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Marchionne: hybrid Chrysler 300 next year, hybrid minivan in 2013

Detroit News. Chrysler Group LLC will add a hybrid version of the new Chrysler 300 sedan next year as a 2013 model, and add a hybrid minivan in 2013, according to CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The minivans will get a 9-speed automatic transmission in 2013, but a new compact sedan to replace the Dodge Caliber will be the first to have the fuel-saving gearbox when it hits the market in April 2013, Marchionne told reporters following an event here to celebrating production of the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan.

Chrysler has developed its own hybrid technology, Marchionne said, promising details later. That could be as soon as Wednesday, when he will join Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson at an event in Ann Arbor to discuss a research project to evaluate a new drivetrain technology.



Chrysler has a lot of catching up to do. They produce some of the worse gas guzzlers of the industry.


What? Throw out trucks, and they still produce fewer gas guzzlers than GM. GM still makes the V-8 powered Camaro, Suburban, Tahoe, Avalanche, Escalade, Escalade EXT, DTS, STS, CTS-V, Corvette...none of which can be considered as designed for fuel efficiency.


That's because Chrysler is smaller than GM.

If gas prices exceed $4/gallon this year, Chrysler will probably go under again. There probably won't be any bailout the second time short of a nationalization of the auto industry. If that happens, I expect truck production to be severely restricted; we just can't afford a fleet with so many low-economy vehicles, and building them has to be regarded as an evil to be tolerated only when absolutely necessary. Looking "cool", mudding, and hauling travel trailers, off-road toys and horses are not necessary.


I disagree. People won't stop buying Jeeps or Dodge Rams (Rams are probably a cash cow) with gas at $4 a gallon instead of $3 per gallon. Enviros are not going to guilt-manipulate truck buyers into buying little vehicles. Some Chrysler car sales may suffer but rental fleets will still need upgrading and some Chrysler cars are popular with rental car companies. Chrysler also has its Fiat parent which will continue to make very smart improvements throughout the corporation...they have done well so far. Gas would have to be $6-8-10 for many years, with no end in sight, in order to have a major impact on hard core truck and full-size SUV buyers.


I fully agree with P-E on this one. Fiat may bring some common sense to Chrysler to lower fuel consumption, if it is not too late. Otherwise, with gas price @ $1.26/liter or $4.78/US/gal this morning, there will be a lot of unsold Dodge Caravan and Ram trucks around.

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