Larry P. Vellequette

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Let's hope for a litter of Hellcat kitties

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 19, 2014
Spend a few minutes with Chrysler's new monster power plant -- the 707-hp, 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 -- and you will be left, as I was, with one overriding question.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Minivans: So practical, so maligned

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
The minivan is simultaneously one of the most practical yet wrongly maligned vehicles on the road today, and therein lies the challenge facing Chrysler Group as it redesigns its minivan for a new generation of drivers.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why fuel economy faces law of diminishing returns

3:02 pm U.S. ET | July 11, 2014
In economics, it's known as the law of diminishing returns, the shrinking benefit you get when you pour ever-increasing resources toward achieving a singular goal. The DOE showed a good mathematical example of the principle today with a graphic it released about the consumer benefits of fuel economy.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Minivans are too practical to have the reputation they have

3:13 pm U.S. ET | July 9, 2014
If all vehicles represent compromises to necessity, I would argue that minivans are the least compromised of any segment.... Read More »

 

Larry P. Vellequette

Replacing the Wrangler is a puzzler

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 7, 2014
The Wrangler -- Jeep's own mud-encrusted halo -- is being redesigned for 2017, when it must comply with more stringent fuel economy requirements.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why the bankruptcy legacy seems different at Chrysler and GM

3:02 pm U.S. ET | May 22, 2014
There is a fundamental difference today between Chrysler and GM because of what did and did not happen during their gut-wrenching bankruptcy crises five years ago. Chrysler came close enough to death in its bankruptcy to dramatically alter its culture, while GM never stopped believing it was too big to fail.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Can I request a Jeep Gladiator in the plan?

2:06 pm U.S. ET | May 2, 2014
To borrow a line from The Blues Brothers movie a few decades ago, Chrysler Group is “getting the band back together” on Tuesday to reveal its next five-year business plan. So I wonder: Is it too late to put in a request?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Ohio man's collection of '36 Fords going to auction

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2014
As a young man, Emery Ward Jr. fell in love in 1936 -- with a Ford. He never got over the attraction. In fact, the older he got, the more it intensified.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

CEO media scrums are as ineffective as they are dangerous

9:22 am U.S. ET | April 18, 2014
Journalists chasing a meaty story can act like a pack of wild dogs sometimes. But this week in New York -- and earlier this year at the Detroit auto show after landing her new job -- GM CEO Mary Barra and her entourage must have realized how injured wildebeests feel as they are set upon by jackals.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Waiting for Alfa. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

10:46 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2014
If you show up decades late for your own surprise party, are guests still expected to cheer your arrival? Maybe not for most. But it might be a different story if your name is Alfa Romeo.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Auto companies are buying the creative souls of late night TV

6:42 pm U.S. ET | April 1, 2014
Two bedrocks of late night TV did something so unseemly last week it looked as though they had responded to an unholy informercial.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Jeep's software fix and the law of unintended consequences

12:30 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 21, 2014
One of last year's Jeep recalls led to an unintended consequence for some owners of 2005-10 Grand Cherokee and 2006-10 Commanders -- a consequence Chrysler now says it intends to fix, at least for most people.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Succeed Sergio? You'd have to be a bit crazy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 20, 2014
Fiat-Chrysler tried to cut off speculation by announcing that CEO Sergio Marchionne would stick around for "at least" three more years.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Succeed Sergio? You'd have to be a bit crazy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 20, 2014
Fiat-Chrysler tried to cut off speculation about CEO Sergio Marchionne's successor. With the exception of anybody named Tavares or Piech, who would want his job?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Did new Chrysler spot show hot-selling Ram pickup with a nose job?

3:39 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 30, 2013
Did Chrysler Group's Ram truck brand just show the face of its next pickup? In a new commercial that appeared during the final regular season NFL games, Ram threw in two images that show a pickup featuring the familiar Ram's head badge and a decidedly different nose.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why dealers should hire teachers, not tech guys, to deliver cars

2:35 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 11, 2013
Most dealers right now are struggling with a fundamental part of their business: how best to deliver sold cars. Specifically, how should dealers educate their paying customers on all the cool technology that a new car, pickup or SUV contains?... Read More »

 

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 »

 

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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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