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Chrysler Sebring name change, C-size styling changes

by David Zatz on

The Chrysler Sebring, which has been savaged by some critics, is likely to get a new name when it is re-engineered for a brief two model year run. Sergio Marchionne, in an interview/press conference, said, “We’ve rolled up our sleeves and have torn apart that architecture to make sure he has a car that can compete so when he re-launches his D-segment vehicle in the fourth quarter of this year you’ll see a completely different animal. We were having a discussion about what name this animal should have. The jury is still out…”

Marchionne also said, “Styling is going to get substantially overhauled in the C-segment [the similar Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot, all made in Belvidere] in the third and fourth quarter of this year.”

Overall, Marchionne said that nearly all the product shown at this week’s Detroit Auto Show would be turned over by the next Detroit show in January 2011, mostly in the second half of 2010.  He also said that he needed to sell 1.65 million Chrysler vehicles worldwide to make an operating profit after interest and taxes.

In addition, Marchionne clearly distinguished between the “new” and “old” Chrysler – between Chrysler Group and Old Carco. He said Chrysler would pay back all the money it was loaned; but that the other company had also been loaned money and he didn’t know about that.  Consistently, he said that the dealers who demanded reinstatement were part of the old company – “This is a new company which started June 10. … The new company, as the bankruptcy judge said, had the right to decide who was going to come along with it and who didn’t.” He added, “A lot of people talk about the unfairness of the treatment of the dealers. Nobody ever worries about the unfairness of the treatment to the company that has adopted a particular stance and had that decision ratified by a bankruptcy judge and built its future on the basis of that ruling.”

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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