Chrysler will further tout its connection to Mercedes beginning with the launch of the Sebring convertible. Well, gee, the Mercedes DNA is fairly oozing off the Sebrings, isn't it? Underwhelmed by the Sebring sedan's sales performance thus far, Chrysler has decided to move the image for the entire brand upmarket. The idea is to play up the idea of "German Engineering" while also emphasizing that Chrysler is the premium American offering under the DCX tent. Ultimately, the goal is to attract customers from Toyota and Honda, which are also seen as premium-engineered vehicles.

Time will tell how successful they are about passing off the Sebring and other mainstream Chryslers as having any link to Mercedes (LX platform excluded). The "merger of equals" has played out more like Mercedes throwing their dregs over to Chrysler in the form of the R170 platform for the Crossfire and the suspension design under the LX cars. The mainstream Chryslers -- the ones that actually need to be popular instead of the halo cars -- have nary a lick of Mercedes in 'em as far as we can tell. Premium in this case must mean content and value for the dollar, which the Chrysler line certainly represents. Then again, how strong is the connection between Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz if one is about to be auctioned off to the highest bidder?

[Source: Auto News - sub. req'd]