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Chrysler

FCA, Google’s Waymo Reveal Self-Driving Chrysler Pacifica

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Waymo self-driving Chrysler Pacifica.jpg

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Waymo, the Google self-driving car project that was spun-off, have announced the completion of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans specifically-built to enable fully self-driving operations.

Scheduled to join Waymo’s self-driving test fleet in early 2017, the self-driving Chrysler minivans are outfitted with the company’s fully self-driving technology, which includes a purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems.

Waymo self-driving pacifica van, rear

John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer of Waymo, stated:

“The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months. They’ve been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”

The Waymo’s pilot project will initially be limited to just 100 test vehicles, but the tech company is said to be the Pacifica to pick up its first paying customers.

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Chrysler

Chrysler Celebrates 35 Years Of The Minivan With Special Edition Pacifica, Caravan

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Chrysler Pacifica 35th Anniversary Edition, front

It’s been over three decades, since the American automaker gave birth to the minivan segment.

Chrysler introduced the first minivan — Dodge Caravan / Plymouth Voyager — in 1984, and has sold more than 14.6 million minivans over the proceeding 35 years, twice as many as any other automaker. It chose to celebrate the milestone with 35th Anniversary Edition versions of the Chrysler Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid and Dodge Grand Caravan.

All three feature an all-black interior with Cranberry Wine accent stitching and special 35th anniversary badging.

Available on the Touring L, Touring L Plus and Limited models, the Chrysler Pacifica 35th Anniversary Edition has Cranberry Wine accent stitching on its McKinley and Nappa leather perforated seats, steering wheel, door trim, instrument panel and door handles. Designers the 35th Anniversary logo has on the front floor mats.

Touring L trim models come standard with memory driver’s seat, eight-passenger seating, Mopar overhead DVD, 18-inch wheels. Going for the Touring L Plus adds a dual-pane sunroof and the Limited further adds 20-inch wheels.

The Hybrid Touring L comes equipped with the premium Audio Group with 13 Alpine speakers, Uconnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch display and 17-inch wheels, while the Hybrid Limited tosses in 18-inch wheels.

Only the Grand Caravan SE and SXT models get the 35th Anniversary treatment, boasting 17-inch tech silver aluminum wheels, 35th Anniversary fender badge and a Bright grille.

Inside, they features Cranberry Wine accent stitching on the steering wheel, seats and door trim; a Piano Black console and IP accent; and a 35th Anniversary embroidered logo on the front floor mats.

The 35th Anniversary edition Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan go on sale in Summer 2019.

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Chrysler

Chrysler 300 Sedan Will Be Discontinued In 2020

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2015 Chrysler 300 sedan, front logo

It will be the last Chrysler sedan.

Chrysler two model lineup will see the elimination of the Chrysler 300 in 2020 and the addition of a second people-mover.

According to , there is no replacement for the large sedan planned. Instead, we can expect a new model based on on the Pacifica by mid-2019, possibly a crossover.

A production version of the electric Portal concept is also planned and should arrive in 2020. Unveiled in 2017 at CES in Las Vegas, the concept featured retractable steering wheel and had autonomous driving capabilities.

The elimination of the Chrysler 300 in 2020 will end a 15 year run for the full-size sedan, which entered production in 2005.

It’s hard to imagine a Chrysler brand without a sedan, let alone a large one, but the segment is in a perceptible decline, leading several other automakers to also trim their sedan lineup, if not downright eliminate it.

With only three models in its lineup by 2020, will the Chrysler brand even be relevant? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Alfa Romeo

Mike Manley Becomes New Fiat Chrysler CEO, Marchionne Steps Down

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FCA CEO Mike Manley and Marchionne

Health complications has forced Sergio Marchionne to step down from his post as Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s CEO. He has been replaced by Mike Manley effective immediately.

Marchionne had been recovering from shoulder surgery for some months, but a deterioration in his condition has rendered him incapable of running the automaker effectively.

FCA did not elaborate, but having served as FCA CEO since 2004, the former tax account oversaw a controversial tenure that included the acquisition of Chrysler during the 2008 global financial crisis, saving it from bankruptcy; the reintroduction of the Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands to North America; spinning off Ferrari; and killing off Chrysler’s passenger cars,

Marchionne was expected to retire at age 66 in 2019. His replacement, Manley was previously the boss of FCA’s Jeep and Ram brands and assumes all powers of the CEO by the board of directors. John Elkann will become chairman at Ferrari, a post Marchionne was expected to hold in until 2021.

Is Fiat Chrysler better off without Sergio Marchionne? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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