John Stewart

GM Takes Lead on Fuel Economy

For 2009, 18 General Motors Models Achieve 30 mpg or More on the Highway GM is poised to lead the industry again; also leads in subcompact and midsize non-hybrid car segments

DETROIT – For 2009, General Motors offers 18 models in the U.S. that get 30 miles per gallon on the highway, more than is expected of any other automaker. They include cars, crossovers and SUVs from GM’s Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn brands.

Chevrolet, GM’s largest brand, leads with eight, along with five each from Pontiac and Saturn. Four-cylinder, six-speed models of the Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura lead among non-hybrid midsize sedans with 33 mpg highway, along with the Pontiac G6. The Chevy Cobalt XFE and Pontiac G5 XFE win among non-hybrid, gasoline-fueled subcompacts at 37 mpg highway.

Here are the models, along with their EPA-estimated highway fuel economy:

Chevrolet: Aveo sedan, Aveo5 (34 mpg with automatic or manual); Cobalt coupe and sedan (30 mpg for SS Turbocharged; 33 mpg for 2.2L automatic); Cobalt XFE (37); Malibu 2.4L (30 mpg with four-speed automatic; 33 mpg with six-speed); Malibu Hybrid (34), HHR (30 mpg with 2.2L and automatic or manual) and HHR Panel (30 mpg with 2.2L and automatic or manual).

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John Stewart

GM Reports Sales and Incentives

GM Reports 308,817 Deliveries in August; Up 31.3 Percent From July and the Highest Monthly Sales Total in 2008; Employee Discount For Everyone Extended

DETROIT - General Motors dealers in the United States delivered 308,817 vehicles in August, making it GM's best monthly total, retail and fleet sales performance so far in 2008. The strong showing was spurred by GM's Employee Discount for Everyone sale in celebration of GM's Centennial later this month. In response to ongoing customer and dealer demand, the sale is being extended through September 30, 2008 and a number of 2009 models are being added due to dwindling 2008 inventories.

Compared with an exceptionally strong retail and fleet month last year, August total sales were down 20 percent. However, when compared with July, 2008, total sales were up 31 percent, retail sales were up 32 percent and fleet sales were up 29 percent. Last August's sales performance was influenced by significantly lower fuel prices and a 0 percent APR for 60 months offer on pickups.

Notably in August, Chevrolet Silverado, Avalanche and GMC Sierra had their strongest total sales month since last August, with more than 80,000 vehicles sold, as GM full-size pickups continue to build market share calendar-year-to-date. Silverado sales were up 69 percent, Avalanche was up 59 percent and Sierra sales increased 75 percent compared with July, 2008.

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John Stewart

Chrysler Reports Sales and Incentives

Chrysler LLC Reports August 2008 U.S. Sales; Continues ‘Shop ‘Til You Drive’ Campaign with up to 40 Percent off MSRP

Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 3, 2008  -  Chrysler LLC today reported total August 2008 U.S. sales of 110,235 units, down 34 percent from the same period last year. Total August sales reflect an industry-wide slowdown, segment shifts and reduced fleet sales. Compared with July 2008, Chrysler’s August sales increased 12 percent supported by enhanced financing offers, efforts to shift lease-oriented customers to purchasing, leasing availability from independent financial institutions and better demand for key vehicles. 

September Incentives Chrysler’s ‘Shop ’til You Drive Sales Event’ continues through Sept. 30, offering up to 40 percent off MSRP on select vehicles, and zero percent APR for 72-months on the 2008 Dodge Ram, Dodge Durango, Chrysler Aspen, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Commander. Especially strong values are available on Dodge Ram pickup trucks, with up to $9,000 discounts in select markets.

In September, customers can continue to take advantage of consumer bonus cash of $2,000 on select retail purchases when financed through Chrysler Financial. For those customers who still wish to lease a Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicle through an independent financial institution, they can take advantage of Chrysler’s Customer Cash Allowance on select vehicles up to $2,000. August Sales Highlights Total Chrysler LLC minivan sales were up 7 percent compared with a year ago. The Dodge Grand Caravan posted sales of 9,422 units, nearly flat when compared with August 2007 sales. However, when compared with July 2008, Grand Caravan sales were up 54 percent. The all-new Chrysler Town & Country posted increased sales of 10,182 units in August, up 15 percent compared with August 2007 sales, and up 26 percent when compared with July 2008 sales.

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John Stewart

2009 Jeep® Wrangler Continues Its Ride as the Benchmark Off-road Vehicle

Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 1, 2008  -  In tribute to the heritage of the Jeep® brand, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler retains the body-on-frame chassis, solid front and rear axles, removable doors, fold-down windshield and most-capable drivetrains that established it as the most capable SUV – period.

2009 Jeep Wrangler models add even more refinement with standard Hill Start Assist (HSA) that prevents rollback on a graded surface. In addition, available Trailer Sway Control (TSC) monitors vehicle movement relative to the intended path and activates the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) if the trailer begins to sway outside set parameters. DESIGN Jeep Wrangler has a devoted following that demands adherence to traditional Jeep styling cues no matter what model year. The 2009 Jeep Wrangler does not disappoint. While staying true to its design roots, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler’s appearance holds true to tradition yet is contemporary, with clean, crisp lines and improved fit and finish. Wrangler’s signature features all remain hallmarks for 2009, including classic round headlamps, a seven-slot grille, trapezoid wheel flares, exposed hinges, a fold-down windshield, sport bar, removable tops and doors, available full-framed or half doors and hard and soft tops. Introduced in 2007, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler is 5.5 inches wider than the previous-generation Wrangler, assuming a more square-shouldered, brawnier appearance. The sheet metal combines angular elements with rounded corners to impart a robust appearance with subtle refinement.  The 2009 Jeep Wrangler’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer, and its track is 3.5 inches wider. ENGINEERING Capability has always been a watch word of the Jeep Wrangler, starting with the basics. While improving its legendary 4x4 Jeep capability, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler benefits from a frame that is 100 percent stiffer than its predecessor, and a body structure 50 percent stiffer. Suspension is a refined five-link coil setup with tuned shock absorbers. This setup works with Dana 30 front and next-generation heavy duty Dana 44 rear axles. The 2009 Wrangler Rubicon model uses heavy-duty front and rear Dana 44 axles. Jeep Wrangler also offers an electronic-disconnecting front stabilizer bar, called the Active Sway Bar System, which delivers additional wheel travel for challenging terrain. It is standard on the 2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. With high ground clearance combined with short front and rear overhangs, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler is able to conquer incredibly challenging off-road obstacles, especially severe inclines. Off-road aficionados recognize the key numbers: for the Rubicon model, an approach angle of 44.3 degrees, breakover angle of 25.4 degrees and departure angle of 40.4 degrees. Underbody protection is provided by three skid plates – protecting the fuel tank, transfer case and automatic transmission oil pan. The powerplant for all 2009 Jeep Wrangler models is a 3.8-liter V-6 engine producing 202 horsepower (151 kW) and 237 lb.-ft. (321 N•m) of torque, backed by a standard six-speed manual gearbox or an available four-speed automatic transmission. 2009 Jeep Wrangler X and Sahara models are equipped with the second-generation Command-Trac® NV241 part-time, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. An available Trac-Lok® limited-slip rear differential provides extra torque and grip during slippery, low-traction situations, such as driving over sand, gravel, snow or ice. The 2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon model is equipped with an Off-Road Rock-Trac® NV241 two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio, as well as electric front- and rear-axle lockers, an electronic sway bar disconnect and 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road tires.

Source: Chrysler Media Services - Jeep

 

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John Stewart

Chrysler Eliminates Lead Wheel Weights

Chrysler LLC Completes Program to Eliminate Use of Lead Wheel Weights, Meeting Commitment to U.S. EPA Three Years Early Environmentally friendly steel and zinc weights used on all new Chrysler vehicles worldwide  EPA to announce voluntary phase-out program today in Detroit; Chrysler already in compliance  Program reduces environmental risk if weights dislodged from wheels on rough roads

Auburn Hills, Mich., Aug 29, 2008  -  Chrysler LLC this week completed its program to eliminate the use of lead wheel weights from its vehicles, switching to more eco-friendly substitutes in its products sold worldwide. The move puts Chrysler in full compliance with a voluntary program to be announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Detroit August 29. The National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative calls for elimination of lead wheel weights in vehicles by the end of 2011. “This is the culmination of a two-year effort to move to environmentally friendly alternatives in the production of our vehicles,” said Reg Modlin, Director – Environmental Affairs, Chrysler LLC. “We are very supportive of EPA’s efforts and have pledged to work with suppliers and others such as tire stores and service departments to encourage the use of alternatives to lead weights throughout the lifetime of our vehicles.” Wheel weights, which are used to balance the wheels of a vehicle to improve ride and handling, can sometimes be dislodged on rough roads. Wheel weights made of lead, while very effective and low cost, have raised concerns about lead entering the environment. A 2006 U.S. Geological Survey report estimated that 2,000 tons of lead from wheel weights ends up on the nation’s roads each year, though there are no studies to document environmental damage. Chrysler now uses wheel weights made of steel and zinc.
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