Tavares: Moving to “bottom-up” decision-making

Since the 1960 Valiant shook up Chrysler’s product line, resulting in changes to every other car’s  brakes, axles, and front suspensions, Chrysler has done well when it set up skunkworks or other arrangements that led low-level employees have more of a say. Indeed, the revolutionary changes of the 1990s centered mainly on empowering groups to … Read more

Who’s running Stellantis?

The signs are up at Auburn Hills and other headquarters. The old FCA and FCA US email address are already being replaced by stellantis.com. But who is running the show?It appears that Stellantis is using matrix management, with both regional and brand leaders. For the Mopars, we have Christian Meunier running global SUV / Jeep; … Read more

What happened to Mopar’s heavy-duty dual-clutch transmissions?

62TEM or 79REM transmission

Back in the days when there was still a Chrysler Corporation, engineers started working an a manual transmission that shifted itself—a dual-clutch automatic of the style later produced by Fiat, Ford, and others. At the time, such transmissions had never been successfully used in light-duty vehicles, but were used by heavy-duty trucks.The transmission was supposed … Read more

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 each … Read more

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 unibody … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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; … Read more

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 … Read more

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 fell … Read more

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 spending … Read more

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 … Read more

Wrangler 392 to cost over $70,000? One post claims so

Wrangler Rubicon 392

If you want 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque in a Jeep Wrangler, you may have two choices: spend tens of thousands having a shop put in a big Hemi V8, beefing up the brakes and suspension, and such, or spend tens of thousands having Jeep put one in for you, beefing up the … Read more

Kokomo Engine delayed till end of 2021

Wrangler 4xe system

According to the Kokomo Tribune, the United States won’t be pumping out 2-liter turbo engines until the last quarter of 2021, rather than starting out in the next few months. The reason is that the transformation of a transmission plant into an engine plant has been delayed. That left FCA trying to get production out … Read more