Chrysler to Employees: Next-Gen Durango Still Planned
So what IS Chrysler working on, seeing how all its next-gen cars will be based on Fiat platforms? According to CEO Bob Nardelli, Chrysler will continue development of its SUVs and large cars, including the Dodge Durango, Dodge Charger, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300.
Nardelli confirmed the development of the vehicles in a letter sent to Chrysler employees last Friday. According to the letter, Chrysler will build the next-gen Durango at its Jefferson Avenue North plant in Detroit, alongside the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Newark, Delaware plant that built the last-gen Durango closed in December last year, and Chrysler had not announced whether the Durango would carry on at another facility or would die off completely.
The letter also mentions that Chrysler is working on the next-generation Chrysler 300 / Dodge Charger. Chrysler has said in recent months that it will launch 24 vehicles in the next 48 months.
Chrysler CEO also attempted to clarify its alliance with Fiat, which has garnered some criticism. “It is important o note that no U.S. taxpayer funds would go to Fiat,” Nardelli said in the letter. “The alliance is based on an exchange of equity for assets. Fiat would acquire an equity stake in Chrysler by giving us access to substantially all its platforms, and technologies. This access is of high value to Chrysler, saving us significant costs and years of development time.
Through this process we will work with the U.S. government to ensure Chrysler meets all terms of the U.S. Treasury loan agreement, including the submission of a restructuring plan that assures Chrysler’s long-term viability, timely loan repayment and energy efficiency.”
Source: Automotive News