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Chrysler To Announce Challenger Is A Go!

Filed under: — GM Guy @ 8:34 am

Here’s a good one – Chrysler is green lighting the Dodge Challenger.

Chrysler to announce plans for new Challenger

The Chrysler division of DaimlerChrysler AG is expected to announce on Friday a new Dodge Challenger coupe styled and named after the automaker’s 1970s muscle car, The Wall Street Journal said.

The V8-powered Challenger won’t be sold until next year, but Chrysler will promote the car this summer to try to pull customers into showrooms, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the company’s plans.

Chrysler’s announcement of the new Challenger tomorrow at a NASCAR race in Daytona Beach, Florida, was moved forward by several months in hopes it will create some buzz for the automaker, the newspaper’s sources said.

Just don’t try to drive one between two road-blocking bulldozers! (db)

[Chrysler, Dodge Challenger, Vanishing Point[/tags]


New Xenon Body Kit for Chrysler 300, 300C & 300 SRT-8

Filed under: — GM Guy @ 5:21 pm

Just released and available from BTG Motoring is Xenon’s fantastic new body kit for the 300C. As you can see from these pics of Southern California 300C owner Dane Taylor, the designers and craftsmen at Xenon outdid themselves on this one!

Xenon 300C body kit

We know that Dane is totally stoked, because he told us so, and so will anyone that enhances the look of their 300C with this kit.

Xenon 300C body kit

Xenon offers these items: 300C replacement front fascia, a front air dam, rear window spoiler, rear deck spoiler, side skirts, hood scoop and a rear valence with dual exhaust openings, or you can get all these in 4, 5 and 6 piece body kits, depending upon what model of Chrysler 300 you have.

Chrysler 300 C xenon body kits

See them all at BTGMotoring.com.


DaimlerChrysler Woes – Investigated in UN Oil for Food Scandal

Filed under: — GM Guy @ 2:11 pm

Business as usual in Germany? I think not.

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - In a nation where a handshake can launch a deal and business is considered a noble calling, scandals at some of Germany’s largest companies have brought embarrassment to a corporate culture proud of its honor system.

Allegations and admissions of bribery, corruption and misdeeds have surfaced at the highest levels of business at five of Germany’s blue-chip companies: BMW, Volkswagen, DaimlerChrysler, Infineon and Commerzbank. Several executives have resigned or been fired.

Some face criminal investigations.

If anyone noticed, it was announced over a week ago that the Chairman of DaimlerChrysler and head of the Mercedes Benz division of the company, Juergen Schrempp, was being replaced by Dieter Zetsche, who is currently running the Chrysler division here in the U.S. Forbes Europe also announced that former Zetsche-Chrysler-colleague, Wolfgang Bernhard, may be making his return to DaimlerChrysler. He was denied the job of head of the Mercedes car division last fall after tangling with Mr. Schrempp over funding of the failing Mitsubishi division of the company. Mitsubishi was subsequently left to dangle in the wind on its own, despite Schrempp’s failed attempts to funnel more cash into it.

DaimlerChrysler’s numbers have been terrible for several quarters, with the U.S. Chrysler division being the only bright light, mainly due to strong product such as the Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum & new Charger, and the Hemi engine mystique promulgated across both car and truck lines. Zetsche is credited with keeping Chrysler U.S. focused despite the turmoil that ensued after the so-called “merger-of-equals” that resulted in control of the combined company going to Germany.

In the Aug. 15 issue of Business Week University of Chicago Graduate Business School Professor James Schrager discusses the future of DaimlerChrysler and answers the question: What about Mercedes?

Dieter [Zetsche] may be the one guy who can keep Chrysler and Mercedes together because he knows what it took to fix Chrysler, direct it, and what it’s going to take to keep it in good health. But he has bigger fish to fry – Mercedes.

He’s got to fix a series of unfortunate moves that Schrempp made: making small cars at small prices, diluting Mercedes’ image of exclusivity, performance, and prestige for the sake of volume. That’s a big problem.

Second on the agenda is making Mercedes cars the true world standard again. They need fewer electronics as well as better quality in Germany and to fix the U.S. plant in Alabama, where the M-Class is produced.

Zetsche needs more midsize and large cars. [Mercedes] is being attacked on all sides. Audi and Jaguar have fabulous all-alloy cars. They’ve been getting ahead while Schrempp was worried about boardroom fights over Mitsubishi and Smart.

When asked if the professor thought that the company should keep Chrysler or float it off as a separate company, his advise was:

I would get rid of Chrysler. The job of fixing Mercedes-Benz is so big and the boat anchor of Chrysler is so heavy that I’d try to float Chrysler on its own.

Know any car companies that desperately need some rear-wheel-drive hits like the Magnum and the 300? Yeah, me too, but that won’t happen. But as they say in the Ginsu knife commercials, “But wait! There’s More!”

LGF posts that the U.S. government is investigating DaimlerChrysler’s possible involvement in the U.N. Oil for Food Scandal.

FRANKFURT, Germany - DaimlerChrysler AG said Friday it is cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department, which is investigating claims that the company’s Mercedes Car Group may have paid bribes to foreign officials and that senior executives were aware of it.

When asked for a written statement regarding any participation in Saddam’s little side deals the company responded like this:

The German-American automaker said in a filing that the SEC had asked it for details on any role it may have had in the scandal-tainted program, set up to govern the sale of Iraqi oil under Saddam Hussein, and to see if the company had violated any provisions.

DaimlerChrysler spokesman Toni Melfi declined to comment Tuesday.

Makes you wonder if the changing of the guard at DaimlerChrysler is a result of these ongoing investigations. Makes me kinda glad that we bought a GMC instead of a Magnum!


Give Chrysler Its Due

Filed under: — GM Guy @ 7:56 am

MSNBC News tells the story of how the Mercedes half of Daimler Chrysler is faltering but Chrysler is now red hot in the market.

(…) In the United States, former money pit Chrysler is hot. After years of red ink, including an incredible 5.3 billion loss in 2001, Chrysler is lean and healthy. As rivals Ford and GM lose market share, Chrysler has gained for six consecutive quarters, and earned more than 250 million from January to March. Last week it reported a sizzling 9 percent rise in April sales, led by popular new models like the 300 sedan and the Dodge Viper. While the rest of Detroit lives off the SUV, Chrysler is now the only member of the Big Three automakers that makes even one popular car in the U.S. market.

Meanwhile, DaimlerChrysler’s flagship German brand and erstwhile cash cow, Mercedes-Benz, is in deep and serious trouble. (…)

And Mercedes is saying it’s not concerned about trying to be a the top of the J.D.Power’s Initial Quality Survey? OK . . .

But what’s up with Chrysler? What a difference a model or two or three makes! 300C, Magnum, Viper – got to give them credit where it’s due. Except for Cadillac, there are no other domestic rear-wheel-drive sedans to compete with those first two, and the ‘Vette and Viper don’t seem to actually compete in the same market segment, one being a brute and the other a gent.

So, congratulations, Chrysler on a job well done. Wonder how long it will be before Deter gets called back to the Fatherland to work some magic on the Mercedes half of the family?


300C SRT8

Filed under: — GM Guy @ 9:47 am

Today, Wards Auto World Online takes an up-close-and-personal look at Chrysler’s latest SRT performance model, the 300C SRT8, and comes away much impressed!

When can you call a 4,160-lb. (1,888-kg) fullsize sedan nimble? When it’s packing 425 hp from the all-new Hemi 6.1L V-8 found under the hood of the ’05 Chrysler 300C SRT8.

The 300C SRT8 is the second vehicle in the Chrysler stable to wear the badge of the SRT performance-tuning unit, following the Crossfire SRT6. Engineers and designers were careful not to go overboard on the styling of the 300C SRT8, largely because the Chrysler-brand interpretation of the SRT performance formula is more subdued than the extrovert styling expounded by Dodge-badged SRT models.

“For us, Chrysler is sophisticated, refined performance technology,” says Dan Knott, director, Street and Racing Technology (SRT)-Chrysler Group. “The individual who is sitting at a light in a Chrysler SRT, he or she knows in their gut they can blow the doors off of the guy sitting next to them. In a Dodge, it’s much more about bad, bold and in your face.”

We can’t wait to get our hands on one as well, and our BTG Motoring affiliate will be right there with the first and best aftermarket accessories for this new domestic “super sedan", just like it has been for the “regular” 300C. Wards wraps up their comments with these words:

Chrysler has once again raised the bar when it comes to performance and affordability with the 300C SRT8. While its horsepower rating falls a bit shy of some of its performance division-tuned competitors – including the Mercedes Benz E55 AMG (469 hp) and Cadillac STS-V (440 hp) – it’s pretty darn close.

The 300C SRT8’s $39,995 base price is the ultimate equalizer. The cost is nearly half the $79,500 base price of the E55 AMG. On a performance-for-dollar scale, the 300C SRT8 may be the most logical buy in the performance-sedan segment.

Now that’s what we’re talking about!


Not Just a ‘One Trick Pony"!

Filed under: — GM Guy @ 9:19 am

Ward’s Auto World
reports today that the executives at the Chrysler branch of Daimler/Chrysler are determined to keep the hot buzz going for the 300C and it’s stablemate at Dodge, the Magnum.

Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, Chrysler Group says it already is pursuing derivative options for its LX rear-wheel-drive platform, including a possible stretched version.

The auto maker vows it will not repeat the mistakes made with the Chrysler PT Cruiser, which was an initial hit that commanded long waiting lines for delivery to which Chrysler over-reacted by adding production at a second plant in Graz, Austria.

“We don’t see the 300 as a one-car wonder. It’s not going to be like the PT that was strong only a few months,” says Eric Ridenour, executive vice president-product development at Chrysler Group. …”

300C Convertible Show Car Interior — SEMA ‘04 (photo by ABDesign)

We certainly hope that Chrysler follows through with its plan to offer more variations of this dynamic and exciting platform. A convertible and/or a limo would be great places to start! For those of you lucky enough to already own one, here is a high-flow 300C intake system to consider, and here is a cool stainless steel 300C exhaust system!

My hat’s off to Chrysler for its bold interpretation of the classic “Big American Car"! I just hope that GM steps up and brings out some new affordable product with this much style and in-your-face attitude, and that they do it soon.


What to Buy?

Filed under: — GM Guy @ 10:24 am

We should all have such a problem! One of our good buds is wanting to get away from his tricked out GS400 (chipped, big brakes, lowered, cat/back, yadda, yadda) and go with something a little more Western this time. An STS-"V” would be perfect, but that’s not available until the end of the year and this purchase will happen in the next few months. So here’s the short list:

Cadillac CTS-"V”

Chrysler 300C - SRT/8

Mercedes CLS

Let us know which one you would choose via the comments, and if you know of something else in the same league that is available now that you would rather have, tell us that, too!

BTG Motoring, for all your car, truck or SUV parts and accessories

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