With interest in big SUVs taking what looks to be a permanent nose dive, you have to wonder if Chrysler's new Aspen SUV is too much, too late. (See our article on the Aspen debut here.)

Well, Automotive News reports Chrysler group's executive VP for product development, Frank Klegon, is someone who thinks there's plenty of life left in the SUV party - more than enough to justify the Dodge Durango-based Aspen.

Klegon feels that the Aspen will offer a superior value proposition to its competitors in the full-size SUV market, which suggests that the Chrysler offering will take market share from existing vehicles in the segment, given that the segment itself will likely be stagnant or shrinking.

Interestingly, when queried about the potential for diesel vehicles in the U.S. Chrysler lineup, Klegon was not very encouraging, despite Mercedes-Benz's upbeat Bluetec diesel presentation Sunday at the NAIAS. (See our NAIAS Bluetec coverage here.)

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