Chrysler-Fiat Plans 47 New or Updated Cars by End of 2016

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Chrysler-Fiat will introduce, redesign or update 47 cars over the next four years, the automaker said Wednesday in a financial presentation to analysts. Among them are six Alfa Romeos from Fiat's upscale European division, plus seven new Fiat-branded models. Chrysler also encompasses the Dodge, Jeep, Ram and SRT brands.

The pipeline goes well beyond what Fiat had planned when it took a government-brokered stake in Chrysler in 2009. In September 2012, the automaker unveiled 66 future models at a private dealer meeting in Las Vegas, and we don't know how many of these 47 cars overlap with those. At that meeting there were just two Alfas, however.

The new plan eliminates four Fiat-built cars — two Chryslers and two Dodges — and moves the timing back by one to three years on nine models. All told, there are 16 refreshes and 31 new cars between now and the end of 2016. We've already seen five of them — the refreshed Compass and Grand Cherokee, plus Fiat's new 500L and the Ram HD and chassis cabs — and an SRT Grand Cherokee is also in the works. That still leaves 42 to come. Naturally, all of this is subject to change. Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne called the plan "a living document," the Detroit News reports.

Here's how it breaks down:

By Kelsey Mays | January 31, 2013 | Comments (8)

New Jeeps on Horizon, but Old Names May Resurface

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The Chrysler-Fiat product collaboration will continue in the next couple of years as both companies develop new offerings based on common architectures — the next brand to get the attention of company planners is Jeep.

Coming to the New York Auto Show in March will be the replacement for the current truck-based Jeep Liberty, and the big question is whether or not Jeep will keep the Liberty name or revert back to an old favorite: Cherokee. "There are clearly only two options for the name of this vehicle: It's either going to be Cherokee or it's going to be Liberty," Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley recently told industry publication Wards Auto. "We are going to make that decision in the very near future. Both of them are historical names, Cherokee more so than Liberty."

Going with the Cherokee name over Liberty would seem a logical choice, given the massive popularity that the old Cherokee still enjoys among loyal Jeep fans and the more favorable brand equity it has over the Liberty name. Cherokee is also the name that the Liberty has used in overseas markets, so it would require no changes abroad. However, the name conjures a very specific image for Jeep fans: a boxy trucklike SUV. Spy shots of the new vehicle, however, suggest a much more modern and carlike profile.

The new midsize SUV is expected to ride atop a larger version of the compact U.S. wide Fiat platform that currently brings us the Dodge Dart. It will also spawn replacements for Chrysler's midsize cars, but that's not all that's coming from Jeep in the next two years.

By Aaron Bragman | January 29, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 Jeep Compass: Photo Gallery

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To the casual observer, the 2014 Jeep Compass may look pretty familiar. Beyond subtle cosmetic updates, most changes are under the hood, notably the available six-speed automatic transmission. It replaces its predecessor's continuously variable automatic transmission.

More 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

When the new Compass finds its way to dealerships in the second quarter of this year, available drivetrains are a 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a 172-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Exterior updates include new grille colors and textures as well as new bezel treatments around headlights, fog lights and taillights; the interior gets chrome accents, a vinyl-wrapped center armrest and updated instrument-panel graphics on upper trim levels.

Check out the gallery below.

By Matt Schmitz | January 14, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 Jeep Compass: Up Close

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Let's be honest: Recent exterior updates made the Jeep Compass a more attractive — and much better-selling — compact SUV, but it needed interior work. It got some of that for 2014.

More 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The padded armrests are welcome; they and the Latitude show car's saddle brown leather have kicked the Compass more upscale, but it's clearly not a full redo. The classic Willys Jeep grille-and-headlights graphic debossed in the bezel below the gear selector is a nice touch, though I'm not knocked out by the trim finish itself.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | January 14, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Jeep Compass at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester
  • Looks like: A 2013 Compass
  • Drivetrain: 158-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder or 172-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder; five-speed manual, six-speed automatic or CVT; front- or all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Second quarter 2013

Astute observers will see some cosmetic tweaks on the 2014 Jeep Compass compact SUV, such as new grille colors and textures as well as new bezel treatments around the headlights, fog lights and taillights, but the most significant changes are in the powertrains.

More 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

A five-speed manual transmission remains standard on the Compass Sport, but the step up is a six-speed automatic that replaces the previous model's continuously variable automatic transmission. Mileage estimates aren't yet available, but Jeep says there should be no sacrifice in mileage for the six-speed.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | January 13, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Detroit Auto Show: What To Expect

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As what is widely regarded as the most important U.S. auto show of the year opens next week in Detroit, an automotive icon returns to the claim the spotlight.

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette is poised to be the star among the more than 50 production and concept vehicles slated to debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The show runs Jan. 19-27 — with press, industry and charity preview events on Monday-Jan. 18 — at downtown Detroit's Cobo Center. Last year's NAIAS attracted nearly 771,000 people, according to organizers.

Sunday night's press debut of the seventh-generation Corvette is hotly anticipated, and for nearly the past three months Chevy has done much to fan the flames, teasing us with tidbits of information and blink-and-you-missed-it video images. The automaker has disclosed that the new 'Vette will have a new 6.2-liter V-8 engine that's good for 450 horsepower and a zero-to-60-mph time of less than four seconds — all while improving on its 2013 predecessor's 26 mpg; Chevy also has said the 2014 model's aerodynamics were designed with Corvette's years of racing in the American Le Mans Series in mind.

Check back for full coverage of the 2013 Detroit auto show. Until then, here are the vehicles we know about now:

By Matt Schmitz | January 10, 2013 | Comments (2)

Chrysler Gives Dealers Sneak Peek of 66 Future Cars

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Chrysler unveiled 66 cars in its product pipeline at a private dealer meeting Monday in Las Vegas, Reuters reports. One dealer said it "was like a lovefest" as representatives from some 2,600 global dealerships — the vast majority based in the U.S. — beheld a two-tiered stage of future products at the MGM Grand hotel.

Among the cars that dealers shared with Reuters:

  • A redesigned Chrysler 200 that departs from the current Sebring-derived 200. Dealers said it looks a lot like the 2013 Dodge Dart.
  • A subcompact Chrysler 100.
  • A subcompact Jeep crossover, plus redesigns of the Compass, Patriot and Liberty that follow styling cues of the current Grand Cherokee.
  • Two Alfa Romeo cars that Chrysler will sell in Fiat showrooms.

Chrysler officials wouldn't comment to Reuters on the story, but during the last closed-door dealer meeting about future products — in Florida in 2010 — the automaker unveiled the current 200 and Town & Country, along with the Jeep Patriot and Fiat 500. The reporting on that meeting turned out pretty accurate, so we're inclined to think these products are legit. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.

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Detroit Three Ramp Up Capacity
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By Kelsey Mays | September 11, 2012 | Comments (7)

Jeep Liberty Ends Production Next Week

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The Toledo, Ohio, plant that assembles the Jeep Liberty will go idle next week and not resume its SUV operations until 2013 with an all-new replacement. During that time the plant will undergo $500 million in upgrades and an expansion, creating an additional 1,100 jobs.

In March we reported that Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told the Detroit Free Press that the new Liberty will "be a Trail-Rated, full-blooded Jeep that has its origins in the architecture of a sports car."

We can’t guess as to what this vehicle will be, but we do know the current Liberty is not right for today’s marketplace with a rough ride, outdated engine and slow sales. There are currently over 16,000 2012 Jeep Liberty SUVs in Cars.com's national new car inventory with incentives as high as $3,000.

Related
Chrysler to idle Toledo factory for Jeep Liberty SUV replacement (Detroit News)
Jeep Liberty Replacement to Use Nine-Speed Transmission, UAW Local Says
Research SUVS

By David Thomas | August 8, 2012 | Comments (14)

2012 Jeep Compass: Car Seat Check

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One of only two front-wheel-drive Jeeps, the 2012 Compass is built on a car-based platform for a smoother ride and better fuel economy. This five-seat crossover keeps the characteristic Jeep styling, though.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.

By Jennifer Newman | April 19, 2012 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2012 Jeep Compass and Patriot

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Chrysler is recalling 1,689 model-year 2012 versions of the Jeep Compass and Patriot compact crossovers due to problems with their fuel tanks, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were manufactured from Dec. 17, 2011, through Jan. 2, 2012, and have a fuel tank with a faulty rollover valve. In the event of a rollover or other crash, fuel could leak, increasing the risk of a fire. You can find your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb.

Chrysler will notify owners starting in June, and dealers will replace the fuel tank free of charge. Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 9, 2012 | Comments (0)

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