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Entries in Chrysler (30)

Friday
Jul052013

Chrysler to Recall Over 200,000 Minivans

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Chrysler is recalling more than 280,000 minivans from the 2013 model year because the side air bags can deploy on the wrong side in a crash.

The automaker says the issue is a software problem. The side airbags are intended to deploy on the side of the vehicle that is damaged in an accident.

According to a company statement, the airbags that deploy from the steering wheel and the passenger-side dashboard are not impacted by this software problem.

The issue will be remedied at no cost to customers.

The Dodge Grand Caravan, the Chrysler Town & Country and the Ram Cargo Van are among the vehicles being recalled.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan032013

US Auto Sales Reach Five-Year High

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- U.S. auto manufacturers, as it turns out, did quite well in 2012.  Sales climbed 13.4 percent to 14.5 million cars and light trucks sold -- a five-year high.

It was a big year for Chrysler -- the company in 2012 achieved its best sales in five years. Chrysler's Dodge brand led the pack, with sales of the Journey crossover and Dart compact car helping the company to a 21-percent gain. In all, Chrysler sold 1.65 million vehicles last year.

Ford was up 4.7 percent in 2012, boosted by its best December sales in six years.

General Motors' sales, led by the Chevy Sonic small car, posted a 1.6-percent gain last year.  The company's December sales rose by 4.9 percent.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct022012

Auto Sales Hit Highest Level Since Early 2008

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Car and truck sales in the U.S. have hit their highest level since February of 2008, according to Autodata.
 
Of the Detroit three, Chrysler had strong sales, showing a 12-percent increase compared to a year ago. General Motors and Ford had more muted numbers -- GM sales were up 1.5 percent and Ford sales were down 0.1 percent.
 
Japanese carmakers posted strong year-over-year gains, in part because the comparison is to a time when they were suffering badly from the effects of the Japanese earthquake.
 
Smaller, more fuel efficient cars posted by far the strongest sales for the car companies.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug012012

GM, Ford Sales Slip in July; Chrysler, Others Report Strong Month

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Any worries Americans have about the economy fail to dissuade them from buying cars.  

Chrysler had a banner July, with sales up 13 percent. Volkswagen posted a 27 percent jump. Toyota saw a 26-percent rise. And at Nissan, sales were up 16 percent.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. didn’t fare quite as well last month. Sales of GM vehicles slipped 6 percent, the company said, while Ford reported a 4 percent decline in sales from the previous year.

Buyers closed out of the auto market since the recession are finding good deals on last year's models, better financing and strong trade-in values. Pent up demand, analysts say, is also helping consumers overcome the risk of a softer economy. The average car on the road is more than a decade old so some drivers need to buy rather than bring their clunker in for one more repair.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul052012

Obama Challenges China at WTO over Auto Tariffs

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(MAUMEE, Ohio) -- As he embarked on a campaign swing across northern Ohio, President Obama announced new action against China in the World Trade Organization, challenging duties imposed last year on U.S. auto exports.

“Just this morning my administration took a new action to hold China accountable for unfair trade practices that harm American automakers,” Obama said during a campaign stop in Maumee, Ohio. “We’re going to make sure that competition is fair. That’s what I believe. That’s part of our vision for America.”

The tough line toward China coincides with Obama’s appeal to blue collar workers in Ohio, home to many U.S. auto manufacturers and suppliers.  The bus tour — themed “Betting on America” — will promote the 2009 Obama-backed bailout of GM and Chrysler and portray the president as a champion of American manufacturing.

White House spokesman Jay Carney disputed that the timing of the announcement was anything other than coincidence.

“This is an action that has been in development for quite a long time. USTR [the U.S. Trade Representative] studies these issues and prepares actions with great deliberation to ensure their success at WTO. This one has been under development for many, many months,” Carney told reporters on Air Force One. “It can’t suddenly be a political action because it happens during the campaign.”

Carney noted that the new WTO complaint is the seventh the administration has filed against China and that the previous six have been “successful.”

Administration officials say the duties, which target Ohio-made cars like the Jeep Wrangler, affect $3.3 billion in exports, hampering prices and potentially imperiling jobs.

“The Chinese duties in question cover more than 80 percent of U.S. auto exports to China, including cars manufactured in Toledo and Marysville, Ohio, and Detroit and Lansing, Michigan,” said Carney. “The duties disproportionately fall on General Motors and Chrysler products because of the actions that President Obama took, as you know, to support the auto industry during the financial crisis.”

China cites Obama’s 2009 taxpayer-funded bailout of U.S. automakers GM and Chrysler to claim that the companies received an unfair advantage in the global marketplace, akin to subsidies that are forbidden by WTO rules.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May102012

Obama Calls Romney's Auto Bailout Claim an ‘Etch-a-Sketch Moment’

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Wednesday roundly dismissed GOP rival Mitt Romney’s claim to credit for the resurgence of the U.S. auto industry as “one of his Etch-A-Sketch moments,” in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts.

During a visit to Lansing, Mich., on Tuesday, Romney said the idea of a managed bankruptcy for GM and Chrysler had been his idea at the height of the economic crisis in 2009.

“So I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry’s come back,” Romney said.

Obama has argued that the managed bankruptcy could not have been possible without his decision to authorize a multi-billion dollar infusion of taxpayer cash to keep the companies afloat.  Romney opposed federal government aid.

“I don’t think anybody takes that seriously,” Obama told Roberts of Romney’s claim.  “People remember his position, which was, ‘Let’s let Detroit go bankrupt’ and his opposition to government involvement in making sure that GM and Chrysler didn’t go under.”

“And I -- every businessperson and economist out there understands that at the time I had to make the decision, there was no private sector option.  Nobody was opening up their wallets to lend money to GM and Chrysler,” the president said.

While a few conservative economists have rejected the notion that government funds were required, the consensus of leading economists is that the situation was so dire that the companies could not alone acquire necessary funds to proceed through the process.

“The companies would have shut down and the bondholders would have been wiped out,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.  “Nearly all analysts at the time felt at the time that without government bailout -- GM and Chrysler would have been liquidated.”

Obama, who has made the revival of the auto industry a cornerstone of his re-election campaign, said a President Romney would have allowed the companies to succumb.

“We would have lost probably a million jobs throughout the Midwest,” he told Roberts.  “So the people who are in the Midwest -- you know, you go take a poll of folks in Detroit who buy that argument -- I don’t think they’re going to be persuaded.”

Romney has argued that had the companies been pushed into managed bankruptcy without government assistance, they would have restructured and returned to profitability more quickly than they have.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May012012

Chrysler Sales Soar in April While Ford Sales Drop 

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Chrysler sales soared 20 percent in April compared to the same month in 2011, while Ford sales dropped 5 percent.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Chrysler reported its twenty-fifth consecutive month of year-over-year increases with many Chrysler models including the Fiat 500, Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, Dodge Challenger muscle car and Jeep Wrangler SUV recorded their best sales ever, or since 2008. Sales for the Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan climbed 47 percent, reaching its best month yet.

Meanwhile, April 2012 sales for Ford fell from 189,778 in April 2011, to 180,350.

Sales for Ford Fusion’s midsize sedan climbed 2 percent alongside the automaker’s Focus compact car that increased 12.5 percent from the same month in 2011. Ford’s subcompact Fiesta showed little signs of progress, falling 43.9 percent alongside the Escape SUV, which also declined 20 percent.

“The momentum built by the recovering economy and compelling product choices in the first quarter continued to fuel new vehicle sales in April,” Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for TrueCar.com, said in a report last week.

All automakers are slated to release April sales Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr032012

Strong Sales for Detroit's Big Three Automakers

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Detroit's big three carmakers had a strong month of sales in March.

The big story is small cars:  High gas prices may be helping boost overall sales with more consumers trading in their old gas guzzlers for more fuel efficient cars. General Motors says last month was the first time it sold more than 100,000 cars and crossovers that get at least 30 miles per gallon.

Chrysler had a banner month with a 34 percent increase in sales compared to the year before. Ford and GM also reported gains.

More low interest car loans are being made to consumers with only average credit ratings.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar072012

Chrysler Recalls Nearly 210,000 Jeep Liberty Vehicles

PRNewsFoto/Chrysler Group LLC, Lily Kesselman(WASHINGTON) -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Wednesday a recall of nearly 210,000 Chrysler Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles because of corrosion issues.

Chrysler is recalling the vehicles because winter road salt may cause excessive corrosion in the rear suspension which could result in the loss of vehicle control and accidents.

The company says the affected models include 2004 and 2005 Liberty SUVs manufactured between July 2003 and July 2005. The affected vehicles, Chrysler says, were sold in at least 20 states.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar052012

Federal Bankruptcy Judge: Bailout Was Only Way to Save Chrysler

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The federal judge who presided over Chrysler’s bankruptcy told ABC News in an exclusive interview that the ailing company could not have survived without taxpayer money.

“The record before the Court was clear that there were no other sources of lending,” said Arthur J. Gonzalez, who served as chief judge of the U.S. bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York.

The bailouts of GM and Chrysler remain a political hot potato in Midwestern states such as Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, which are heavily dependent on the U.S. auto industry.

President Obama is taking credit for saving more than a million jobs because of the bailouts, while Republican candidates have voiced their opposition to the government loans.  GOP front-runner Mitt Romney insists, “It was the wrong way to go,” and that General Motors and Chrysler should have gone through “a private bankruptcy process.”

But Gonzalez, who retired from the federal bench on March 1, told ABC News: “One thing is clear, without government support in one fashion or another, there were no sources of funding.”

Gonzalez, now a law professor at New York University, said Chrysler -- then the weakest of the Big 3 automakers -- did not have the ability to secure financing on its own and “it was not generating sufficient cash to operate without an outside source of financing.”

During the 2009 bankruptcy, Chrysler closed dealers, shut factories and demanded pay cuts and other concessions from union autoworkers.  The United Auto Workers' retiree health fund took an ownership stake in return for more than $10 billion that Chrysler owed it.  Fiat, the Italian automaker, also got a stake for providing technology and agreeing to run the new company.  It later paid the U.S. Treasury nearly $2 billion to take majority ownership.

The former chief judge also denied that the speedy bankruptcy hearing somehow prevented private investors from stepping up, pointing out that the government and Chrysler’s creditors had been seeking a solution for 18 months, to no avail.

“The notion that the speed of the process may have missed a potential buyer has no basis in the record,” he said.

Now, the new Chrysler is accelerating on the road to recovery, earning $225 million in its most profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy.

The company has paid back all but $1.3 billion of the $12.5 billion that Uncle Sam loaned it under Presidents Bush and Obama.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio