Larry P. Vellequette

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Dodge pitchman Burgundy calls Durango 'terrible car'

3:59 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 21, 2013
Dodge's new Durango pitchman , comedian Will Ferrell -- in character as the oafish San Diego newscaster Ron Burgundy -- went decidedly off-message during an appearance Wednesday on Conan O'Brien's late night show. "It's a terrible car," Ferrell told the host during an interview segment.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

SD card players offer good customer service opportunities

4:03 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 7, 2013
Smart dealers and sales reps should look hard at the customer satisfaction opportunity as the CD player disappears from vehicles. The CD player's main replacement, the Secure Digital card reader, does a better job than its predecessor in about a quarter of the space.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

What's happening with Jeep's trailer hitch recall? Not much

3:33 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 25, 2013
It has now been more than four months since Chrysler reached its settlement with federal safety officials over a request to recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Libertys. In that time, none of the estimated 1.56 million 1993-98 Grand Cherokees and 2002-07 Libertys remaining on the roads have had a supplemental trailer hitch installed.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Great Odin's raven! Ron Burgundy shills Dodge Durango

3:11 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2013
It looks like the polyester-clad cult icon who believed diversity "was an old, wooden ship used during the Civil War era" is the newest spokesman for the Dodge Durango. Great Odin's raven!... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Chrysler's IPO filing an expensive distraction

5:31 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 24, 2013
The breathless hullabaloo over Chrysler Group's long-awaited filing for an initial public stock offering has the automotive world abuzz with revelations of perceived palace intrigue under the Pentastar.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Chrysler's Hurricane engine coming in 2016

3:12 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 19, 2013
Chrysler Group has planned a hurricane for 2016, and like a parched Texas ranch, frankly, it could use the rain. The Hurricane coming three years from now is actually a rework of the company's base 2.0-liter I-4 engine, or, more specifically, the 2.0-liter engine's cylinder head, code-named Hurricane.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Many C-Max owners -- including me -- knew the mpg estimate was askew

12:41 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 15, 2013
Back in mid-October, about two weeks after I bought my 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL, I wrote a column explaining that I couldn't come close to its promised 47 city/47 highway/47 combined mpg.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

GM exec: Young people still have passion for cars

5:46 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 6, 2013
The auto industry can stop wringing its hands over the notion that young people seem to be losing interest in buying cars. According to General Motors' top economist and others, young people are not drifting away from driving in favor of the Internet and cool gadgets.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why recall letters could be a real boon for Jeep dealers

3:47 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 2, 2013
Chrysler Group late next week is expected to mail out the 1.56 million notification letters to owners of recalled Jeep Grand Cherokees and Libertys offering a free trailer hitch to improve the safety of the aging vehicles.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Time to raise the white flag on dual clutch trannies

2:25 pm U.S. ET | July 19, 2013
This is a historic week for white flags in Detroit, given the city's bankruptcy filing Thursday, so I'm going to suggest that domestic automakers take the opportunity to wave one of their own.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why Consumer Reports' Ram review elicits mixed feelings at Chrysler

11:11 am U.S. ET | July 17, 2013
Chrysler Group must be a little conflicted about Consumer Reports and its recommendation of the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Chrysler's back in the van game, but fwd is a question

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2013
The first Ram ProMaster full-sized commercial van rolled off its Mexican assembly line this week. Under a giant red banner with "Unidad #1" (Unit #1) on it, the embodiment of Chrysler Group's plans to return to the commercial van segment for the first time in three years stopped just long enough for a few pictures.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Mom-and-pop dealership puts history on the auction block

3:40 pm U.S. ET | June 27, 2013
When Ray and Mildred Lambrecht closed their Chevy store in Nebraska in 1996, they sealed within it a massive chunk of automotive history -- nearly 500 new and used cars, some dating to the early 1950s with fewer than 5 miles on them and with their seats still covered in the plastic from the factory.... Read More »

 

LARRY. P. VELLEQUETTE

Should a cellphone in a car take two hands to operate?

12:06 pm U.S. ET | June 25, 2013
I've spent a great deal of time recently -- largely during my two-hour daily commute -- pondering the problem of people using cellphones while driving.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

So who won the Chrysler-NHTSA recall fight?

6:01 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
Now that Chrysler Group has agreed to inspect and modify as many as 1.56 million older-model Jeep SUVs at the request of federal regulators, one inevitable question remains. Who won?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Pickup.com shootout is a salvo in ongoing pickup battle

12:07 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
If you'll forgive the metaphor, the shootout described this week by the editors at pickuptrucks.com may say more about the automaker/gunslingers themselves than the effectiveness of their chosen hardware.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

So NHTSA, where's the old Cherokee?

5:11 pm U.S. ET | June 7, 2013
Several of my colleagues and I have spent most of this week researching, writing and talking about Chrysler Group's decision to fight the recall of the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Jeep Liberty.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why Chrysler decided to fight NHTSA

10:07 am U.S. ET | June 5, 2013
Chrysler Group's decision to reject a recall request for 2.7 million aging Jeep SUVs caught the automotive industry -- and the media -- by surprise Tuesday. But lost amid the drama of a national media maelstrom of conflict between the feds and a domestic automaker is the central question: Why is this happening?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Daimler debacle produced a cash cow for Chrysler

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 27, 2013
It's easy to criticize the way Daimler ran and ultimately left Chrysler during the disastrous "merger of equals" era. I know because I've done it on a regular basis.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Clues to the next Wrangler: See the want ads

2:02 pm U.S. ET | May 24, 2013
Jeep has begun searching for the extra bodies to mount its next big project: the redesign of the Jeep Wrangler. And the job opening descriptions provide some clues as to the changes planned for the off-roader's next generation.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

2 million extra doors was the best call Daimler made during 'marriage of equals'

12:35 pm U.S. ET | May 17, 2013
It's easy to criticize the way Daimler AG ran and ultimately left Chrysler during the disastrous "marriage of equals" era. I know because I've done it on a regular basis. But even the worst marriages can produce spectacular kids -- or in this case, products.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Lights, camera -- uh, boss, we have a little problem here . . .

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 13, 2013
I love wordplay, so when photos arrived of the big blue Pacific crashing against a floundering Ram heavy-duty pickup during a beach photo shoot gone wrong, my mind just raced Larry P. Vellequette covers Chrysler Group for Automotive News.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Ram photo shoot goes horribly, horribly wrong

12:00 pm U.S. ET | May 7, 2013
I love puns, so when photos arrived of the big blue Pacific crashing against a floundering Ram heavy-duty pickup during a beach-photo-shoot-gone-wrong, my mind just raced.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Fiat ad or (Arianna, Pitbull) music video?

7:42 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2013
I present to you Fiat's latest video in North America, "Sexy People." Some things just need to speak for themselves. I am left without words.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Chrysler hopes many hats make broad experience

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 29, 2013
The top-level management changes at Chrysler Group this month may be rooted in the cultivated tension of a criss-crossed management structure that has high-level executives wearing many hats. But the changes at the top of four of the automaker's brands also ensure that Chrysler's next leader knows the business inside and out Larry P. Vellequette covers Chrysler Group for Automotive News.... Read More »

 

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