What’s In Store For Chrysler’s Sebring and Avenger?
The current generation Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger have met with mixed reviews at best. Back in October rumors began to swirl that Chrysler was focusing in on some troublesome models including the Sebring and Avenger. To date Chrysler has publicly announced its intention to kill the Dodge Magnum, Chrysler Pacifica, PT Cruiser Convertible and the Chrysler Crossfire. What fate awaits the Sebring and Avenger?
Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli has made it no secret that he wants to fix Chrysler’s existing products’ woes. In a recent article released to the media, Nardelli mentioned that Chrysler has approved more than 260 line item improvements to enhance existing vehicles. One sore spot in Chrysler’s lineup has to be the Sebring/Avenger twins which to date have been a sales disappointment. Just how had are things for the new models? The LA Times’ automotive writer Dan Neil called the 2008 Sebring convertible "Not just bad, but a veritable chalice of wretchedness, a rattling, thumping, lolling tragedy of a car." Ouch!
What might that mean for the Avenger/Sebring? In a Wall Street Journal article last week, a program called "Project D" was mentioned. According to the WSJ, Mr. Nardelli and Vice Chairman Jim Press drew up plans for a crash program, called Project D, to replace the Sebring. This week’s Automotive News describes Project D as an emergency overhaul program that will concentrate on redesigning the interiors of the cars. According to Automotive News’ source, the Project D team will include some senior managers and directors who took recent buyouts and are returning as contract employees.
At this point there is no timeline for Project D, but Chrysler is undoubtedly scrambling to get these improvements designed, tested and implemented ASAP.
sources: WSJ and Automotive News