Chrysler has decided to pull the plug on its 200 model! Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the parent brand of Chrysler motors, has announced that it will discontinue the Chrysler 200, while also ceasing the production of the sister brand – Dodge Dart. The move comes in view of Fiat-Chrysler's five-year plan, which suggests that the company can't afford to build mainstream cars such as the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart due to their slumping demands.
Why Axe the 200 Sedan?
To many, this move comes as a total surprise since the Chrysler 200 is not actually a slow-selling car. In 2015, the company witnessed a 52 percent growth in the 200's sales, registering a total of 177,889 unit sales of the car. However, FCA believes that in the greater scheme of things, the Chrysler 200 is not as profitable as some of the other models in the company's portfolio.
The thing is, most of the operating profit of the FCA Group comes by selling the company's big-burly models, including Ram trucks and Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Wrangler models. The company is apparently struggling to meet the demand and as a result it's planning to move production of some of these models to the 200's assembly plant. So despite doing decently in the market, the Chrysler 200 sedan has to go - at least for a short-term of 6 weeks, if not forever.
Another reason behind opting for the bigger models over the small sedans is the recent drop in fuel prices. FCA believes that with gas prices staying relatively low in the coming times, consumers will be buying more of the company's SUVs and trucks. As a result, the company is banking heavily on Jeep and Ram models instead on Fiat, Chrysler or Dodge or Alfa Romeo, for that matter.
About Chrysler 200
The Chrysler 200 was launched in 2010, and it was essentially a re-engineered version of the third generation Chrysler Sebring. While the platform was identical, the Chrysler 200 looked thoroughly modern and came powered by new powertrain options. It was also very well-equipped, featuring higher quality parts along with refined and quieter interior. Since its inception, the Chrysler 200 was produced at the company's Sterling Heights assembly plant in Michigan. A 2-door convertible was also added to the range in 2011.
In the beginning of 2013, Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne, made it official that the life of the first-generation model of the Chrysler 200 would be coming to an end, and a new model, that is thoroughly revised, will replace it in 2014.
At the 2014 Detroit Motor Show, the second-gen Chrysler 200 was launched. The Chrysler 200 was pitched against other mid-size entry sedans such as the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Mazda 6, Volkswagen Passat, etc., in the American market.
The base model of the Chrysler 200 came fitted with a 2.4-litre inline-four cylinder petrol engine that develops 184bhp of peak horsepower output. The engine is mated to a ZF-sourced nine-speed automatic rotary-shifted transmission. The higher models were offered with a 3.6 L V6 engine and all-wheel-drive drivetrain.
Will it make a Comeback?
The Chrysler 200 was also hugely popular among masses, thanks to one of its Super Bowl advertisements that aired in 2014. As popular it may be though, it's time to BID FAREWELL TO THE CHRYSLER 200. Hopefully, it will come back to the market once the gas prices go back to normal and people start opting for mainstream cars in the US yet again.