Cerberus/Chrysler gives underperforming dealers six months to increase sales
Cerberus has decided to shake up Chrysler in an attempt to reduce the company's losses. There is no time for discussion and Chrysler has announced that it will give underperforming dealers six months to increase sales or face pressure from Chrysler to shut down.
Chrysler will not build the Imperial
According to the Detroit Free Press, Chrysler will not produce the Imperial concept car that was presented at the 2006 North American International Auto Show. In January of last year, it was rumoured that the American carmaker would produce the luxury saloon, but the increasing cost of fuel and the expected introduction of more constraining fuel economy standards has led Chrysler to abandon the idea. The company's Brampton, Ontario plant will be updated to build the next generation 300 instead.
Tom Gale joins Cerberus
Tom Gale joins Cerberus advisory team. It's a big news for Chrysler. Indeed Tom Gale is amongst the key men responsible for the Chrysler rebirth at the end of the eighties and in the nineties.
Born in Flint in 1943, he studied industrial design at Michigan State University before joining Chrysler in 1967, not as a designer but as an engineer. He built up his reputation when he was sent to Mitsubishi at the beginning at the eighties. There he designed the Mitsubishi 3000GT/Dodge Stealth and the Plymouth Laser/Eagel Talon/Mitsubishi Eclipse. In 1985, he took over from Don Delarossa as head of design. He persuaded Lee Lacocca to raise the status pf design at the same level of the other departments.
Chrysler PT Cruiser gets revamped in its turn.
Yes, Chrysler has just modified its lovely PT Cruiser. Those who love it should not worry though, for there’s no dramatic change. We notice new headlamps, foglamps, grille, and Chrysler badge outside. Inside, modifications are more numerous: new seats, air vents, instrument panel and centre stack with a raised radio. Armrests are now mounted on a central console, which contains storage for 6 CDs and a power outlet. Sound insulation has been improved too.
Technically speaking, the 2.0 turbocharged engine is boosted up to 230bhp and we can expect the diesel units to be upgraded too.
Even softened, the style of the PT Cruiser remains very typical, which is an outstanding quality among such dull minivans as the VW Touran, Renault Scenic or Vauxhall Zafira. Even Fiat gave the quirky Multipla a flairless front end.
Smart recalls 58,000 Fortwo models
A problem in the front suspension has led the German carmaker Smart to recall 58,000 of its Fortwo models built between 1998 and 2000. A few Smart drivers involved in accidents alerted the company owned by Daimler-Chrysler AG, which has recently recalled 1.3 million cars for various defects. Company spokesman Hubert Kogel makes it clear that none of these drivers were injured. Even if the recall is aimed at German owners, the company has declared that Smarts sold in other countries might very well be affected too, since 202,000 copies were built in this period.