Chrysler sales still on fire

Times are good for Chrysler, which provides some good economic news for the administration on a day that the lame job numbers came out.

Chrysler sales jumped 30% in May, which extend an incredible steak of 12 consecutive months where the company has exceed 20& year-over-year sales growth. This is excellent news for the company and for anyone who defended the auto bailout.

And things might get even better for Chrysler soon:

And it comes as Chrysler prepares later this month to roll out its key new car introduction for the year, the Fiat-based Dodge Dart, above, that it aims to get the company back into the small-car game. Dart is an enlarged, Americanized version of Fiat’s sporty Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

All the company’s brands — Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat — posted year-over-year gains in May. Fiat was up most, 128% to a record month as the tiny 500 finally gains some traction.

But the Chrysler brand was heroic — up 81%, as the 200 sedan zoomed 87% and the big 300 rocketed 140% for its best May since 2007.

If the Dart is a hit, then Sergio Marchionne and his team can really celebrate.

Check out the entire article for news on the other automakers.

  

Fiat Sales Soft in October

Fiat recently released October sales for the U.S. market, and the results are disappointing. Fiat sales of the 500 and 500C dropped to 1965, a 71% drop in sales from September. Also, this happened in a month that saw sales increase for many automakers, including Chrysler. There are various reasons for the decline including the 500 losing its “new car” appeal and the dealer network being small, but I only want to point to one source: Jenny from the Block.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Great Red Hope

Lotus is getting fat and greedy, Porsche makes more money selling SUVs to housewives than sports car enthusiasts, Aston Martin sells a rebadged Toyota. The world of sports cars is upside down. But there is hope, a small glimmer from the prodigal son of the automotive world: the Alfa Romeo 4C. This September, Alfa Romeo is set to disclose more details on the 4C at this year’s Frankfurt auto show. It may be a revised concept, or maybe, the production model.

This is not just big for car people, but for Alfa Romeo as well. Alfa is putting their hopes for a successful return to the U.S. on the back of a 1,800lb sports car. It also marks a return to Alfa making true sports cars.

The specifics so far point to the 4C as being a lightweight, turbocharged sports car. It will have a carbon fiber tub, RWD, and a turbocharged 4-cyl where it is supposed to be, the back of the car. It will also be priced in the reasonable $50,000-60,000 range. The 4C looks to replace the much loved, but nearly departed, Lotus Elise in the hearts and minds of people that enjoy driving cars, not status symbols. As for more specifics, we will have to wait until Frankfurt.

  

Save the Date

November 16-17, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, one of the most anticipated cars of 2012 will debut. The Fiat 500 Abarth. Yes, you read that right. The Abarth is not a V8, RWD sports coupe or a trillion horsepower, billion dollar supercar, but the sporting version of the Fiat 500.

Powered by a turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, the Abarth should produce around 180hp, 10 more horsepower than the European version. Also, it only weighs around 2300 pounds, and will probably get close to 40mpg on the highway. This isn’t just eating your cake and having it too, it’s like eating the whole bakery and looking like Brad Pitt.

Not to mention, the Abarth name is steeped in racing history. Founded in the 1950s, Abarth started as an unofficial tuner for Fiats. However, they slowly began to be incorporated into the company to modify cars officially, and organize Fiat’s racing activities, from sports car racing to rallying. For reference, the M badge for BMW has only been around since the 1980s.

After its debut, the Abarth should be on showroom floors the first half of 2012. In these times of austerity, the Fiat 500 Abarth is a battle ax of fun to cleave through the continuing stream of boring cars.

You can view the rest of this story here.

Stay tuned to Dashboard News since this car will be among others in a post outlining the upcoming Italian automotive renaissance in the U.S.

  

Fiat making big moves at Chrysler

From AutoNews.com:

DETROIT (Bloomberg) — Fiat S.p.A. has options to increase its stake in Chrysler Group LLC to more than 70 percent as the U.S. government seeks to exit its investments in the auto industry.

Fiat has an option for 12 months to buy the U.S. Treasury’s remaining stake after it repays debts to the government, Chrysler said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Chrysler said in April it would issue new debt to repay the government loans, allowing Fiat to exercise an option to increase its stake to 46 percent from 30 percent.

The Treasury holds an 8.6 percent stake in Chrysler, the company said April 12. That amount would be reduced when Chrysler meets the final of three performance milestones that each give Turin, Italy-based Fiat an additional 5 percent stake. The final goal, to build a vehicle that gets 40 mpg in the U.S., should be met this year, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both automakers, has said.

Read the full article.

  

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