Though Chrysler itself has been mum on the matter, its dealerships and sources familiar the the carmaker’s plans report Chrysler has chosen the name “Nassau” to replace its longtime Sebring brand name.
Pronounced “na-SAW”, the Chrysler Nassau first surfaced as a concept car during the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. However, don’t expect the production version to resemble the concept, with its razor-thin rearview mirrors and lack of a B-pillar.
No, the name change is considered but one of many steps necessary by Chrysler to reestablish a foothold in the important mid-segment market, which is dominated by the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord while rapidly being filled with challengers like the Ford Fusion, which won this year’s Motor Trend’s Car of the Year Award, and the all-new Hyundai Sonata. Chrysler is desperately looking to re-establish its creditability with the public, which roundly panned the Sebring with its cheap interiors and poor quality craftsmanship. “If you look at the Sebring and benchmark it against the competition,” said Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, “it’s not where it needs to be.”
Details of the Chrysler Nassau and its Dodge Avenger sibling are still scarce. Both sedans will receive substantially different exterior designs and higher quality interiors while powered by either a 2.4-liter inline-four or Chrysler’s all-new V-6 Pentastar engine. The sedans will be joining a long list of new vehicles to be launched by Chrysler, which includes the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Fiat 500, and the all-new Dodge Durango.
What do you think of the new name? A step in the right direction for the new sedan? Or should Chrysler try to capitalize on the public’s familiarity with the name like Ford did with the Taurus? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source: Detroit Free Press