In a move that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows monthly sales charts, Chrysler is mulling over whether to end production of the Dodge Avenger and focus on the 200 sedan. The addition of the recently introduced 2013 Dodge Dart has also played a role in the potential production halt of the Avenger.
“Chrysler Group will likely consolidate around one midsize car in the future. If we have two cars that are very similar, it does split dealer focus. Consolidating around one very competitive entry certainly has its advantages,” Reid Bigland, head of the Dodge brand told Reuters at the North American International Auto Show.
The elimination of the Avenger would help lower marketing and development costs for the Detroit-based auto maker. The 200 has also been received better than the Avenger recently. Last year Dodge sold 64,000 Avengers in the United States while Chrysler sold 87,000 of its 200 sedans. The cutback of a sedan in favor of another under a different brand reduces the chance of one vehicle cannibalizing the other’s sales. Mopar, Chrysler’s customization branch, has also gotten involved with the 200 and offers a much wider variety of parts than it does for the Avenger. Both the Avenger and 200 are assembled at Chrysler’s Sterling Heights facility in Michigan.
The reintroduced Dodge Dart is the successor to the Dodge Caliber, and is assembled at the Belvidere facility in Illinois. The latest Dart is based off a Fiat similar to the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, but enlarged for the American market. It took $1 billion and 18 months to design Dodge’s latest entrant into the compact car segment, and it has been warmly received by the media and public alike. The Dart is slated to go on sale in the coming months of 2012.
Source: In Autonews