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The marketing-obsessed folks over at Adweek have compiled a list of the most-watched advertisements on YouTube of all time. Six of those 20 ads are automotive-related, which should come as no surprise, considering the amount of money automakers pour into car ads.

Adweek did not factor in movie trailers, or banned international ads. Both would throw the curve of top ads, and the latter would certainly include a few car commercials. Most of these videos are less than three years old, highlighting the widespread accessibility to smartphones and streaming video.

It should come as a shock to no one that Kia’s Dancing Hamsters are on the list. The breakdacing rodents have been busting moves since 2009, but it was their collaboration with LMFAO to crash a video game that got them onto this list.

Also on the list is Ken Block’s Gymkhana, which we tend to forget is a DC Shoes commercial. While Adweek views it as merely an ad for this story’s purposes, we know that Block’s automotive acrobatics are far more than a shill for shoes.

Check out the collection of videos below to see which ads made the list, and which one was the most watched.

Continue reading Six of Top 20 Most-Watched Ads Ever on YouTube are auto-related

Six of Top 20 Most-Watched Ads Ever on YouTube are auto-related originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 30 Jul 2012 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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31 Jul 2012

The brand new vehicle for the Dodge brand, also known as the Dodge Dart, recently made history with its first win during the fourth round of the Global Rally Cross competition race in the UK.  Travis Pastrana was the winning Dodge Dart driver, driving what was also known as the Red Bull/Discount Tire Dodge Dart.

Pastrana was overjoyed to win the race, his first with the Dodge Motorsport company.  When asked how he felt after winning the race, he quite happily stated, “It’s been so long, I almost forgot what it’s like to win.”  People may remember the last X Games during the beginning of July in which he crashed his vehicle and had to resign from the competition.

The other finishers behind the Dodge Dart were Sam Hubinett in second and Brian Deegan coming in for third.  Tanner Fours grabbed a fourth place and Ken Block took fifth.  All of these drivers were driving the same type of car.

For more information about the Dodge Dart, or to take a look at any Dodge vehicle, contact Larson Dodge.

30 Jul 2012

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Jeep Grand Cherokee

Chrysler has released a press release detailing the findings of a recent 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee “moose test” by the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport. The publication ran the Grand Cherokee through conditions supposedly identical to those in a test conducted by the Swedish magazine Teknikens Varld, which saw the SUV nearly roll over after an abrupt lane change. After AMS loaded the Jeep with a varying number of passengers and the maximum amount of cargo, it said the vehicle remained stable with all four wheels on the ground during abrupt maneuvers.

As you may recall, Teknikens Varld produced a video showing the Grand Cherokee lift up onto two wheels during a simulated emergency lane change. Chrysler responded by saying the Jeep was intentionally overloaded and even sent a team of engineers to reproduce the test with the Swedish magazine. Take a look at the press release posted below for more information, including a translation of the text from Auto Motor und Sport.

Continue reading 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee passes German “moose test”

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee passes German “moose test” originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 Jul 2012 13:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Jul 2012

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Kokomo transmission assembly

The Detroit News reports that Chrysler has filed a complaint with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission seeking the return of a $2.5 million security deposit charged to the automaker’s Kokomo, Indiana facilities by Duke Energy, plus interest. The called Duke’s actions “unreasonable and discriminatory”

In 2009, after Chrysler’s bankruptcy and corporate overhaul, Duke requested a security deposit because it viewed the freshly-minted Chrysler Group LLC, allied with Fiat, as an entirely new customer.

Chrysler says it had already set up a prepayment system that “mitigated any risk to Duke” and negated the need for any security deposit, but it caved and paid the sum when Duke threatened to cut off power to the four Kokomo facilities.

According to the report, Chrysler has asked for the deposit back, but Duke Energy says it won’t return the money until Chrysler makes 12 consecutive payments, maintains a long-term credit rating of “BB” through Standard & Poors, and Duke determines Chrysler’s financial status and acceptability of risk.

Chrysler argues that Duke has not established any criteria for that final element, and both parties will meet in Indianapolis on August 15 to start hashing out the situation.

Chrysler wants $2.5M security deposit back from Indiana electric utility originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 28 Jul 2012 14:17:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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29 Jul 2012

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Plymouth XNR

The 1960 Plymouth XNR will cross the block next month at the RM Auction in Monterey, Calif.

The one-of-a-kind sports car was penned by Chrysler design guru Virgil Exner, who always hoped Chrysler would include a roadster in its lineup. The XNR featured a powerful six-cylinder engine that pumped out 250 horses and gave the XNR a top of speed of 150 mph.

Ultimately, the project never got the green light, and the XNR was shipped back to Carrozzeria Ghia in Italy, where it was built.

From there, the car’s story gets more interesting. A series of owners bought it in the ’60s, and it wound up in the Shah of Iran’s garage. It was sold again before it disappeared. In the early 1980s, car collector Karim Edde discovered the XNR in Beirut, Lebanon, hidden away in an underground garage. He bought the car and shuffled it around safe houses as the civil war erupted around him.

Twenty years later, Edde had the XNR fully restored. Since it’s a concept, there were no spare parts and whatever could not be repaired was fabricated. RM Auctions has not suggested a price the XNR will go for, but we hope its next owner continues the car’s legacy.

You can watch Chrysler engineers test the XNR at the company’s proving grounds in the video below.

Continue reading Plymouth XNR concept parks on the auction block [w/video]

Plymouth XNR concept parks on the auction block [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 28 Jul 2012 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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28 Jul 2012

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As you can see from the screen grab above, some people get to have all the fun. Jay Leno, who owns more cars than you will ever drive in your lifetime, was graced with the presence of a Fiat 500 Abarth at his garage.

Now, this was not the first time that Fiat has stopped off with the potent Italian runabout. Fiat dropped in on Leno with an Abarth back in December of last year, but this time he was able to take it out on the road and put the performance-minded 500 through its paces. And that he did.

Leno owns the very second 500 to be sold in America, and raised the question: Is the Abarth good enough for an upgrade? We certainly think so, but Jay took to the Los Angeles streets to find out. Along the way, he mused about how the Abarth would stack up against the Ferrari Dino and the future of the performance automobile. To find out what Jay thought of the Fiat 500 Abarth check out the video below.

Continue reading Jay Leno burns rubber in a Fiat 500 Abarth

Jay Leno burns rubber in a Fiat 500 Abarth originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 Jul 2012 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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27 Jul 2012

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Pentastar V6 engine

The Pentastar V6 has been Chrysler’s magic bullet as of late, combining solid power and impressive fuel efficiency. The do-all powerplant has found its way into a just about any Chrysler Group vehicle with an engine bay to accept it. Jeep and Journey alike have enjoyed the benefits of the dual-overhead cam 3.6-liter mill.

Chrysler is pondering an investment of $200 million into its Detroit Mack I facility to increase Pentastar production. Meanwhile, Chrysler plans to halt production of the aging 3.7-liter V6 at the Mack II facility. The 200 employees that were laid off by the idling of Mack II will be reemployed at other Chrysler Group facilities in the area.

According to the Automotive News report, if an agreement can be reached with the local government, the Mack I plant would switch over from producing the 4.7-liter V8 to the popular 3.6-liter Pentastar engine. Currently, the Pentastar is also produced in Trenton, Michigan, and Saltillo, Mexico.

If the proposal was approved, Chrysler will not only produce the 3.6-liter version of the Pentastar, but also intends on building variants with different displacements.

Chrysler canceled its usual summer shutdown, and the Trenton and Saltillo facilities have been working overtime to meet demand for the popular engine.

Chrysler considering $200M investment to boost Pentastar V6 production originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 Jul 2012 17:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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25 Jul 2012

Producing vehicle engines and technology are the most competitive aspects when it comes to auto manufacturing.  It is vital to be at the forefront of the latest in technologies, or consumers, who are given hundreds of other cars to choose, will pick another.  Each year, the industry gets more cutthroat, but the ones benefiting are the consumers.  We are always guaranteed to get the absolute best, latest and greatest when it comes to engines and technology.

Chrysler will be putting their eight-speed transmission into play this year for mass production.  Mopar, the race gurus, were the geniuses behind Chrysler’s new transmission, giving the vehicles graced with its presence, a nice edge over other engines.

Initially, we’ll see the eight-speed on the new Chrysler 300s and Charger V6s.  It is expected to find its way to other models under the Chrysler umbrella by next year.  Some auto experts say the 2013 Ram 1500 will be the first on the list after the 300 and Charger.

For more information about Chrysler engines, or to take a look at any Chrysler vehicle, contact Larson Dodge Chrysler.

24 Jul 2012

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Jeep Grand Cherokee

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened up investigations into more than 335,000 Chrysler Group vehicles, following reports of fires in Jeep Grand Cherokee models and rear wheel failures in the Dodge Ram 1500. According to documents posted to the NHTSA website, 106,803 Grand Cherokees and 230,000 2009-2010 Ram 1500s are being investigated.

There have been two reports of fires in the Grand Cherokee since May, and a third complaint regarding the JGC losing power steering fluid, resulting in a loss of power steering.

One of the owners whose vehicle caught fire says that he saw power steering fluid in his driveway prior to the incident. NHSTA suspects that the power steering fluid may be leaking onto hot surfaces in the engine compartment.

Additionally, NHSTA is opening up an investigation in the 2009-2010 Dodge Ram, following 12 complaints of rear differential failure, causing rear wheel lock-up.

In the 12 incidents, the common thread appears to be a loosening of the rear differential pinion nut. The majority of these complaints allege that situation resulted in the drive shaft locking up. One report claims that the driveshaft detached and punctured the fuel tank.

This report follows a successful sales month for the Grand Cherokee. June was the best month in sales for the all-road Jeep since 2005, and sales are up 38 percent for the first six months of 2012. Among Chrysler vehicles, the 75,117 units of the Grand Cherokee sold are second only to to the Ram, which sold 138,581 units in the first half of 2012.

NHTSA probing Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ram 1500 models over safety concerns originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 Jul 2012 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24 Jul 2012

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Only one fifth of Chrysler Group dealers will have the chance to sell 2013 SRT Viper, according to an Automotive News report. To qualify for the V10 beast, a hopeful dealer will have to train staff and purchase special tools, as well as improve their facilities. This does not guarantee the ability to sell the Viper. It merely keeps the dealer on the list of potential suitors.

SRT CEO Ralph Gilles spoke with journalists in a broadcast interview in Detroit this month, lining out the plan for dealers intent on selling the 8.4-liter snake: “We’re going to open it up to any dealer who can put up the money … you’ve got to have the training, the facilities, and some history of selling Vipers and SRTs in general.”

While Chrysler has not yet announced the number of Vipers to be built each year, it will certainly be a limited run, and not every dealer will have the opportunity to put one in their showroom. According to Gilles, they want only the best dealers carrying their 640-horsepower super car.

“There’s going to be a new breed of customer coming, so we want to make sure they have a great experience,” said Gilles.

SRT Viper to be sold at only one fifth of Chrysler dealers originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 Jul 2012 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24 Jul 2012