Tag Archive | "Chrysler Group"

Chrysler to Recall More Than 683,000 Vehicles

DETROIT — Chrysler Group LLC confirmed it is voluntarily recalling more than 683,000 Jeep Wranglers and minivans worldwide over brake-line and sliding-power-door issues, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The automaker said the recall affects 364,732 of its 2007 through 2010 Jeep Wrangler models. Potentially, brake lines could come in contact with the inner-fender lining, which could reduce braking performance over time, Chrysler said in a statement.

Chrysler is also recalling 318,974 of its 2008-2009 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans because of the potential for interior wiring to come in contact with the sliding power door, which could cause a short circuit leading to a fire.

The company has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the recalls and says it isn’t aware of any accidents or injuries related to either issue.

Last week, Chrysler announced it was voluntarily recalling 34,700 Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass vehicles world-wide amid a federal investigation into a potential “sticky accelerator” pedal.

That announcement was posted on the NHTSA Web site on Friday. NHTSA also knew of the Wrangler and minivan recalls on Friday, but that information wasn’t posted on the agency’s Web site until as late as Monday.

A total of 288,302 Wranglers are being recalled in the U.S.; 28,976 in Canada; 6,438 in Mexico and 41,016 in the company’s international markets.

There are 284,831 minivans being recalled in the U.S.; 15,295 in Canada; 3,994 in Mexico and 14,854 in the international markets.

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Chrysler Recalls Dodge, Jeep Vehicles for Pedal Flaw

Chrysler Group LLC recalled almost 35,000 Dodge and Jeep vehicles for accelerator pedals that may become stuck, Bloomberg reported.

The pedals in Dodge Calibers and Jeep Compasses for the 2007 model year were made by CTS Corp., the Elkhart, Ind.-based company that supplied similar parts in Toyota Motor Corp.’s cars. The recall covers 34,614 Calibers and 90 Compasses, with 73 percent in the U.S., Chrysler said in a statement.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last month it was investigating Chrysler’s vehicles after five consumers reported pedals became stuck while driving. NHTSA said this week it is investigating Ford Motor Co. cars for pedals that may become stuck on floor mats. Toyota has ordered record recalls for pedals that were sticky or became trapped by mats, contributing to unintended acceleration.

The recalled Chrysler vehicles have electronic throttle control technology, the company said in a June 3 letter to NHTSA. The software is intended to stop cars when both the accelerator and brake are applied. Chrysler is based in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Chrysler said it isn’t aware of any accidents or injuries related to the pedal defect.

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Chrysler Sales up 33% for May; Ford, GM Rise 23%, 16.6%

Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. posted double-digit sales increases last month thanks to new vehicles and strong fleet sales, The Detroit News reported.

Chrysler led Detroit’s Big Three automakers with a 33 percent increase compared to a year ago, when it was in bankruptcy. Ford sales rose 23 percent, and GM’s rose 16.6 percent.

Excluding castoff brands Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn, sales of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles rose almost 32 percent compared to May 2009.

Last month, GM sold 223,822 vehicles and posted the fifth consecutive month of double-digit sales gains for the four core brands.

Ford, meanwhile, sold 192,253 vehicles last month, and the Dearborn automaker marked the sixth consecutive month of at least a 20 percent sales gain.

Toyota Motor Corp. reported a 6.7 percent rise in May sales to 162,813 vehicles. The Toyota division posted a 3.6 percent sales increase to 140,597 cars and light trucks, while premium Lexus sales jumped 31.3 percent to 22,216 vehicles.

Nissan Motor Co. sold 83,764 vehicles last month, a 24.1 percent increase, while Honda Motor Co.’s sales rose 19.1 percent to 117,173 vehicles.

Hyundai Motor Co. reported a 33 percent sales jump to 49,045 vehicles in May, bolstered by strong demand for the new Sonata and Tucson models.

Chrysler sold 104,819 vehicles, the first time the Auburn Hills automaker has crossed the 100,000 mark since March 2009.

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Chrysler Will Probably Hold an IPO Next Year, Marchionne Says

Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne said the carmaker may undertake an initial public offering next year and he prefers that General Motors Co. goes first, Bloomberg reported.

“Probably 2011,” Marchionne told reporters in Toronto when asked about the timing of a listing. May is “turning out to be a good month” for sales and the U.S. market is “on the mend,” he said.

Marchionne, who is also CEO of Fiat, plans to list Chrysler and spin off the Turin, Italy-based unit’s automotive operations from divisions that make trucks and tractors. He has said Fiat expects to boost its Chrysler stake to 25 percent this year by meeting a target to introduce its 500 small car in the U.S.

He said there will be enough investor demand for both Chrysler and GM to sell shares to the public during the next year or so.

“I think there is enough appetite, and I am always respectful of the bigger guy,” he said, referring to GM, led by CEO Ed Whitacre.

Fiat acquired a 20 percent stake in Chrysler after the U.S. company reorganized with $15 billion of government support.

The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker exited bankruptcy in June with government aid. Fiat can obtain as much as 35 percent of Chrysler. The U.S. has about 9.9 percent, Canada owns 2.5 percent and a United Auto Workers trust for retiree medical care holds 67.7 percent, according to bankruptcy court documents.

GM Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said May 18 the automaker’s $865 million first-quarter net profit is a “good, useful step” on the way to an initial public offering that may come this year.

Since exiting bankruptcy in 2009, GM has repaid the $8.4 billion in loans from the U.S., Canada and Ontario, leaving the U.S. with $42.2 billion in common equity and preferred stock, a senior administration official has said.

Marchionne said Fiat hasn’t been affected by the European debt crisis, either in the cost of financing his company’s operations or in consumer demand. The situation is a chance to improve how the euro zone functions, he said in an interview.

“Europe is being given a chance here to fix what was fundamentally an incomplete union,” he said. “They have an opportunity now to go the extra step and really make the European Union what it was always intended to be, which is a unity both in terms of political and economic positions.”

Fiat shares fell 2.6 percent to 8.41 euros yesterday.

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Chrysler Dealers to Get Nonprime Loans through Santander Bank

DETROIT – Seeking to broaden its customer base and add momentum to U.S. sales gains, Chrysler Group on Monday told dealers that it has reached an agreement with Santander Bank to offer financing to customers who don’t qualify for prime loans, reported Automotive News.

The agreement, with Santander Consumer USA Inc., takes effect Thursday. The bank, the U.S. arm of the Spanish banking giant Banco Santander, will extend loans to customers with nonprime credit scores of 650 or lower.

Chrysler is subsidizing the arrangement, although officials of the automaker declined to specify the size or nature of the investment.

Chrysler officials said 22 percent of Chrysler customers currently fall into the credit range Santander will cover.

Said Kathy Graham, a Chrysler spokeswoman: “Santander specializes in this credit market. They know how to finance it. They don’t do prime lending. They have plenty of money. There is not a liquidity issue.”

Chrysler said it could add 2,000 sales per month as a result of the new arrangement. About 50 percent of Chrysler dealers already use Santander for used-car financing.

Santander can offer loans at a 30 percent savings compared with other lenders, possibly saving customers as much as $3,000 over the life of the loan, Chrysler officials said.

Santander was sending its 110 area representatives out to talk with Chrysler dealers this week. Chrysler dealers who don’t already use Santander for used-car financing will be sent applications through the DealerTrack communications system.

The agreement does not affect Chrysler’s relationship with GMAC Financial Services, the bank holding company that acts as Chrysler’s captive finance arm.

Chrysler sold 329,918 light vehicles in the United States through April, a 2 percent gain over the same four months of 2009. Overall U.S. sales rose 17 percent over the same period.

In April, Chrysler sales rose 25 percent, compared with an overall market gain of 20 percent.

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Ex-auto Czar Rattner Says Chrysler, GM Exceed Expectations

DETROIT – Former U.S. auto task force head Steven Rattner said that General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC have performed better than he expected they would a year ago, the Associated Press reported.

Rattner said both companies have exceeded the federal government’s metrics in sales and restructuring. He made his remarks before speaking Monday to a conference on the auto industry at the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve.

Both GM and Chrysler received billions in federal aid and went through bankruptcy protection last year.

Rattner said during his speech that based on public statements by GM executives, GM has a good possibility of making a quarterly profit when it announces first-quarter earnings later this month. He said that based on the trading price of old GM’s bonds last week, the government is likely to recover around $40 billion of its $50 billion investment in GM.

Old GM includes the closed plants and other assets left behind when the company went through bankruptcy protection. Old GM bondholders have some recovery rights when new GM sells stock to the public, perhaps later this year.

The government owns 61 percent of GM and will get some of its money back when the stock is sold.

GM repaid $6.7 billion of the government loans last month.

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