Harsh Economic Times Have Not Slowed Chrysler's Product Planning-Yet

Tom Ludwick
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Chrysler is not going to let a little downturn in car sales take away from its new products for the next decade. Well, alright, maybe this is a little more than a small slow-down in sales. Nevertheless, Chrysler is still hard at work developing new products like the 2011 Dodge Charger (2009 model shown above), Chrysler 300, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Frank Klegon, executive vice president of product development, has said that new vehicles are still on course through the next five years. The plans will stay on track as long as the economy picks up. Klegon says that new products are in the works and scheduled through 2013. However, that could all change if Chrysler does not receive some help from the feds.

Chrysler intends to use any federal aid money to further develop its hybrid and pure electric vehicles. Chrysler-as you may know-has been lacking in the efficient vehicles area. Having just killed its only production hybrids, the Durango and Aspen hybrids, Chrysler could really benefit from more investment in green technologies.

On the topic of future vehicles, Klegon said the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger are expected to get a major fuel economy boost when the vehicles get are restyled for 2011. Just in time for the new CAFE standards, the 2011 cars will get the bump in mpg from modifications to the engine and aerodynamics, and will likely receive new axel ratios and transmissions. Klegon stated that the new models will exceed the industry-wide average of 31.6 mpg by 2015.

Klegon also mentioned that Chrysler's brand new V-6 engine, called Phoenix has not been put on hold despite reports stating the program is on the backburner. The new engine will find its way under the hoods of the 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger as well as other Chrysler cars and trucks. Sources say the first engines could show up as early as 2010.

Source: Automotive News

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