Is the new Chrysler LLC. in need of saving? Some would say yes as sales slump and uncertainty surrounds the old, fledgling company (that’s right, “old” and “fledgling”). Some might say no… but I have no excuse for them. Chrysler themselves are feeling the crunch and are reacting so. Announcements have come out this past week that Chrysler will be trimming some of the fat off their fleet and working to make fuel mileage a priority in their design and engineering. Now that Chrysler has realized that excess is no longer the trend and that their new mid-sized Sebring design is a Se-bust it is time to play a little catch-up.
It looks as though the retro days of the PT Cruiser are nearing their final conclusion. Slow sales and 10 years without a redesign make the Cruiser a bit stale and put it first in line on the chopping block. Following the PT Cruiser looks to be the Pacifica and the Magnum. Neither the Pacifica or the Magnum have been on the market long and may be surprise cuts to some. Slow sales, a gluttonous line-up and the need for a new direction all spell the downfall for the cars listed above. It’s a shame on the Magnum though… I kinda liked it.
One car that is not on the chopping block but will be receiving yet another face-lift is the Sebring. The redesign for 2007 of the Sebring has been dubbed an utter failure whose status as such has been greatly exposed as the mid-size car market trend grows. While cars like the Camry and Accord are seeing improved sales the Sebring is going virtually unnoticed. Chrysler will be shaking up the Sebring in hopes of making a strong comeback in the mid-sized market just like they did when the Sebring Convertible came out in the 90’s.
Another amazing turn of events that was years in the waiting is Chrysler has announced a new committment to improving the fuel mileage of their fleet. Years of SUV sales and bloated designs have led to a poor fuel rating fleet wide and across the Chrysler brands. When the Dodge Caravan first came out in the 80’s it was powered by an anemic 4-cylinder engine that was great on gas butÂ poor on hills. Since then the Caravan has grown in both size and engine as it is moved by a gas gulping V6.
Chrysler’s plan is to expand their diesel use, go to direct-injection on some of their engines and to utilize the hybrid technology that they are partnered with BMW and GM in developing. Their first autos to benefit from the gas-electric hybrid technology will be the Aspen and the Durango. The Durango could certainly use all the help it can get in fuel mileage as even the slightly slimmer original model use to have reports of getting 8 mpg by owners.
More changes are sure to be coming from the new Chrysler group as they look to get a handle on things. New designs and better fuel mileage across the board are just the beginning we believe, because if it is not then it will not be enough.
Are there any other Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge models that you think Chrysler should stop the production of? Are there any particular models that you think should be saved? Should the PT Cruiser really be sent out to pasture or could they possibly redesign the modern-retro car in a way that would still appeal to the market?
Maybe your ideas are just what Chrysler has been waiting on. Why not? Leave your thoughts and comments here and maybe through the miracle of internet browsing Chrysler will finally get the message.