At the last minute, the Chrysler Sebring and the Dodge Avenger were saved from being discontinued. Last Friday, Chrysler discussed its five-year business plan, which effectively takes back a decision to halt production of these two models. Insiders say that the company changed its mind because proper Fiat replacements for the two sedans are still two years away.
It appears Chrysler is considering keeping the two models in production until 2012. It becomes highly likely then that the Sterling Heights facility, also set for shutdown by late 2010, may operate until 2012.
It's definitely good news for the Sterling workers, who were protesting the planned closure over the weekend. It shouldn't come as a surprise that these two models have had disappointing sales.
The Toyota Camry, the segment leader, sold 238,612 units in August while the Sebring and Avenger together totaled 40,452 units sold.
The poor performance had led Chrysler's former owner, Cerberus Capital Management, to plan to replace them. When the company entered bankruptcy this year, their plans were put on hold.
In Frankfurt, Chrysler's new CEO, Sergio Marchionne said that he was surprised by how little progress had been done in the past 2 years.
Details of the five-year plan will be announced in November. Reportedly, Chrysler will revive its lineup, launch five new models as well as newer generations of the existing ones. [via autonews]