Category Archives: Chrysler

Fiat Chrysler May Get A New Name For The New Year

Towards the end of last year in 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles merged with french auto company PSA Group in order to become a global powerhouse, thus becoming the fourth-largest automaker company with a combined market value of roughly $50 billion. This year, according to Mopar Insiders, Chrysler’s brand is making even more headway by deciding to remove its famous name…well, at least thinking about it. Other brands owned by FSA such as Dodge, Jeep, and Ram have and continued to bring in the most profit for the company, but due to Chrysler’s small lineup its cars don’t always get much traction, so it might not be that surprising for a rebrand of sorts on the name.

Typically when two companies merge, they also agree on a new name as a way to identify themselves as one new organization. For nearly 100 years, Chrysler has gone through several name changes such as the Chrysler Corporation, Chrysler LLC, DaimlerChrysler, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It’s been reported that with the new merge between FCA and PSA, the two companies have agreed not to use either of their existing names. This marks the first time in Chrysler’s history in which the name may not be used outside of the company’s brand. 

A statement was made by Walter P. Chrysler’s great-grandson, Frank Rhodes to Mopar Insiders about the matter, “It has been a long time coming. That being said, we need to preserve the brand and at least it looks safe for now. Carlos Tavares, CEO PSA, said he would keep all of the brands,” Rhodes said. “Chrysler should expand and go after Lincoln. I did think of a corporate name, PFC Corporation. However, I heard that none of the existing corporate names will be used. The fact is that Tavares has the leading vote, 6-5, and however you slice the cake, he and the French Government are in control. Remember how Chrysler and Mercedes had a ‘merger of equals?'”

Despite the possibility that Chrysler’s name may be no more, this does not mean that the brand itself is going extinct. Merges and partnerships with the FSA haven’t always worked out for the best; On the contrary, this latest deal should aid in speeding up product cycles and have a greater overall structure between these core brands.

2020 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

Speaking of reputable names, the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Limited is an absolute must-have for large families who need a lot of space for their luggage and themselves, as it 8 available seats and an unbelievable amount of cargo space.

Standard features include a Uconnect radio system, heated front and rear seats, a tilt steering wheel, Blind Spot Detection, Brake Assist, a navigation system, power moonroof, as well as remote keyless entry.

On optional feature on Limited trims is the Red S Appearance package. It gives the interior a bright and sporty pop of color. It also adds a few embellishments on the exterior by adding a Red S and Black Noise liftgate badges with Velvet Red inserts.

The starting price for the 2020 Pacifica Limited is roughly $42,000 (plus destination fee). It also has a basic 3-year warranty for 36,000 miles as well as a five-year powertrain warranty for 60,000 miles.

For more information, please visit our website Miami Lakes Auto Mall. Representatives are standing by!

Photo Source/Copyright: US News

Fiat Chrysler Goes Green-With The Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network

BERLIN, GERMANY – APRIL 24: An electric car is pictured during charging on April 24, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)

Blockchain network

Tuesday, December 10, 2019,  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles revealed that it has joined the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), an industry alliance that uses blockchain technology to support ecological, responsible sourcing and production methods from mine to market. 

The RSBN is on course to become operational on a commercial standpoint by the Spring of 2020.

The ability to trace and map raw materials is vital in order to significantly reduce practices that are unethical and threaten the future for the communities in which the raw materials are sourced.

“Our commitment to the responsible procurement of raw materials is vital to the integrity and sustainability of our supply chain, especially as our electrification strategy ramps up,” said Carl Smiley, Chief Purchasing and Supply Chain Officer, FCA. “Embarking on this journey together with technology and industry leaders will propel our ability to have visibility into artisanal and small-scale mines, allowing us to better manage the social and environmental impacts of our business.”

By 2022, the FCA plans on launching more than 30 electrified nameplates. The consortium will aid in having a responsible supply chain of cobalt, which is used in lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles. 

RSBN will build an open, industry-wide blockchain platform to trace minerals in a responsible manner from its source. The RCS Global assesses each participating entity responsible for sourcing requirements set by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and industry bodies. Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen Group, Volvo, LG Chem and Huayou Cobalt are participants in the RSBN.

“We are hugely excited that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, one of the world’s leading auto manufacturers, has joined the RSBN. With this move, FCA signals its intent to robustly address the issue of responsible sourcing in its supply chain and we look forward to working with them to achieve this,” said Dr. Nicholas Garrett, CEO, RCS Global Group. “The RSBN is expanding rapidly, connecting actors throughout the battery supply chain and beyond, all of whom have a focus on proving good practice in responsible sourcing and production.”

United Nations and OCED 5 Step Framework

To add on, efforts to become more sustainable align with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to tackle global issues, specifically those dealing with poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.

The OECD 5-Step Framework for Upstream and Downstream Supply Chains is also used and taught to suppliers. This framework gives a common and foundational tool in order to aid in solidifying responsible sourcing practices and decisions made throughout the supply chain. Suppliers and their sub-suppliers are required by Chrysler to abide by applicable global laws and regulations.

2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Speaking of Eco-friendly, Chrysler has an ecological vehicle that is both family-friendly and inexpensive, the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. This plug-in hybrid goes has 33 miles of range paired with a standard V6 engine. It also has advanced safety features such as the blind-spot monitoring for its base models and many more for its advanced models.

This 2019 model has six trims. The L base includes a version of Chrysler’s Uconnect touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

All models come with the SafetyTec Group. This includes blind-spot monitoring and parking sensors.

The LX adds features like tri-zone climate control, touring suspension, automatic headlights, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

For more information on these models visit Miami Lakes Automall. Representatives are standing by!

Photo Source/Copyright: Creamcoin

Chrysler Pacifica Wins Big as Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy Award Recipient

Best Buy Award and Winning Streak

For the fourth year in a row, the Chrysler Pacific proves to be the reigning champ once again at the Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy Awards, specifically in the Minivan category. 

Winners are selected by Consumer Guide editors by analyzing and extensively testing all major models available in the U.S.

“As the winner of the Best Buy crown for the fourth year in a row, the Pacifica offers class-leading horsepower and fuel economy, excellent road manners and ride quality, and an unmatched array of family-friendly features … all wrapped up in a stylish package,” said Tom Appel, publisher of Consumer Guide Automotive. 

Since 2016, the Chrysler Pacifica is the most awarded minivan and has more than 125 industry accolades. With its fourth consecutive winning streak, the minivan has won the Consumer Guide Best Buy award each year its segment.

According to Consumer Guide Automotive, objective ratings are not the determining factor for a vehicle to become a Best Buy winner. 

New Pacifica

The 2020 new Chrysler Pacifica Red S Edition interior has a burst of color and freshness. There are premium Nappa leather two-toned seats in Rodeo Red, only in the deluxe Red S interior, it’s also highlighted in Light Diesel Grey stitching and piping, with an “S” logo on the seatbacks.

Additionally, the instrument panel and door trim are embellished by the Silver Metal Brush hydro bezels.

The exterior includes a Red S liftgate badge and Black Noise Chrysler wing badges with Velvet Red inserts. The Pacifica Red S Edition drives on 20-inch wheels and 18-inch wheels on the Pacifica Hybrid with a Black Noise finish. The package includes standard Advanced SafetyTec, which features more than 100 safety and security features, 20-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio and KeySense.

Moreover, the Red S Edition will have a range of six exterior color options, such as Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Billet Metallic Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat and Maximum Steel Clear Coat. A new color option includes the new 2020 Ceramic Grey Clear Coat. 

2020 Chrysler Pacifica Touring

The 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Touring is an ideal car to have. It’s great for large families, as it has eight seats and also has plenty of cargo space.

Standard features include the Uconnect infotainment system, a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Andriod Auto, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio and a six-speaker stereo. 

Features on the safety side include the Hill Start Assist, ParkSense Front and Standard RearPark Assist, as well as the Blind–Spot and Rear Cross–Path Detection.

The starting price for the 2020 Pacifica Touring is roughly $35,000-$40,000 (plus destination fee). It also has a five-year powertrain warranty for 60,000 miles.

For more information, please visit Miami Lakes Auto Mall. Representatives are standing by!

Photo Source/Copyright: Motor1

Tesla May Supply Fiat-Chrysler EVs with Batteries and Drivetrains

Eventually, Fiat Chrysler might get a valuable lifeline for their vehicles that are not electric as of yet. FCA CEO Mike Manley has mentioned that Tesla could very well provide batteries and drivetrains for Fiat-Chrysler electric cars that are coming in the future. The development and rollout of the plan are taken longer than expected, but there is progress on both sides. 

The comment was made by Manley after the release of FCA’s earnings spot, which happened on October 31, 2019. Just how much is on the table when it comes to the pooling deal? The CEO declined to answer. 

However, Manley did respond to a follow-up question on whether Fiat-Chrysler will be open to purchasing an all-electric platform from Tesla. The CEO answered that it could happen if FCA’s merger with the PSA Group goes through. For that to happen, Chrysler would need a valuable ally that is knowledgeable on all things electric vehicle technology. 

“It would be wrong of me to say no,” said Manley. Manley also discussed adding that drivetrains and batteries are most likely what FCA will be purchasing from Tesla. The CEO also mentioned that there’s a big possibility that the company is buying a “skateboard” platform from Tesla, which it would then use for its various brands.

This isn’t the first time that the idea of Tesla acting as a supplier for veteran automakers happened. They have engaged in other activities in the past during their early days. The then-small EV startup supplied Toyota with powertrains, which resulted in them being significant investors in the company.

While Manley addressed the point, he also added that Fiat-Chrysler’s pooling deal with Tesla would end in 2021. Manley also stated that the company’s main priority is still sustainability. “Our relationship with Tesla goes back a long way. It really has helped us. But FCA is absolutely committed to reducing CO2 emissions around the world,” said Manley. 

The idea of Tesla working with other suppliers was mentioned in the company’s recently-held Q3 2019 earnings. Elon Musk, CEO seemed optimistic about the idea of Tesla selling its components to other OEMs. When addressing the topic, Musk stated that such initiatives are in line with the electric car marker’s mission.

“It would be consistent with the mission of Tesla to help other car companies with electric vehicles on the battery and powertrain front, possibly on other fronts. So it’s something we’re open to. As a lot of people know, we open-sourced our patents so that those would not serve as an obstacle to the adoption of electric vehicles or solar power or stationary storage. And we’re definitely open to supplying batteries and powertrains and perhaps other things to other car companies,” he said.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram at Miami Lakes Automall

Photo Credit: teslarati.com

Upcoming Changes to the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica

cars.com

The Chrysler Pacifica will see some significant changes for 2020. Chrysler is lowering the trim models, and the lower-priced L, LX, and Touring Plus have been removed from the lineup. There is a new Red S Edition package for the Limited trim. As for the price, it changes by the trims. 

On the gas trims, the base price was lowered by $50 on the Touring L, on Touring L Plus is $100, and on the Limited is $250 on the Limited. On the Pacifica Hybrid, the base price was decreased by $250 on the Touring trims, $150 on the Touring L, and the Limited is reduced by $50. However, the destination charge stays unchanged.    

The base trim is now the Touring, and it has the same price as last year’s Touring Plus (starting price of $34,990 plus destination fee). Last year, the Pacifica L was the more affordable trim at $28,730. So how does the increase benefit new buyers? 

The new pricing provides a separation from the similar Dodge Grand Caravan, which is aimed for minivan shoppers who are on a budget. For 2020, the gas trims come in Touring L, Touring L Plus, and Limited trim levels. The Pacifica Hybrid comes in the Touring, Touring L and Limited trim levels. 

Chrysler is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its minivan in 2019. Chrysler keeps the party going while continuing to offer the anniversary editions of the gas and hybrid versions. The new Red S Edition package offers a lot as well. 

The new Red S Edition package has the Advanced SafetyTec Group, red leather seats, red exterior badges, a programmable key for teen drivers, and a 20-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The Red S Edition also has 20-inch wheels on the gas Pacifica Limited, and the hybrid version comes with 18-inch wheels. As for the gas version, the Red S Edition package is a $3,995 upcharge. The pricing for the hybrid hasn’t been announced yet.   

For 2020 there is also a dual-pane panoramic moonroof available on the gas trim which offers eight-passenger seating. The Pacifica will still come with front-wheel drive and a 3.6-liter V-6 engine. The Pacifica Hybrid plug-in has a continuously variable automatic transmission with a lithium-ion battery and a 32-mile electric-only range on the gas models that utilize a nine-speed automatic transmission.   

For the gas trims, the vehicle seats seven passengers, it also has Stow ‘n Go feature for the second and third rows. The hybrid vehicle seats seven passengers as well, but it doesn’t come with second-row Stow ‘n Go due to the fact that the hybrid batteries take up space on the floor.

The Pacifica also has an easy-to-use Uconnect multimedia system. The Pacifica minivan is the only available fuel-saving hybrid in the minivan market and a compelling, family-friendly vehicle that offers plenty of versatility.  

You can search the inventory of Chrysler Pacifica’s at Miami Lakes Automall

Photo Credit: cars.com

The Streets of Los Angeles Are the Learning Ground for the Waymo Chrysler Pacifica

Waymo, formally known as Google’s self-driving car project, is leaving its comfort home of Phoenix for the busy streets of Los Angeles. Waymo has had a relationship with the Chrysler Pacifica for some time now so it wasn’t unusual to see the combination roaming LA’s streets. Waymo doesn’t want to compete with the Los Angeles traffic; they want their vehicles to know how to operate the city.    

This news came from Waymo’s official Twitter account as they explained how three of the vehicles have started driving crazily around the streets of Los Angeles. They are exploring how the technology will fit in the city’s sizeable transportation environment. The vehicle is stocked with autonomous technology, but the system can also switch entirely to a human who can drive 100% of the time. 

The Waymo Pacifica vehicles that are on the street need to imagine a clear image of how the streets of Los Angeles look. Forbes has discovered that the Waymo vehicles need to memorize the location of the manholes, how long the crosswalks are, and how high the curbs are as well. There are still kinks to work through with these self-driving vehicles.  

Waymo isn’t afraid of new challenges. They welcome them as they know that one day, they’ll be able to remove human drivers and have the Waymo vehicles in place of them. The L.A. traffic is very different from Waymo’s first city of Phoenix, as Phoenix was the first and only pay-to-ride shuttle service. 

Aside from the Hollywood sign, Los Angeles is known for having some of the worst traffic in the United States. With Waymo’s test-drive happening in Los Angeles, it’ll be a new perspective on how the vehicle can run in certain situations and environments from what is used to in Phoenix. The more cities Waymo has under their belts for test-driving the better.     

Chrysler Pacifica Standard Features:

The Chrysler Pacifica 2019 has six trims available. It comes in the L, LX, Touring Plus, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and the Limited. All of the trims can be purchased with a V6 engine and a front-wheel-drive. 

The Uconnect touch-screen that’s on the infotainment on the Chrysler Pacifica comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. All of the Pacificas have SafetyTec Grough, which includes blind-spot monitoring and parking sensors. The LX has tri-zone climate control, touring suspension, and automatic headlights.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler Pacifica’s at Miami Lakes Automall

Photo Credit: Bloomberg.com

 

When It Comes to the Plug-In Economy, the Chrysler Pacifica Stands Out

Chrysler Pacifica and the Pacifica hybrid are sharing its showroom with one other vehicle, and that’s the 300 sedan. However, Chrysler is looking to the future with a new entry (sort of) for 2020. Let’s look at the Hybrid Pacifica.   

The Hybrid Pacifica comes with popular standard features and technology such as keyless entry, remote engine start, and a power liftgate. It has an upscale interior (such as having Pacifica’s controls arranged in a logical manner and are quite easy to get used to) and superb fuel economy. The all-gas Pacifica and hybrid plug-in version debuted in the 2017 model year. The Pacifica hasT had subsequent updates, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with a spiffy S blackout appearance package that is getting a new twist for 2020.   

The base Pacifica starts at $27,235 (plus destination fee). The Pacifica Hybrid is priced at $40,245 (plus destination fee). The base pricing is close to the Dodge Grand Caravan and Kia Sedona and a little less than the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. 

Closest in comparison to the Pacifica is the Honda Odyssey as the toughest competitor. However, since there is no hybrid option, there is nothing that comes close to the Pacifica Hybrid’s fuel efficiency. The all-electric range is 33 miles with an 82-mile per gallon equivalent estimate in city/highway combination, which is rated at 30 in gas-electric driving. 

Chrysler’s 35th Anniversary Pacifica Hybrid Edition comes available with an all-black interior with Cranberry Wine accent stitching and new badging. There is the S Appearance package that comes with blacked-out exterior and interior themes which is also available. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid doesn’t have any changes for 2019 but it still has a lot to offer.  

Added to the hybrid price are the standards such as the 8.4-inch touchscreen and three-zone climate control help. There is also the lane-keeping and other advanced features that are reserved for the top-line Hybrid Limited such as automatic parking (which is an option), a hands-free liftgate, a remote engine start, and an adjustable steering wheel. The rear entertainment system has two screens and wireless headphones are an option on the Touring trims and standard on the Limited trims.  

The Pacifica Hybrid has a quick response with its two electric motors and 3.6-liter V6. The total horsepower checks in at 260. The ride on the Pacifica Hybrid is quiet and smooth and the second row has ample legroom as well.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler Vehicles at Miami Lakes Automall

Photo Credit: motor1.com

Chrysler Has Begun Testing for Vehicle-to-Grid Tech

Test vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is being set up by Fiat Chrysler as an experimental fleet for up to 700 electric cars. V2G allows for the power grids to use the energy that’s stored in the car batteries to face its driving demand during its peak hours. FCA is taking the first steps towards the electric mobility as the Italian-American carmaker is moving on from its $35 billion bid to merge with France’s Renault, a pioneer in electric vehicles, which they had previously failed at. 

On Thursday, FCA signed an agreement with Italy’s national grid operator Terna so both companies can jointly test a technology that enables electric vehicles to interact with the grid, through the charging infrastructure. The project will include a feasibility study to launch an experimental demonstration fleet of cars connected to the grid via V2G support. It is set to be built in FCA’s Mirafioni plant in Turin, the two companies said in a statement.

“We’ll start with the electric Cinquecento (Fiat car model),” said FCA’s chief operating officer for the EMEA region, Pietro Gorlier. “The project will kick off in the coming months; we plan to reach 600-700 test vehicles by 2020-21”. They will start manufacturing a full-electric version of its Cinquecento mini car in Mirafiori by the second half of 2020.

The Hybrid, plug-in versions of the Renegade and Jeep Compass and Renegade, the new plug-in Alfa Romeo compact SUV, a mild-hybrid Panda small car and the Tonale, were also expected in 2020. The final assembly for the Waymo’s self-driving car project by Google will be in Detroit. Once known as Google’s self-driving car project, it is now one of the foremost leaders in pushing to develop the autonomous vehicle, Waymo was previously scouting locations in the southeast Michigan area. But they hadn’t named a specific city, until now.

John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, revealed that Detroit was the choice the company decided on. “Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve found the perfect facility in Detroit. We will partner with American Axle & Manufacturing to repurpose an existing facility, bringing a workforce back to an area where jobs in the automotive industry were recently lost,” according to the blog post.

The new building is said to create over 100 jobs and it could go up to 400 jobs in the area and it will have an investment of $13.6 million. Waymo requested an $8 million grant from the Michigan Business Development Program. Waymo will use a facility that already exists on the American Axle and Manufacturing campus on Holbrooke where American Axle has its headquarters, which is namedTechnology Development Center and the Detroit Business.

The location was being used as a sequencing center for the local parts suppliers, and the company stated that American Axle recently moved back into the facility where the business operations in the central portion of the building were. Chris Son, the Vice President of American Axle, said the association would benefit both companies tremendously. “We are excited to partner with Waymo and be a part of bringing future automotive technology to our Detroit Campus,” said Son to freep.com.

Waymo’s announcement came after GM decided to remove themselves from the two factories already in the state. GM will stop mass-producing at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant in the early times of January 2020. However, they are still planning to make the production versions of the Cruise car (which is self-driving) at the Michigan Orion Assembly Plant.  

There’s been no set date, but there have been theories that the General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, could be considered. If they decide to go with it, it will offer more than 200,000 of the square feet that Waymo is looking to expand too. There is still competition happening between GM’s Cruise Unit and Waymo’s self-driving vehicle development.

The project for Waymo is being considered as the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles. As stated by the NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), Level 5 is high automation, which is one step below full automation. Under certain conditions, the vehicle can manage all driving functions.  

You can search the inventory of Chrysler vehicles at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you. 

Photo Credit: internetofbusiness.com

Fiat Chrysler Is Looking to Hire Over 5,000 Qualified Detroiters

Applications for jobs at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles were open for Detroiters who pre-qualified to vie for employment in the new assembly plant on the east side of the city in August and it’s extending through September. The automaker had contacted residents who had previously attended job fairs and met the eligibility requirements with instructions on how to apply before non-Detroit residents did. Detroiters still had the opportunity to submit their applications, even if they hadn’t applied before.

More than 9,000 Detroit residents were pre-qualified for the 3,850 jobs available at the former Mack Avenue Engine Complex. It will begin producing the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and a new three-row, full-size Jeep SUV by the end of 2020. FCA had pledged to give Detroiters a first chance at the assembly plant’s jobs as well as at the soon-to-be upgraded Jefferson North Assembly Plant; as part of a community benefits agreement, it negotiated with the city residents around the plant.

Residents living in the $1.6 billion project’s impact zone had the opportunity to begin applying for jobs back at the beginning of August. However, no production workers have yet been hired, an FCA spokeswoman said. Mike Duggan, Mayor for Detroit, hopes the city will be able to give FCA a list of up to 10,000 qualified Detroiters to be employed at its $2.5 billion Jeep plant expansion. 

That’s up to twice as many the nearly 5,000 jobs that the investment is expected to bring to Detroit. “Our agreement is they have to interview all Detroit candidates before they interview anybody from the suburbs,” said Duggan during a Detroit at Work Job Readiness fair at the Messiah Baptist Church. “Some of the 5,000 jobs may be taken up by UAW folks coming from another place, but once they start the hiring, the hiring comes off of this list. We are preparing our residents for these jobs.”

There have been more than 9,000 Detroiters who attended one of the 200-plus job-readiness fairs that the city has hosted, the city says, a requirement for all residents seeking priority application access. The job fairs have drawn a lot of job seekers — and the job seekers are unemployed and have been out of the workforce for a while. “We have folks from a variety of industries that see this as a step up,” said the city’s executive director of workforce development Nicole Sherard-Freeman. Sherard-Freeman replaces Jeff Donofrio, who becomes director of the new Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity for Michigan. Sherard-Freeman said the turnout showed that Detroiters do want to work. The challenge is dismissing the mix-up about what it’s like to work in a manufacturing environment.

“This is not your grandfather’s plant,” she said. “Folks don’t know conditions are different. They’re very clean, updated, technology-current environments that are really great places to work.”

Fiat Chrysler received the approval back in May from the city and state to invest a $1.6 billion in developing the Mack Avenue facilities with a new plant. There was up to $900 million to update the Jefferson North Assembly Plant for the production of all-new three-row full-size Jeep SUV and plug-in hybrid models and the next-generation of Jeep Grand Cherokee. By late 2020, the company plans to introduce vehicles from the new assembly plant.

There was a community benefits agreement that was drafted by an advisory council of the neighborhood residents, the city, and the automaker. Fiat Chrysler has been in charge of hiring as many Detroiters as it can to fill the jobs that remain after the union-hiring obligations have been met. The employment in Detroit will pay $58,000 annually, on average, according to Fiat, and it will include skilled-trades positions, assembly line workers, and plant managers.

“Interviews for Detroit residents began later in August or early September,” Sherard-Freeman said. Detroit at Work will offer basic literacy and math tutoring for the applicants that need to brush up on the skills. After that, the application process will be open to all of the others who are looking for a job.

There will be more conditional offers which will be made later in 2019, and it will have start dates by early 2020. As for the job-readiness fairs, they have drawn interest from the other employers who are seeking Detroit interviewees. That’s an example, the Detroit Police Department has plans to hire up to 300 officers for 2020.

The Dakkota Integrated Systems, which builds automotive interior components, grilles, and suspensions, plans on creating 625 jobs as part of the $55 million new factory. They plan to build it on the 32-acre site which is vacant on the Rose Elementary School and Kettering High School buildings on Van Dyke on Interstate 94. The company will supply Fiat Chrysler’s new Jeep assembly plant on Mack Avenue.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler’s at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you. 

Photo Credit: detroitnews.com

The Chrysler Development Story

The idea for a minivan to come back, after the Y-body Imperial put the minivans on hold, had risen again when Chrysler had a 45% market share in full-sized vans. Planners and designers both thought a smaller van could bring families over from station wagons. The Director of Product Planning, Burton Bouwkamp, wrote in a 1998 letter to Automotive News (which both parties permitted allpar.com to reissue):

“In the early and mid-1970s, our Advance Design, Advance Engineering, and Advance Product Planning offices designed first-generation versions of the minivan. The program was to design a station wagon type vehicle that was not derived from another vehicle (from a passenger car sedan or a commercial van),” said Bouwkamp.

First-generation designs were rear-wheel drive because front-wheel-drive engines or transmissions were not available. Engineers, product planners, and designers were enthusiastic about the minivan but were unable to get the board of directors approval to go forward with a unique product. It had a particular tooling bill, not including facilities, of over $100 million.

Although the first designs never went beyond the clay model, the advanced design and the seating buck stage continues to be the interest in the concept in the Design and Product Planning offices at Chrysler. However, the management for the “bean counter” didn’t approve the minivan in the early 1970s because Ford and GM didn’t have one. Top management contended that, if there was a market, Ford and GM would build one. 

Management was, deciding that, if there was a market for this type of vehicle, the strategy was to get 15% of the market share. Being Director of Product Planning for seven years, that was painful to realize; that’s why the manager lobbied to get out of the job in 1975 when a Director level product position opened up in Europe. The second-generation design, in the late 1970s, was mainly the production design and it was done by Chrysler Design Office personnel under the enthusiastic and capable direction of Hal Sperlich.

By then they had front-wheel drive Omni/Horizon cars underway, so the minivan design became front-wheel drive. It allowed significant improvements in the package dimensions. Hal Sperlich contributed significantly to the success of the program with his enthusiastic involvement, aesthetic input, and overall guidance of the program.

When Lee Iacocca saw the minivan work, he said: “let’s do it.” Bill McGagh (Assistant Treasurer) told him that there wasn’t enough money to build a minivan; Iacocca told him to “get the blankety-blank money,” and then proceeded to substitute McGagh with a new Treasurer. Lee Iacocca gets credit for his support as well as the “guts” decision to go ahead with a now even-more-expensive FWD product when the Corporation was having trouble to pay its bills and maintain product competitiveness in its existing market segments.

Lee Iacocca and Hal Sperlich should get credit for the final (front-wheel drive) design execution. They should get credit as well for the decision to go ahead with the production for the minivan program at Chrysler. But not the original idea.

Another Chrysler alumni wrote that the minivan idea might have dated back to the 1950s, with the Volkswagen Omnibus. Though it could have some help in the handling department and it barely had enough power to reach 70 mph, it showed how a smaller van could reach families hearts. There were other smaller vans sold in other nations, as well, including passenger versions of Japanese small delivery wagons.

Who Invented the Minivan?

Chrysler invented the modern minivan twice, in two different continents, using different bodies entirely. Chrysler Europe was working with Matra, the French automobile, aeronautics, and weaponry company, on a minivan in the late 1970s and early 1980s. When it was ready for production, Chrysler sold a lot of the European operations to Peugeot-Citroen (PSA), which tossed the fledgling minivan. 

Matra then took the design to Renault, which modified it to fit the Renault 21 drivetrain which resulted in a calendar-year of 1983 introduction and being Europe’s popular minivan ever. If Chrysler held on to Chrysler UK, it might well have had a greater European foot-hold. The Dodge Caravan and American Plymouth Voyager were also introduced in 1983, as the 1984 models.

Chrysler minivans hit the market in 1984. The “T-115”, sold in 1984, the minivans were a significant success selling 209,895. Soon joining Windsor was St. Louis, they devoted three shifts to minivan staging.

Significant changes through the years did include a 1987 launching of a Mitsubishi V-6 engine, which overlapped with fuel injection on the 2.2; a short-lived 2.5 turbo option. The extended-wheelbase versions were (the “Grands,”) and the claimed “first luxury minivan,” the original Town & Country. The more extended wheelbase vans were fourteen inches long and soon accounted for half of the minivan sales.

The 2.5-liter engine eventually replaced the troublesome Mitsubishi 2.6. It was a 2.2 with a longer stroke and balance shafts, which was the standard engine until 2000. The 2.5-liter was replaced by a new 2.4-liter engine which was based on the Neon’s 2.0.

The minivans became more sophisticated but were less reliable as the A-604 electronic in 1989. It controlled a four-speed automatic that was adopted (fortunately, not across the board). All-wheel drive was added in 1991, with the Chrysler-engineered 3.3-liter V6 engine.

Chrysler Minivan Firsts:

Exports to Europe began in 1988. At the time, Plymouth and Dodge were not sold in Europe. The Plymouth Voyager minivan was modified and rebadged somewhat to become the Chrysler Voyager.

In 1990, Chrysler-designed the V-6, and the 3.3 was added to the mix. The durable and robust engine proved to be very popular. It remained in the mix until 2011.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler’s at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you. 

Photo Credit: chrysler.com