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Chrysler re-shuts plants

by David Zatz on

Automotive News reported that, faced with a 50% sales decline, Chrysler has once again shut down the Sterling Heights, Jefferson North, and Warren Truck plants, which make, respectively, the Sebring/Avenger, Grand Cherokee/Commander, and Ram and Dakota. Despite the award-winning, visually unique 2009 Dodge Ram redesign, pickup sales dropped 35% in January – which made them one of Chrysler’s bright spots, but did not justify keeping the plant open. 

Sales of the relatively fuel-efficient Sebring and Avenger were down over 70%; the big Jeeps were down 60% and 71%. Minivan sales were also down by well over 50%, but the St. Louis minivan plant has already been closed. Only a few Chrysler vehicles sold better than half as well in January 2009 than in January 2008 – the Wrangler (up 4%), the Charger (down 49%), the Viper, and two new vehicles, the Journey and Challenger, which added nearly 6,000 units to the total. PT Cruiser and Dodge Durango  sales were particularly battered, with the Cruiser down 80% to just 947 units, and the Durango down 87% to just 502 units. Sebring, Caliber, and Nitro were hit nearly as badly.

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