Chrysler's freshened midsize sedan that will be launched later this year will be named the Nassau, replacing the Sebring name, according to dealers and other personalities who are familiar with Chrysler's product plan.
Incidentally, the Nassau name was given to a Chrysler concept car showcased at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show.
A Chrysler spokesman gave no comment when asked about this name. Jim Hall, a consultant from 2953 Analytics, which advises carmakers on future vehicles, said that we shouldn't expect the Nassau to appear like that car. Hall said that the Nassau name makes sense since Chrysler purchased the name when the concept car came out.
The new name is actually just one element in Chrysler's effort to bring back its credibility in the high-volume midsize car segment after the Sebring was heavily criticized for its inferior quality and cheap interior.
This segment, which is composed of strong entries from just about every other major carmaker, is expanding as the younger generation of customers turn to small cars.
This segment also gets the bulk of SUV owners who now want cars that are fuel-efficient. At this year's Detroit Auto Show, CEO Sergio Marchionne had said that the Sebring, when benchmarked against the competition, "is not where it needs to be."
Chrysler designers have been working to install entirely new interiors for the 2011 Chrysler Nassau and Dodge Avenger.
With regards to the exteriors, they're expected to look considerably different. Consumers can opt for either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a new V6 Pentastar engine made at Chrysler's Trenton South engine plant.