The New York International Auto show opens later this week, and Dodge has a very special vehicle to introduce, the 2013 Dodge SRT Viper. The 2013 SRT Viper is all-new, from front-to-back and top-to-bottom, from the lightweight carbon-fiber roof right down to its road-scorching wheels. It features less weight, stiffer chassis, a more powerful engine, beefed-up close-ratio transmission, more powerful brakes and new electronic technology. It’s all wrapped in aggressive exterior styling with gorgeous interior design, materials and appointments to make Viper more comfortable and capable, better riding, more agile and faster accelerating to a higher top speed. Advancements in materials and engineering lead to a new output of 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque.
Posted by pfiorini on Apr 2 2012 in Automotive Industry News
And I mean this literally. There is a shortage of tires for new cars being manufactured in the US today. It’s not at a crisis situation but the shortage on the supply side has pushed up prices for the demand side. Most manufacturers have plans on ramping up production at both North American plants and factories in Brazil and one tire maker will be building a new plant in America, but all that takes time to make an effect on the supply and the price of tires.
There are several situations that have caused this situation. The first, believe it or not, is the Great Recession. One of the unanticipated consequences of the extreme drop in GDP, in particular the segment coming from the Auto Industry was a ramp down in production. Tire makers, in anticipation of the drop in car sales, slowed down production at factories and laid off workers. This eventually filtered down to low inventories of tires available in the US for Auto Makers. Just around the time when the Federal Government handed Detroit Auto Makers a bail out and simultaneously revved up demand by offering Cash for Clunkers, tire makers were scaling back production and allowing inventories to dwindle.
Move forward a year or two, the Auto Industry has experienced an almost return to normal but Tire Makers had not ramped production back up to levels to meet the new demand. Now they are running at full capacity just to keep up with demand because the Obama Administration put a 3 year tariff on tire imports from China, further reducing overall supply. So you may get the vehicle you want when you want it, but you might not get the tires you wanted on that vehicle or find yourself spending just a little bit more on the tires than you had anticipated.
Posted by pfiorini on Jun 22 2011 in Automotive Industry News
So how’s that recovery working for you? You might not want to ask the auto industry, or any other industry for that matter. But being that we are a car dealer, we’ll stay on that subject. Car makers suffered catastrophic drops in sales a few years back. Right after the economy almost collapsed and millions of workers lost their jobs, people stopped buying new cars. They just didn’t have the money and a lot of people were afraid of losing their jobs and did not want to commit to any long term financial commitment. Auto makers scrambled to save themselves. The Federal Government even had to step in and become a major stake holder in 2 of the Big Three.
Well the good news is none of these automakers failed and although sales are not back to the levels they were at during those golden years, they have made a glorious comeback from the precipice. The bad news is that it may be several more years before sales come back to levels of high or extreme growth. This is okay for the auto industry, but not great and worse yet it is not good for the overall economy. The auto industry needs high growth levels to fund research and development of new technologies and products and the rest of the economy has a significant dependency on one of the last strongholds of American Manufacturing. If the auto industry can get back to the sales levels of the early part of the century, the economy will feel and act healthier too. But then again, will the auto industry be able to grow rapidly without the rest of the economy growing too? Most experts don’t see this happening until about 2015.
Posted by pfiorini on Jun 2 2011 in Automotive Industry News
An interesting statistic has come to light recently about mini vans. The couples who bought minivans to lug around play pens, diaper bags, soccer teams and cheerleading squads are not trading in their milk stained mini vans for a coupe or a convertible. Once the kids have grown up and moved on, you would think that Empty Nesters would be getting themselves a mid life crisis car or some other toy to drive around in to remind them of their youth. Instead, they are trading in their family friendly, gadget laden, soccer teaming luxury family bus minivans for a New Mini Van.
With no real need for all that transporting space why are couples with grown kids staying in a minivan? Mostly because they have gotten used to the height of a minivan. It is much easier to see all the traffic when you sit above the traffic in a minivan. But some of the other reasons are the convenience of its size. You can still load up a minivan; it’s not just made for hauling around kids. Fifty and sixty-somethings are a lot more active than their parents were when they were their age. A minivan has plenty of room to lug all their toys around, golf clubs, bikes and other athletic equipment. And having no more kids in the house has given this group a whole lot more money to spend on whatever they want to spend it on. Don’t think auto makers have not taken notice of that little bit of information.
What’s next on the horizon for this class of vehicles?
Would you believe something just a little smaller than the minivan –the Micro Van?
Posted by pfiorini on Apr 29 2011 in Automotive Industry News
The 2012 Fiat 500 was shown off at the ongoing 2010 LA Auto Show. The stylish minicar has managed to draw plenty of attention, not only because of its cute styling and Italian flair but also because of its very affordable pricetag. This entrant in the small-car segment is the first byproduct of the Fiat and Chrysler partnership. The Fiat 500 is truly a small car, so the idea that it is powered by a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 101 horsepower makes sense. More importantly, though, is that the 2012 500 will feature Fiat’s new economical MultiAir engine. And the 500 gains an all-new 6-speed automatic transmission and a 5-speed manual with new gear ratios.
The Fiat 500 will be available in three models, with the names Pop, Sport, and Lounge. Furthermore, this vehicle will be highly customizable with loads of options and packages. Customers will be able to choose from 14 exterior colors (metallic, pastel colors and with pearly triple-coat finishes), 14 color combinations and materials for the seats, two interiors (black or ivory) and a complete line of exclusive accessories made by Mopar.
Among other things, Fiat 500 customers will be able to make use of the free eco:Drive software application that collects journey data through the Blue&Me interface of the car and analyzes them to give the user handy personalized tips to cut travel costs and the environmental impact of his driving style. First sales of the 2012 Fiat 500 are scheduled to start in December.
Posted by pfiorini on Nov 21 2010 in Automotive Industry News
The Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Journey have been awarded Bark Buckle UP’s 2010 Pet Safe Choice Awards at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show. The Pet Safe Choice Award is given to vehicles that best accommodate a variety of pet needs, including ventilation for pets and adaptability of third-party pet-travel gear.
Bark Buckle UP evaluated vehicles on a variety of criteria, including accommodation of animals and various kennel sizes, ease of pet access within the vehicle, ease of pet entry and exit, pet-friendly interior surfaces and their ease of clean up. “Pets are an extension of every family, and the Dodge Journey’s best-in-class seating and storage solutions meet the needs of all family members from kids to pets. With features like the available integrated booster seat that accommodates children comfortably, to in-floor storage that keeps all the pet-essentials organized and easy-to-reach, the Dodge Journey makes every trip better for the entire family,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO — Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. The 2010 Chrysler Town & Country received the U.S. Government’s Five Star crash test rating in both front and side impact tests. The U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2010 Chrysler Town & Country LX is $25,995 (including $820 destination).
Christina Selter, “Pet Safety Lady”,” founder of Bark Buckle UP, Bark10-4 and the Bark Buckle UP Charity, works closely with Fire, Police, Coast Guard and EMT personnel who support the safety program and has been featured at International Auto Shows, Pet Expos, Television, Radio, News Articles and guest speaking engagements nationwide. Bark Buckle UP is the recognized innovative leader and experts for pet travel safety. Bark Buckle UP educates and promotes awareness for pet safety while traveling with our pets. For more news and information, visit www.barkbuckleup.com
Posted by pfiorini on Feb 16 2010 in Automotive Industry News
Earlier this week, General Motors announced that it would offer special incentives to Toyota owners in an effort to capitalize on the Japanese automaker’s recent recall troubles. Ford and Hyundai eventually followed suit, and now Chrysler has decided to follow the others. Unlike the other automakers making a run at Toyota’s customers, Chrysler is specifically targeting minivan and truck owners.
Through March 1, 2010 , Chrysler is offering a $1,000 incentive for owners of the Toyota Sienna, Tacoma and Tundra who wish to switch to a Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep-branded truck. Chrysler’s reasoning? Top Ram brand executive Fred Diaz says that Chrysler invented the minivan and “the 2010 Ram Heavy Duty is Motor Trend magazine’s ‘Truck of the Year’ and the Ram 1500 is our most awarded truck ever.”
There’s money on the table for current Toyota lessees, too: $1,000 for drivers with expiring Toyota leases who switch to any Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep vehicle. The offer took effect January 29 2010.
Posted by pfiorini on Jan 29 2010 in Automotive Industry News
Starting in late December, Chrysler Group LLC will take claim as the first U.S. automaker to offer live mobile television in its Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. Programming for up to 20 channels will come through FLO TV™ Auto Entertainment and will offer shows for nearly everyone. As of now, the lineup includes CBS Mobile, CNBC, Comedy Central, FOX News, MSNBC, MTV, Nickelodeon, and more.
While companies have offered “live” TV in the past through large and expensive roof-mounted satellite dishes, the Mopar system captures signals through a mouse-size roof antenna. The feed arrives via a dedicated multicast network from FLO TV (a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc.). The associated receiver and wiring are all hidden, so that they remain out of view to the vehicle’s occupants. Utilizing the existing DVD system’s 7-inch display, passengers will be able to use a wireless remote control to surf channels, much like they do with current home-based systems.
The $629 (plus installation) package will be offered as a deal-installed option on most new Chrysler SUV/minivan products, and may be retrofitted to some older vehicles equipped with DVD entertainment systems. The cost of system, however, includes a one-year pre-paid FLO TV service subscription. The new technology may be included in Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep models, and will be available at Dodge dealerships columbia and around the country. As long as Sponge Bob is on, we’re sure many of Chrysler’s smallest customers will be quite happy.
Posted by pfiorini on Dec 12 2009 in Automotive Industry News