Larry P. Vellequette

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: The secrets behind all that camouflage

11:45 am U.S. ET | May 12, 2015

The Detroit 3 all operate test tracks in southeast Michigan. But there is only so much real-world testing they can carry out without actually being in real-world traffic. To travel among the masses, automotive engineers for decades have employed visual deception -- camouflage -- to disguise what it is they are working on or testing from the prying and ever-present eyes of the media, rivals and auto enthusiasts.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Why Dodge should make the next Dart look like a baby Charger

4:12 pm U.S. ET | May 8, 2015

The Dodge Dart set an all-time sales record in April. So, if you're Dodge, do you need to fix a car that's doing well three years after its launch? Why, yes. Yes, you do.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: How auto dealers can get behind safer driving, 1 teen at a time

1:46 pm U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

This weekend, I experienced a community service program, born out of tragedy, that is tailor-made for local auto dealer cooperation.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Maybe NHTSA could use excessive force to fix old Jeeps -- or leg traps

2:25 pm U.S. ET | April 24, 2015

So the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering its options on how to speed up the repair rate on a couple older recalls. May I suggest leg traps?... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Fiat Chrysler may find perfect partner is from Asia

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Sergio Marchionne wants a dance partner for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The financial media keep trying to fix him up with VW, but I think Marchionne has his eye on a mate in Asia. To me, the best partners, in descending order, are Suzuki, Mazda and Hyundai.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

FCA may find perfect partner is from Asia

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Sergio Marchionne wants a dance partner for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The financial media keep trying to fix him up with Volkswagen, but I think Marchionne has his eye on a mate in Asia. To me, the best partners, in descending order, are Suzuki, Mazda and Hyundai.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Dealer profits riding on Wrangler decision

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

FCA's ultimate decision on Wrangler is likely to have an outsized impact on every dealership in the nation that sells Jeeps.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Why March 30-31 might be the greatest two days of deals at FCA dealerships

3:52 pm U.S. ET | March 20, 2015

Monday and Tuesday, March 30-31, probably will be the most advantageous days of the foreseeable future for US consumers to buy a new Fiat Chrysler vehicle. Why? Because of the "Iron Man" sales streak.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: There is a ton of dealer profit riding on FCA's Wrangler decision

1:58 pm U.S. ET | March 18, 2015

Deep in the bowels of Fiat Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills -- or Turin, or London -- the automaker's brain trust is making its final call about what to do with the Wrangler plant in Toledo, Ohio.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Why it's hard to tally Sergio's pay

10:27 am U.S. ET | March 10, 2015

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne's compensation package is wildly confusing given the structure and how it is reported. There's the conversion of euros to dollars to consider, the value of stock options and other variables. So what's the real number?... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Is an identity crisis the reason behind the Ram pickup's new styling?

12:14 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 20, 2015

It's been nearly two months since I got my first up-close looks at the Ram Rebel and Ram Laramie Limited. I'm not a fan of the styling of the two pickups' front fascias and tailgates, but I've developed a theory as to what motivated them.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Thanks, but no thanks, to an Apple car

12:18 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 17, 2015

I know some of you will accuse me of heresy against a Higher Power for saying it, but I don’t like Apple. Never have.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: This is no way to run a railroad

10:12 am U.S. ET | Feb. 12, 2015

I had originally intended to write this piece about the Chicago Auto Show’s great untapped natural resource, it’s location near the travel hub of North America. Not going to happen today.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Does FCA have a new small turbodiesel coming to the states? Why, it's a mystery

1:19 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2015

Break out the Scooby Snacks, because I've got a mystery that might even stump Velma: Is Fiat Chrysler secretly developing a new 16-valve, 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine for its passenger cars? Jinkies.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Why Marchionne's Wrangler conundrum will require creativity

12:22 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 19, 2015

I truly believe that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne would prefer to write a big check and keep the next generation Jeep Wrangler in its historic home in Toledo, Ohio. The problem? There's not much wiggle room right now in the corporate checking account.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

A million Jeep sales means hard choices

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2015

Hitting the 1 million mark -- which you have to pronounce one meeell-yon -- blasted Jeep's previous record of 731,565 set the previous year.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: A million Jeeps in 2014 means Marchionne has some hard choices to make

11:26 am U.S. ET | Jan. 6, 2015

One million. That big, round, Doctor Evil-loving, base-ten global sales number has blasted any remaining doubt that 2014 was the Jeep brand's year of the century.... Read More »

LARRY VELLEQUETTE

'Chrysler' gone, but definitely not silent

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 22, 2014

After bearing Walter P. Chrysler's name in one form or another since 1925, the U.S. automaker that the great man formed has dropped the pretense of independence and become simply FCA US.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Why Chrysler's November sales ought to make your jaw drop

3:53 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 3, 2014

Stunning. How else could you describe the breadth and depth of the remarkable sales wave that Chrysler's US dealerships experienced in November?... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Looking for a new F&I product? Mull this

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2014

Consider this a free idea -- the kind that hopefully somebody out there takes and develops and uses to make a lot of money.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Why Wrangler’s Toledo decision may depend on keeping the money spigot flowing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 18, 2014

It’s been just over two weeks since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne casually revealed that he might have to move Jeep Wrangler production out of its historic home in Toledo, Ohio. Why? Because it might cost too much to shut down the plant long enough to convert it for the use of aluminum parts.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Wrangler is so engrained in its DNA, the city should be spelled Toledo, OIIIIIIIO

12:12 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 3, 2014

My hometown completely freaked out Thursday. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne disclosed the next-generation Jeep Wrangler might have to be manufactured somewhere else other than in its historic home in Toledo.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Ford puts refreshed C-Max in the Phantom's spotlight

6:00 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 1, 2014

Ford on Wednesday lifted the mask on its next-generation C-Max at a special event at the Opera National de Paris, the setting for the fictional The Phantom of the Opera. The irony may have been lost on the Ford execs on hand, who also showed off the next-generation European S-Max and Grande C-Max before their scheduled press conference Thursday at the Paris auto show.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Why the UAW will strike in 2015 -- no matter what's offered

10:22 am U.S. ET | Sept. 19, 2014

Here is something that will happen in 2015 upon which you can bet serious money: The UAW will strike one -- and likely all three -- Detroit automakers before reaching a deal on a new labor agreement.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Fiat's cute cartoon characters suggest buying a 500 -- or else

3:38 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 27, 2014

Since Fiat was reintroduced to the United States in 2011, the Italian brand has stretched the advertising envelope. But a new animated spot set to debut on Gas Station TV touting the fuel and ecological advantages of a Fiat 500 minicar may be the brand's most wry offering yet.... Read More »

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Toyota's Lentz in Texas: A Lexus regret, fixing 'starved' Scion, the next Prius

Toyota's Lentz in Texas: A Lexus regret, fixing 'starved' Scion, the next Prius

Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz is a pioneer. He and a handful of other employees moved to north Texas last September to help build the automaker's new U.S. headquarters.
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