Forgive the lag in reporting Chrysler’s Viability Plan after GM’s. While GM’s plan didn’t shock anyone, it was interesting to speculate how the changes will fan out. In comparison, what Chrysler had to say for themselves was about as exciting as watching C-Span.Ã‚Â
That may be an unfair comparison, since GM has so much more to shed than Chrysler. The company claims it has already dropped four model lines, with three more to come-no word on which models, but The Garage already announced the PT Cruiser was on the way out.Ã‚Â
In a company sorely lacking in small, desirable, fuel efficient vehicles, the strategic alliance with Fiat will provide a quick fix. No outline was provided on what Fiat models would be coming and when, but in the Plan, Chrysler announced there would be 24 new launches over the next 48 months, so you better believe a lot of those will be Fiats.Ã‚Â
In 2010, Chrysler promises a new, more fuel-efficient Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a uni-body Dodge Durango. A new Chrysler 300 is also coming, to be followed up by a “bolder” Dodge Charger. A new V-6 engine is also scheduled for 2010, and should appear across the line.
Chrysler insists that an “electric-drive” car will be sold in 2010.Ã‚Â
Pictured above is the Chrysler 200C EV Concept. A handsome sedan, and if Chrysler can build it for a fraction of the Tesla or Fisker electric sedan costs, this car should do well. Will they build it? Who knows. Chrysler basically told the Treasury: “Well, we’ve shown the 200C EV, the Dodge Circuit EV, the Jeep Wrangler EV and the Chrysler Town & Country EV. We’re telling you we will build at least one of them in 2010.” My gut tells me it will be the Town & Country. I hope I am wrong. The 200C would get the media talking, and bring a lot more attention to Chrysler.Ã‚Â
But conspicuous by its absence in Chrysler’s press release was the diesel engine. Every Jeep should have the option of one. The 300C is available with a diesel in Europe-it should be offered here as well, and made available in the Charger.Ã‚Â
In sum, GM’s plan was more relatable because we understand what’s going, and who is staying. With Chrysler, you don’t feel like you knew any more than you did earlier. To say “we’re updating our current cars, and coming out with new ones” sounds like business as usual to me. The wild cards here are the Fiats we will get, and what electric car, or cars, are on tap for us.