Chrysler 100, midsize CUV and plug-in hybrid minivan launch bid to go mainstream
"The Chrysler brand is not luxury – it's not premium. Chrysler is the mainstream American brand," brand CEO Al Gardner said during today's presentation.
Gardner set a sales target of 800,000 units by 2018, which marks an increase of 350,000 units compared to its 2013 sales results. That's a pretty big ask for a brand that's struggled to define itself over the past decade.
Naturally, then, Chrysler will need some new product to hit that goal. Leading the charge will be a "thoroughly refreshed" 300 sedan, which we can expect to see later this year at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Considering the 300's 2011 arrival, this fits in nicely with the average automotive life cycle.
Following the 300's refresh, 2016 will see the arrival of the Chrysler 100, a C-segment offering that will challenge the likes of the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cruze. The 100 may be the most important vehicle in the Chrysler brand's five-year plan, as it will mark its entry into one of the hottest segments in the auto industry.
The new 100 won't have 2016 to itself, though, as Chrysler will launch a brand-new Town & Country, simultaneously killing its badge-engineered Dodge counterpart, the Grand Caravan. The new T&C will include a plug-in hybrid model, which Chrysler is claiming will return the equivalent of 75 miles per gallon, making it the most fuel efficient minivan on the market by a huge margin.
For 2017, Chrysler will turn its attention to the new-for-2014 200 sedan, delivering a refresh on that promising four-door. 2018, meanwhile, will see the debut of a midsize CUV, perhaps aimed at the Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Not surprisingly, details on this one were the most scarce.
We'll have much more on the Fiat Chrysler five-year plan throughout the day, so stay tuned. Until then, let us know what you think of FCA's plans for Chrysler down in Comments.
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