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In a land where the Ladas actually pass as respectable cars, the Chrysler Sebring has been rejected by consumers.
According to several reports, production of the Sebring (rebadged as the Volga Siber) has been stopped due to low demand.
The car (based on the previous generation model and not our current Sebring), was being produced by Russian automaker GAZ, after it purchased the tooling and rights from Chrysler. GAZ had expected to sell as many as 40,000 cars a year, but only ever produced a maximum of 2,500 cars.
Officials at GAZ have denied the reports so far, but sources indicate the automaker is preparing to partner with one or more other foreign automakers (the list includes Volkswagen, Mercedes and General Motors) to produce cars under contract for the Russian market.
With the introduction of the Chrysler 200 comes the inevitable Chrysler 200 convertible, which will get the same 2.4L 4-cylinder and 3.6L V6 powerplants as the Chrysler 200, and arrive as a 2012 model.
Unfortunately, no more details are available on the topless 200, so you’ll have to settle for a Sebring ragtop when you visit Florida at Christmas time.
The Chrysler Sebring is one of America’s least liked cars, and the convertible has the ignominious honor of being lampooned on The Office as the official car of Michael Scott, the incompetent, ostentatious company boss.
Chrysler is hoping that the Sebring droptop will get a fresh start when it adopts the new nameplate and look of the Chrysler 200 sedan. We’re fairly confident that the 200 convertible will still drive like a wet towel stretched stretched over a pipe-cleaner, but the Sebring-err-200 will have a built-in audience among rental car companies looking for a low-cost convertible for their fleets. That alone is reason enough to keep the car in production.
Chrysler is recalling 26,397 vehicles over fault power steering hoses that could leak and cause a fire. Vehicles affected include the 2010 Chrysler 300, Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Journey and Dodge Challenger.
NHTSA released a statement regarding the recall stating “Some of these vehicles may experience a separation at the crimped end of the power steering pressure hose assembly. Leaked power steering fluid onto hot engine components could cause a fire.”
The recall is expected to begin at the end of the month. Owners can contact Chrysler at (800) 853-1403.
[Source: Inside Line via NHTSA]
Chrysler‘s much maligned Sebring is getting a new name and a new look for 2011. Re-branded as the 200C, the mid-size car from the Pentastar brand retains the Sebrings sillhouette but the new fascias and lights help make the car look substantially better than the outgoing Sebring.
Power comes from a 2.4L four-cylinder or a 3.6L V6, mated to a six-speed transmission. Chrysler’s new V6 family has gotten some stellar reviews, so hopefully this car will finally become more than just fodder for the Budget Rent-A-Car lot. Even if the old Sebring had nowhere to go but up.
Hit the jump for the official press release
Chrysler looks set to torpedo the Sebring nameplate in favor of the “200″, in a nod to the heavily refreshed Chrysler 200 set to debut at the end of the year. The current Sebring is one of the most maligned cars on the road today (and for good reason), and Chrysler is hoping to bury that legacy with a heavily refreshed and renamed mid-size car.
We won’t pass judgement on the new midsize car until we’ve driven it, but knowing what’s underneath it, namely the Sebring platform, we still have a healthy dose of skepticism surrounding the new Chrysler Sebring 200
Gallery: 2011 Chrysler 200
Hit the jump to see the official press release
The Chrysler Sebring convertible is possibly one of the most maligned cars on sale today. Known for its less than stellar driving dynamics, build quality, styling and, well, just about everything else, the Sebring convertible really only has price going for it – and that’s exactly what its place in Chrysler’s lineup is guaranteed for the foreseeable future, at least in fleet sales.
Apparently, rental fleets made up a big portion of Sebring droptop customers (hardly a surprise) and the low transaction price makes them a favorite of rental fleets across the Sun Belt states. Fortunately, the Sebring will see improvements like refreshed styling, chassis tweaks, an all-new V6 engine and a 6-speed automatic gearbox, though we have to say, the current car has left an indelible impression on us to the point where we’re skeptical of anything called “Sebring”, even the race track.
Fulvia. Delta Integrale. Beta Montecarlo. There are some of the storied nameplates a car enthusiast normally associates with the Lancia brand. Now those models will be joined by some less illustrious names, like the Sebring and PT Cruiser if Fiat’s newest scheme comes to fruition.
The parent company of Chrysler is hoping to re-badge those vehicles as Lancias in Continental Europe, something we’re not too sure about. Will anyone who ever bought the other-worldly Thesis be truly satisfied with a 300C, let alone a Sebring? We doubt it, and it’s hard to see why Fiat would want to mess with an established brand like Lancia. Perhaps the new slate of product will be good enough to sell in Lancia showrooms, but the current line-up is distinctly America, with their big displacement engines, hefty dimensions and not-quite-there quality – but then again, nobody ever said the Italians built good cars, just that they engineered them properly.
[Source: World Car Fans]
Chrysler had previously announced that a selection of Fiat-based compact cars was slated to hit the market in early 2012. But in a sign of rapid progress at Chrysler (or anxiety over the supposed apocalypse), CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a conference call that work on the vehicles is advancing sooner than the company anticipated, and it should appear in the fourth quarter of 2011.
“We’ve run extensive clinics on the first vehicles. We’re 98 percent there on styling,” Marchionne said to Automotive News. “My expectation today is we’ll be able to get this car into the market Q4 2011. We continue to work pretty aggressively on timing.” Marchionne also said that improved versions of the much-maligned Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger are slated to bow around the same time.
Chrysler showed a re-badged version of the European market Lancia Delta at the 2010 Detroit Autoshow, but there’s no official word on whether this product is slated to come to North America.
Gallery: Chrysler/Lancia Delta
[Source: Automotive News]
When Chrysler gets around to replacing the current Sebring it also hopes to erase all memory of the failed mid-size sedan by changing its name to the Nassau. The name may sound familiar to some as back in 2007 the American automaker debuted the Nassau Concept at the Detroit Auto Show, sporting some details that were later incorporated into the current Sebring model.
Word of this name change comes via the Detroit Free Press, which suggests Chrysler isn’t likely to adapt the concept’s looks, but rather head in an all new direction.
As for the rest of the vehicle, expect a majorly updated interior as well as a choice of either a 190-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine or a 280ish-hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. A six-speed dual-clutch transmission is also expected, delivering much improved fuel economy.
The Chrysler Nassau is expected to debut in 2012.
GALLERY: Chrysler Nassau Concept
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
Viper replacement expected, while Ram brand exploring possibility of building 18-wheeler rig
During Chrysler’s seven hour press conference explaining the direction of the company over the next few years, it became increasingly clear that the new Fiat ownership is planning to build up the Chrysler group of brands using Fiat products. Much of the news isn’t entirely new, but it has now been confirmed and the extent to which Fiat intends to wipe clean Chrysler’s slate of underperforming cars is clear.
Many of the initial changes will be in the Dodge brand and will occur in 2012-13, with a new compact car based on a Fiat platform to be introduced. No specifics were given, but it is likely that this new model would replace the Caliber. Another Fiat platform will replace the Avenger (and presumably the Chrysler Sebring). On top of that, a Fiat-based hatchback model will also be introduced in the sub-compact segment. It is not clear if this is the Fiat 500 or, considering that car’s diminutive size, if it will be a slightly larger vehicle to compete with cars like the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and the upcoming Chevy Spark and Ford Fiesta.
With the 500, Fiat/Chrysler will introduce two new engines aimed at meeting the strict CAFE standard of 35.5 mpg by 2016. The first is a 1.4-liter gasoline engine, while the second is a diesel offering.
On top of this, a new dodge crossover will enter the segment late in 2010 for the 2011 product year. It will be a large vehicle with seven-seat capability.
Sadly, the Dodge Viper will be eliminated at the end of next summer. The good news, however, is that Fiat does intend to bring a new sports car into the market by 2012.
From the press conference we also learned, contrary to reports, the Dodge will focus on branding its vehicles less on their performance characteristics.
As for the new Ram brand, much will stay the same with the current pickup quite new in the marketplace and the new heavy duty trucks having just been introduced this year. Impressively, Ram brand CEO Fred Diaz commented that Ram is looking at building a full-sized 18-wheeler rig.
[Source: Automotive News]
A week ahead of a planned Fiat/Chrysler press conference in which Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of both automakers, was to outline the future of Chrysler, much of the information has been revealed in an in-depth report in the Wall Street Journal. But before we get to the new products that the Italian-owned automaker is planning to bring into the North American marketplace, it’s time to learn the fate of the vehicles being axed. And judging from the list, it appears as though Fiat is intent on moving its products in and Chrysler’s products out.
The vehicles to be cut include the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Sebring. On the Dodge side, four models will be eliminated, including the Caliber, Nitro, Avenger and Grand Caravan. Three Jeeps will also meet their maker: the Commander, Compass and Patriot.
In place of these vehicles Fiat is ready to announce the introduction of the 500 in 2011, along with three Alfa Romeo vehicles: the MiTo (shown above), Milano (which will replace the 147) and another yet unnamed mid-sized sedan.
The rest of the plan will see the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger redesigned in 2011, with the Grand Cherokee due out soon. And with only two Chrysler products left, the rumored decision to axe that brand’s name may just happen.
The Wall Street Journal made no mention of past reports that the Fiat Panda would see its way to the U.S. as a Jeep. There is also no word on if the Fiat 500 will be offered in just it’s standard hatchback form, or if a convertible and sporty Abarth version will also join the product lineup.
GALLERY: Alfa Romeo MiTo
[Source: WallStreetJournal via KickingTires]
Chrysler’s previous ownership by Daimler continues to effect the company’s future as plans to replace two of its struggling vehicles have been pushed back. Both the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring were scheduled to be replaced in 2010, but the American automaker’s new Fiat management has now decided to extend the life-cycles of the two vehicles until at least 2012.
Under Daimler ownership Chrysler practically halted major research and development of its models, choosing instead to follow a business plan where Mercedes technology was handed down form the basis of new American vehicles. With Daimler having jumped ship during the recent bankruptcy proceedings, now Fiat and Chrysler must work together to start fresh.
In the mean time, Fiat has said it is planing a model refresh for both sedans, with the revamped Avenger due out next year and the Sebring most likely following the year after that.
During that period Chrysler is also expected to release mid-cycle changes to the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, the Dodge Journey, Dodge Caliber; Jeep Compass and Patriot, and even the recently resurrected Chrysler PT Cruiser.
The replacements for the Sebring and Avenger have been rumored to be based on Alfa Romeo models, but with completely new bodywork.