Official: Chrysler celebrates 30 years of minivans with special editions

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Chrysler, Dodge

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition

It’s been known by many names: the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, Chrysler Voyager, Lancia Voyager, Volkswagen Routan, Ram Cargo Van… but the bottom line is that Chrysler’s minivans have defined the segment for 30 years now. In fact, Chrysler says it has sold 13 million of them since 1983, helped along by the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan that accounted for nearly half of all minivans sold in the United States just last year. So to celebrate this three-decade milestone, the Auburn Hills auto has announced a pair of new special editions.

2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary EditionThe 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition starts the Touring-L trim and includes such special touches as 17-inch wheels, unique badging, available Granite Crystal Pearl paint and an interior decked out in black Alcantara and Nappa leather, piano black trim and all the optional bells and whistles bundled in.

The 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition, meanwhile, starts off with either the SE or SXT trims and also upgrades with 17-inch alloys as well as color-keyed mirrors and an interior with silver stitching, piano black trim, power everything, and of course, those special badges.

Both versions are powered by the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 283 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission. Scope out the press release below and our full image galleries for a closer look at what sets these celebratory specials apart.

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Chrysler celebrates 30 years of minivans with special editions originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Chrysler celebrates 30 years of minivans with special editions

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Chrysler, Dodge

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition

It’s been known by many names: the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, Chrysler Voyager, Lancia Voyager, Volkswagen Routan, Ram Cargo Van… but the bottom line is that Chrysler’s minivans have defined the segment for 30 years now. In fact, Chrysler says it has sold 13 million of them since 1983, helped along by the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan that accounted for nearly half of all minivans sold in the United States just last year. So to celebrate this three-decade milestone, the Auburn Hills auto has announced a pair of new special editions.

2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary EditionThe 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition starts the Touring-L trim and includes such special touches as 17-inch wheels, unique badging, available Granite Crystal Pearl paint and an interior decked out in black Alcantara and Nappa leather, piano black trim and all the optional bells and whistles bundled in.

The 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan 30th Anniversary Edition, meanwhile, starts off with either the SE or SXT trims and also upgrades with 17-inch alloys as well as color-keyed mirrors and an interior with silver stitching, piano black trim, power everything, and of course, those special badges.

Both versions are powered by the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 283 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission. Scope out the press release below and our full image galleries for a closer look at what sets these celebratory specials apart.

Continue reading Chrysler celebrates 30 years of minivans with special editions

Chrysler celebrates 30 years of minivans with special editions originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Read This: Chrysler ‘at war’ with world’s largest Viper club?

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Performance, Chrysler, Dodge, SRT, Read This

Viper Club of America is alleged to be operating illegally as a for-profit business.

The situation was bound to boil over at some point. Grumblings from former and current members of the Viper Club of America, and letters sent from Chrysler to VCA president Lee Stubberfield, allege that the non-profit club is being run illegally as a for-profit business, Jalopnik reports.

The trouble reportedly started in 2007, when VCA member and former club national president Chris Marshall is alleged to have taken a paid position at the club courtesy of the acting board members at the time. By 2010, with the demise of the Dodge Viper looming, the VCA reportedly made a deal with Chrysler to to acquire a stash of old parts and tooling for the Viper. The stash would then be sold by the newly formed Viper Parts of America, a company that was supposed to be run by Marshall, Jalopnik reports.

This sounds like shady business to us – at the very least a conflict of interest. And it’s said that the VCA will not hesitate to suspend – for a year or more – the memberships of those who oppose it.

Read the article and the accompanying letters from Chrysler to find out how the drama unfolds. But it isn’t over yet; we’ll be staying tuned to this one.

Chrysler ‘at war’ with world’s largest Viper club? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Court ruling to delay Fiat’s Chrysler buyout?

Filed under: Government/Legal, Fiat

Fiat logo

We’ve already reported on the attempts of Fiat to purchase the remaining 41.5-percent stake in Chrysler, currently owned by the United Auto Workers’ VEBA healthcare trust. And while the issues still aren’t resolved, Fiat has received both a bit of good news and a bit of bad news from a Delaware judge.

The good news is that the court ruled in favor on two key arguments of Fiat’s, relating to what is a fair price for the Chrysler shares. The rulings essentially slash half a billion dollars off the price of the 54,000 shares owned by VEBA, according to a report from Reuters.

The bad news is that this makes the UAW an even more difficult opponent in negotiations. Its VEBA fund is meant to cover ever escalating retiree healthcare costs, so naturally, the UAW wants to get as much money as possible. Losing a big chunk of cash isn’t likely to make the union more cooperative.

In the end, it looks like it’s going to come down to one of two options. The rulings could encourage the two to settle matters out of court, which would likely be the fastest and most beneficial for all parties involved. The alternative is a 12- to 18-month trial, in which Fiat needs to prove that its offering for the VEBA shares is fair, while the UAW needs to convince the court that it requires a certain degree of funds to cover its healthcare obligations. We’ll keep you updated.

Court ruling to delay Fiat’s Chrysler buyout? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chrysler delays 2014 Jeep Cherokee media launch

Filed under: Jeep

2014 Jeep Cherokee

Chrysler is making the unusual move of delaying the first media drives of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which were slated to start next week in Seattle. And while something like this is a rare occurrence, and one that most of the Autoblog staff can’t recall happening this publicly or so close to the event itself, it won’t effect the actual on-sale date of the new Cherokee, which is set to hit showrooms in September.

“Over the last couple of weeks during final quality and durability testing, we have discovered the opportunity to further improve powertrain calibration,” Chrysler told Automotive News. This marks the second notable delay in the Cherokee’s short life, after production was delayed for roughly a month earlier this summer.

Still, we’d rather Chrysler make sure the Cherokee is ready for primetime before flying media in from around the country. It shows a willingness to get things right the first time, rather than offering media drives and then tweaking the car after the fact.

A simple look at the Cherokee’s powertrain is all that’s needed to understand how big of a deal it is. Everything under the oddly styled CUV’s hood is new, from a tweaked 2.4-liter engine to a new 3.2-liter V-6, to the first use of Chrysler Group’s new nine-speed automatic, developed jointly with ZF. The pressure to get this right must be immense. We’ll find out if Chrysler succeeds in September.

Chrysler delays 2014 Jeep Cherokee media launch originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chrysler extending production of current Dodge Avenger, Jeep Wrangler, Grand Caravan

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Sedan, SUV, Plants/Manufacturing, Dodge, Jeep

2013 Dodge Avenger - front three-quarter view

Are you hesitant to pull the trigger on a brand new Dodge Avenger in hopes that a new one will be coming? Well, don’t hold your breath. According to The Detroit News, Chrysler will be extending production of the current Avenger sedan through the end of 2015.

Originally, we heard that the company would kill the Avenger to better focus its midsize sedan efforts on the Chrysler 200 replacement. But then new reports stated there would indeed be an Avenger successor, and that we could see it as early as next January. This Detroit News report cites supplier sources confirming the extension of Avenger production, though Chrysler has not released an official statement on the matter.

These same suppliers say that the current Jeep Wrangler will live on through mid-2018 – that’s right, another five years. The Detroit News reports that a replacement for the iconic, go-anywhere Jeep was due in mid-2016.

Lastly, the report mentions that the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan will remain in production through late 2017, though its Chrysler Town & Country counterpart will be replaced by an all-new vehicle for the 2016 model year. This only further backs reports that the Grand Caravan will be killed from the Chrysler Group portfolio, with the T&C remaining the only minivan in production at the company’s Windsor facility.

Chrysler extending production of current Dodge Avenger, Jeep Wrangler, Grand Caravan originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 15:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler recalls 2013 Ram pickups, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Filed under: SUV, Truck, Recalls, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram

2013 Dodge Ram 1500 - front three-quarter view

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee - dead-on front viewChrysler’s spate of successful products is about to be marred by a trio of recalls. The Pentastar is recalling 51,477 Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there have been no reported accidents, injuries or deaths related to the affected vehicles.

The largest action covers the Ram 1500, which is seeing 45,961 trucks being recalled. Models built between June 26, 2012 and February 5, 2013 are being recalled due to a potential software issue in the electronic stability control. Apparently, the system can be randomly deactivated upon vehicle startup.

Chrysler is also recalling 4,458 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee models. Covering everything but the SRT models, the potentially defective SUVs were built between January 14 and March 20, 2013. This recall focuses on “premium headlights,” which means cars equipped with LED running lights. During the switch from the bright daytime running lamp setting to the low-intensity parking light setting, an electrical spike can cause one of the Jeep’s computers to go into a safe mode, turning off the LEDs. This violates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Finally, Chrysler is recalling 1,058 Ram 4500 and 5500 heavy-duty pickups. The action covers vehicles manufactured between January 22 and March 8, 2013 due to an incorrect bolt attaching the track bar to the frame. If the bolt breaks or falls off while driving, drivers may lose control of the vehicle.

Owners of effected models will be notified to report to their dealers for free repairs or retrofits, with all three recalls kicking off in August.

Continue reading Chrysler recalls 2013 Ram pickups, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Chrysler recalls 2013 Ram pickups, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Next Chrysler minivan to be Town & Country only, fueling Dodge closure rumors

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Plants/Manufacturing, Chrysler, Dodge

‚Äč2013 Chrysler Town & Country S - front three-quarter view

Recent reports have suggested that Chrysler may soon phase out its long-running Dodge brand, and while the company remains mum on the subject, you can’t blame analysts for thinking that’s the direction the Pentastar’s everyday brand is heading. After all, Chrysler has shown a willingness to shutter brands, having killed off Plymouth back in 2001, and it’s putting big dollars behind its bid to build Fiat into a North American force. Chrysler also recently took the step of spinning off its trucks into the stand-alone Ram brand and relocated its halo Viper supercar under the SRT banner.

Couple that with long-held gossip that the full-size Dodge Durango utility vehicle and the Avenger sedan are both living on borrowed time, and you’ve got a dwindling product portfolio. That would leave Dodge with the Dart compact (a model that isn’t selling particularly well), the Charger (which has a mechanical twin in the Chrysler 300) and the Challenger, which could be supplanted by a rumored Chrysler/SRT Cuda. On the people-mover front, Dodge offers the aging Journey and the Grand Caravan, which is the twin to the bigger-margin Chrysler Town & Country.

Stories for some time have pegged Chrysler as only moving forward with one minivan, though there has been some waffling as to whether the next-generation MPV would wear the Town & Country badge or that of the Grand Caravan. A new report out of Canada – where the vehicles are built – says that the winner in the sippy-cup derby is the next Chrysler Town & Country, which will carry a 2016 model year designation. In addition, sources report that T&C production at the Windsor Assembly Plant will be joined by an as-yet-unnamed large near-luxury crossover for 2017, another long-rumored model that could be similar in concept to the long-defunct Pacifica. The brand for this new model? You guessed it – Chrysler.

Next Chrysler minivan to be Town & Country only, fueling Dodge closure rumors originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Jun 2013 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Could Chrysler leave Michigan for Tennessee?

Filed under: Chrysler, Fiat

Detroit’s Big Three could become the Big Two. According to an AP report in The Detroit News, state officials have been lobbying for Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne to select Tennessee as the location for Fiat’s joint headquarters with Chrysler Group LLC.

This weekend, Marchionne met with Tennessee governor Bill Haslam at a ceremony celebrating the expansion of a Fiat subsidiary plant in the city of Pulaski. The AP report does not mention any serious talks about headquarters relocation, only that Tennessee officials have been “working me over pretty well,” according to Marchionne.

Fiat hopes to complete its merger with the Auburn Hills-based automaker sometime next year, and earlier reports have stated that the company is seeking $10 billion in financing to buy the remaining bits of Chrysler. If the company were to relocate, it would join Nissan and Volkswagen in having major American automotive operations in Tennessee. Of course, that whole “Imported From Detroit” thing would need to go out the window…

Could Chrysler leave Michigan for Tennessee? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 18:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Chrysler resolves recall issue with NHTSA, will inspect, upgrade affected Jeeps

Filed under: SUV, Government/Legal, Recalls, Safety, Jeep

Chrysler made big news earlier in the month by refusing a recall request from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty. Last week, NHTSA boss David Strickland countered by defending his agency’s request for the recall of 2.7 million Jeep SUVs. Today marked the deadline for Chrysler to formally respond to NHTSA, and it seems that both parties have met in the middle with Chrysler inspecting and upgrading some of the affected vehicles without using the word “recall,” which would constitute the admission of a defect; instead, Chrysler said that it is conducting a “voluntary campaign.”

At issue on these vehicles is the positioning of the fuel tank behind the rear axle that could get damaged during a rear-end collision. NHTSA has stated that at least 51 people have been killed in rear-end collisions involving these Jeeps after the vehicles caught fire, to which Chrysler countered by pointing out that both models “met and exceeded” the requirements for fuel-system integrity.

As a compromise on the situation, Chrysler says that it will inspect all pre-2004 Grand Cherokees and pre-2007 Liberty models and, “if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle.” According to Automotive News, this upgrade will consist of adding a trailer hitch that will presumably better protect the rear-mounted gas tank. Vehicles already equipped with a factory or Mopar hitch will not be modified. Chrysler’s official statement on the matter is posted below, but no additional information has been released, such as when the campaign will begin and how many vehicles could be affected.

Continue reading Chrysler resolves recall issue with NHTSA, will inspect, upgrade affected Jeeps

Chrysler resolves recall issue with NHTSA, will inspect, upgrade affected Jeeps originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 16:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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