Chrysler is looking at a new Rwd mid-size Car.

With the failure of the slow-selling Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger. Chrysler s trying to revamp this portion of the market.

One option — a stretched version of Fiat’s compact D-Evo platform — faces serious hurdles, and one early proposal — use of an Opel platform — is off the table. Now sources say Chrysler Group LLC could replace its much-maligned mid-sized cars with a model based on the Chrysler 200C EV, a concept shown at the Detroit auto show in January.

If that happens, Chrysler could be fielding a rear-drive entry in a crucial segment dominated by front-wheel-drive cars. The 200C EV concept was built on a shortened version of the LX platform, which is used for the rwd Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans and the Dodge Challenger muscle car.

Chrysler executives are concerned that even a stretched version of the D-Evo platform might not be wide enough for North America, say sources familiar with the discussions. The Fiat platform will debut in Europe with the 2011 replacement for the Alfa Romeo 159.

The new Fiat-led company also had considered using a new General Motors platform for its mid-sized cars. But those hopes were dashed after Fiat failed in its bid to acquire GM’s Opel unit. That would have given Chrysler access to the second generation of GM’s Epsilon platform, sources say. Opel uses the new platform for the Insignia, the 2009 European Car of the Year.

Chrysler, which emerged from bankruptcy June 9, needs new product quickly — especially in the mid-sized sedan segment, where it has been chronically weak. So sources say the company has taken a fresh look at the 200C EV.

GM depending more on truck sales this year.

For the 2010 model year, General Motors will depend slightly more on light trucks than it does now.

That could be a problem if gasoline prices continue to rise. On Monday, June 15, the U.S. average for regular fuel was $2.67, up 5 cents from the previous week.

Light trucks will account for 23 of GM’s 35 nameplates, or 66 percent. For the 2009 model year, 30 light trucks account for 59 percent of the lineup.

Meanwhile, the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands combined will field 16 car nameplates for the 2010 model year — outnumbering GM for the first time. GM will have 12 car nameplates for the U.S. market.

GM has slimmed down its 2010 lineup as it prepares to shed Saab, Saturn, Hummer and Pontiac in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

GM has dropped all Hummer, Saab and Saturn models.

Only one Pontiac, the Vibe, has returned for the 2010 model year. In the United States, 2010 Vibes went on sale in March and will end in late August.

Cadillac has dropped the XLR, and Chevrolet has added a car, the Camaro, which already is on sale.

Meanwhile, as gasoline prices rise and buyers search for fuel-efficient vehicles, GM will field 10 nameplates with four-cylinder engines — 29 percent of all 2010 nameplates. That is down from 31 percent in the 2009 model year — 16 of 51 nameplates.

Hummer has May gains in Russia, the rest fall.

Hummer was the only automaker to report a month-on-month sales increase in Russia in May, according to figures from the Association of European Businesses in the Russian Federation.

The General Motors SUV unit’s sales rose 111.5 percent to 129 Hummers.

Every other brand on the AEB’s list had a double-digit decline last month.

Through five months, Hummer’s sales were up 86.6 percent to 614 units.

The numbers are tiny, but they provide a bit of good news for a brand that has suffered a massive decline it its top market: U.S. sales were down 63.7 percent to 5,113 after five months.

GM hopes to be free itself of Hummer soon.

It has tentative agreement to sell the SUV brand to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co.

Overall, May sales in Russia declined 58.0 percent to 119,376. Through five months, sales in the country were down 47.0 percent to 645,162.

Through May, only Hummer, Cadillac, Seat, Volkswagen, Infiniti and Citroen are in positive territory

V-Vehicle to build cars in Louisiana

V-Vehicle plans to build environmentally friendly cars in Louisiana.

V-Vehicle is a new car maker. Formed by a group of entrepreneurs which includes,Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens.

They plan to produce their cars in an former GM plant in Louisiana. The company has hired Tom Motano, a former Mazda designer, who designed the Miata to turn its dreams into reality.

The company hopes to hire 1400 workers to build the cars. Production should start some time next year. The company is going to concentrate on making high quality, environmentally friendly cars, which are fuel efficient and will start its operations in the US market.

Red Bull Renault wins British Grand Prix

The Red Bull teams has surprisingly won the British Grand Prix.
Team positions listed below.

Pos Driver Team
1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault
2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault
3 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari
5 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota
6 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes
7 Jarno Trulli Toyota
8 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari
9 Timo Glock Toyota
10 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes
11 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota
12 Nelsinho Piquet Renault
13 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber
14 Fernando Alonso Renault
15 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber
16 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
17 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari
Ret Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari
Ret Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes

Nano to come to America?

The word is that Tata the Indian maker of the worlds cheapest car the Nano will be importing it to America in a few years. The current word is that the Euro spec version will sell for about $5,000.

Now the question is how well will a basic car sell in this age of power every thing? Can Americans manage to roll up their own windows? Or will they wreck trying to find the window switch?

A dealer in Atlanta Georgia will be importing an India made pick up before the Nano arrives.

What happened to us?

We took a basic form of transportation and added so much crap to it that we waste huge amounts of energy compared to what we should.

Why does a vehicle used to travel 5 to 10 miles or less in most cases need auto and power everything? All of this power stuff draws down the efficiency and power of the vehicles.

Look back a few years 1200cc cars were agile. Now 2400cc engines are dogs thanks to all the power this and climate control items on them.

We have V6’s and V8’s that can barely pull themselves other wise any thing else.

It is totally wrong when the icon of ultimate consumerism is a fancied up military utility vehicle clone.

Brake calipers bolts. (Rant)

OK I give up how many bloody sockets and drivers are used on brake calipers? I have a drawer full of drivers for brakes. Yet it seems that every other car I work on uses a new one.

It gets to be annoying. Especially when the size of the tires and the tightness of the wheel wells make it impossible t see what you need before you take it apart.

Then once you find out you don’t have it, you find out that no one local carries it either. The auto parts shops were arguing me that the size I needed wasn’t used in calipers. I kept telling them to go look at it and show me what the heck did fit then. Once they had looked at it they agreed then they started that someone had to have replaced it.

I had to drive 30 miles to the nearest Sears to find what I needed.

Heck I was looking for Snap-on, Matco, or MAC trucks to wave down on the way there.

Total pain there manufacturers standardize on one size please.

GM tells dealers upgrade or die!

Automotive News [sub] reports that GM will force its remaining dealers to sign “participation agreements” requiring them to complete any upgrades GM requires. If they don’t sign on the dotted line by mid-June they face having their franchise agreements “yanked” says GM’s Mark LaNeve. “They get put into the old company and get a fairly quick termination, like the Chrysler dealers did,” LaNeve said. “Their sales and service agreement will be rejected and put into the old company.” GM will send out letters to its dealers tonight, according to AN, which will detail the requirements to remain a part of GM’s happy family.

“We expect them to perform well on customer satisfaction scores and sales, have their facilities up to speed and not have any non-GM brands in their showrooms,” glowers LaNeve. But, “we’re not right away demanding new facilities,” LaNeve said. “We’re not using this as a threat in this kind of market to get dealers to… spend money they can’t afford to spend.” Funny, because that sounds exactly like what GM is up to. Watch this space.