By Jim Hagerty
Chrysler Group, LLC, has announced the release of the 2011 Chrysler 200, a line that will replace the Sebring. The mid-sized sedan is said to fill the gap left in the automaker’s light-truck production.
Similar to the Sebring, the Chrysler 200 will include an array of upgrades such as improved powertrain and two engine options: the I-4 World Gas and the 3.6-liter Penstar V-6.
Arriving in dealerships by December, the 200 will also feature stiffened body mounts and an array of noise-reduction improvements such as acoustic laminated glass and upgraded rear sway bar. The line will be built at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., about 20 miles from the company’s Auburn Hills headquarters.
Chrysler split the Ram truck name from Dodge as part of its 2009 bankruptcy and will market the brand separately from vehicles it manages with the Dodge badge. According to execs, the split has allowed Chrysler to focus on expanding the Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram lines. Although no pricing has been announced, insiders have speculated the 200 is expected to come with an MSRP of $22,00-$33,00, depending on options and engine selection. The 2011 Chrysler 200 will be available in five models, including two convertibles. Chrysler also announced that 200 dealerships will be selected later this month to sell the new Fiat 500.
Last year, Fiat took an initial 20 percent stake in Chrysler, broadening Chrysler’s platform to build smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and giving it access to Fiat’s global branding network.
From the Oct. 20-26, 2010 issue