Although Chrysler may not have captured many headlines at recent auto show in LA, Detroit, or Chicago, the automaker is busy developing its all-new lineups with help from its new Italian parent company. Among the vehicles that will not be making the cut when new models begin arriving in showrooms is the Chrysler Sebring.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne not only hinted about the demise of the Sebring name from the lineup on the floor of the Detroit auto show, but he also hinted about closer ties between future Chrysler models and Fiat’s Lancia brand.
“In Europe, Lancia is an undersize, underdeveloped brand, with nothing bigger than the Delta,” Marchionne said. “Chrysler, which has a true global reach, has nothing smaller. Put them together and you have a full line-up.”
In recent years, the Chrysler Sebring has been relatively unchanged, while the competitive has continued to offer fresher designs and more amenities for the money. Both other domestic brands and import brands have far more competitive offerings in the midsize car segment. While Marchionne intends to change that with the help of a Fiat-sourced platform, it still won’t be making its way to showrooms until 2013. Until then, a Seattle used cars specialist observes that the Sebring doesn’t stand much of a chance in the marketplace outside of fleet sales.
In addition to more platform sharing and fresh designs, Chrysler is also focusing on bringing new engines to the Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep lineups. With competitors adding engines that produce more horsepower while also earning higher mileage, Chrysler is following suit, but again may find themselves a little late to the game. Boston import dealers stress that Chrysler needs to up the ante if it wants to stay in the game. Countless import brands like Mazda are gaining traction against domestic brands, especially as one Mazda dealer Bristol anticipates a slew of new gas and diesel engines that balance power and efficiency. Chrysler needs to follow suit, and fast.
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