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“Under the Pentastar” is a quick video recapping important happenings around the company over the past week. This week’s stories include:

And in other news, straight from the mouth of Chrysler themselves:

“Some people say that size doesn’t matter. Through most of its history, Chrysler Group (and its previous iterations) has rarely been the biggest automaker.

That’s okay because as CEO Sergio Marchionne said May 24 at our Sterling Heights (MI) Assembly Plant, the company’s vision and aspiration is not to be the biggest automaker, “just the best.”

Sergio Marchionne announcing Chrysler's Pay Back

Sergio Marchionne at Sterling Heights on May 24th, 2011

Still, it was nice to hear all the good noise made in the May sales stories last week about our fantastic sales for May — when practically every other OEM declined or was flat. We were among the Big 3 again. While we don’t know what the future holds, all of Chrysler Group is hard at work to continue the growth we’ve seen the past year.

2011 Dodge Durango Crew

2011 Dodge Durango Crew

And, that growth — looking at gains, not raw numbers — is where Chrysler Group is leading the industry in a handful of segments. Those segments are:

Through the end of May, we’ve been growing and improving — faster than the U.S. auto industry has combined. And, in cases like Compact SUVs, Jeep® brand is driving the growth.

The two tables below look at the five segments noted above. The first table compares May 2011 to May 2010, and the second one compares the first five months of 2011 to the first five months of 2010. The data is from our Demand & Order Management group. You can find similar information at places like the Wall Street Journal’s Market Data Center.”

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

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Jim Sassorossi displays Mopar accessories (Joe Wilssens photo)

Jim Sassorossi displays Mopar accessories (Joe Wilssens photo)

June 1, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – The ultimate daddy, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, would like to add even more performance and appearance to every dad’s car this Father’s Day. After perusing the Mopar® catalog, he picked his top 12 gift items.

“’Big Daddy’ Don Garlits is the Babe Ruth of drag racing,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “While not every dad can make sub-five second passes over the quarter mile, we think Don Garlits knows what it takes to get dad’s car looking good and into the fast lane.”

“With more than 280,000 parts and accessories, Mopar has a huge selection of parts and accessories,” said Garlits. “Put a gift under dad’s hood this Father’s Day and make him happy.”

Here are “Big Daddy” Don Garlits’ Top 12 Father’s Day Gift Ideas:

Fender Covers

Fender Covers

Fender Covers: Prevent scratches and dings while showing pride at the drag strip or on the street with Mopar logo fender covers. Part Number: P5153623, manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP): $28.

Polished Valve Covers

Polished Valve Covers

Mopar Big-Block Cast Aluminum Polished Valve Covers (Set): These aluminum die-cast polished valve covers will set apart dad’s engine bay while proudly displaying the Mopar logo. For 383 and 440 cubic-inch engines. Part Number: P5007616, MSRP: $168 (small-block engine valve covers also available)

Spark Plug Removal Tool

Spark Plug Removal Tool

Spark Plug Removal Tool: This tool is specifically designed to protect wires from removal damage. Part Number: P5249718, MSRP: $22

Chrome Diff Cover

Chrome Diff Cover

Chrome-plated Differential Cover: For 9-3/4-inch Dana 60 axles. Those left in dad’s rear-view mirror will appreciate his attention to detail. Part Number: P3690755, MSRP: $56

Engine Paint (HEMI® Orange): The difference between “good” and show quality is in the details. For that special restoration project, Mopar offers up to eight correct OEM enamel paint colors, including Turquoise, HEMI Orange, Street HEMI Orange, Black, Silver, Red, Blue and Gold. Part Number: P4120751AB, MSRP: $10

Road Runner Decal

Road Runner Decal

Road Runner Restoration Decal: Mopar offers more than 60 decals and emblems in order to complete a true restoration. From the famous Road Runner to a 440 Six Pack decal, Mopar is the source. A variety of restoration decals is available, including Dodge Dart, Plymouth Duster, Road Runner and HEMI. Part Number: P2842873, MSRP: $30

Purple Small-Block Camshaft

Purple Small-Block Camshaft

Mopar Purple Shaft Small-Block Camshaft Kit: To put muscle in dad’s muscle car, these famous factory-engineered cams add horsepower and torque. Many applications are available for big and small-block engines. Part Number: P4120231AC, MSRP: $215

Pinion Snubber

Pinion Snubber

Mopar Pinion Snubber: A must-have in order to help prevent axle windup under acceleration and improve traction. Part Number: P3690181, MSRP: $67

Mopar Shift Light: Shifting at the correct RPM is critical for a low elapsed time (ET) and win light. Mopar digital rpm display shift lights are programmable for your desired RPM shift point. Part Number: P5155508, MSRP: $175

Front Strut Tower Bar

Front Strut Tower Bar

Mopar Front Strut Tower Bar: For 2005 to 2010 model-year Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, these silver powder-coated strut tower bars with a Mopar plate add handling capability while providing under-hood flair. Part Number: P5155002, MSRP: $359

Mopar Logo Style Hood Pins: For modern-day Dodge Challengers, these genuine, functional hood-pin kits provide nostalgic muscle-car looks with functionality and come with all attaching hardware. Hood pins are available in chrome or black finish. Part Number: P5155755, MSRP: $305

Jeep® Logo Differential Cover: Nothing says off-road more than Jeep. Separate dad’s from others with logo-style front and rear covers. Part Number: P5155445 (Dana 30), Part Number: P5155446 (Dana 44), Part Number: P5155447 (Dana 60), MSRP: $180

 "Big Daddy" Don Garlits

"Big Daddy" Don Garlits

About ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits

“Big Daddy” Don Garlits is synonymous with drag racing. In a career that spanned more than five decades, he won three National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) world championships and a total of 144 national events. He was the first drag racer to surpass the 170, 180, 200, 240, 250, 260 and 270 mile-per-hour marks in the quarter mile. Garlits currently runs the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Fla.

To see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles, simply click any of the photos in the post. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

Samuel Hubinette at RedBud

Samuel Hubinette at RedBud

Samuel Hubinette (above in photo by Rodney Webb) had a high-flying good time as he raced to back-to-back victories during Memorial Day Weekend at the first stop of the 2011 Traxxas TORC season at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Mich.

Hubinette won the top spot in round 1 Saturday and round 2 Sunday in PRO Light — featuring a spectacular come-from-behind victory Sunday over Monster Energy/Traxxas/Maxxis driver C.J. Greaves.

“Mopar® is very familiar with Sam’s amazing car control skills and driving talents, so when Mopar and Ram decided to go racing in the 2011 TORC Series, it was an easy decision to tab Sam to pilot one of our entries. Sam proved to be a quick study and stunned the off-road racing community with a win in his very first TORC event.”

Tricia Hecker
Mopar’s Head of Marketing

In third place on Sunday was another Ram-sponsored driver, Andrew Caddell.

In Sunday’s PRO 4 action, Scott Douglas beat out Ram Truck/Mopar‘s Ricky Johnson for the top spot. After the race Johnson said of his duel with Douglas, ” I was Rammin’ on him hard, but just couldn’t get by.”

In PRO 2 on Sunday, Ram Truck‘s Rob MacCachren took top honors in beating out Scott Taylor.

“This is the first time I’ve run this truck in the dirt. The guys did an awesome job with the settings on this Mopar/Ram, the BF Goodrich’s hooked up and we didn’t have to pull a tear-off all day. Looking forward to coming back next year!”

 -Rob MacCachren
Ram Trucks TORC Driver

For the full story on the weekend racing, click on over to the Traxxas TORC site.

Interested on getting in on some of the off road action yourself? Check out the Ram Runner conversion kit from Mopar as Mopar Head of Sales and Product Development Jim Sassarossi does a walk around and fills you in on what makes this truck so great!

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

The 2011 Mopar Ram Runner catching some air

The 2011 Mopar Ram Runner Catching Some Air

Turn Your Ram Truck into a Desert Racer

May 26, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Ram Truck owners may now transform their truck into a Mopar®-powered desert racer.

Just a little more than one year after Mopar debuted its Ram Runner image vehicle to much acclaim at the 2010 Moab Jeep® Safari, the brand today announced details of its new Ram Runner kit for off-road enthusiasts.

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

“At Mopar, our image vehicles showcase potential directions that we may take and the new Ram Runner kit is a good example. We saw the reception that Ram Runner received last year and quickly moved to offer kits that will allow off-road enthusiasts to transform their stock Ram 1500 into a desert racer.”

-Pietro Gorlier
President and CEO, Mopar

The Mopar Ram Runner Kit, developed with successful Baja off-road racer Kent Kroeker, includes the following: Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit, off-road front bumper, off-road front and rear fenders, off-road rear-tire carrier, sport performance hood and cat-back exhaust. Each element of the kit may also be purchased separately. The street-legal kit may be installed by do-it-yourselfers or in a Ram dealership.

The Mopar Ram Runner Kit is equal to or better than its competitors on a number of fronts. The heavy-duty suspension system can handle practically any abuse the off-road dishes out. Front upper and lower control arms, which are three inches longer than production arms, provide added width and allow greater wheel travel over rough dirt trails.

Front lower control arms are constructed of 4130 chrome moly steel in order to withstand off-road punishment. Upper control arms include rebuildable high-angle ball joints. Both inner and outer tie rods are substantially strengthened and contribute to the rugged, off-road steering characteristics and capabilities. Outer tie rods, constructed of forged steel, measure 1-inch in diameter. Inner tie rods also are nearly 20 percent beefier, increasing from 0.62 inches to .75 inches.

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

At the rear, a 5-link coil spring rear suspension is utilized and helps provide a 30-degree departure angle.

The Pre-Runner Stage II kit offers a boost in suspension travel, 14 inches both front and rear, which is superior to the suspension travel on the Ford Raptor. The Ram Runner kit, which includes Fox 3-inch internal bypass shocks, offers performance on par with that of an off-road Baja race truck and outperforms the 2.5-inch shocks of the competition.

Ground clearance is approximately 13 inches at the center of the front cross-member and 16 inches at the rocker panels.

Body parts included in the Mopar Ram Runner Kit, created with Trophy Truck inspiration, feature a tough-yet-stylish look built to handle the rigors of the off-road while turning heads on the street. The front bumper is constructed of steel with an integrated aluminum skid plate. With a 41-degree approach angle, ample clearance is assured over the deepest off-road obstacles.

Front and rear fiberglass fenders are lightweight, tough and durable with wider wheel wells that allow for tremendous suspension articulation with zero tire-to-body interference. The three-inch wider track also provides an imposing, aggressive look.

The stamped aluminum, dual-scooped sport performance hood adds even more to the forceful appearance of the Ram Runner kit. The spare-tire carrier is located in the bed of the pickup and enables easier access and provides the ability to transport a larger spare tire, contributing to the overall appearance and “Baja truck feel”.

Ram Truck and Mopar are joint sponsors of The Off-Road Championship (TORC) Series in 2011. Both brands will share sponsorship of the Traxxas Racing team fielded by Mike and Mark Jenkins along with the Menzies Motorsports team owned by Steve Menzies. Ram will be the official vehicle of the TORC Series and the Mopar Ram Runner will serve as the official pace truck. The Mopar graphic that appears on the Mopar Ram Runner pace truck will also be made available to consumers.

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

Here’s more information on the Mopar Ram Runner kit, which is available for owners of 2009 to 2011 model-year Ram 1500 models:

MOPAR RAM RUNNER KIT (Each part of kit may be purchased separately)

  • Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit: 5-link coil-spring rear suspension, 4130 chrome moly lower control arms, upper control arms, rebuildable high-angle ball joints and forged steel, high-angle tie rods. Fourteen inches of suspension travel in front and rear, 3-inch internal bypass Fox shocks. (MSRP: $13,270, Part No. P5155662)
  • Off-Road Front Bumper: Steel construction with integrated aluminum skid plate, high approach angle of 41 degrees provides greater clearance over off-road obstacles. (MSRP: $1,250, Part No. P5155663)
  • Off-Road Rear Tire Carrier: Rear placement allows for easier access and ability to carry larger tires needed for the off-road. (MSRP: $1,010, Part No. P5155664)
  • Off-Road Front Fenders: Tough, durable fenders feature wider wheel wells allowing for tremendous suspension articulation, zero tire-to-body interference, and provide an imposing, aggressive look. (MSRP: $1,020, Part No. P5155665)
  • Off-Road Rear Fenders (6’4″ bed): Tough, durable fenders feature wider wheel wells allowing for tremendous suspension articulation, zero tire-to-body interference, and provide an imposing, aggressive appearance. (MSRP: $1,020, Part No. P5155665)
  • Sport Performance Hood: Stamped aluminum, dual-scooped hood with molded bezels adds to the forceful appearance of the Ram Runner Kit. (MSRP: $978, Part No. 82211065AD)
  • 5.7L Cat-back Exhaust: Dual exhaust with chromed tips for bumper with cut-outs. (MSRP: $1,135, Part No. P5155280)
Mopar also shot some footage of the 2011 Mopar Ram Runner in action during the 2011 Moab Easter Jeep Safari last month. You can check out that video below! To see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles, simply click on any of the images in the post.  Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!
Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence

At the 2011 Moab Easter Jeep Safari preview Thursday morning, Mopar® brand unveiled a new JK-8 kit that will allow four-door Jeep® Wrangler owners to transform their ride into a Wrangler pickup.

With “excitement” in the marketpalce for pickup trucks, and more than 500,000 Jeep Wrangler vehicles on the road, Mopar CEO Pietro Gorlier said the kit will meet a this growing demand.

Wrangler JK8 Independence

Wrangler JK8 Independence

Head of Mopar Sales & Marketing Jim Sassorossi  said the JK-8 kit also was “inspired” from Jeep enthusiasts’ reaction to past pickup trucks, like the Jeep Scrambler CJ-8 from the mid 1980s, the Jeep Nukizer unveiled last year, and the J-8 military Jeep currently in operation.

Sassorossi said DIYers can transfrom their four-door Wrangler using the JK-8 kit in as little as a weekend. (Though, Sassorossi said they’d have to hurry to do so.) Or, Wrangler owners can have a dealer do it. During the Easter Jeep Safari preview, the JK-8 kit was showcased with a Wranger JK-8 Independence.

Wrangler JK8 Independence Bed

Wrangler JK8 Independence Bed

Sassorossi said Mopar is still getting feedback from its dealer network on pricing, and looking for more feedback from the 2011 Moab Easter Jeep Safari before finalizing all details — with planned release during late summer.

The bed length (right) is 50 inches and the width between wheel wells is 44 inches. The Mopar team created body panels to cover the second-row entrance and removed all of the interior parts behind the front seats—transforming the vehicle into a two-seater with just enough room for gear inside, and a pickup style bed to be used for outside cargo.

JK-8 drivetrain is fitted with a Mopar/Dynatrac ProRock 44 front axle and stock Dana 44 rear axle, both spun with 4.88 gears. Linking the axles to the frame is a 4.5-inch long-arm suspension kit and 37-inch BF Goodrich Mud Terrain KM2 tires make the connection to the ground.

JK-8 kit includes bed floor, inner/outer body panels, half hard top (works with Freedom Top panels), and a new bulkhead.

I’ve also included some photos below from the 2011 Moab Easter Jeep Safari Preview. Mopar kitted out a handful of Jeeps as well as setup one of the new Ram 1500’s with the Mopar Ram Runner Package. Check out Chrysler Media’s Blog Post for more info about the Special Moparized Jeeps and Ram. As always, click any of the photos to see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles.

Mopar Ram Runner

Mopar Ram Runner

Jeep Compass Canyon

Jeep Compass Canyon

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Wrangler "Pork Chop"

Jeep Wrangler "Pork Chop"

Jeep Wrangler Renegade

Jeep Wrangler Renegade

Built For Export 2011 Jeep Cherokee

Built For Export 2011 Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Wrangler Blue Crush

Jeep Wrangler Blue Crush

Ram Truck / Mopar® sponsored TORC Series Truck

Ram Truck / Mopar® sponsored TORC Series Truck

April 5, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Ram Truck and Mopar® today announced joint sponsorship plans for The Off-Road Championship (TORC) series in 2011.

The sponsorship will see five PRO-class drivers behind the wheel of a Ram truck during the 14-race series that gets underway Memorial Day weekend at Red Bud MX in Buchanan, Mich.

Ram Truck and Mopar will share sponsorship of the Traxxas Racing team fielded by Mike and Mark Jenkins along with the Menzies Motorsports team owned by Steve Menzies.

“I couldn’t be more proud to have Ram partnering with these great off-road drivers, championship-caliber teams and the TORC series itself. Off-road racers and fans are extremely passionate about their trucks just like we are. This partnership is a perfect fit for us to connect and share the passion in a fun and exciting way.”

Fred Diaz, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand
Head of U.S. Sales, Chrysler Group LLC

 

Mopar Ram Runner

Mopar Ram Runner

The new sponsorship has several other elements, as well:

  • Ram will become the official vehicle of the TORC Series
  • A Mopar Ram Runner will serve as the official pace truck of the TORC Series; Mopar now offers a Ram Runner conversion kit for the aftermarket
  • Ram and Mopar will bring a significant trackside presence to each stop of the TORC series. That presence will include off-road Ram Truck test-drive opportunities for fans

“From the drag strip to the circle track, the Mopar brand has a proud heritage in racing. We are excited to extend our presence into off-road racing, where many of our Mopar fanatics reside. In fact, off-road accessories and performance parts make up more than 30 percent of our portfolio, so this is a critical market that we want to reach.”

Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar
Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand

 

Mopar Ram Runner

Mopar Ram Runner

The 2011 driver lineup includes:

Traxxas Racing

  • Rob MacCachren, No.21 PRO 2 class (two-wheel drive) Ram, sponsored by Ram Truck
  • MacCachren brings 20 championships and more than 180 off-road event wins from various series throughout his outstanding career that began in the early 1980s. In 2010, MacCachren won the Lucas Oil Pro 2 Unlimited championship and finished second in TORC after capturing the 2009 TORC championship
  • Samuel Hubinette, No. 77 PRO Light class Ram, sponsored by Mopar and Ram Truck
  • The two-time Formula DRIFT champion is adding off-road racing to his ongoing drifting and stunt-driving duties

Menzies Motorsports

  • Ricky Johnson, No. 48 PRO 4 class (four-wheel drive) Ram, sponsored by Red Bull with associate sponsorship from Ram Truck and Mopar
  • The 2010 TORC PRO 2 champion makes the move to PRO 4 in 2011. The seven-time AMA Supercross champion founded the TORC series in 2009
  • Bryce Menzies, No. 7 PRO 2 Ram, sponsored by Red Bull with associate sponsorship from Ram Truck and Mopar
  • New TORC driver brings three years of racing experience in the CORR (Championship Off Road Racing) Series and the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
  • Luke Johnson, PRO Light Ram, sponsored by Red Bull with associate sponsorship from Ram Truck and Mopar
  • The son of Ricky Johnson is one of the youngest drivers in the sport with a bright future ahead

If you didn’t have plans for spring, you do now. Clear your schedule, kiss your loved ones goodbye, and head directly to your garage. This will be your new home for a little while, that is, if you think spending some quality time creating your own Baja-style desert race truck is a challenge you’re up for.

We believe you are, and since we’re convicted by this belief we are putting Mopar® 4×4 Ram Runner accessories into production this March. Very soon you’ll be able to add a Stage 2 Ram Runner suspension kit to your desert toy. The Mopar® Ram Runner package is designed to accommodate some serious off-roading. The cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust systems will provide you with the power needed to get up and over that sand dune…and maybe a little air as well.

Mopar Ram Runner Stage 1 Kit

Mopar Ram Runner Stage 1 Kit

Parts may be purchased as a complete kit or individually, if you prefer. The full package provides tough and durable suspension, wider fender flares and increased ground clearance capable of sustaining higher speeds and tractions through rough terrain. Front and rear fenders can be replaced with fiberglass components, reducing weight and allowing for suspension travel and chassis clearance, which of course translates into… air? Yeah air. Have fun, and uh… keep it safe.

Mopar’s offered a more in depth look at their Ram Runner package in the video below. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

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