Even Eminem can’t make the rebadged Chrysler Sebring cool, and that means the brand is sorely lacking in the mid-size (D-segment) category. Worse still, with rising gas prices and increased interest in small cars, the automaker literally has nothing on offer in the compact (C-segment) or sub-compact (B-segment) classes. And if recent reports are correct, Chrysler isn’t getting anything either.
While Sergio Marchionne indicated in his infamous six-hour press conference back in November of 2009 that such models were on their way, Chrysler brand president Olivier Francois recently commented to Car & Driver that a B-Segment car designed to compete with cars like the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Ford Fiesta was no longer in the plan. This news meshes with our own discussion with Dodge boss Ralf Gilles at the Chicago Auto Show, who commented that the Dodge brand wouldn’t get sub-compact, instead leaving that category to Fiat.
Gilles instead said the brand’s next focus would be on the compact category, building a car to rival the Honda Civic and newcomers like the Hyundai Elantra and Chevy Cruze. That car will not be branded as a Chrysler, as Francois has indicated it would only be offered as either a Dodge or Chrysler, and Dodge seems to have won out.