2007-2010 Chrysler Sebring / Cirrus cars (including European introduction)
2009 and 2010 Sebring changes
In its final year, Chrysler Sebring gained active head restraints and a new instrument cluster with LED backlighting; and is available only in Limited form. It also had a hood swap, losing the strakes, and the 17- and 18-inch wheels were replaced. The rumored "H" model was nowhere to be seen, but then, the press book didn't mention the head restraints, new cluster, or hood, either. Both Chrysler Sebring Sedan and Convertible were listed as being available only in Limited form.
For 2009, a leather wrapped shifter knob with chrome accents was added to Touring and Limited, a four-wheel ABS discs and sunglass holder on all models. Interior noise was dramatically reduced. LED lighting became optional on Touring, an eight-way power driver's seat standard on Touring and Limited, and Remote Start, heated/cooled cupholder, heated front seats, trunk organizer, and phone system became standard on Limited. ESP became standard on Touring.
2007-2009 Chrysler Sebring and Cirrus
The Chrysler Sebring is the Chrysler Cirrus in Mexico. The Sebring combines a Crossfire-like design with class-leading features. The top engine pushes out 232 hp through a six-speed automatic that has a special kickdown gear and a high first gear for quick take-offs. The 2006 model weighed about 3,200 pounds; the 2007 Sebring starts at 3,287 pounds with a larger interior, smaller trunk, and more power (except in the 2.7 V6).
Dave Rooney said that the diesel was codeveloped by DCX and VW, and that the Mitsubishi platform was studied initially but was later rejected as being too confining for the designers. Hence, according to Rooney, the Sebring is a completely Chrysler-engineered Chrysler. For what it’s worth, Autoweek wrote that “the Sebring shares much of its skeletal structure with the slightly smaller C-segment Dodge Caliber.” The Caliber also started as a joint project with Mitsubishi...
The diesel will, in 2009, be paired with the new dual-clutch automated manual transmission (in Europe only), raising gas mileage by around 6%. That transmission may or may not make it to American Sebrings, but should appear in minivans for model-year 2010.
Pricing (as of September 22, 2006)
|Engines||2.4 Four||2.7 V6||3.5 V6||3.3 V6 (2011)||2.0 Diesel|
|HP||173 @ 6,000||189 @6,400||235 @6,400||270||140|
|Torque||166 @ 4,400||191 @4,000||232 @4,000||260||229|
|EPA mpg (2007)||24/32||22/30||19/28||(22/30?)||n/a|
The 2007 Chrysler Sebring sedan starts at $18,995 (including destination). The Touring model has a starting price of $20,195, and includes Yes Essentials seat fabric, a fold-flat front passenger seat, brushed aluminum instrument panel, cluster bezels, door trim and much more. The Sebring Limited, with a starting MSRP of $23,995, has an optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine at about $800 more than the four-cylinder. All four models now have a standard four-cylinder for better gas mileage, with an optional V6.
Our impressions of the 2007 Chrysler Sebring
Aerodynamics are quite good with a Cd of 0.331, about the same as the 1995 Neon.
The Aspen, Sebring, and Pacifica exteriors are clearly of a single brand, with their ribbed hoods (those are speed grooves, in case you were wondering; six concave, one convex), rounded-trapezoid grille, chrome, and similar front-end lines. Inside, they could hardly be more different, with interiors that appeared to have been designed by three different companies with very different cultures.
Though the front is attractive to many people when viewed in person, and the Audi side view is not unattractive, the interior is an odd mix of Caliber and Aspen, and doesn't really seem to succeed as a whole with the beige color scheme. The three colors seem to clash a bit, and combine to be rather busy on the door panel and inside the front of the cockpit; the rear is much more restrained. There are acres of blocky gray plastic, with tortoise-shell plastic inserts on the wheel, doors, and glove box, along with the other-shade-of-gray and silver plastic. With the gray interior, things are much more sedate, and the Sebring has a high level of dignity.
The lighter side of the Chrysler Sebring interior is a number of clever features, including a front passenger seat that easily flips forward to provide a table at the same height as the center console (the doors have map pockets for rear-passenger storage); the 20 GB built-in stereo complete with easy to reach port; and easy to reach controls for the trip computer / personalization center.
The Sebring appears to be an eminently practical car, with a large rear seat featuring good leg room and an abundance of head room, coupled with a huge trunk and decent gas mileage; the base engine, a 170 hp 2.4 liter four-cylinder with all sorts of technology but little low-end torque, is available even on the most loaded version for those who like the features and comfort but don't need more acceleration. Gas mileage with that one is 24 mpg city, 32 mpg highway.
The engine most enthusiasts will be awaiting is the 3.5 liter, coupled to a Chrysler-designed six-speed automatic; according to Dave Rooney, head of Chrysler marketing (who once headed Eagle marketing!), it's dead quiet at 90 mph. We won't ask how he knows, but it sure is quiet at even fast highway speeds. Gas mileage is 19 city, 28 highway according to EPA estimates. It's hard to say what that means for the real world (we’d guess, based on our experience, about 17/24).
Allpar regulars are aware of the constant discussion around the positioning of the Chrysler Brand. Rooney reiterated that they already had Mercedes at the high end, and noted that Chrysler had not competed at the Cadillac/Lincoln/Mercedes end of the market even when Walter P. Chrysler was alive; several times he repeated that the Chrysler mantra was to understand what the customer really wants and give it to them, and to provide a good value by doing that. According to Rooney, Chrysler strives for "presence, a refined and even glamorous look," with "purposeful technology, not just technology for technology's sake - it's been that way since Walter P. Chrysler, 80 years ago."
Dave Rooney also said that the diesel was codeveloped by DCX and VW, and that the Mitsubishi platform was studied initially but was later rejected as being too confining for the designers. Hence, according to Rooney, the Sebring is a completely Chrysler-engineered Chrysler - a rare thing, these days.
Back to the official Sebring materials
Inspired by the 2003 Chrysler Airflite concept vehicle, the Chrysler Sebring’s elegant lines bring to mind the Crossfire in front, as well as various Audi cars on the roofline and, well, a lot of other cars in the rear (including the Accord and Corolla). The swept-back headlights have a vague resemblance to the PT teardrop headlights, and are scalloped in accordance with current Chrysler design dictates. The ribbed hood adds character even as it will probably confound detailers.
“The Chrysler Sebring’s overall surfacing and details reflect the Chrysler brand’s four attributes: expressive, refined, athletic and passionate,” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President — Design. High-gloss blackouts on the B-pillars enhance the length of the Sebring’s greenhouse. Sculptured character lines running along the body accentuate Sebring’s athletic stance.
The expressive character of the vehicle continues at the rear where Sebring’s wide taillamps are integrated into both the rear quarters and extend into the deck lid for visual impact. Rear fog lamps mounted in the backup lamps maintain a uniform appearance between domestic and export vehicles. US-market Sebring Limited models add chrome-tipped dual exhaust outlets to hint at the performance of the optional 3.5-liter V6.
The interior features a modern, clean appearance with soft surfaces, mechanical grains and selective gloss levels on the interior surfaces.
From the driver’s seat, Sebring’s H-point is 2.54 inches (64.6 mm) higher than the vehicle it replaces, giving drivers a command-of-the-road seating position. Standard 60/40 fold-flat rear seats make room for more gear, and an available fold-flat passenger seat creates a table-like surface to enhance the versatility of Sebring’s interior.
All Chrysler Sebring models feature a two-tone interior color theme of dark and lighter shades of gray or beige, which provides a spacious and well-appointed look. The Limited model also features an exclusive two-tone cream and beige interior with leather seats. The Chrysler Sebring Limited’s available upscale accent materials and finishes include Tortoise Shell, Satin Silver, Alloy Silver and Chrome.
The Sebring’s JS platform is derived from the GS [Caliber/Compass/Patriot] platform but is wider and longer. Many parts are shared among vehicles on the two platforms, and a high level of flexibility has been engineered into the assembly process. If demand is strong, the Chrysler group can assemble the Sebring and Avenger at its Belvidere plant. Conversely, Chrysler can assemble the Caliber and its Jeep siblings in the Sterling Heights plant.
Specifications and such
For full specifications on the engines and more details on the transmissions, see the following pages (they'll open in new windows):
- 2.4 liter engine: 24 mpg city, 32 mpg highway
- 2.7 liter V6 engine: 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway
- 3.5 liter V6 engine: 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway
- 62TE automatic transmission
- 40/41TES automatic transmission
European introduction, October 31, 2006
The European Sebring competes in the Group D segment, with an available diesel and right hand drive; it will be available in Touring and Limited trim starting in 2007. In addition to the features of the American versions, the European Sebring will have rear fog lamps mounted in the backup lamps. The company noted its 2.5 inch higher driver's seat, for a better view of the road. The interior will be two-tone with gray or beige; the Limited will have a third cream/beige interior with leather seats. The navigation system will operate in six languages (Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish). Standard features include:
- An auxiliary audio input jack for MP3 connectivity and play capability on all audio systems
- Automatic temperature control
- Cabin air-filtration system
- Express-down front windows on the key fob
- YES Essentials¨ worry-free seat fabric
- 60/40 split fold-flat rear seat
- Fold-flat front passenger seat
- Light-Emitting Diode (LED) interior lighting with high-focus white lights in both the front and rear seats (late availability)
- Sliding centre console armrest with dual storage bins underneath
Additional available features include:
- Heated/cooled front-seat cup holder for keeping hot beverages hot and cool beverages cool. Cup holder can heat to 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) or cool to nearly freezing at 2 deg. C (35 deg. F)
- Rear-seat DVD video entertainment system (late availability)
- Heated cloth front seats
- Heated leather-trimmed front seats
- Rear cargo organiser (available as an after-sales accessory)
The standard 2.0-litre petrol World Engine with dual Variable Valve Timing (VVT) provides 115 kW (156 hp DIN) and 190 Nm (140 lb.-ft.) of torque.
The 2.4-litre petrol World Engine with dual VVT is matched to an automatic transaxle with Auto Stick, which gives the driver manual shifting control or fully automatic operation. The engine generates 125 kW (170 hp DIN) and 220 Nm (162 lb.-ft.) of torque. Available at a later stage in Europe is an enhanced 2.7-litre V-6 petrol engine paired with a responsive automatic transaxle. The American 3.5 liter V6 will apparently not be available, but taking its place will be a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine that produces 103 kW (140 hp DIN) and 310 Nm (229 lb.-ft.) of torque, coupled with a six-speed manual transaxle.
The American safety features - multistage front airbags, side-curtain airbags, thorax side airbags, door beams, safety cage, ABS, ESP (stability control), brake assist, tire pressure monitor, and SentryKey - remain, but the American LATCH system of child seat anchors is replaced by the European ISOFIX.
Outside North America, the Chrysler Sebring is designed to appeal to buyers 35-55 years of age, most of whom are married and well educated. Target customers have a median income of approximately 60,000 Euros, and many have families with one or two children.
Technological features of the 2007 Chrysler Sebring cars
The 2007 Chrysler Sebring features a Harmon/Kardon infotainment / navigation audio system with a 6.5-inch touch-screen panel that can support 65,000 colors, providing a three-dimensional appearance to graphics and animation. The system follows voice-activated commands and includes many new features for music, sound, movies and personalized picture displays, including:
- A 20 gigabyte hard disc drive that includes Music Juke Box for organizing music and pictures on the hard drive
- USB for MP3 connectivity and downloading of WMA, MP3, and JPEG files onto the hard drive
- GraceNotes database on the hard disk drive, which provides song identification, including title, composer, artist and title
- Playlist creation capability to provide easy access to files
- Voice memo recording (up to 3 minutes), using the microphone integrated into the rearview mirror
- Screen which can display movies when Sebring is stopped
- SIRIUS® Satellite Radio, which provides customers with 100 channels commercial-free
- UConnect™ uses Bluetooth® to provide voice-activated wireless communication between compatible cell phones and the vehicle’s receiver
In addition to this cutting-edge navigation radio, the 2007 Chrysler Sebring also offers a unique combination of features not available on other mid-size competitors, including:
- YES Essentials® stain-resistant, odor resistant, anti-static seat fabric
- Available DVD rear-seat entertainment system that includes AM/FM stereo radio with MP3 capable CD/DVD Player, six-disc CD/DVD changer and SIRIUS® Satellite Digital Audio Radio (late availability)
- Heated/cooled front cupholder for keeping cool beverages cool and hot beverages hot. Cupholder can heat beverage to 140 degrees F or cool to nearly freezing at 35 degrees F
- Light-Emitting Diode (LED) interior lighting with high-focus white lights in both the front and rear seats (late availability)
- Auxiliary audio input jack for MP3 connectivity on all audio systems
- MP3 play capability
- Available remote start
- Express down front windows on the key fobs
- 60/40 fold-flat rear seats
- Available heated cloth front seats
- Available heated leather seats
- Available fold-flat front passenger seat
- Cabin air-filtration system
- Sliding center console armrest bin with dual bin front seat storage
- Available trunk organizer
- HomeLink® universal garage door opener
The 2007 Chrysler Sebring features many steel technologies that reduce weight and unwanted noise, while also creating a safe, solid, stiff structure that provides excellent impact performance, a smooth ride, and solid handling. Top that with world-class levels of sealants and sound-deadening materials, and the Chrysler Sebring offers a quiet ride.
By mass, Sebring’s body structure is a combined 30 percent mix of hot-stamped and high-strength steel. Hot-stamped steel A-pillars, B-pillars and roof rail reinforcements reduce upper body weight by 30 lbs., compared with traditional steel.
“Sebring has among the highest combined percentages of high-strength and ultra-high-strength, hot-stamped steel among production-volume vehicles on the road today,” said Dennis Krozek, Chief Engineer – Chrysler Sebring. “That higher weight-to-strength ratio of high-strength steel gave us the ability to reduce Sebring’s overall weight, while also developing a safety cage that keeps occupants protected.”
In addition to high-strength and hot-stamped steel, Sebring also features dual-phase steel in the rear rails, tunnel reinforcement and sills. Dual-phase steel allows these components to handle greater loads than conventional steels, which helps them manage impact energy more effectively, while still being relatively easy to stamp and control dimensionally. In the event of a high-speed front impact, the design of the structure and the properties of the steel combine to protect the occupants by absorbing the impact energy in a controlled manner.
Dual-phase and high-strength steels are strategically located in the sill construction providing an efficient cross-section-to-weight balance. As many as four layers of metal (including dual-phase and high-strength steel of various shapes and sizes) provide optimum impact energy management. Chrysler Sebring also has large sills, which make the body structure substantially stiffer than its predecessor in bend and torsion.
Components joined with new structural adhesives improve stiffness and impact energy management compared with other joining methods such as spot welding and laser welding. Tougher, more elastic adhesives add strength to Sebring’s joints during an impact. Sebring’s stronger joints create a more rigid structure and minimize noise, vibration and harshness in the passenger compartment, giving the Sebring more body stiffness, which contributes to its excellent ride quality, comfort and interior quietness.
The Sebring’s overall torsion and bending stiffness give it excellent on-road performance and a solid feel and ride comfort, while allowing the body to remain tight and quiet. Sebring’s new front-wheel-drive architecture and the three-box vehicle design contribute to a torsional (twist) stiffness of 17,925 ft.-lb./degree (32.2 Hz) and a bending stiffness of 66,703 lb./in. (26.3 Hz), which is 1.7 times stiffer in torsion and 1.6 times stiffer in bending than the vehicle it replaces.
The Sebring also benefits from extensive application of pumpable and moldable sealers in the upper body to reduce NVH characteristics. Seam sealing is applied both inside and outside the body, instead of just inside of the body.
Sebring’s doors are triple sealed to reduce wind noise. A continuous, one-piece channel-type weather strip mounted in a three-piece roll-formed channel in the upper door frames seals both sides of the windows to prevent wind noise and water leaks.
Chrysler Group engineers also extensively tuned the new Sebring and added many special treatments to alleviate road, wind and powertrain noise and vehicle shake, including:
- All engines include acoustic engine covers to absorb and dampen noise
- Powertrain and body mounts are tuned to minimize shake, as well as improve instrument panel stiffness, steering column-to-instrument panel stiffness and instrument-panel-to-body stiffness
- The air induction system, accessory drive mounting and exhaust system are tuned to reduce powertrain noise and improve sound quality
- The A-pillar and exterior mirrors were aerodynamically developed in the wind tunnel to reduce wind noise
- Multiple rib-like indentations in the floor pan and applied mastic sound-deadening material reduce boom
- Expandable Polyurethane Foam (PUR®) injected into cavities in the body structure prevents noise from being transmitted to the passenger compartment.
- Every hole and cavity is covered with a plug or patch
- Bituminous mastic pads are bonded to the floor pan to dampen vibration and act as a noise barrie
- Dampers on the dash and the rear wheel houses consisting of a layer of mastic between two layers of metal are adhesive bonded to flat surfaces that might otherwise resonate
Class-leading Safety Features on the 2007 Chrysler Sebring
Chrysler Sebring offers class-leading safety, with a combination of standard safety items not typically found in the mid-size-car segment, including:
- Advanced multi-stage front air bags provide nearly instantaneous occupant protection by matching air bag output to crash severity
- Standard side-curtain air bags deploy from the headliner to provide two rows of side-impact protection to outboard occupants
- Front-seat-mounted side air bags deploy for enhanced thorax protection during a side impact
- Side guard door beams in front and rear doorsprovide occupant protection during a side impact
- Structural safety cage protects occupants by managing and controlling energy in the event of an impact
- Available Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Traction Control assists the driver in maintaining vehicle directional stability by applying selective braking and throttle control to control oversteer, understeer and to maintain traction during acceleration on slippery surfaces
- Brake Assist (included with ESP) ensures 100 percent brake efficiency during panic brake situations
- Belt Alert provides an audible and visual warning to alert drivers when their seat belt is unfastened
- Child Seat Anchor System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren [LATCH]) eases installation of compatible aftermarket child seats
- Daytime Running Lamps increase visual contrast between the Sebring and its surrounding environment
- Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) alerts the driver to low pressure tire(s) by a warning light in the instrument cluster. A premium system displays individual tire pressure, available with the Electronic Vehicle Information System
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions
- Available auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Remote Keyless Entry locks and unlocks doors, and turns on interior lamps. If the vehicle is equipped with a vehicle-theft security alarm, the remote also arms and disarms that system
- Sentry Key® Engine Immobilizer uses an engine key that has an embedded transponder to shut the engine off after a few seconds if the correct key is not inserted.
- UConnect Hands-free Communication System uses Bluetooth technology to provide voice-activated wireless communication between the occupants’ compatible cell phone and the vehicle’s onboard receiver. The hands-free option promotes safety, freedom, value and flexibility
Powerful engines with better gas mileage
Three engine options power the 2007 Chrysler Sebring sold in the United States: the new 2.4-liter four-cylinder World Engine, a 2.7-liter V-6 engine and an available 3.5-liter V-6 engine coupled with a new six-speed automatic transaxle with Auto Stick that provides 0-60 mph performance to rival the best in the mid-size-car class. A Volkswagen diesel replaces the 3.5 V6 as an option for cars sold outside North America.
Sebring’s standard 2.4-liter World Engine with dual variable valve timing (VVT) provides a strong balance of fuel economy and solid performance. This new engine provides a 13 percent increase in horsepower (172 horsepower vs. 150 horsepower) and 4 percent improvement in fuel economy over the old 2.4 liter engine.
An enhanced 2.7-liter V-6 engine provides the power of a V-6 with the price of some competitors’ four-cylinder engines. It produces 190 horsepower and 190 lb.-ft. of torque, providing more low-end torque (at an 850 rpm lower point) than the 200 hp 2.7-liter engine it replaces.
Chrysler Sebring sedans sold in the United States also are available with 3.5-liter V-6 engines that produce 235 horsepower and 232 lb.-ft. of torque, coupled with a new six-speed AutoStick automatic. The 2007 Chrysler Sebring is (with the Pacifica) one of the first vehicles to offer the new six-speed automatic transaxle, which provides quicker standing-start acceleration than a four- or five-speed transaxle because of its higher first gear ratio. A more robust differential enhances launch performance by requiring less torque management. Smaller steps between ratios also make for a smoother, quieter ride, as the engine speed doesn’t change as often with each shift. More appropriate ratios for quicker acceleration and a lower overall top gear ratio provide a quieter ride and improved fuel economy at highway speeds.
“The all-new 2007 Chrysler Sebring's performance is extremely competitive with the best in its class,” said Larry Lyons, Vice President – Front-wheel-drive Product Team. “Based on 0-60 mph acceleration tests, the Sebring Limited's performance, with its new 3.5-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transaxle, rivals the leaders in the mid-size class.”
Chrysler Group also will offer a Volkswagen 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine on the Chrysler Sebring for key diesel markets outside North America. The diesel engine will deliver excellent performance and fuel economy, with an estimated 140 horsepower DIN (103 kW) and 236 lb.-ft. (320 N•m) of torque; power will reportedly be delivered via a five-speed manual transmission, an optional six-speed Aisin manual, or an automatic.
Features, marketing, etc.
In the United States, Chrysler Sebring is designed to appeal to 35-55 year-old buyers who are married and have a median income of approximately $65,000. Fifty-five percent are female, and 60 percent are college educated. Many have small families with one or two children. These mid-size car buyers are down-to-earth and conservative, yet open-minded, self-confident and have a passion for life. Middle and upper-middle class, their lives are active, and they have a true sense of style. Their self image is grounded in their accomplishments and future prospects. Chrysler Sebring’s elegant and sophisticated design, packaged with interior craftsmanship and essential levels of reliability, meets the needs of customers who want more than just practicality in this competitive segment.
The 2007 Chrysler Sebring is available in the United States in three models: Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler Sebring Touring and Chrysler Sebring Limited.
Production of the 2007 Chrysler Sebring begins in the third quarter of 2006 at the newly refurbished Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich. The new 2.4-liter four-cylinder World Engine for this vehicle is built in the state-of-the art Global Engine Manufacturing Assembly (GEMA) plant in Dundee, Mich. The 2.7-liter V-6 engine and the 3.5-liter V-6 engines are built at the Kenosha Engine Plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Other Chrysler Sebring notes
The Sebring was originally based on the Mitsubishi Galant platform (defined as a set of dimensions and basic technology choices, independent of powertrain), but Chrysler was the "engineering lead." Mitsubishi had already been working on the next-generation Galant/Eclipse (Montero Sport outside the US) for some time, and their work was fairly advanced; but the actual engineering of the vehicle is mostly Chrysler.
Dave Rooney said that the platform was studied initially but was later rejected as being too confining for the designers. Hence, according to Rooney, the Sebring is a completely Chrysler-engineered Chrysler. For what it’s worth, Autoweek wrote that “the Sebring shares much of its skeletal structure with the slightly smaller C-segment Dodge Caliber.” The Caliber also started as a joint project with Mitsubishi...
The brand-new 62TE six-speed automatic transmission developed entirely by Chrysler includes a special kickdown gear, technically making it a seven-speed.
Currently, the Sebring and Stratus sedans, combined, are selling around 200,000 units per year, including the closely-related Sebring Convertible, while the Neon is selling around 120,000 units. The Sedans outsold the Mitsubishi-designed Coupes by more than a 4:1 margin when sales data was still separated.
From the freezing temperatures of Northern Michigan in winter to the hottest summer temperatures in Mexico and the most volatile driving conditions that could be created in the Chrysler Group’s AeroAcoustic Wind Tunnel, Chrysler Group engineers tested the 2007 Chrysler Sebring in the most extreme conditions to develop an all-new mid-size sedan that achieves exceptional levels of quality, durability and reliability and can solidly compete with the leaders in the mid-size sedan segment.
The Chrysler Sebring was designed and engineered under the Chrysler Development System (CDS), the comprehensive, coordinated and disciplined product creation process that improves quality and speed-to-market while reducing costs and encouraging practical innovation in new products.
Emphasized on CDS are the systems engineering, design and up-front planning to avoid time-consuming and costly trial and error or changes during the latter phases of the product development cycle. With CDS, all product and process planning is completed and fully integrated before production tooling begins.
Overall, the entire company has benefited from the intensified focus on quality as Chrysler Group has seen nearly a 45-percent improvement in expense per vehicle (EPUS) from the 1998-2001 model years to the 2006 model year. In external metrics, the Chrysler Group brands continue to make dramatic year-over-year improvements. The 2007 Chrysler Sebring program and its dedicated engineers have made the vehicle another strong statement in the company’s goal of being among the best in quality.
In March of 2006, the Chrysler Group invested more than $500 million in SHAP and Sterling (Heights) Stamping Plant, making it both more flexible and efficient. The assembly operation now has the capability to build multiple upper bodies and multiple car platforms, which will allow for the flexibility to add new models or “cross-load” models from other plants in order to better meet the dynamics of the market. In addition, the Sterling Stamping Plant can weld and assemble more than one product on the same line.
At the core of the new manufacturing process is an emphasis on empowered teams and a body shop comprised of 620 welding and material handling robots instead of the dedicated tooling that was previously used. The door, hood and liftgate assembly system is new, as are the side aperture assembly systems. Only the robots' end effectors, or "hands," need to change in order to build the different models. That tool change is done automatically, within the time it takes to cycle from one vehicle to the next. SHAP is flexible enough to vary production mix between two products anywhere from 0 to 100 percent of each model. A third model also can be piloted or test-built at the same time, helping reduce the time needed to make new-model changeovers.
A new workplace organizational model, coined Smart Manufacturing, is increasing the flexibility of the SHAP workforce, while fostering greater creativity and innovation from plant employees. This model is being implemented throughout the Chrysler Group's Manufacturing organization. In addition to extensive training, the new workplace model lets employees design their own work stations. These changes provide a better work environment for employees and give increased support to assembly line team members.
The Sterling Heights plant has more than 2,400 employees working two shifts; it occupies 286 acres and provides more than $5 million in taxable income to the state. Sterling Heights Assembly Plant opened in 1953 as a jet engine factory. The plant was purchased by Chrysler Corporation in 1983.
2007 Sebring features (thanks, oh20)
Base model standard features are surprisingly generous; note the standard dual horns, floor mats, keyless entry, power heated mirrors and locks, day/night mirror, cruise, side airbags, tilt-telescope wheel, and tachometer!