Chrysler is back and in a big way!

Make no mistake about it my friends as Chrysler are back in the black in a big way! Give Sergio and his team credit for bringing Chrysler back from the brink with still plenty of new product on the way to continue to drive this turnaround story.

DETROIT — Chrysler Group said its first-quarter net income quadrupled on surging sales as the automaker set a profit target of $1.5 billion for the year.

Chrysler earned $473 million in the January-March period, up from $116 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 25 percent to $16.4 billion as U.S. vehicle sales increased 39 percent, the company said in a statement today.

“It’s fair to say that Chrysler is firing on all cylinders,” Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said. “It’s been a great quarter, and I think that the indications for the remainder of the year are absolutely positive.”

The 2012 target of $1.5 billion in net income would far outpace the $183 million earned last year as Chrysler posted its first annual profit since its 2009 bankruptcy.

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Is a new Barracuda for real?

It appears Chrysler is toying with the idea of building a brand new Barracuda and folks are more than excited to learn more. The Challenger is a beast so where does the supposed Barracuda fall in line with the automaker?

The Dodge Challenger made a comeback, so what’s next for Chrysler Group in the retro muscle-car wars?

How about a new Barracuda, sans the Plymouth name?

Chrysler Group is rumored to be developing a 21st century Barracuda to replace the Challenger, according to a story on the Motor Trend Web site.

The car would be smaller and lighter than the Challenger, and it would be built on a rear-wheel-drive platform co-developed by Chrysler and Fiat. Alfa Romeo would share the platform with a wide range of models, according to the story. Today’s Challenger shares a platform with the first generation Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger.

The Barracuda’s styling would be a far less literal interpretation of its namesake than the Challenger, adopting styling cues instead of the strong retro look found on today’s Challenger, the story says.

“That’s all speculation. We’re looking at a lot of things,” said Dan Reid, a Chrysler spokesman.

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2013 SRT Viper Teased

When we added the Viper to our “20 Cars for 2012 List” piece, not much was known about the car. Not much needed to be known. It’s a Viper; that alone is worthy of anticipation. However, to satiate our need for a bit more information, Chrysler has given us a teaser image of the new snake’s face.

As you can tell, not much can be gleaned from this picture either. But, we do know that behind those glaring headlights will, probably, lie a larger V-10 engine. We also know that this Viper will be under the “SRT” brand, not Dodge. Finally, the Viper will have traction control for the first time ever, as mandated by federal law. Traction control aside, the Viper will probably keep its fangs and be just as raw a driving experience as ever. Expect more information and tortured snake puns as the Viper comes closer to being revealed.

  

Ram coming in with the Ducato for North America

It was a matter of time before Chrysler re-entered the commercial van market in North America and now we know what’s coming. Starting in 2013 Chrysler’s Ram division will produce a version of Fiat’s Ducato Van to square off with Ford and GM’s commercial vans. This could be a real player in that segment but time will tell.

From Auto News.com:

Chrysler Group plans to add a large expansion to its current facilities in Saltillo, Mexico, to assemble a Ram-branded version of the Fiat Ducato commercial van for North America.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler Group, said this week at the Detroit auto show that the expansion of the Saltillo plant would make it “the center for production of light-commercial vehicles in North America for us.”

A Chrysler spokesman would not confirm the size of the investment, but company sources said it was expected to be about $500 million. Chrysler already operates a truck assembly plant, a stamping plant and two engine plants in Saltillo, about 180 miles southwest of Laredo, Texas.

Marchionne said the front-wheel-drive full-sized commercial van shares a platform with the Peugeot Boxer in Europe.

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2013 Dodge Dart coming to a dealer near you!

As Chrysler starts to really get back in the mix with strong sales they now are jumping back in time with an all new 2013 Dodge Dart. This is a great idea and will spark the interest of those who remember or read about past Dart’s. The new model will be based off of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta which is sold in Europe. There are only a few pics available now but if the Dodge dart resembles the Alfa Romeo Giulietta this could be a home run for Chrysler!

From CNN.com:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Chrysler Group is tapping its history, resurrecting the Dodge Dart name for a new small car being unveiled at next month’s Detroit Auto Show.

The Dodge Dart name was last used on a small car sold in the mid-1970s.

The car will be based on engineering shared with Italy’s Fiat, Chrysler’s parent company.

For now, Chrysler has released only two images of the car. One shows a close-up of the front corner. The other shows the rear of the car with taillights similar to those on the 2011 Dodge Charger.

The car will be built in Chrysler’s Belvidere, Ill., factory. Fuel economy and pricing information for the car are not yet available. It will go on sale in the first half of next year.

Read the full article.

  

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