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* January 12, 2010





Chrysler’s Explosive Lineup At Detroit Auto Show

One of Chrysler’s greatest hopes to jump start its 2010 sales is a car named after a bomb.

It is called the Dodge Ntiro “Detonator.” The midsize sport-utility vehicle includes a 4 litter, V6 Engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission. It is bright yellow.

Perhaps a new SUV with a name that conjures images of explosions may not strike the right tone with consumers already on edge about terrorist attacks. And it isn’t hard to imagine headline writers picking such low-hanging fruit when it comes to stories about the struggling car company which has been criticized for its unimaginative car designs: “Detonator Sales Bomb” or “Detonator Blows up Chrysler’s Turnaround.”

The Washington Post reported this afternoon that Chrysler is being “panned because the company has so few really new cars to show.” The auto blog Jalopnik writes, “Chrysler To Detroit Auto Show: “Yeah, We Got Nothin’.”

Chrysler’s new CEO Sergio Marchionne says the company is holding off on unveiling some of their new cars until later in the year. He was also talking tough in an interview with the Journal this morning, saying he won’t cut prices to drum up sales. Company insiders tell the Journal that Marchionne, who is also Fiat’s chief, is shaking up Chrysler’s rank-and-file in an effort to revitalize the company’s creative and competitive spirit.

In order to be profitable this year and start paying back the $12.5 billion of taxpayer-funds put into the company, Chrysler is counting on an 18% jump in sales this year over 2009 sales. It’s a tall order given that most analysts expect overall U.S. car sales to rise only 10% this year , especially for a company whose sales fell 36% in 2009.

Marchionne has his hand on the detonator.

LINK:Chrysler’s Explosive Lineup At Detroit Auto Show - Deal Journal - WSJ
 

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2,300 orders in a week

January 13, 2010

:)"Chrysler executives said dealers have responded positively to another Toledo-made product: the beleaguered Dodge Nitro SUV.

Chrysler rolled out three new Nitro variations last week, beefing up the vehicle's standard offerings and differentiating it more from the Jeep Liberty.

"We're repositioning that vehicle as a lifestyle vehicle, so it comes now standard with the 4.0-liter engine, which is what Dodge is all about, and standard with 20-inch wheels," said Ralph Gilles, who is the president and chief executive officer of the Dodge Brand.

"We're seeing a lift. We got 2,300 orders in a week for that vehicle. Just from those little tweaks, the dealers responded," Mr. Gilles said.
"

LINK:toledoblade.com --)
 
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