The Consumer Reports survey tracks reliability of about 1.2 million vehicles as much as a decade old to predict the reliability of 2013 models that have not been completely redesigned. The survey averaged overall reliability scores for the 2008-12 model years.
Jeep not moving production from U.S. to China
Chrysler Group Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne sent an email to employees last week denying Chrysler plans to move Jeep production from the United States to China.
Ordinarily that would be no big deal to anyone except members of the United Auto Workers whose jobs might be affected, but in this political season it's become an issue in the presidential race.
Marchionne's email denied a Romney campaign ad called misleading by Democrats suggesting Chrysler was considering moving Jeep production from Ohio and Michigan to China. The Romney ad says Obama "took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to the Italians, who are going to build Jeeps in China."
While Chrysler has indicated it wants to build Jeeps in China for Chinese customers it has no plans to close any U.S. production facilities and will invest more than $1.7 billion to make the all-new SUV successor to the Jeep Liberty in Toledo. The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are made in Detroit.
"I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China," Marchionne said in the email obtained by The Detroit News. Marchionne, who also heads Italy's Fiat, which bought Chrysler out of bankruptcy in 2009 and fully repaid its government loans, said Chrysler was "investing to improve and expand our entire U.S. operations, including our Jeep facilities."
"Jeep is one of our truly global brands with uniquely American roots. This will never change. So much so that we committed that the iconic Wrangler nameplate, currently produced in our Toledo, Ohio, plant will never see full production outside the United States. Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. It is inaccurate to suggest anything different," Marchionne wrote.
The Obama campaign countered with its own 30-second ad aired in Toledo, where the $85 billion industry bailout saved thousands of jobs, calling Romney's ad dishonest and a "lie."
Support for Obama among blue-collar workers in Ohio and other rust belt states is seen as vital to the president's re-election effort and Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton attacked the Romney ad, with Clinton pointing out during a campaign event that Obama's first car was a Jeep.
Chrysler reported selling 556,000 vehicles in the third-quarter. Profits rose 80 percent from the third quarter a year ago, to $381 million, and the company said it had $11.9 billion in cash with debt of $693 million.
During a conference call, Marchionne also said Fiat SpA would not close factories and plans to use money it set aside to acquire the remaining 41.5 percent of Chrysler stock it doesn't own to retool to produce more profitable vehicles in Europe, the News reported.
He said Fiat-Chrysler Group would build a smaller Jeep in Europe and Fiat would make a small SUV.
Later, a General Motors spokesman said a Romney campaign ad implying GM used bailout funds to hire more workers in China than in the United States showed there are "Hubble telescope-length distances between campaign ads and reality." He said GM was creating U.S. jobs and bringing global profits back to the United States.
A Romney campaign spokeswoman told the News the Obama campaign "is less concerned with engaging in a meaningful conversation about his failed policies and more concerned arguing against facts about their record they dislike."
Despite worsening losses in Europe, GM reported third-quarter earnings of $1.5 billion, exceeding expectations.
Chevrolet shows off 'old school' new V-8
It's a long way from the original 1953 small-block V-8 to the new LT1 engine in the all-new 2014 Corvette, but the power plant shares the heritage of the old Chevy V-8.
The aluminum block 6.2 liter LT1 engine has a camshaft inside the block rather than overhead and uses pushrods and rocker arms to work the valves. The design allows the Corvette to retain its signature wedge shape and front-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration.
With an 11.5:1 compression ratio, the new engine cranks out 450 horsepower without supercharging or turbocharging and GM's active management system improves fuel economy by shutting down four cylinders when the engine is cruising.
Fuel economy is expected to be similar to the 26 mpg on the highway the current manual shift, sixth-generation Corvette gets.
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