A Reported Takeover Of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is Now Coming from South Korea
Hyundai has been identified as the latest company to engage Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over a possible takeover bid that would bring the American automaker to the Korean auto giant’s side. According to the report, the bid is expected to take shape sometime this summer as FCA starts planning for the eventual exit of current FCA chief executive officer, Sergio Marchionne.
Predicting FCA’s Plans For its Recent "Angel" Trademark
Proving yet again that the auto world can be a place rich in irony, Fiat Chrysler Automobile has filed a trademark for the name “Angel,” which the automaker plans to use on a “passenger vehicle” of some sort. Color me amused because, at the very least, FCA is turning its troll game up to a new level; the “Angel” name runs diametrically opposed to the identity of the automaker’s latest muscle car masterpiece, the Dodge Challenger Demon. So what gives here? What’s FCA up to exactly?
Unfortunately, your guess is as good as ours at this point because FCA didn’t exactly divulge details on what it has planned for the “Angel” name. All we know at this point, thanks to our friends over at Fiat Chrysler Authority, is that the name could be used on “trims and badges” of any future model. The fact that the trademark was only filed on July 17 means that this is a new deal for FCA. It’s got plans for the name at some point in the future. How it plans to use it, or if it does at all, is the question that all of us need some answers to sooner or later. You’ve got our attention, FCA. That much I’m sure of. Now, how about giving us some hints because, at this point, all we have are predictions on what you have planned for the “Angel” name.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Australia Could Get Its Very Own Hellcat Version Of The Chrysler 300
As you could probably guess, we’re rather fond of FCA’s monstrously powerful 6.2-liter Hemi V-8. You know, the supercharged badass in the Challenger Hellcat that lays down over 700 horses? If we had our way, that engine would be an option on every model FCA produces (and yes, we still think the Pacifica Hellcat should be a thing.) Luckily, it looks like we’re getting a little closer to that ideal with a possible Hellcatted version of the Chrysler 300 sedan.
The rumor comes from our friends over at Autoblog, who recently posted a series of spy shots depicting what appears to be some kind of 300 test mule. While the bodywork is more or less the same as any other 300 SRT model, the wheels are sporting incredibly wide 315-mm tires – the same rubber equipped on the recently released Challenger SRT Demon. In front, the 300 mule is also rocking SRT four-pot Brembo brakes, while the photographer reports that it’s got a burly blown V-8 soundtrack to accompany it. Could this be a forthcoming Chrysler 300 Hellcat? Read on for the details.
Continue reading for the full story.
Is FCA Bringing Back the Straight-Six?
News out of Auburn Hills regarding powertrain changes is becoming regular these days. First is was a rumor suggesting the venerable and widely used 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 will soon end production. Now sources are telling Allpar that FCA is toying with the idea of inline six-cylinder engines.
Chrysler has a long history of using inline six-cylinder engines. Major players include the AMC straight-six found in everything from sedans and budget muscle cars to Jeeps and pickups between 1964 and 2006. The iconic 4.0-liter I-6 found in Jeep products is perhaps the pentacle of Chrysler I-6 design and one of the most legendary Chrysler engines of all time. Sadly that engine met its demise with the introduction of the Jeep Wrangler JK in 2007.
Allpar speculates the new inline six-cylinder would be based on FCA’s current Global Medium Engine four-cylinder. Currently displacing 2.0 liters and found in the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the turbo-four makes 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque thanks to an intercooler, 16 valves operated by dual overhead cams, and direct fuel injection. Adding two extra cylinder to the GME could result in horsepower levels over 400 and torque levels beyond 450 pound-feet. That is, if power levels grow at the same percentage as the cylinder count.
So, could a 3.0-liter inline-six be on the horizon for FCA vehicles, including Ram, Dodge, and Jeep? Only time will tell, but the path to that end seems oddly clear. Consider the resurgence of rear-wheel drive vehicles, like the Alfa Romeo Giulia, along with new versions of current rear-wheel drive models like the Jeep Wrangler, Ram 1500, and even Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger.
Ford has already proved that turbocharged engines with smaller displacements can generate quite the kick, while providing impressively reliability despite outrageous payload and towing demands. Should FCA follow in the EcoBoost’s footsteps, we could see an impressively powerful yet butter-smooth straight-six under the hood of the next generation of FCA vehicles.
Continue reading for more information.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may soon expand its North American diesel lineup to include the Chrysler 200 compact sedan. Currently motivated by 2.4-liter, four-cylinder or 3.6-liter V-6 mills, the 200 is set to receive a 2.2-liter oil burner, if we are to believe a report coming from Automotive News. The unit in question is reportedly being developed by Alfa Romeo for one of its upcoming sedans. As with most Fiat engines, the 2.2-liter four-pot is expected to come in many flavors, ranging from 135 to over 200 horsepower. However, only one version is likely to make it stateside to join the Tigershark and Pentastar gasoline engines already available for the 200.
If this rumor proves to be true, Alfa Romeo’s 2.2-liter would become the fourth diesel engine to power FCA cars in the U.S. Chrysler already offers a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 in the Ram 1500 pickup truck and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, as well as a 3.0-liter inline-four in the Ram ProMaster van. Ram also gets a 6.7-liter, straight-six from Cummins, its long-time diesel engine supplier. There’s no word on whether the new 2.2-liter diesel will make it into other FCA vehicles here in the U.S., but keep it locked here for more details on the matter.
Click past the jump to read more about the Chrysler 200’s new diesel engine.
With news pouring in about Chrysler Group’s five-year production plan that includes new brand strategies, new launches and axing of long-standing models, the Detroit-based manufacturer has also filed to trademark the "Rebel" moniker
The patent filing, which has been submitted with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office nearly a month ago, according to Ignitionist, states that the trademark is to be used on "motor vehicles (...) and structural parts therefor," suggesting we might see anything from an automobile to an SUV wearing a "Rebel" badge in the near future.
There’s no info as to what sort of Rebel will hit the streets over the next few years, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate a bit.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this nameplate is the AMC Rebel, a midsize built by American Motors from 1967 through 1970. It’s true that Chrysler is somewhat entitled to use the name it purchased in 1987 along with the AMC brand, but that’s not likely to happen. With the Challenger and Charger filling in the muscle car and sedan spots, we see no reason for Chrysler to push the envelope in that direction.
On the other hand, the "Rebel" moniker may very well be used to name a replacement for the Dodge Avenger, a slightly smaller sedan that’s scheduled to go out of production by the end of 2014. However, with no actual details in sight aside from the fact that it could be underpinned by an Alfa Romeo rear-wheel drive platform, it might be years until we find out.
Lastly, there’s a chance the newly-filed "Rebel" name is set to be used to more utilitarian purposes, like christening an upcoming Jeep crossover or even a special edition pickup truck based on the Ram 1500. Of course, we could go as far as to dream about a Jeep-badged truck (remember the Gladiator?), but that’s far-fetched on too many levels.
Either way, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the matter and bring you an update as soon as more info surfaces. Meanwhile, don’t be shy about sharing your own opinion on the "Rebel" conundrum with us via the comments section.
Click past the jump to read more about the Rebel nameplate.
Chrysler kicked off its new sub-brand, SRT, with the unveiling of the new generation Viper and the cars will just keep coming from here on out. The sub-brand’s second model will be the new generation Barracuda that will join the line-up for the 2015 model year and, according to MotorTrend, SRT is already working on a third model for their line-up.
Details on the third model are a bit unclear at the moment, but it could be either a successor to the Dodge Ram SRT10 or a small, two-seat sports car. Obviously, our hopes lie in a new sports car. Chrysler has already teased us with a Dodge Demon Concept designed as a competitor for the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and now that Mazda and Fiat have teamed up to build a new RWD sports roadster, we are hoping that Chrysler will consider offering a production version of the Demon.
Any thoughts on what this new model could be? Hit us up in the comments section below!
Ahh, rumors in the automotive world spread just about as fast as the rumor that the captain of the football team was kissing the head of the girls’ chess team under the bleachers at the homecoming dance… And we love ‘em. The latest rumor is an interesting one that actually has a fair amount of validity.
Lancia is one of the many companies under the protective umbrella of Fiat Automobiles S.p.A. and it loves to borrow its models from Chrysler, add a few small touches, and call it their own. One of the latest models to make the Lancia conversion was the Chrysler 300, which prances around Europe bearing the name “Lancia Thema” (image above). That’s not the rumor though, as we already know all about that.
The rumors being whispered are that Lancia really wants a full-size coupe for its European market and the only car available to possibly satisfy this itch is the Chrysler 300. Ask any custom coach builder and he will tell you that turning a four-door body into a two-door car is not as tough as you may think, but going the other direction is nearly impossible.
So, if Lancia decides to hack up the B-pillar on the 300, shorten the opening a little and slap two fewer doors on the 300, would this model make it to the U.S.? The two-door full size car essentially died with the downsizing of vehicles in the late-1970s, but a small niche market may be in order.
This also spawns the possibility of Chrysler finally satisfying its nostalgia buffs by taking the two-door blueprints that Lancia would create and turn that into a two-door Charger. The pair of extra doors have always been a thorn in the side of Charger buffs, so Chrysler could breathe a little extra life into both models – not like the 300 needs more life, but extra sales can’t hurt – by offering two-door models of each.
This is certainly an interesting rumor to ponder and we are more likely to see pigs fly before we see a two-door 300 and Charger, but we’re telling you there’s a chance.
Last week, we reported that Fiat was open to allowing Mazda to use U.S.-based Chrysler factories to manufacture U.S.-bound Mazda models. Before that, Fiat and Mazda officially announced a partnership in building the MX5 Miata and Alfa Romeo Spider. These two announcements brought about a lot of speculation of Fiat taking the same approach that Ford did, by buying into the struggling, but slowly recovering, Mazda.
After hearing plenty of these rumors, Fiat Chairman, John Elkann, had enough and announced at a shareholder meeting that Fiat is not interested in acquiring any percentage of Mazda in the future. Fiat does plan on adding a Japanese partner in the future to help expand its global reach, but there is no mention of what companies Fiat is considering.
We would not be surprised to find out that this is simply a rouge to not tip its hand too early. It only makes sense for the two to partner up in a larger sense, as Mazda needs some help getting over the recovery hump and Fiat needs a Japanese partner. It would be a win-win situation, so we’ll see if Fiat’s tune changes after testing out Mazda’s abilities with the Mazda Miata-Alfa Romeo Spider production deal.
Fiat is planning a little bit of expansion soon though. In July 2012, Fiat is planning to expand its ownership in Chrysler by an additional 3 percent, bringing its total ownership to over 60 percent. Over the course of time, Fiat plans to jump its overall Chrysler ownership to 100 percent, giving it complete control over the recovering automaker’s operations and profit.
It definitely looks like Fiat is on the right track here so far. We will keep you updated as its expansion continues.
When you buy a 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 or 2012 Dodge Charger SRT-8 you definitely will not be lacking power. These suburban bruisers are powered by massive 6.4 liter Hemi V8’s that pump out a spleen crushing 470 horsepower and 470 lbs/ft of torque. Now, what is an SRT-8 owner to do if he/she wants more power? The answer up to this point has been paying big bucks and taking it to a tuner, but now this will change.
Chrysler is reportedly considering adding a top end engine option for certain SRT models. According to MotorAuthority, this new engine will be based on the current one albeit with a Eaton supercharger that will push the horsepower to between 540-570 horsepower. With this power addition, these muscle cars will be put on the road with Ferrari 458-esque power. Where do we sign?! In addition, to control the extra ponies, this new engine will supposedly be mated to a new eight speed automatic gearbox. This new engine can be implemented on those SRT models which are based on the LX platform (Sorry, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, no upgrade for you just yet). An exception may be the Dodge Challenger SRT-8 which is based on a tweaked LX platform.
This is an important step in the reemergence of the muscle car in the American market. This reemergence has ignited an automotive world war with Ford, Chevy, and Dodge, each trying to outdo themselves in terms of engineering and appeal. This new Detroit cold war has only one winner and that is the muscle car enthusiasts around the world.
Chrysler’s new owners, Fiat, might not be the most exciting car company in the world for most Americans. However, many don’t know that Fiat owns an 85 percent share of the most iconic exotic sports-car maker in the world, Ferrari.
If these new rumors coming from Il Corriere della Sera are true, Fiat might sell some of its share in Ferrari. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has just cast a huge vote of confidence in Chrysler, as he looks to sell part of Ferrari to get a large stake in the American automaker. Currently, Fiat owns 20 percent of Chrysler, and Marchionne is looking to up that to around 35 percent.
Fiat won’t sell all of Ferrari, but they will drop their stake down to 51 percent. That percentage is worth around $3.1 billion. We doubt that this drop in stake will affect Ferrari’s current lineup, but we will wait and see the effects on their future models.
The Lancia Stratos that we saw driving around keeps getting more interesting every day. Many thought that this was just a one-off car built for some rich person with way too much money to spend. This might not be true after all, as Car and Driver has done some research.
This car was said to be in the works for years and Jason Castriota designed it when he worked for Pininfarina. The website, Italiaspeed, has a sketch of the Stratos with a different front end that is signed by the designer. If this drawing is accurate, it could mean big things for Lancia.
Lancia has come back with rebadged Chryslers – which isn’t going to work – and they haven’t been very good. This new Stratos could give the company the car it needs to get back on the world stage. We truly hope that this information is accurate because the car looks sensational.
Do auto execs run around town with their briefcases hanging open or is it just luck that leaked patent drawings randomly show up on the ’net at the perfect time? After Chrysler’s announcement of the Sebring’s eventual demise, Noticias Automotivas reports that this images is one of the leaked patent drawings of the future 200C.
The Chrysler 200C EV concept appeared at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show quite unexpectedly and seemed to be set to compete against Chevrolet’s Volt. The concept has a 40 mile range purely on battery power with some added mileage provided by the vehicle’s small gasoline engine. Total power for the concept was said to be about 270hp.
The patent drawings are very similar to the concept car shown to us at the Detroit Auto Show. The drawings feature the same rounded front fascia and distinct grille. The elongated headlamps and fog lamps are still there as is the puckered up back end. In fact, it literally looks exactly the same as the concept vehicle and if the similarity on the exterior extends throughout the entire vehicle, then we can expect the same power and interior as found in the concept as well. However, we might see Chrysler’s new Pentastar V6 get dropped in there.
We’ll let you know as soon as we received more information on the Chrysler 200C.
We can now finally put this rumor to rest; there will be no pickup trucks coming from Hyundai anytime soon. That’s what the horse’s mouth made very clear when the Korean automaker shut down the rumor that was floating around last week involving Hyundai being in talks with Chrysler LLC to sell a version of the Dodge Ram pick-up re-badged under Hyundai in the US.
In a statement released by Hyundai, the automaker said: ""Hyundai Motor Co. denies that there are any current plans to bring a pickup truck of any type into the U.S. now or in the foreseeable future."
"Hyundai is not in discussion with Chrysler in regard to a selling a rebadged Chrysler Corp pickup truck, or any other vehicle, in the U.S," the statement concluded.
So there you have it, fellas. There won’t be a re-badged Dodge Ram pickup truck in Hyundai’s future, now or in the foreseeable future.
Chrysler will likely be in the hands of a new parent company soon, the only real questions are when and to whom? We already know why: Chrysler is a somewhat small car company with $11 billion in cash reserves, and a parent company (Cerberus Capital Management) who’s entire strategy for Chrysler was to sell it in the end. "I can tell you that we have approached and have been approached by third parties who are interested in exploring future possibilities with Chrysler," Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli said in a memo to employees.
Last week, the surprise story was that General Motors and Chrysler had entered merger talks, but GM is not the only suitor. Other potential buyers have included the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Fiat or Tata. So let’s take a look at what each one could possibly mean...
Rumors and even some confirmed reports are going around tying together Chrysler, Fiat and Tata. Starting in the U.S., Chrysler may partner with Tata to sell Jeep Wrangler’s to the Indian market. What is alarming about this plan came from an investment banker watching the deal. "You could definitely see this evolve into something," the banker said. "It would make sense for Tata to buy Jeep if this partnership went through ... and Chrysler could really do with selling a brand and getting some cash." Jeep, America’s brand for sale! Say it ain’t so Chrysler.
Chrysler also has extra manufacturing capacity from the SUV sales slowdown, and Fiat may lease factory space to bring production to the U.S. This may also tie Chrysler’s dealer network into the possible return of Fiat brands including Alfa Romeo.
Fiat and Tata are already attached to a deal that will have Fiat provide
financing for Jaguar and Land Rover, In return, Fiat would possibly sell the Tata’s ultra-economy Nano in Europe.
In a way, this could set up Lee Iacocca’s “Global Motors” dream of over 30 years ago. Iacocca thought about bringing together an American, European, and Japanese car company to make a worldwide automotive conglomerate. The idea allowed for utilizing the U.S.’s manufacturing strength, European style, and Japanese knowledge of good economy cars. Although Tata is not Japanese, the Indian firm is looking to show the world it knows how to make an inexpensive car. So, if all this goes through, someone better build a chart to keep track of what car is coming from where.
The rumors are swirling once again – Chrysler Corp LLC may be headed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Currently there are official denials of any problems with liquidity and Chrysler spokesman Dave Elshoff said “The rumor is without merit”. However, let’s take a moment and reflect back about 30 years ago when Chrysler had similar woes.
It’s 1979 and the Chrysler Corporation had petitioned the US Government for $1.5 billion in guaranteed loans to stave off bankruptcy. Congress reluctantly agrees and then President Jimmy Carter signs the loan into law. What caused all of Chrysler’s problems? It was two-fold: 1) the 1970’s oil crisis which triggered unbelievable price increases in gasoline and long lines at the pump. Americans turned to the more economical Japanese auto makers while US manufacturers were left holding the bag with their big, overbearing, gas guzzling behemoths; and 2) Chrysler Corporation was so far behind on updating their factories that they we unable to even retool in order to catch up with the Japanese. Fortunately, Chrysler had the foresight to hire Lee Iaccoca away from Ford Motor Company and the rest is history. The K-Car saved the company and Chrysler was able to repay their debt in record time.
Today, the picture is a little different; the Chrysler Corp. LLC is run by Cerberus Capital Management, one of the largest private equity investment firms in the United States. The company was formed in 1992, some 67 years after Chrysler was established. The business of CCM is to make money for its investors through choosing solid companies to purchase. Now, while this is nothing new in the world of big business, it does seem odd for CCM to purchase a company that even the world renowned Daimler AG could not keep afloat. Although CCM does seem to have a penchant for buying barely treading water companies like Target and GMAC, but retail and finance are very different animals compared to auto manufacturing.
Consider this; earlier this week, Chrysler Corp. LLC drew on a $2.0 billion line of credit from Daimler AG and Cerberus at an interest rate of 7% over the London interbank rate. Chrysler lost more than $1.6 billion in 2007 and sales are down over 23% so far this year. So what does all this mean? If Cerberus and Daimler AG, who still has a 19% stake in the company, decide to dismantle Chrysler, the economic ramifications will reverberate through the US and the world. Chrysler employs more than 100,000 people and many more thousand worker jobs depend upon the company purchasing the products designed and/or manufactured at their company. The blow to the US economy would certainly be catastrophic considering the seesaw slide we are on right now. A company with good liquidity does not tap their $2 billion line of credit unless something is wrong. Let’s hope it is just a rumor, otherwise we are in for a huge wallop.