
Automobile Quarterly

Automobile parts manufacturer John Aaron Grass is born in York, PA
William King White, son of Rollin H. White and himself an official in the White Motor Company, is born in Cleveland, OH
Pliny Fisk Olds, father and first business partner of Ransom E. Olds, dies in Lansing, MI at age 80
Dodge Brothers, Inc. is incorporated to manufacture Dodge Brothers automobiles
The 1918 Dodges are introduced

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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Chrysler extends closure of Delaware plant

Monday, June 30, 2008 | 4:39 PM

Chrysler announced today that the Newark Delaware Assembly plant will be closed until August 18th.

The plant closed Monday the 23rd for the annual planned re-tooling. A third week was also planned for an annual company wide vacation period.

The announcement today adds another five weeks that Chrysler spokesman Ed Saenz says is for inventory adjustment due to sales.

The workers will receive unemployment benefits and supplemental pay equal to about 95-percent of their take-home pay.

Chrysler will sell 126000 vehicles, down 31.2% from June ...

Chrysler Memo on Plant Closures

June 30, 2008 3:25 p.m.

Dear Employees,

The auto industry is going through a period of unprecedented change. A dramatic U.S. economic slowdown and auto industry contraction leaves Chrysler -- like other automakers -- to face difficult issues and decisions.

Our worldwide sales are down 14 percent, year to date -- even considering increases in Canada, Mexico and international markets.

Our plan for 2008 has been aggressively conservative, allowing us to be better positioned than some of our competitors for the current slowdown. We continue to exceed goals and financial plans, and we are better positioned than we were last year. We are focused on improving our business today.

That's why we must act now to become better aligned with the shift towards smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. In order to meet those market challenges, we will be making volume-related manufacturing reductions at two of our North American assembly plants.

The St. Louis Assembly Plant South will be idled indefinitely, effective Oct. 31, due to volume declines in the total minivan vehicle segment.

Operations at the St. Louis Assembly Plant North, where full-size trucks are built, will be reduced from two shifts to one, effective Sept. 2.

We are committed to working with the UAW to address these reductions in a socially responsible manner. As we have done in the past, the UAW and management leadership will hold employee meetings to review the special program offerings at affected locations. We are committed to providing employees with this information so they are able to make appropriate decisions.

We also remain committed to our bread-and-butter Dodge Ram pickup, and Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans. We believe there is a strong and viable pickup truck market, and our minivans have held their leadership share in a shrinking market.

We are clearly in a challenging environment, but by tackling the difficult challenges head-on, we are taking the steps to return Chrysler to profitability for the long term.


2009 Dodge Ram 1500 challenge by Dodge PR

In celebration of the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500, the truck that never backs down, Dodge is issuing the Dodge Ram Challenge for those interested.

The event will be held in 12 select cities across the U.S., and will give you an opportunity to experience the ’09 Dodge Ram first hand one of three ways; Either from the drivers seat by taking the Ram Challenge against the competition on two closed courses, catching the action in the Ram demonstration area, or checking out the ’09 Ram up close for yourself with product experts on hand to answer any of your questions.

As an added bonus, by attending you’ll be immediately entered to win a two year lease on an all-new ’09 Ram 1500, along with other cool prizes.

To register for this event as well as find out specific locations, dates and times, plus more information, visit the Dodge Challenge Tour Page by clicking here.

If anyone has any question I would be happy to assist.

Dodge Online Dialogue Rep

Chrysler abandons Powerway system

Chrysler LLC is pulling the plug today, June 30, on the Powerway system, which it had been using with its Tier 1 suppliers since 2000.

The automaker used Powerway to communicate with suppliers developing parts for new vehicles. The system is designed to ensure that suppliers meet timing and quality deadlines.

This move affects 6,000 Tier 1 supplier manufacturing sites that develop and supply parts for Chrysler. Suppliers use Powerway in factories to report on stages of part development, such as prototype production, and for part changes ordered by the automaker.

Chrysler and its suppliers are dissatisfied with the cost and efficiency of the Web-based system, said Douglas Crichton, Chrysler's senior manager of Advance Quality Planning. So the automaker, with help from its Tier 1 suppliers, will develop its own system, he said.

Powerway was charging each supplier manufacturing site an annual subscription fee based on the number of Powerway users and a license fee for each production site. Chrysler says it will not charge its suppliers.

Chrysler is ditching the Powerway software despite holding an ownership stake in the company, Powerway Inc., of Indianapolis. Chrysler won't say whether it will divest its stake, which was 38 percent when Chrysler began using the Powerway system in 2000.

Powerway Chairman and CEO Dave Chambliss is disappointed in Chrysler's decision, which he said was a surprise. Chrysler is Powerway's largest customer and heavily influenced the shape of the product, Chambliss said.

"There was no discussion or warning whatsoever that this was going to happen," he said. "I was very disappointed."

Chrysler, General Motors and Ford Motor Co. require suppliers to report quality data at specific times during product development.

Chrysler, GM and Ford all considered using this common Web-based system from Powerway, but only Chrysler and GM used the software. Ford decided the work could be done cheaper with an in-house system. GM ditched the software in 2005 for similar reasons.

Chrysler will launch its in-house advanced quality planning data management tool in the fourth quarter of 2009, Crichton says. "It's more efficient in-house because it links directly with our engineering, cost and procurement systems."

Chrysler launches Sync competitor

DETROIT — Chrysler LLC last week launched technology for vehicles, called uconnect, meant to compete with Ford Motor Co.'s Sync system.

One feature transforms vehicles into Internet hot spots. Passengers can log in to surf the Web on a laptop, play video games or send photos. The products will be sold in the aftermarket by dealers.

Chrysler plans production cuts, may idle St. Louis plant

Chrysler LLC plans to idle its St. Louis South minivan plant indefinitely, effective Oct. 31. Chrysler is also cutting production at its St. Louis North truck plant to one shift, effective Sept. 2.

But Chrysler co-president Tom LaSorda said Monday that it is not likely the plant will reopen.

"We see no intent to rerun this plant. We're idling it and it will likely be fully closed."

St. Louis South, in Fenton, Mo., has been making minivans on one shift and employs about 1,500 workers. The St. Louis North plant, which had been working on two shifts, will lose 900 jobs after the second shift ends.

St. Louis South makes three vehicles: the Chrysler Town and Country, the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Grand Voyager for Europe. Chrysler also makes minivans at its Windsor, Ontario, assembly plant on three shifts. Two of those shifts make Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans. The third shift makes the Volkswagen Routan.

LaSorda said Chrysler had a difficult choice to make between Windsor and St. Louis South: "When you look at one plant on three shifts and another on one, we had no choice but to go with the volume plant. We have the capacity for three shifts of work. So that's what we did. Those are the tough decisions we have to make."

For the first five months of 2008, sales of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan have declined 13.4 percent and 34.6 percent respectively.

Jim Press, Chrysler co-president, said economic factors drove Chrysler's decision.

"Obviously we're at slow point. Consumer confidence has been hit by oil prices and the credit crunch. It has created a situation if we want to meet or exceed the targets we have to move responsibly. We're a market-driven company and it's important to match production" to sales.

St. Louis lost out for political and economic reasons, said Glenn Kage Jr., financial secretary at UAW Local 136 representing workers at the St. Louis North pickup plant.

Chrysler can make minivans in Windsor, Ontario, for $1,000 per vehicle less than St. Louis South because of the savings to the company of Canada's national health care system, Kage said.

St. Louis North also is at a disadvantage because it is smaller than its counterpart pick-up assembly plant in Warren, Mich., Kage said. St. Louis North can churn out only 41 pickups per hour at full capacity compared with 65 at Warren, he said. Politically, Chrysler was more willing to sacrifice a plant in St. Louis far from Detroit than a plant like Warren or Windsor in its own backyard, he said.

"Detroit's a national industrial hub and we're far away," he said.

Kage downplayed the influence of labor relations on the decision. St. Louis North and South soundly defeated last fall's master contract agreement between Chrysler and the UAW.

That defeat encouraged dissidents and forced a full-court lobbying effort at crucial Detroit-area locals by UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and his minions to narrowly pass the contract. One of the locals that passed the agreement was Warren Truck.

"I wouldn't put too much into the negotiations," Kage said. The St. Louis UAW locals already had key local operating agreements before the master negotiations, granting flexibility in work rules and other factory operations, he said.

Kage said Chrysler has spent about $300 million over the past two years on plant improvements at St. Louis South and $500 million at St. Louis North. He said he hoped the State of Missouri would audit the tax abatements granted for the investments in light of job promises made for the factories.

Chrysler LLC Trademark updates

Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead
1 78951523
2 78918584
3 78768427 3455396 SNOW CHIEF TARR LIVE
4 78542958
5 78938042
6 78920255
7 78837657
8 78780347
9 78789255

Chrysler LLC Patent Updates

1 7,389,650 Full-Text Cooled instrument panel compartment for a vehicle
2 7,382,102 Full-Text Heating of batteries using reactive power
3 7,381,084 Full-Text Connector position assurance arrangement
4 7,380,827 Full-Text Steering column/airbag tunable impact absorption system
5 7,380,800 Full-Text Method and system for controlling a dual mode vehicle suspension system
6 7,377,571 Full-Text Collapsible seat mechanism with integrated subfloor
7 7,373,930 Full-Text Multi-port check-valve for an evaporative fuel emissions system in a turbocharged vehicle
8 D568,792 Full-Text Automobile body

Chrysler pauses plant in Toledo

News services

Chrysler LLC is shutting down production of the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro for two months at its Toledo assembly plant.

United Auto Workers officials say slow sales forced the move.

Workers were told Thursday that Chrysler plans to halt Liberty and Nitro production following a shutdown already scheduled for July 4.

About 2,200 people work at the assembly plant. UAW Local 12 officials say workers will get most of the summer off and won’t be called back until at least Aug. 25.

2009 - 2012 changes


Scorpion gives hydrogen on demand

Ronn ScorpionWhy is it US sports cars are always given the most macho of names. Ford Mustang, AC Cobra and Dodge Viper are just a small selection. One that’s new to Greenbang is the Ronn Scorpion.

The Texas based manufacturer has come up with a new way to improve the efficiency of a petrol engine using hydrogen. Whilst adding hydrogen to fuel isn’t new, generating it from water whilst you’re driving is. According to the online publication Inventor Sport:

The Ronn Motor Company has developed a ‘hydrogen on demand system’. Electricity from the vehicles alternator is sent to a tank of water. The energy fractures the molecules and causes Hydrogen to be released. It is then sent straight into the cylinder where it is combusted.

“This means that as we’re driving down the road, we’re producing hydrogen in real time, and blending it with gasoline at a ratio of 30 to 40 percent,” says Ronn Maxwell, CEO of Ronn Motor Company. “We are still using gasoline, but we’re gonna be using 40 percent less,” Maxwell said. “The hydrogen cleans up the emissions. It actually consumes carbon. It’s not the perfect car, not electric, but it is something that’ll work right now.”

The technology is impressive and the Scorpion’s makers are claiming a 30 to 50 per cent improved efficiency over the stock 3.5 litre, 280hp Acura VTech engine. At $150,000 (£75,000) it’s $41,000 more than the fully electric Tesla sports car. Maxwell plans to produce 200 units this year and within 5 years increasing to 500 units.

Greenbang is really excited, however, about how this technology could be used by a manufacturer such as Porsche, which can often get much better performance than the American muscle cars using smaller, beautifully engineered engines.