Briefs: FCA and PSA are now Stellantis; exclusive Alexa tech

Groupe PSA (Peugeot S.A.) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) have now merged; the stock appears tomorrow and Tuesday, respectively, on Euronext and Mercato, then on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol STLA (Stellantis). In other news, Stellantis will be the first automaker to use Amazon’s Alexa Custom Assistant, which can be tailored to …

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Is this the end of the Chrysler minivan?

Canoo came to my attention due to a report that Apple had talked with them about making electric vehicles together. Of particular interest to me was their electric minivan. Like Rivian, Canoo has created a modular platform for making electric vans, cars, and trucks. Like the old body-on-frame cars, which long ago were jettisoned for …

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Fix for Jeep 2.4 engines may reach other cars

2.4 liter engine oil drinking

For years, some buyers of 2.4 liter engines have been afflicted by oil use. Not all the engines had problems, which was even more puzzling; manufacturing tolerances are extremely tight, so how could it be that one person would do oil changes every ten months or 10,000 miles and never have to add any, while …

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Chrysler crusader likely to win his battle

frank rhodes

Frank Rhodes, Walter P. Chrysler’s great-grandson, has been battling to save the Chrysler brand for years. Chrysler has been battered and abused since the 1970s; its upscale image was diluted with thinly disguised Plymouths, and then the brand was starved of new product—the always-in-the-future Portal and Americanized Grand Commander notwithstanding. The 300 went from being …

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No new Compass, Charger, Challenger, 300 due to chip shortage

Brampton plant

Some reacted to news of FCA’s 2020 sales shortfall by pointing out that dealers were short of cars—a situation that is not likely to be improved by the global microchip shortage, which has shut down the Toluca and Brampton plants. Toluca makes the Jeep Compass and until recently produced the Dodge Journey and Fiat 500; …

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B (as in “big”) V8 engines

300G cross-ram wedge engine

Despite our headline, the B in “B engines” did not mean “big.” The creation story Chrysler’s first V8 engines (such as the 392 shown below) were a success, but they were only intended for high-end, relatively pricey cars. As more and more customers demanded eight cylinders, though, Chrysler Corporation could not make enough of their …

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Sales contests: muscle cars, pickups, minivans, and big cars

Ford was late out of the gate with their sales summaries, and we could see why: overall sales for 2020 were down 16% from 2019, compared with a 12% drop at GM and Toyota alike. FCA did slightly worse with a 17% fall, but FCA cut their Q4 incentives by 7% from Q4 2019 while …

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Canadian sales take a dive

Wrangler Rubicon 392

FCA Canada had a very bad 2020, taking hits almost across the board. As in the USA, the Gladiator, in its first full year, was a bright spot; sales more than doubled, going from 1,950 to 4,481. However, Jeep took a bigger hit in Canada than the USA, dropping by 22% overall; as in the …

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Chrysler US sales for a strange 2020

FCA US sales dropped by 17% in 2020, compared with 2019. Every brand but Alfa Romeo fell, with Fiat dropping to less than half of their already poor sales. Ram made it through with the least damage, falling by 11%; by comparison, GM truck sales rose, and Toyota trucks fell by around 3%. The ProMaster …

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Jeep trying to punch out of Indian niche

GME 2-liter turbo Wrangler built in Toledo

Jeep has less than a 1% market share in India, where former Willys licensee Mahindra makes inexpensive vehicles that look remarkably like the Wrangler and other popular 4x4s. Jeep’s drive to increase sales is not helped by its global premium-brand strategy. To try to change their current status as a rare niche vehicle, FCA is …

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PSA, FCA shareholders voted their approval for Stellantis

99% of PSA (Peugeot) shareholder votes were for approval of the deal with FCA; 99% FCA shareholders are voted for the merger later in the same day. Existing FCA shareholders will lose their existing double-voting rights, but otherwise, the deal is likely to be good for them. Peugeot has been able to completely stop gasoline …

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What’s new for 2021?

1963 wagoneer

Jeep is finally set to sell the Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer in the second quarter; based on the Ram, as the original Wagoneer was created with the Gladiator pickup, it should set new standards of luxury for Jeep, while, hopefully, maintaining strong off-road capability and durability. Jeep is also getting a brand new Grand Cherokee …

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