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Chrysler at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show

2009 Geneva Auto Show overview

Chrysler has been attempting to break into the European market for decades, and succeeded for a while with its acquisition of SIMCA, though its American-made models never made a dent. Some Jeep models sold moderately well as niche vehicles, particularly in the U.K., and the minivans attracted a cult following, but Chrysler never entered the European Top Ten manufacturers with its own vehicles, despite a highly successful LeMans effort where Dodge Vipers swept aside much pricier Italian racers.

chrysler 200c

The linkup with Fiat may reverse Chrysler's European fates; some executives believed that introducing Dodge to Europe and adapting the Journey to local needs with a diesel and stick-shift (or automated manual transmission), but Chrysler sales have been falling somewhat faster than the European average. Even if the Fiat link fails, though, upcoming product such as the Chrysler 200C may give the company better European penetration.

Geneva 2009 car show

According to Automotive News, most of the new launches at the Geneva show were luxury cars.

Thanks to Henri Kern for these photos. He wrote that Chrysler's display was somewhat less splashy than in 2008, but was still impressive. He also wrote:

Chrysler has been in Europe a long time, but the only cars we [commonly] saw here were the Chrysler Voyager (Europe's Town and Country), sometimes a 300M, and of course the Grand Cherokee. In the last few years, with the introduction of the 300C and the Dodge brand (Caliber, Nitro and Journey), Chrysler products are less rare on our roads.


Most of the Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep cars showed at the Geneva auto show and others shows in Europe are Diesel, if an automaker wants to sell cars, Diesel is inevitable. People are nevertheless very impressed by the SRT version of the 300C, the Caliber, and the Grand Cherokee, all these cars were present at this year’s show.

200C in Geneva

Concerning the EV concepts, Chrysler only put the 200C and the Circuit on stage. The Jeep concepts (Wrangler and Patriot) and the minivan were absent. The feedback on the 200C is very positive, especially the exterior design. It can't be better. Everybody wants to know when the production version will come out. The French press said that the 200C is "worth the journey to Geneva."

chrysler 200C car side view

The Dodge Circuit is less impressive because it's based on a Lotus, which is more "common" and has maybe less style than the 200C. Some people are skeptics about the EV technology and think the weight of the batteries is too much important and the price of such car would be too high. One yellow Circuit with black stripes was reserved for journalist test drives outside the showroom.

300C Touring

The new interiors of the Jeep Compass and Patriot increased the interior quality, one of the first concerns for European buyers. People noticed the difference with the older version. Visitors were also interested in the 300C Touring which has a better succes here than the sedan version. Chrysler didn't show the sedan Sebring (only the convertible was present) and the Avenger, both cars are sold in Europe but have a very bad press. On the Dodge side, people were attracted by the Journey and its huge interior space, good quality interior, and the reverse camera.

Dodge Circuit in Geneva

The public reaction around the 200C was very good and a lot of Europeans want to see this car enter production as soon as possible, and hope this style DNA will spread to other future products.

dodge circuit


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