Has Chevy dropped the ball with the Cruze?

GM has its new Chevrolet Cruze rolling off the assembly line and before you see the first commercial they might have dropped the ball. They have the sedan heading to dealer lots in the U.S. but where is the five door hatchback? AutoNews has pointed this out and I totally agree for a few reasons. First, you have a hatchback going on sale in other markets across the globe so why not sell it here? Your competitors in the likes of Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2, Nissan Versa and many others are selling well. Secondly, GM is touting the Cruze as one of its most important launches for the survival of this company and they don’t give customers a choice with a hatchback? I can’t see Mulally, Ghosn or Marchionne leaving a big hole in the center of a huge launch like this? Could you?

I also feel the look of the hatchback takes the Cruze further away from looking like a reduced Malibu and with that it stands on its own more. Let’s hope that the sedan sells well but even with solid sales let’s pray that the suits at Chevrolet wake up and get the hatchback here in the U.S. in showrooms asap. The Cruze might be the best small car that GM has built but that doesn’t mean customers considering a Fiesta, Corolla or Civic will think it’s one of the best to choose from in a very competitive field.


2011 Dodge Charger

It’s out of the bag! That’s right – the new 2011 Dodge Charger has been spotted (or spy shots might be better) and this is one tough looking car my friends. The front end appears to be chiseled with a low muscular stance. Can’t see the rest of the new Dodge Charger but if goes along the same lines as the front end this is going to turn some heads on the road. This Marchionne just might pull this thing off!

From Edmunds Inside Line.com:

Last time our spy photographers met up with the revamped 2011 Dodge Charger, it was in full leathers. So we didn’t know if it was going to ease up on the snarky attitude and duck into an Italian cafe to nurse an espresso with Sergio Marchionne. Today, we know better. The snarkiness factor is dialed up to an 11 on the 2011 Charger, which starts production this fall.

Though the Dodge crosshair grille remains, the girly curves of the old version are gone and it juts out more aggressively (not unlike the snout treatment on Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution). The center of the hood is now prominently chiseled just like on the Dodge Challenger. And the downturned headlights give the big sedan a nasty scowl. Note the reshaped front air intakes, too.

Read the full article here.


Jeep cuts price of redesigned Grand Cherokee

Marchionne comes out swinging cutting the price of the redesigned 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The new starting point will be
$32,995 for the base four-wheel-drive model (the Laredo 4×4) which is $465 less than the 2010 model. Prices include shipping.

This will make for some good press for the new SUV and if the looks and quality are there this would be a great start under the new leadership from Fiat.

From AutoNews.com:

DETROIT — Jeep is pricing the base four-wheel-drive model of the 2011 Grand Cherokee, the Laredo 4×4, at $32,995, $465 less than the equivalent 2010 model. Prices include shipping.

The Chrysler Group began making Grand Cherokees at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit this week. The vehicles will begin arriving in showrooms next month.

The Grand Cherokee comes in three models: Laredo, Limited and Overland. The Limited 4×4 starts at $39,995, and the top-of the line Overland starts at $42,995.

Read the full article here.


Something different with Chrysler

Even though the new product is still 12 months away you can feel something different already with Chrysler.

The new ads you see on T.V. for the Ram trucks, the optimism from Marchionne and the hope for survival! Can they pull this thing off? Don’t know the answer to that question but Marchionne appears geared up to give it one heck of a try.

From the Detroit News:

Chrysler Group LLC survived bankruptcy but the success of its strategy now hinges on convincing consumers to buy its cars and trucks in the critical next 12 months.

That’s a significant hurdle given that most upgrades to Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models are a year away.

Still, the Auburn Hills automaker is lucky to be in business a year after seeking a government bailout and being pushed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the Obama administration. It has a new name, a new partnership with Italy’s Fiat SpA, new management and a new way of developing, manufacturing and selling vehicles that top executives say will help restore profits by 2011.

Read the rest of the article here.


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