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Discussion Starter #21

FCA Advanced VDS Feature
Oct 9, 2019
Tony Mancina, Director of Engineering at the Automotive Research and Development Centre in Windsor Ontario, highlights some of features of the all-new advanced vehicle driving simulator.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Third shift to continue at Windsor Assembly ‘until further notice’

The third shift will continue at Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles’ Windsor Assembly Plant, for the time being.


Blackburn News has learned that the plant will continue to operate at full tilt beyond the previously-announced date of the end of 2019, according to a short statement provided by LouAnn Gosselin, head of communications for FCA Canada.


Gosselin told BlackburnNewsWindsor.com that the three-shift operation will continue “until further notice”. She also indicated that this does not mean that the third shift has been saved, only that there is no concrete date set for the end of the shift.


The automaker had originally announced on March 28 that the third shift would be discontinued by September 30 due to a change in the auto market for consumers from smaller cars and minivans to full pickup trucks and SUVs.


Third-shift workers first received a reprieve in June when Chrysler received a large fleet order for the minivans built at the plant. Unifor Local 444, which represents the plant workers, was then told by FCA in August that the elimination was being pushed off again, this time until the end of this year, due to a larger-than-expected increase in sales for the Chrysler Pacifica minivan.


About 1,500 jobs at the plant are still affected.


In related news, the union local said Friday afternoon that the plant will be on a layoff from November 4 to November 10.


Company has just informed us that WAP will be on lay-off the week of Nov 4/2019.
— Local 444 Unifor (@LOCAL444UNIFOR) October 25, 2019
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Fiat Chrysler extends Windsor Assembly's third shift through March

Nov. 13, 2019


Approximately 1,500 workers on the third shift at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's Windsor Assembly Plant will have jobs through the first three months of the year, the automaker said Wednesday.

"FCA confirms that the third shift at the Windsor Assembly Plant will be extended until the end of Q1 2020," spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement. "The Company will continue to review the feasibility of maintaining the shift."

The extension through the end of the first quarter of 2019 is the third new deadline the automaker has granted to the third shift at the plant making Chrysler and Dodge minivans. The automaker originally said in March it was eliminating the shift and laying off its employees on Sept. 30 to "better align production with global demand."

Leaders of Unifor, the labor union representing autoworkers in Canada, representing the workers at Local 444 celebrated the news in a post on Facebook.
SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #24
FCA Canada Scores a Hat Trick at the 2020 Le Guide de l'auto/The Car Guide Best Buy Awards

    • Ram 1500, Jeep® Gladiator and Canadian-made Chrysler Pacifica all win their respective categories
    • Awards handed out annually by one of Canada’s oldest and most respected automotive media outlets
    • Vehicles are chosen by one of the country’s largest and most respected editorial teams, based on votes in six categories
    • A repeat winner, Ram 1500 is the no-compromise benchmark for durability, technology, efficiency and convenience with features never before offered in a pickup
    • All-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator, the most off-road capable midsize truck ever, delivers an unmatched combination of rugged utility, authentic Jeep design, open-air freedom, clever functionality, versatility, and best-in-class towing and 4x4 payload
    • A repeat winner, made-in-Canada Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid reinvent the minivan segment with an unprecedented level of functionality, versatility, technology and bold styling. Re-engineered from the ground up on an all-new platform, the Pacifica delivers class-leading gasoline and hybrid powertrains to the minivan segment
November 14, 2019 , Windsor, Ontario - A trio of FCA vehicles topped their respective categories in the recently announced 2020 Le Guide de l'auto/The Car Guide Best Buy Awards.

The Ram 1500 was a repeat winner for best amongst Full-Size Pickup Trucks, the all-new Jeep® Gladiator took top spot in its first year of competition in the Compact and Mid-size Pickup Trucks category and Chrysler Pacifica topped the Minivan category for the second year in a row.


“Segment leadership and innovation are pillars for every vehicle we make, from pickup trucks to our Windsor-built minivans,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, FCA Canada. “This trio of awards from Le Guide de l'auto shows that our products are breaking through the noise and resonating with critics alongside a great endorsement for consumers.”

Now in its 54th year, the bilingual publication is one of Canada’s longest running and most respected automotive media outlets.

Le Guide de l'auto/The Car Guide’s annual Best Buy awards recognize the top vehicles in 27 categories. Winners are chosen by one of the country’s largest and most respected editorial teams, based on votes determined by six criteria, including fuel economy, reliability, safety, infotainment and driving experience.

About Ram 1500
The 2020 Ram 1500 is the no-compromise benchmark for durability, technology, efficiency and convenience with features never-before offered in a pickup. The Ram 1500 features up to 5,783 kg (12,750 lbs.) of towing capability (5.7-litre HEMI® V-8) and 1,043 kg (2,300 lbs.) of payload. Ram’s eTorque mild hybrid system delivers improved fuel efficiency in both V-6 (standard) and V-8 configurations. As a segment disrupter, the new Uconnect 4C with a massive 12-inch touchscreen leads the pickup world in technology, featuring split-screen capability, 360-degree camera views and exclusive content from SiriusXM with 360L. Active safety and security systems include adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning, Blind-spot Monitoring and Ready Alert Braking. Class-leading ride and handling is accomplished via a class-exclusive link-coil rear suspension system with optional Active-level four-corner air suspension. The 2020 Ram 1500 also features twice the interior storage capacity versus the competition.

Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 kilometres
The 2020 Ram 1500 is backed with a five-year /100,000 kilometre Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labour needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system.

The standard three-year / 60,000-kilometre Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram 1500, from the body to the electrical system.

About Jeep Gladiator
The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator, the most off-road capable midsize truck ever, builds on a rich heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks with an unmatched combination of rugged utility, authentic Jeep design, open-air freedom, clever functionality and versatility and best-in-class towing and 4x4 payload.

Available with three different powertrain combinations and equipped with a versatile cargo box, Gladiator is built to handle the demands of an active lifestyle while delivering an open-air driving experience in a design that is unmistakably Jeep. Combining traditional Jeep attributes with strong truck credentials, the Jeep Gladiator is a unique vehicle capable of taking passengers and cargo anywhere. A multitude of technology features, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and safety features, such as Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, adaptive cruise control and Forward Collision Warning-Plus, further Gladiator’s appeal.

All Gladiator models are Trail Rated with a badge indicating that the vehicle is designed to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions identified by five key consumer-oriented performance categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording. Gladiator Rubicon models are equipped with signature red tow hooks, Rock-Trac® 4x4 system, featuring a two-speed transfer case with a 4:1 low-range gear ratio, front and rear heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lok® electric front- and rear-axle lockers, segment-exclusive electronic sway bar disconnect, cab and bed rock rails and standard 33-inch Falken Wildpeak All-Terrain off-road tires.

About Chrysler Pacifica
The made-in-Canada Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid reinvent the minivan segment with an unprecedented level of functionality, versatility, technology and bold styling. Re-engineered from the ground up on an all-new platform, the Pacifica delivers class-leading gasoline and hybrid powertrains to the minivan segment. The Pacifica Hybrid takes this revolutionary vehicle a step further with its innovative, advanced hybrid powertrain. It’s the first electrified vehicle in the minivan segment and achieves 2.6 Le/100 km in electric-only mode in city driving, 53 kilometres (33 miles) of all-electric range and 911 kilometres (566 miles) of total range.

With more than 100 standard and available safety and security features, the Uconnect Theatre rear-seat entertainment system, an available 4G Wi-Fi hotspot and a full array of comfort and convenience technologies, the Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid are no-compromise minivans ideally suited for today's families and have earned their spots as the most awarded minivans of the year.

About FCA Canada
Founded as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925, FCA Canada Inc. is based in Windsor, Ontario, and celebrates its 94th anniversary in 2019. FCA Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of FCA US LLC, a North American automaker based in Auburn Hills, Michigan and member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA Canada has approximately 440 dealers and sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT and Alfa Romeo brands, as well as the SRT performance designation. The company also distributes Mopar and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories. In addition to its assembly facilities, which produce the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and Dodge Grand Caravan (Windsor), Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger (Brampton), FCA Canada operates an aluminum casting plant in Etobicoke, a research and development centre in Windsor, and has sales offices and parts distribution centers throughout the country.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Dodge Grand Caravan: The rolling dead?



November 18, 2019


Dodge’s minivan must be some sort of motorized zombie. How else can you explain its ability to live on and on and on?


I’ve been writing about “the end” of the transcendent people mover since November 2016.


“A letter of understanding sent from Magna International to Unifor says its Integram Seating plant will cease delivery of the Caravan seating to FCA’s Windsor assembly plant in July 2019, likely marking the end of the minivan’s run,” I wrote on our website back then.


In May 2019, industry analyst Joe McCabe said FCA plans to replace the Grand Caravan with the entry-level Voyager, based on the Chrysler Pacifica. Even FCA Canada has said the Dodge Grand Caravan “will eventually go away.”


And now this: The “garageable van” might get its latest stay of execution from none other than U.S. President Donald Trump. He is hellbent on revoking California’s authority — granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the 1970s — to require automakers to build vehicles with tougher emissions standards than U.S. federal regulations. And that might breathe new life into the Grand Caravan.


That’s because come 2020, the Caravan won’t meet California standards, or the standards of other states that follow the Golden State.


Unifor officials tell me they hope Trump wins the battle over California’s ability to set its own standard, thereby allowing the minivan to be sold in America’s most populated state.


Imagine that, a Canadian union cheering on a conservative U.S. president.


Unifor strongly believes more product is needed — whether new, old or stale — to save the third shift at FCA’s Windsor, Ont., minivan plant. So, whether it’s a new crossover or the Dodge Grand Caravan matters little to the 6,000 people who work there, and the thousands more who supply the parts.


Even if FCA does kill the Caravan — at this point by way of a silver bullet or stake through the heart — the name itself might still live on.


I say that because Allpar, a website dedicated to all things Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is reporting — “according to sources within FCA Canada” — that the lower-priced Voyager, being built on the Pacifica platform, will be called the Grand Caravan in Canada.


“The Chrysler Voyager will initially only be available in the U.S. market, but will be available in Canada at a later date,” FCA Canada spokeswoman Lou An Gosselin said via email in October.


“While we’ve announced the the Dodge Grand Caravan is the minivan that will eventually go away, we’re not going into more detail at this time.”


Keeping the name in Canada makes sense. The Grand Caravan had always looked like the defunct higher-end Chrysler Town & Country. And it’s the country’s most popular minivan (thank the Canada Value Package for that). It had outsold the Pacifica seven-to-one through September, 22,216 to 3,122. So, it might still be here a while.

 

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Discussion Starter #26
FCA Canada: Jeep® Gladiator Named ‘Truck of the Year’ by DoubleClutch.ca
  • All-new 2020 Jeep® Gladiator is the most capable midsize truck ever, featuring legendary 4x4 capability, authentic design that builds on rich Jeep truck heritage, best-in-class towing and 4x4 payload, clever functionality and versatility, advanced fuel-efficient powertrains, open-air freedom, and loaded with safety features and intuitive technology
  • DoubleClutch.ca Awards are voted on by seven expert judges, evaluating over 50 criteria on over 250 vehicles driven annually
  • Award is only the latest for Jeep Gladiator, which was also recently named to Car and Driver’s 10Best, awarded Mid-Size Truck of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers Association and is a finalist for Best Pick-up in Canada for 2020 from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC)


December 17, 2019 , Windsor, Ontario - One hundred per cent Jeep®, 100 per cent truck and 100 per cent a winner, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator has been named ‘Truck of the Year’ in the annual DoubleClutch.ca Awards.

The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator is the most capable midsize truck ever, built on a rich heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks with an unmatched combination of rugged utility, authentic Jeep design, open-air freedom, clever functionality and versatility, and best-in-class towing and 4x4 payload.


“Jeep Gladiator continues to rewrite the definition of what makes a compelling and capable midsize pickup,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, FCA Canada. “On- or off-road, towing or hauling, top down or doors off, it’s a truck that has earned the praise of the Jeep faithful and critics like the editors at DoubleClutch.ca.”

This year is the seventh that the DoubleClutch.ca Awards have been handed out. Seven editors road test over 250 vehicles a year and vote on each according to more than 50 factors – everything from powertrain, refinement and fuel efficiency, to curb appeal, infotainment and advanced driver assist features are considered.

This Canadian award for ‘Truck of the Year’ comes less than a month after Jeep Gladiator was also named to Car and Driver’s 10Best, amongst other recent accolades.

About the 2020 Jeep Gladiator
Available with three different powertrain combinations and equipped with a versatile cargo box, Jeep Gladiator is built to handle the demands of an active lifestyle while delivering an open-air driving experience in a design that is unmistakably Jeep. Combining traditional Jeep attributes with strong truck credentials, the Jeep Gladiator is a unique vehicle capable of taking passengers and cargo anywhere. A multitude of technology features, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and safety features, such as Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, adaptive cruise control and Forward Collision Warning-Plus, further Gladiator’s appeal.

All Gladiator models are Trail Rated with a badge indicating that the vehicle is designed to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions identified by five key consumer-oriented performance categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording. Gladiator Rubicon models are equipped with signature red tow hooks, Rock-Trac® 4x4 system, featuring a two-speed transfer case with a 4:1 low-range gear ratio, front and rear heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lok® electric front- and rear-axle lockers, segment-exclusive electronic sway bar disconnect, cab and bed rock rails and standard 33-inch Falken Wildpeak All-Terrain off-road tires.

About FCA Canada
Founded as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925, FCA Canada Inc. is based in Windsor, Ontario, and celebrates its 94th anniversary in 2019. FCA Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of FCA US LLC, a North American automaker based in Auburn Hills, Michigan and member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA Canada has approximately 440 dealers and sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT and Alfa Romeo brands, as well as the SRT performance designation. The company also distributes Mopar and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories. In addition to its assembly facilities, which produce the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and Dodge Grand Caravan (Windsor), Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger (Brampton), FCA Canada operates an aluminum casting plant in Etobicoke, a research and development centre in Windsor, and has sales offices and parts distribution centers throughout the country.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Buying Winter Tires: What Canadians Need to Know
Everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask


By AutoGuide.com Staff Dec 24, 2019



Buying Winter Tires: What Canadians Need to Know


While we’re now already well into winter, it’s never too late to benefit from a good set of winter tires. All-season tires of the sort that most new passenger vehicles leave the factory with today do a decent job of providing year-round usability, but in northern climates – especially Canada – they’re simply not up to the task of providing adequate traction when the weather turns nasty.


Traction, as we all know, can mean the difference between keeping all four tires on the road, and taking an unplanned detour off the pavement into a snow bank (or worse). Not to mention, adding winter tires can also lower your insurance premiums in Canada.

Whether your winter vehicle is a car, truck or SUV, a set of new winter tires can make all the difference, helping bring out its best driving performance, providing many kilometres of safety, security, and peace-of-mind. But there are many different factors to consider before purchasing a set, and navigating the plethora of winter tire options out there can be tricky for the uninitiated. (That’s no excuse for going without them, however.)



We’ve partnered with TDot Performance to put together a handy guide to selecting the best winter tires for your ride. A Canadian-owned and operated online auto parts retailer, TDot Performance is focus on providing Canadians with parts that might otherwise have to be purchased from the United States, saving them time and money — not to mention customs duties, brokerage fees, unfavourable exchange rates and other assorted headaches. That includes tires from big-name brands Canadians know and trust, like BFGoodrich and Michelin.
Winter Wheels
Mounting and dismounting tires from a single set of wheels is a chore, and one that can become expensive in short order. For that reason, many seasoned winter driving veterans keep an alternate set of “winter wheels” handy, so that when the seasons change, they can simply swap the wheels out, without the extra step of having to get everything mounted and balanced.

If you choose to go this route, make sure that you purchase wheels with the correct bolt pattern, offset and center bore for your vehicle. Large brakes like those found on many performance cars are also a concern; you’ll need wheels wide enough in diameter to leave adequate space for your vehicle’s brake calipers. Steel wheels are often favoured for winter driving for their ease of repair, although they tend to be heavier (and uglier) than alloy wheels — but again, the goal here is safety, not fashion.


Tire Sizing
This may sound obvious, but it’s an important step: once you have your wheels selected, you’ll need to make sure the new tires you’re shopping for will fit. Unfortunately, the standard way of expressing tire sizing can be confusing. For road tires, it most often begins with either a “P” for “Passenger” or “LT” for “Light Truck,” followed by the “section width” in millimetres, the height “aspect ratio” as a percentage, the letter “R” for “Radial” construction, and the diameter of the wheel, expressed in… inches. (Sorry, Canada.)

For example: if you see a tire with the alphanumeric code “P225/55R17” – it’s a Passenger tire with a section width of 225 mm, a height that is 55 percent of the section width, radial construction, and an inner diameter made to accommodate a 17-inch wheel.

Confused? Then we probably shouldn’t even mention flotation tire sizing – another standard, unique to off-road tires, that expresses sizing as the tire’s outer diameter, width, and wheel diameter, in that order, all in inches (e.g. 32×10.50R16).


Selecting the Right Tire
Finally, the most important part of any winter tire buyer’s guide: how to choose the best winter tires for your needs. Tires that exceed established winter performance requirements are denoted by a symbol on the sidewall showing a three-peak mountain with a snowflake. Generally, they fall between two extremes: ice tires and snow tires.

Ice tires tend to have close-set tread blocks with lots of incisions, and are made from compounds containing more silica, keeping them more flexible in frigid conditions, affording superior cold-weather traction. Tires like the well-known – and well-regarded – Michelin Ice-X Xi3 fit the mould.

Snow tires, conversely, tend to have farther-set tread blocks, allowing them to more effectively “scoop” their way through deep snow, similar to how off-road tires are designed to grab loose surfaces. Their compounds are generally firmer, giving them greater tread life at the expense of some cold-weather traction. Tires like the BFGoodrich Winter T/A KSI and the Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow 3 fall closer to this end of the spectrum, although both BFGoodrich and Uniroyal have taken pains to ensure the tires’ respective compounds still have a decent mix of flexibility.



Which of these two extremes is more useful for you comes down to where you live, and the sort of conditions you anticipate driving in more often. Ice tires are generally aimed at those whose commutes favour city and highway driving – places where plowing is prompt, and constant traffic is more likely to melt the snow (so that it can later refreeze into a hazardous sheet of ice, naturally). Snow tires, meanwhile, are better suited to those who do most of their driving on lower-traffic roads or in more rural areas, where there’s a greater chance of snow piling up on the road — and remaining there until the plows and salt trucks finally make their way out.

And then there are high-performance winter tires – like the Michelin Alpin A4. This category is reserved for tires that sacrifice some amount of snow/ice grip in order to maintain superior dry road handling — a potential issue for winter tires — making them a sort of jack-of-all-trades. They tend to be most popular with sports car and muscle car owners who drive their performance vehicles year-round instead of letting them hibernate in a warm and toasty garage for the winter months.



In addition to those we’ve already mentioned, other top winter tire brands include Falken and Dick Cepek. But while each winter tire design is different, it’s hard to go wrong — especially if you’re coming from a set of generic, factory-installed all-season tires. Compared to those, any decent set of winter tires is going to provide far more safety, security and peace of mind when those crummy winter conditions inevitably hit.

If you’re ready to pull the trigger on some new tires for your winter ride, or just want to do more research on which sets might be right for you, the folks at TDotPerformance.ca can help. The company offers free shipping within Canada, a best price guarantee, 30-day no hassle returns, and a full warranty.


 
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