Despite the occasional hiccup, the Chrysler Group has done excellent work lately in re-establishing itself as a credible choice for both auto shoppers and awards panels. For evidence of the former, you just need to look at last month’s sales results, in which the automaker was one of just two mainstream companies to post a double-digit jump in deliveries; in terms of the latter, you need look no further than the 42nd annual Miami International Auto Show, where the Chrysler Group earned three more media awards: The company was named “Manufacturer of the Year” in the 2012 Ruedas ESPN Awards—presented by the nation’s No. 1 Spanish-language radio show for gearheads—while the 2013 RAM 1500 earned the crown as “Truck of the Year” and the 2013 Dodge Dart triumphed as “Best Sedan.”
“We’re honored that Chrysler Group has been recognized by a leading voice of the Latino community,” said Fred Diaz, president and CEO of both the Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico. And that’s something Diaz should know about, since he also was honored by a leading voice of the Latino community, La Prensa Foundation, which in October presented Diaz and the automaker with the Lu Betancourt Award for delivering “consistent philanthropic value to the Latino community.”
2012 Ruedas ESPN Awards: 2013 Ram 1500
Forget what the Chinese zodiac may say, it’s starting to look a lot like the Year of the Ram here in the U.S. The Chrysler Group unleashed the 2013 Ram 1500 just weeks ago—introducing the segment’s first eight-speed automatic transmission—and in short order the pickup took home both an Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year Award and a truckload of trophies from the Texas Truck Rodeo. Among them: The 2013 Ram 1500 was named “Full-size Pickup Truck of Texas” and earned the event's highest honor, the “Truck of Texas” award itself, while the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn garnered the title of “Luxury Pickup of Texas” and the Ram brand as a whole was recognized as the “Truck Line of Texas.”
“The new RAM 1500 is a symbol of the brand’s—and our company’s—commitment to hard work, determination and dependability, [which are] values shared with the Latino community,” said Diaz, who added, “Trucks are one of the top-selling segments among Latinos. Our marketing, which is titled ‘A Todo, Con Todo,’ speaks credibly and authentically to our customers.”
2012 Ruedas ESPN Awards: 2013 Dodge Dart
The all-new 2013 Dodge Dart has gotten out of the gate quickly as well, garnering a spot on both KBB.com’s list of “10 Coolest Cars under $18,000” and, in the form of the Dart Rallye edition, a place on the site’s new “10 Coolest Cars under $25,000” roster. The Dart also is finding a place in a growing number of driveways, too, thanks to available features like a turbocharged 160-hp engine and the ability to reach 41 mpg during highway travel. And note, the same potent powertrain that delivers that first advantage also provides the second—no doubt helping the Dart achieve its Ruedas ESPN award.
“It’s an honor for the Dodge Brand and the all-new Dart to receive the ‘Best Sedan’ award from Ruedas ESPN in recognition of the virtues that matter most to Hispanic car buyers,” said Reid Bigland, president and CEO of the Dodge Brand. “This award validates our efforts to deliver a world-class car to our customers, that stands apart in style, value, performance, fuel economy and overall appeal.”