AUBURN HILLS, Mich.—Chrysler and its Italian partner Fiat unveiled ambitious product plans today including upgrades for key vehicles it builds in Canada.
Chrysler officials disclosed it will restyle the Dodge Charger muscle car, which it builds in Brampton, with a new fuel-efficient engine, dramatic styling changes and interior improvements by the end of next year. The company has not confirmed yet that it will build an Alfa Romeo model in Brampton.
The struggling automaker, which has received billions of dollars in U.S. and Canadian government aid this year to stay alive, revealed it will provide "a facelift" to the Dodge Caravan minivan that will involve a new engine, suspension system and interior and exterior changes in the third quarter of next year.
Chrysler added it will also improve handling, creature comforts and fuel economy for the Caravan, which it assembles at its minivan plant in Windsor.
Senior executives who are unveiling the plan at a day-long meeting have also acknowledged the company's shortcomings such as inferior quality and what actions it has already taken to shake the stigma and win new customers.
"We're not in denial," said Doug Betts, the company's head of quality.
Chrysler chairman Robert Kidder conceded the company, whose sales continue to slide in the U.S. and Canada, faces a "monumental challenge" because of under investment in competitive models and the way it has operated in the past.
However, chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne, who was raised in Toronto, countered recent reports the company continues to bleed badly by releasing numbers showing its cash position has jumped from about $4 billion earlier to $5.7 billion and $200 million in earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation for the third quarter.
Before the opening of the presentations to hundreds or journalists and industry officials, Chrysler piped in music from music icon Bruce Springsteen including a tune called "Terry's Song" that includes the line "break the mold."
Columns Everything you need to know about purchasing, maintaining and driving your car.
Become a member
Register now to access all features including:
- Save and ask friends to review vehicles
- Exclusive rebates & offers from local dealers
- Premium content, reviews and tools
- You can unsubscribe at any time. Please Contact Us for details.
All for free!
Already a member?
Registration 2 of 2
Welcome to Wheels!
As a final step we've sent a confirmation to your email address as a security measure. Please click the link in the email to complete your registration.
Terms of services
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, TORONTO STAR IS PROVIDING THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS AND MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IN ANY CONNECTION WITH THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEB SITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. TORONTO STAR DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THEIR CONTENTS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL TORONTO STAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF INCOME OR PROFIT, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES), EVEN IF TORONTO STAR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEBSITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. IN NO EVENT SHALL TORONTO STAR'S TOTAL LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE.X