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  • The Mopar® ‘Top Eliminator’ program recognizes the most skilled Mopar enthusiasts and their modified Mopar vehicles
  • Fan voting for 10 finalists in ‘Top Eliminator’ online competition runs from Oct. 15–21
  • Mopar ‘Top Eliminator’ online winner to be announced Oct. 22

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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

July 12, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – It’s that time of year again for backyard barbecues, sandlot baseball, and the annual “Summer Clearance Event” at all participating Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, and Ram Truck dealerships.

During this year’s “Summer Clearance Event,” which runs through the end of August, qualified consumers may be eligible for special 0 percent financing for up to 72 months or Customer Cash up to $3,000 on many 2011 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram Truck models.

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

“Consumers can take advantage of 0 percent financing and other special financing options on all of our models during this traditional summertime event. Our customers look forward to this annual event where they can find some of the best deals of the model year on our minivans, cars, trucks and sport-utilities.”

-Reid Bigland, President and CEO
Dodge Brand and Head of U.S. Sales

Qualified consumers may be eligible for 0 percent financing for 60 months on 13 Chrysler Group models, including the 2011 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, the iconic Jeep Wrangler, the versatile Dodge Journey crossover, and the Ram light- and heavy-duty pickup trucks. Qualified consumers who purchase a Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan or a Dakota Club Cab mid-size pickup truck may be eligible for 0 percent financing for up to 72 months.

Here is a sample of additional “Summer Clearance Event” incentives on 2011 models:

2011 Chrysler Town & Country

2011 Chrysler Town & Country

Chrysler Brand

Qualified consumers who purchase a Chrysler Town & Country minivan may be eligible for 0 percent financing for up to 60 months or $1,500 in Customer Cash.

Attractive lease rates are offered on all Chrysler brand models.

2011 Jeep Wrangler

2011 Jeep Wrangler

Jeep® Brand

Qualified consumers who purchase a Jeep Wrangler or Jeep Wrangler Unlimited may be eligible for 0 percent financing for up to 60 months or $1,000 in Customer Cash. Qualified consumers who buy a Jeep Liberty mid-size SUV may be eligible for 0 percent financing for up to 60 months or $3,000 in Customer Cash.

Attractive lease rates are offered on all Jeep brand models.

2011 Dodge Nitro

2011 Dode Nitro

Dodge Brand

Qualified consumers who purchase a Dodge Caliber, Journey, Grand Caravan minivan, or Nitro mid-size SUV may be eligible for 0 percent financing for up to 60 months or up to $3,000 in Customer Cash.

Attractive lease rates are offered on all Dodge brand models.

2011 Ram 1500 Tradesman with Chrome Appearance Group

2011 Ram 1500 Tradesman with Chrome Appearance Group

Ram Truck

Qualified consumers who purchase a Ram 1500 Regular, Quad or Crew Cab pickup truck may be eligible for 0 percent financing for up to 60 months and $1,000 in Ally Bonus Cash.

Also, today we bring you “This Week in Motorsports.” This Week in Motorsports is a video recap of weekend motor sports events in NASCAR, the Nationwide series and other competitions under the Chrysler LLC banner.

Ram Trucks

Ram Trucks

The Ram Truck Brand yesterday released a series of six videos that show various 2011 Ram Truck Vehicles. You can see the 2011 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn, 2011 Ram 1500 Express2011 Ram 3500 Chassis Cab with Dakota Bodies service body upfit, 2011 Ram 3500 Max Tow2011 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab with Knapheide dump body as well as the 2011 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab with Terex aerial device and Dakota body in the videos below.

About Ram Truck Brand

The Ram Truck brand continues to establish its own identity and clearly define its customer since its launch as the newest Chrysler Group LLC vehicle brand. Creating a stand-alone brand for Ram trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on how core customers use their trucks and what new features they’d like to see. Whether focusing on a family that uses its half-ton truck day in and day out, a hard-working Ram Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its commercial vehicles every day, Ram has the truck market covered.

For 2011, the Ram Truck brand added the hardest-working Ram trucks — the Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks — to its already award-winning truck lineup which includes the rugged and reliable Dakota, the Ram Cargo Van, Ram 1500 – the most-awarded Ram truck ever – and Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty pickups.

The 2011 Ram 1500 was named a Consumers Digest Best Buy and AUTOMOBILE Magazine All-Star. Ram 1500‘s smooth-riding suspension and 20 mpg, 390 hp HEMI V8 are just two of the reasons it beat the competition. Ram 1500 was also named the Truck of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA).

Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

The Assembly Line at Warren Ram Truck Plant

The Assembly Line at Warren Ram Truck Plant

 Robert Schwarzli/President of the Ontario Ram Diesel Owners Association- “A once in a lifetime experience.” It’s a term used far too often as a general description. For a small group of Ram enthusiasts, touring the holy grail of all things Ram was literally a once in a lifetime experience! One-hundred lucky members of the Turbo Diesel Register (TDR) got a chance to tour the Warren truck plant, Dodge City, in Warren, Michigan where Dakota and Ram Trucks are built.

So what is the plant like? Picture this: 4.2 MILLION square feet and almost a mile long! More than 900 Ram Dakota and Ram 1500 trucks come off the line EVERY DAY! To top it off, this is a closed plant; meaning even most of Chrysler’s own staff is denied entry. It’s locked down tighter than a vault at Fort Knox and we’re getting a tour! But I am getting ahead of myself as usual. Let’s get back to the start of the story.

Ram Trucks Plant Tour

Ram Trucks Plant Tour

The Turbo Diesel Register is a Ram/Cummins pickup club. The club’s Ontario, Canada chapter was able to book a tour for 100 people. Registration was on a first come, first serve basis and the tour booked in less than 36 hours! Club members from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Maine, Virginia, Florida, Ontario, New York, Minnesota, Connecticut, Georgia, and even California and Washington showed up for the tour.

The group started early Wednesday morning with the destination of Warren set in everyone’s GPS. In the case of your author, I would be driving my heavily modified 1990 W250 Ram on the five-day tour, covering over 1500 miles. Our Ontario group convoyed to Michigan, and when we arrived at the plant, the parking lot was already buzzing with TDR members from all over the continent.

Vehicles in the parking lot consisted of Ram trucks ranging from original 1989 Cummins Rams, right up to the new 2011 trucks. Upon arrival, we checked in and proceeded to the plant auditorium, where a few Ram trucks were waiting. The truck mix consisted of a 3500 Cummins cutaway show truck, a new 1500 Long Horn, and a 1500 rolling chassis with no body, to allow for maximum chassis inspection. It was just amazing to see all of the engineering that is normally covered up by the body in person.

Q & A at the Warren Truck Plant

Q & A at the Warren Truck Plant

Around 2:00 PM, a large group of Ram engineers arrived to join us and answer in-depth questions regarding the trucks; they were joined by a special guest – Ram CEO Fred Diaz. You don’t get to meet an automaker’s CEO every day. Once everyone had arrived, the group had a photo shoot on the front lawn of the plant to remember the occasion.

Once the photos were done, we watched a presentation on the history of the plant, and we were shown a map of the plant layout. The plant does its own stamping, painting, welding, and assembly, and was originally opened as a Dodge truck plant back in 1938. Talk about a flexible, well built plant to still be in use over 60 years later!

With the plant history fresh in our minds, out onto the plant floor we went. Now, when you tour a plant of this size, it takes a long time to walk from one end to the other. So for our tour, we all got to ride on oversized golf cars. This also prevented us from walking into walls or other people due to the distraction from the assembly line!

TDR at the Warren Truck Plant

TDR at the Warren Truck Plant

So what did we see? What we saw was beyond words. We started off in the cab welding area. Here, robots take multiple sides of the cab and box, brings them all together automatically, and then welds them into one solid piece. Next up, doors and remaining sheet metal go on the body, then the body heads for paint.

Next stop was the frame assembly. The bare frame comes into the plant on railcars and is then placed onto the assembly line, where it is fitted with axles, suspension, brakes, fuel tank, wiring, steering components, and even the motor with transmission attached. Remember that body that went to paint? Well, once the chassis is complete, the body is dropped down from the ceiling by a special crane and lowered onto the truck frame.

From this point they install the interior, and any remaining body items like headlights, taillights, and under hood components are connected. By the end of the assembly line, the trucks are 100% finished and even have fuel filled into the tanks. Last stop for the trucks is a rolling chassis test to ensure that the truck accelerates smoothly and everything functions as it should. After the test, each truck goes out the door and is loaded onto a truck to head to your nearest dealer!

Touring the Warren Ram Trucks Plant

Touring the Warren Ram Trucks Plant

With the tour complete we went back into the auditorium and had a question and answer session with the Ram and Cummins engineers. Questions covered everything from body components to driveline changes – there were even a few relating to future product.

By this time the pizza had arrived, and dinner commenced with engineers, plant managers, Chrysler staff, and a few plant workers – all eating alongside the members of the TDR. With dinner coming to an end, the TDR expressed their thanks to the people of Ram for allowing this opportunity to take place. Before your author left, I made one last stop. My truck had come off the very assembly line that we toured, but on October 23, 1989. It had come home to its birthplace, so a few special photos were in order to commemorate the occasion!

As always, click on any of the images in the post to see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

“Under the Pentastar” is a quick video recap of significant events at Chrysler Group LLC over the past week. This week’s edition includes Sterling Heights Assembly Plant paint shop groundbreaking, Fiat 500 called best new car under $18,000 by kbb.com, Mopar tracking system honored and Consumer Reports rates eight Chrysler Group vehicles.

2011 Dodge Challenger

2011 Dodge Challenger

In other news,  the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country and the 2011 Dodge Challenger ranked highest in their segments in the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS).

The Chrysler Town & Country ranked highest in initial quality in the minivan segment and the Dodge Challenger ranked highest in the mid-size sporty car segment.

2011 Chrysler Town & Country

2011 Chrysler Town & Country

Three other Chrysler Group vehicles were highlighted by J.D. Power and Associates for ranking among the top three vehicles of their competitive class: Dodge Durango in the mid-size crossover/SUV category, Dodge Grand Caravan in the minivan category and Ram Dakota in the mid-size pickup segment.

“Having five vehicles rank at or near the top of their segments is the result of a lot of hard work and long hours dedicated to updating our product line. Most automakers, including Chrysler Group, find it challenging to maintain quality levels when launching vehicles with a significant amount of new content. It’s a big accomplishment for our employees and supplier partners to achieve these initial quality results when so many of our 2011 model year launches coincided with the IQS survey period.”

-Doug Betts
Senior Vice President, Quality
Chrysler Group

2011 Dodge Durango RT

2011 Dodge Durango RT

J.D. Power and Associates surveyed owners of new 2011 model year vehicles that were registered between the months of November 2010 through February 2011. IQS measures new vehicle quality at 90 days of ownership.

In the past year, Chrysler Group has launched 16 new or significantly improved vehicles.

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan RT Man Van

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan RT Man Van

“We’ve made steady gains, improving reliability by 58 percent in the past four years, according to our internal warranty data,” Betts said. “We still have more work to do as we continue to improve the quality of all our products.”

As always, click on any of the pics in the post to see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

PHEV Ram 1500

PHEV Ram 1500

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Chrysler Group LLC, working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), delivered the first of a demonstration fleet of Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) pickup trucks to municipal officials in Yuma, Ariz., today.

The 10 PHEV Ram 1500 pickups delivered by Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of the Chrysler Group’s advanced hybrid vehicle project, are part of a national demonstration fleet of 140 vehicles that will be used during the next three years to evaluate customer usage, drive cycles, charging, thermal management, fuel economy, emissions and impact on the region’s electric grid. In addition to Yuma, 11 other partners across the United States will receive vehicles for demonstration and testing purposes.

Abdullah Bazzi‎ (left) and Yuma Mayor Al Krieger

Abdullah Bazzi‎ (left) and Yuma Mayor Al Krieger

Strictly a demonstration program, there are no plans for a production version of the PHEV Ram 1500 truck at this time.

Cities and states were selected to evaluate temperature extremes, urban traffic cycles and diverse climates and geographies from North Dakota, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Arizona. Cities will include San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.; Austin, Texas and Kansas City, Mo.

PHEV Ram 1500

PHEV Ram 1500

The Ram 1500 PHEV includes a liquid-cooled 12.9kWhr lithium ion battery pack and a 6.6 kilowatt (kW) on-board charger. Additional features include AC power generation of up to 6.6kW; directional charging; reverse power flow and full regenerative braking used to capture more energy. For fuel economy improvements, the front axle can be disconnected when not needed.

The powertrain also includes a 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine and a two-mode hybrid transmission. The 5.7-liter HEMI is equipped with a Multiple Displacement System (MDS) that improves fuel efficiency at highway speeds by shutting down fuel delivery to up to four cylinders.

PHEV Ram 1500

PHEV Ram 1500

The battery pack is located under the second-row seat of the pickup and is liquid cooled to help maintain a consistent battery temperature. For on-the-job electrical power tools, a 240 volt/30 amp four-prong outlet and 120volt/20amp duplex outlet power strip is located in the rear box.

“Cities have been carefully selected to help the Chrysler Group collect a wide range of data,” explained Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of Chrysler’s advanced hybrid vehicle project. “Temperature extremes found in the cold of North Dakota or the heat of Arizona can have a severe impact on battery life and charging efficiency.”

The choice of a Ram 1500 pickup truck was based upon two-speed transmission technology that was readily available from a previous vehicle electrification project from the Chrysler Group.

Mayor Al Krieger of Yuma, Arizona

Mayor Al Krieger of Yuma, Arizona

Urban and rural use also will be tracked to measure battery performance and overall hybrid efficiency with the demonstration fleet of pickups. Other uses include military bases where vehicles will be able to provide power back to the electric grid in what is termed “reverse power flow” of up to 6.6kW.

Funding for the program in part is provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through the Transportation Electrification Initiative sponsored by the DOE. The grant, totaling $48 million from DOE and $49.4 million from Chrysler Group, was designed to develop vehicles that will be cost efficient for consumers, satisfy safety concerns of daily travel without recharging and help reduce dependence on foreign oil.

PHEV Ram 1500 in front of the Yuma City Hall

PHEV Ram 1500 in front of the Yuma City Hall

The Chrysler Group also is developing a similar fleet of 25 Town & Country minivans with plug-in hybrid technology for demonstration and evaluation that will be allocated to select cities later this year.

As always, click any of the images in the post to see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

Ram at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show

Ram at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show

On Valentines Day, Ram Trucks issued this statement on RamZone.com:

As we start our Real People, Real Trucks series on how hardworking Ram Truck owners use their vehicles in Pittsburg, Iowa, Oklahoma and across the country, we want to hear how you put yours to the test.

RamZone.com

 

Ram at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show

Ram at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show

They also encourage readers to go to their Flickr page and upload  pictures of their Ram Truck doin’ work. They are also doing a series of videos that shows several Ram Truck owners doing what they do best, getting the job done! So far they’ve featured Mark, a Landscape Contractor from Pittsburgh, PA, and The Barnes family, owners of the Barnes PRCA Rodeo Company in Peterson, IA.

 

Ram at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show

Ram at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show

You can check out the videos below. I’ve also included some pictures of Ram Trucks from the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. To see more pictures of vehicles from the Chrysler Group LLC family, click any of the images in this post!

Thanks for checking out Chrysler Catchall! Drop us a line in the comment box and let us know what you think!

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