Chrysler extends lives of Dodge Avenger, Grand Caravan and Jeep Wrangler

Article by Anita Panait, on July 25, 2013

Chrysler Group has extended the lives of the Dodge Avenger, Dodge Grand Caravan and Jeep Wrangler, according to a report by The Detroit News, citing supplier sources. The paper said that Chrysler’s product plan entails production of the current Avenger until 2015, an extension of one year; the Grand Caravan until 2017, an extension of 2 years; and the current Wrangler to 2018.

If the report is true, the product extensions might indicate that Chrysler and parent Fiat are trying to save money as they try to struggle with the continuing economic crisis in Europe as well as to prepare for Fiat’s planned acquisition of the remaining Chrysler shares it does not own.

The Avenger sedan had been expected to be terminated late this year or in the first quarter of 2014, as Chrysler prepares its Sterling Heights site to build the next generation Chrysler 200 sedan, which will be underpinned by the same platform that underpins the Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee.

Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne has disclosed this year that the next Chrysler 200 will be unveiled in January 2014.

Once geared up, Chrysler’s Sterling Heights site – which boasts of two body shops – could build the redesigned Chrysler 200 and the older Avenger. Since controlling operations at Chrysler in 2009, Marchionne has sought to end the practice of building similar vehicles that will compete against one another in Chrysler showrooms.

For instance, Marchionne has said that Chrysler should have one minivan going foward, and not the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan.

With the new mid-size sedan that is the 2011 Chrysler 200, the brand is giving customers a glimpse of a vehicle with a superior driving experience that is just as lively. It clearly shows off craftsmanship for the exterior and interior that is incomparable, and is fitted with advanced and pioneering technology.

It will also have high levels of standard features with a large number of safety features included. For the 2011 Chrysler 200, the brand not only made sure to put in new systems inside, but at the very least, upgraded such systems. With this, the new model will have its very own identity and thus earns a distinct place in a segment considered as one that is highly competitive.

Going by what was already mentioned, a good example is how most components of the suspension has either been redesigned or retuned for this model, in particular 26 out of the 30 suspension bushings. Even the geometry suspension was redesigned entirely. The width of the track has been increased to 225 mm from 215 mm. In addition, the front was lowered by 12 mm with the rear lowered as well by 6 mm.

By making the track wider and lower, it allowed it to have a more substantial stance. As such, the 2011 Chrysler 200 is able to give customers a level of handling performance that is more confident and agile. It makes it suitable no matter what the driving situation may be, going out on a trip with friends and family, taking that long-planned adventure on the twisty roads, or simply going to work.

Other upgrades include those on the exterior and even sheet metal, which includes the fascias and the fenders on the front section and the rear end, exterior mirrors, deck lid in the rear, and LED positioning light pipe placed in the front headlamps. New components include the hood, fog lamps, projector headlamps, and taillamps which use LEDs. New as well is the LED stoplight that has been high-mounted in the center.

Even the grille has the brand’s new winged badge. Olivier Francois, the President and CEO of Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC, shared that given that many customers today are smarter, they expect their vehicles to be the same. However they not only want a vehicle that has substance but also one that shows beauty, he added.

For the 2011 Chrysler 200, continued Francois, customers can expect capability, comfort, fuel efficiency, reliability, safety, and style. In summary, this is a vehicle that has beauty and substance. Indeed, if anything, the new 2011 Chrysler 200 is an excellent choice for those who want substance and style yet with excellent value.

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