Larry P. Vellequette

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 »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why the auto industry needs to slow down

2:55 pm U.S. ET | April 29, 2013
I'd like to offer a bit of counterintuitive thinking, at least in terms of technology. Here it is: The auto industry needs to slow down. We have arrived at a point where the pace of technological advancement -- how fast automakers and suppliers can make their products better -- has vastly outstripped their own manufacturing abilities to keep up.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why it's no big surprise Diaz left Ram

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 22, 2013
On paper, Fred Diaz got a promotion this month when it was announced that he had agreed to become vice president of Nissan Division sales and marketing. But in the real world, the 47-year-old former head of Chrysler's Ram brand and of Chrysler de Mexico likely got his life back with his new job Larry P. Vellequette covers Chrysler Group for Automotive News.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why Diaz' departure from Chrysler wasn't a surprise

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2013
On paper, Fred Diaz got a promotion Friday when it was announced that he had agreed to become vice president of Nissan Division sales and marketing. But in the real world, the 47-year-old now-former head of Chrysler Group's Ram brand and of Chrysler de Mexico likely got his life back with his new job.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Confused by pickup claims? That's the idea

3:01 pm U.S. ET | April 8, 2013
The five automakers that build full-sized light-duty pickups must hate tree-grown fruit because they sure go out of their way to avoid apples-to-apples comparisons.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Economic indicators: Sales of cars, trucks and ... tchotchkes?

1:47 pm U.S. ET | April 3, 2013
Economists have long known that certain retail-level transactions -- such as the number of packages handled by UPS or FedEx -- are good indicators of the economy's overall strength or weakness. But does the same hold true for branded automotive tchotchkes?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why the stakes are high for Chrysler's new minivan

2:48 pm U.S. ET | March 29, 2013
After way more than a year of debate back and forth, Chrysler Group has settled on a design for its next generation minivan. But in an interview with the Detroit Free Press at the New York auto show this week, Chrysler design head Ralph Gilles wouldn't disclose whether the single minivan would remain a Chrysler Town & Country or stay as a Dodge Grand Caravan.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Re-engineered Durango punches its ticket to the ball

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 28, 2013
Since its relaunch as a 2011 model, the Dodge Durango has been the large and largely ignored stepsister of its much-celebrated platform mate, the Jeep Grand Cherokee.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Can today's diesels erase Olds memories?

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2013
I've been wondering lately just how long it takes sustained execution to erase previous experience. Or put another way: What's the statute of limitations on reputation?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Chrysler's hot sales streak faces tough test in March

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 18, 2013
Chrysler Group's string of 35 months of year-over-year sales increases may be about to end. The streak goes back to April 2010 and equals the company's longest run of consecutive U.S. gains, which stretched from February 1992 to December 1994. The reconstituted company's electronic records only go back to the early 1980s.... Read More »

 

Special Report
Fewer bosses, Disney savvy, $2 idea lift stores

Fewer bosses, Disney savvy, $2 idea lift stores

A Chrysler Group dealership chain is stripping away layers of management to sell cars faster. A Chevrolet-Cadillac store is enchanting customers through Disney training. Mon., July 21
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