In “about 40 days,” Chrysler will make a decision on the replacement for the Dodge Nitro and Jeep Liberty SUVs, according to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. These two vehicles, which are produced at Chrysler’s Toledo North Assembly plant, belong to the mid-sized SUV segment. Marchionne refers to this as the “most significant hole” in its product lineup.
The Nitro and Liberty are lightly regarded; in fact, they trail segment leaders such as the Honda CRV and Ford Escape.
As a result, the Nitro and Liberty were not included in those that were revamped for the 2011 product offensive. Marchionne said that the Nitro has to be replaced but not necessarily by a Dodge-brand SUV. He added that Chrysler is conducting customer clinics on replacement vehicles and has it about 80% right.
Several industry experts have raised questions on why the V-8 engine still exists in a generation that boasts of the 35 mpg car. However, Chrysler said that it will upgrade its legendary Hemi V-8 engine.
Marchionne said that the company has to “continue to invest” in the Hemi. Meanwhile, Jeep will be bringing back the Grand Wagoneer in January 2013. The Grand Wagoneer would be a seven-seat SUV and it will have the same platform as the one used on the Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango. [via autonews - sub. required]