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Chrysler Kills Durango and Aspen Hybrids

Old 10-23-2008, 05:11 PM
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Default Chrysler Kills Durango and Aspen Hybrids

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan Less than a year after unveiling the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango full-size hybrid SUVs and only two months into their full-scale production, Chrysler confirmed Thursday that it will discontinue the models with the just-announced closing of the Delaware plant where they are made.

But the company said it is moving ahead with plans to introduce a hybrid version of the full-size Dodge Ram pickup in calendar-year 2010.

"The demand for our full-size SUVs has really dropped off this year," Chrysler spokesman Scott Brown told Inside Line. "Even though we got significant orders for the hybrids, it doesn't make sense to keep the plant open for just the hybrids."

The SUVs are Chrysler's first production hybrid vehicles. The Durango and Aspen models, which employ the same two-mode hybrid system found in General Motors' full-size SUVs, are sticker priced at $45,340 and $45,570, respectively.

Chrysler wouldn't say how many of the hybrid SUVs it had planned to build at the plant in Newark, which is scheduled to close at the end of December. Both models made their international debuts at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show last November.

Today's announcement coincided with a report from Daimler AG, which owns a 19.9-percent share of privately held Chrysler, that the U.S. automaker suffered a $772.5-million second-quarter loss due to slowing U.S. sales and a market shift to small cars.

Inside Line says: Look for more product kills from Chrysler in the months ahead. John O'Dell, Editor, Edmunds Green Car Advisor
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:31 PM
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Default RE: Chrysler Kills Durango and Aspen Hybrids

The beginning of the end maybe..??
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:58 AM
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Default RE: Chrysler Kills Durango and Aspen Hybrids

Just one question: Did anyone notice.....(Perhaps Chrysler should try and fill the void (if there is one) with some cars that today's consumers are looking for...not SUVs....)
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:44 PM
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Default RE: Chrysler Kills Durango and Aspen Hybrids

There's a big surprise. I knew this was going to happen. If they wanted to offer a more fuel efficient model they should have gone Diesel. Less cost of investment, more proven market, more logical, etc. I question the logic of the Hybrid Ram idea as well. Although most drivers rarely use the full towing potential, having a 6000-7000 pound towing capacity just seems silly to spend all the money for having less towing capacity to save a couple mpgs. A smaller diesel is the way to go as they can have similar or better towing capabilities AND better fuel economy. The only car I can see benefiting from Hybrid technology would be the 300 & Charger and frankly, I question if even those would be more popular than a diesel variant. If you look at the stats, the Hybrids that sell well are the compacts. The larger ones simply do not sell because it is a different audience.

Hybrid drivers care about one thing, higher fuel economy stats to be smug about. The type of people who drive larger cars generally are car lovers and do not look at fuel economy numbers as the number one priority; otherwise, they would go with a vehicle more in line with what they NEED instead of what they want. I don't NEED an Intrepid, in all truth a Geo Metro is probably all I really NEED, the issue is I want something that allows me to have enough room to where my legs are not pressed against my chest, something that is reasonably safe, something that doesn't feel like a go-cart with a cage, and isn't an ugly, shotty, death trap.
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