Remember when Ford thought so little of its longtime best-selling "Taurus" nameplate that it spent a fortune trying to push the replacement "500" badge on customers? That lasted about as long as a "Project Runway" cycle. Well, Chrysler might be going the same route in the near future. Ward's Automotive is reporting that Chrysler is about to drop its "Sebring" nameplate to shake the stink off its replacement expected later this year.
Chrysler is about to launch nine models in the coming year that are so thoroughly upgraded they are calling them "new." The Sebring is one of those models. The butt of many jokes within the industry and a slow seller to boot, the Sebring has become a symbol of Chrysler's long, slow slide into near oblivion. It's not surprising then to hear that when the heavily revamped vehicle appears at the end of 2010, it's not likely to wear the "Sebring" name.
We don't think the name had much to do with Sebring's failure, but we understand the desire to convince buyers that the replacement is a fresh start for this mid-size sedan, if not for Chrysler as a whole. A thoroughly reworked Sebring, however, might not be enough to capture new buyers if the name association is still so unpalatable. Maybe they should call it the Camry.