Gilles to head new SRT Chrysler division

From the Detroit News:

Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it is creating a new brand — the Street and Racing Technology — or SRT brand — as it conducts a management reshuffle.

Chrysler also announced management changes, including a new Dodge Brand CEO.

Ralph Gilles, who has been president and CEO of Dodge, has been named head of the new cross-brand performance unit — SRT — and Chrysler’ Motorsports activities. Gilles continues with design responsibility for all exterior and interior design activities for all Dodge, Ram, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles.

Chrysler said the moves were aimed at the company’s business plan.

“Values and missions are sculpted on the rock. Organizational structures are designed to reflect the Company’s business needs in support of its strategic business plan. Today’s announcement is consistent with this line,” said Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri.

Last week, Fiat SpA reached a deal with the U.S. Treasury to acquire the government’s 6 percent stake in the company, which will give the Italian automaker a 52 percent majority stake in the Auburn Hills company.

Under the new structure, Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne will have 24 direct reports at Chrysler, down from 25.

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Ford’s Mulally lays down the law with big forecasts!

From AutoNews.com:

DETROIT (Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co. said growth in Asia and increasing demand for small cars will boost global sales 50 percent to 8 million vehicles annually by 2015 as the automaker switches gears from restructuring to expansion.

“Growth is a new skill to learn for us,” Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth said today in an interview in New York. “We’ve been good at restructuring businesses over the last decade. Growth takes practice.”

CEO Alan Mulally told investors today that the automaker expects that by 2020, 55 percent of vehicle sales will be small cars and a third of sales will be in Asia, Booth said.

“Fifty percent is a large number,” Mulally said of the growth target on Bloomberg Television today. “But it’s off a tremendous foundation we have laid to support that.”

Ford executives, on a tour of Wall Street today, also said:

• Total Automotive debt will be reduced to about $10 billion by 2015, down from $16.6 billion at March 31, 2011 and from $33.6 billion at the end of 2009.

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Chrysler makes a statement with May sales figures

Chrysler is rockin’ the sales charts with an increase of 10% in May, totally bucking the trend. Jeep sales are on fire and cars like the new 2011 Chrysler 200 are selling well.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Retail sales up 27 percent in May compared with same month a year ago

May marks the 14th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains

New 2011 Chrysler 200 sales up 154 percent compared with sales of its predecessor a year ago; retail sales of the Chrysler 200 increase more than five fold

Chrysler brand named “Top Popular Brand” in 2011 AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

Jeep® brand sales up 55 percent compared with sales in May 2010

All current Jeep brand models post May sales increases, led by the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, whose sales were up 192 percent versus a year ago

Jeep Grand Cherokee wins “Premium Mid-size SUV” category in AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

New 2011 Jeep Compass posts 92 percent year-over-year sales increase, second highest percentage increase for Jeep brand models

New 2011 Dodge Journey crossover voted “Family Car of Texas” at the Texas Auto Writers Association “Spring Roundup”

Ram Truck brand posts a 13 percent increase versus a year ago, the brand’s 13th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains

2012 Fiat 500 voted “Best Value” and “Best New Design” at the Texas Auto Writers Association “Spring Roundup”

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Audi S5 Cabriolet

Bullz-Eye.com reviews the 2011 Audi S5 Cabriolet:

Exterior
The combination of the brilliant red paint and black soft top on our test model 2011 Audi S5 quattro Auto S-Tronic Cabriolet gave a first impression of both class and sport. The 19-inch, double-spoke alloy wheels, high performance tires and dual exhaust with quad tailpipes set the tone for a fun drive. Although hardtop convertibles are all the rage, Audi chose to stick with a fabric roof. The ragtop has classic appeal and folds down in a segment-leading 15 seconds at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. The sharp lines, distinctive front end and sculpted body makes a statement of refinement and luxury. The single frame grille, large air intakes and memorable headlights make an unforgettable impression. Those Audi signature daytime running lights are just the beginning of an intelligently designed 2011 Audi S5 quattro Auto S-Tronic Cabriolet.

Interior
The interior of the 2011 Audi S5 quattro Auto S-Tronic Cabriolet is interesting enough to make this car feel special. Our test model was equipped with Audi navigation system with 3G MMI and color driver information system, rear view camera, rear park sensors, a high performance Bang & Olfsen premium sound system, carbon atlas interior inlays and 3-spoke leather wrapped multi function steering wheel. The sport seating in the S5 Convertible had silk nappa leather upholstery, split folding rear seats with full pass through to trunk, heated and cooled front seats, and power driver and passenger seat adjustment with lumbar support. The dash again was familiar from other Audi vehicles and included three-zone automatic climate control, in-dash CD player with SD card slot, Sirius satellite radio, Audi music interface (iPod integration), Bluetooth hands free phone interface and homelink remote transmitter. The convertible is remarkably quiet and wind noise was clearly addressed when engineering the 2011 Audi S5 quattro Auto S-Tronic Cabriolet. By going with the soft top, Audi was able to retain adequate trunk space that would have been lost to the trendier hard top convertibles.

Read the full review.

  

New Imported from Detroit Commercial: The Quiet Ones

Check out the latest Imported from Detroit Commercial. It showcases Michigan’s 2011 state hockey champions, the Novi Wildcats who, as underdogs, overturned the reigning title team. How did they get there? Hard work, determination and early morning practices. Watch as Mason Pew, a member of the Novi Wildcats, proves that commitment and effort can make all the difference:

  

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