John Stewart

Open Forum: Calling All Questions…Ask Them Here!

Red Letter Dodge announces an Open Forum: Calling All Questions…Ask Them Here!

Feb 25, 2009 at 4:06PM

OK. So let’s begin by thanking everyone for their past questions to this blog. We’ve done (you may not believe it, but it’s true) our best to get answers for you. There are a lot of things we just can’t talk about, unfortunately.

But that shouldn’t matter. We here at RLD feel like we owe you something better. So we’re going to start a running list of questions. Ask away! ***EVEN IF YOU ASKED ONE BEFORE, PLEASE RESUBMIT IT!*** We might not be able to answer you right now…but we will keep your question in the list until we can…with updates on the progress.

While we haven’t always done a great job of responding, we sometimes can come up with rock stars like Bob Frederick or Mike Accavitti who turn out to be the best in the business at getting you folks information where they can. So, again…ask away…we are definitely listening.

Submit any questions about Dodge or Chrysler LLC. in the Red Letter Dodge Forum. And we’ll keep repeating your questions in future “Open Forum” posts until we can get you an answer.

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John Stewart

2009 Daytona Recap: Dodge Boys Nab Four Top 10 Spots

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Mother Nature played a big role in the outcome of Sunday’s Daytona 500 by halting the event with rain after 152 of 200 laps were completed. Had she intervened just one lap earlier, Dodge would have successfully defended its Daytona 500 title, with Elliott Sadler nearly taking the checkered flag.

Despite this turn of events, four members of the Dodge Motorsports team finished in the top-10. Here’s how the whole team did:

• 3rd – A.J. Allmendinger, #44 Valvoline Dodge Charger • 5th – Elliott Sadler, #19 Stanley Dodge Charger • 9th – Reed Sorenson, #43 McDonald’s Dodge Charger • 10th – Kurt Busch, #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger • 29th – Kasey Kahne, #9 Budweiser Dodge Charger • 32nd – Sam Hornish, Jr., #77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger • 33rd – David Stremme, #12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger

Elliott Sadler took the lead on lap 122 in the No. 19 Stanley Dodge Charger. He had a strong push from teammate Reed Sorenson from the second spot as reports of rain converging on the 2.5-mile track intensified. Sadler held the point for 24 circuits, but when Sorenson was tapped from behind on lap 146, the rear end of the No. 43 McDonald’s Dodge Charger lost traction briefly which allowed eventual winner Matt Kenseth and runner-up Kevin Harvick to make the pass and take aim at Sadler. The two drafted past Sadler’s No. 19 Stanley’s Dodge Charger just as the rain began to intensify. The caution appeared just after lap 146 was completed. After six laps under yellow, the red flag was displayed and the cars were stopped on pit road. After a 20-minute wait, NASCAR® officials announced the race had been called.

Click here to read about 2009 Daytona Recap: Dodge Boys Nab Four Top 10 Spots

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John Stewart

Kelley Blue Book Reports Rise in New-Car Traffic, Leads

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new- and used-vehicle information, today reports an increase in new-car shopper activity on its top-rated Web site. After a period of consumer cautiousness, which led to lower shopping activity and lower sales in recent months, the average daily new-car traffic on www.kbb.com has increased 20 percent in January 2009 compared to the previous month. This reveals higher traffic levels than any time during the fourth quarter of 2008.

Support for the domestic manufacturers is up during this time as well, with traffic to General Motors reports up 19 percent from December 2008. Ford has 9 percent, and Chrysler has 20 percent more activity on kbb.com compared to the previous month.

"Based on the climb in new-car traffic and dealer leads generated on kbb.com in December and early January, we expect to see a lift in auto sales versus the last quarter of 2008," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. "Consumers are recognizing great deals are available now, many based on generous manufacturer incentives, making this a great time to buy or lease a new vehicle."

As a further indication that the recent sales freeze may be thawing, dealer leads generated on kbb.com were up 19 percent in the week ending December 28, 2008, compared to the previous week. In the following week ending January 4, 2009, the number of leads jumped an additional 18 percent, creating an overall leads increase of 40 percent compared to two weeks prior.

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John Stewart

Chrysler adjusts production

Chrysler Adjusts Production as a Result of the Deteriorating U.S. Credit Crunch

Auburn Hills, Mich., (Dec 17, 2008)  - Due to the continued lack of consumer credit for the American car buyer and the resulting dramatic impact it has had on overall industry sales in the United States, Chrysler LLC announced that it will make significant adjustments to the production schedules of its manufacturing operations. In doing so, the Company will keep production and dealer inventory aligned with U.S. market demand. In response, the Company confirmed that all Chrysler manufacturing operations will be idled at the end of the shift Friday, Dec. 19, and impacted employees will not return to work any sooner than Monday, Jan. 19, 2009.

Chrysler dealers confirmed to the Company at a recent meeting at its headquarters, that they have many willing buyers for Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge vehicles but are unable to close the deals, due to lack of financing. The dealers have stated that they have lost an estimated 20 to 25 percent of their volume because of this credit situation.

The Company will continue to monitor the production schedules of its manufacturing operations moving forward.

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John Stewart

Kelley Blue Book Now Releasing Values Weekly

Wholesale Value Renamed Wholesale Lending Value, Auction Value Introduced, Books Move to Monthly

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 8 -- Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new- and used-vehicle information, is now publishing its used-vehicle values weekly via its Web-based product KarPower Online®. Prior to this week, only the Kelley Blue Book® Trade-In Values were updated weekly, while other values were published in the Kelley Blue Book Official Guide every other month. The Blue Book Official Guide also has an updated publishing schedule with its frequency moving from every other month to monthly. Blue Book Official Guide customers received their first monthly edition in November of 2008.

In addition to striving for greater accuracy through more frequent updates, Kelley Blue Book has added an 'Auction Value,' which is what a used vehicle is expected to sell for at a wholesale auction. An additional change includes a name change for the company's Wholesale Value, a long-standing benchmark for automotive lending, which is now the 'Wholesale Lending Value.' The Wholesale Lending Value will be updated weekly reflecting the value of a vehicle that has been fully reconditioned, inspected and is frontline ready. Finance companies can now use Kelley Blue Book's Wholesale Lending Value without any additional calculation to mitigate risk and better manage lending portfolios.

"Kelley Blue Book had been planning to move to weekly values for some time, but with the changing economy and the volatility in the automotive marketplace, we sped up the process to offer greater accuracy now," said Paul Johnson, president and CEO of Kelley Blue Book. "Having access to the most timely and relevant values in the industry will allow automotive businesses to have insight into the market each week to make the most informed buying, selling and finance decisions."

Dealers, manufacturers, finance companies and others in the automotive industry can access all of Kelley Blue Book's weekly values through a paid subscription to the company's Internet-based valuation system, KARPOWER Online (www.karpower.com), through syndication or via our service provider RouteOne® and others.

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