Fiat Chrysler wants to clear more production space for hot selling Jeeps and Ram Trucks, so “over a prolonged period of time” it will discontinue the Dodge Dart and the Chrysler 200 models, CEO Sergio Marchionne has announced. In revising the company’s business plan, he acknowledged current sales patterns for the Detroit three that overwhelmingly show customers want crossovers, SUV’s and trucks. He called that a permanent shift in sentiment and predicted that low gas prices, that help maintain that trend, will be with us for a long time. Marchionne left open the possibility that FEC could partner with someone to replace the two cars once they are discontinued. Further, FCA will reduce its investments in Alfa Romeo and delay plans to expand the lineup with eight new models by two years to mid-2020. Wall Street reaction to this and FCA’s earnings announcement? The stock closed down 13 cents or 1.74 percent.
Callaway will announce a Chevy Camaro with the shaker hood and more than 600 horsepower on Feb. 18, according to the Detroit News. Simply put, when the supercharger was added to the Camaro V8 there was no room to close the hood. So the shaker was added. The new offering will be known as the Callaway Camaro SC600. It will be a limited edition model and sold through select North American Chevy dealers. Callaway said the SC will offer “serious horsepower”!
The big East Coast blizzard is expected to take a bite out of January car and truck sales, but analysts believe things will rebound in February and March, weather permitting of course. Automakers will report January 2016 sales on Feb. 2 and Kelley Blue Book predicts sales will be off 3 percent.
Heads may roll at Takata with Reuters reporting that the company is laying the groundwork for the ouster of CEO Shigehisa Takada and other officials. The company, as you have heard, has been under fire for faulty airbag inflators in almost 50 million vehicles that maybe linked to 11 deaths. Reuters quoted two unnamed Takata officials.
Oregon has a law that generally requires that an attendant pump gas at service stations, but that could change. A new survey of drivers shows that 51 percent like the idea of full service stations, but 41 percent think it’s time for a change. The poll was conducted for PEMCO Insurance. Twice as many men compared to women favor changing the law. Roughly one quarter of those surveyed were not sure they were putting the proper octane in their vehicle.