Chrysler: Five Facelifts in 18 Months

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Automotive News [sub] reports that Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has ordered facelifts of five ChryCo models within the next year and a half. Although it might actually be more accurate to describe the refresh order as being for five nameplates of two basic “models”. After all, the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan minivans are nearly identical under the skin, as are the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. Apparently the PT Cruiser will be updated as well, although on an unspecified timeline. Besides the obvious question this brings up (why, God, why would they waste precious publicly-funded resources reheating unwanted leftovers?) there’s the issue of how Chrysler will get these updates to market on an accelerated timeline. Apparently the answer is that Chrysler plans on rehiring an undisclosed number of recently-fired designers, engineers and developers and giving them overtime. Paging Mike Donoughe! Meanwhile, Marchionne’s plan must still be approved by the Chrysler BoD and the Presidential Task Force on Autos.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Bryanska Bryanska on Sep 25, 2009

    I might consider a premium refreshed PT cruiser with improved sound insulation, a sweet interior, that new ChryCo stereo (really, best in class in many ways) and more GT bits. If it was cheap. Which it should be, that tooling is from 1999. What can I say? I like hot hatches.

  • Autojunkie Autojunkie on Sep 25, 2009

    They need to bring back a manual transmission option on the PT too. It's the only that kept my wife from trading hers in on a new one.

  • Cpmanx Cpmanx on Sep 27, 2009

    Reading between the tealeaves, I infer that the facelift of the PT Cruiser means that the nameplate will survive on a Fiat platform. Which goes against the previously stated goal of turning Chrysler into a true luxury brand, but might make sense in terms of preserving volume. The other WTF: they are keeping the Jeep Compass? That seems like an obvious one to kill asap, so Jeep can focus more resources on the more brand-relevant Patriot. I, too, am heartened by the lack of facelift for the Sebring/Avenger. That means they are headed for oblivion sooner rather than later.

  • LJM61 LJM61 on Sep 29, 2009

    So much speculation based on fear! This will no longer be your grand daddies Chrysler, but your own, new and far better car company and truly complete product line. Fiat will not only push for ridding the waist from Chrysler\Dodge\Jeep lines including redundancies with no no real advantage to it's customers or Board members. But Fiat will also be pushing to implement all their technologies that have greatly improved all their product lines(the proof is in what the auto journalists in Europe are raving on about.) And are now selling cars that are giving Toyota a run for their money in the European markets. Seeking to refresh their major 5 lines will provide an obvious delineation from the past reputation for less than spectacular mechanical\electrical reliability and their body\chassis durability, while maintaining all and more that long time Chrysler\Dodge fans and supporters will appreciate and recognize. THIS IS THE NEW FIAT\CHYSLER! You Can Expect More! And you will be pleasantly surprised! Luca Di Montezemolo & Sergio Machionne are the real deal and represent the kind of genius leadership America and the world needs! Honesty combined with a "Can Do" attitude to make the impossible or highly resisted work to the advantage of ALL!!!! Even those who start out rejecting it out of hand as impossible. This is not the Old Fiat. This is FIAT REBORN! Remember... FIAT mean: "MAKE IT SO"! The people want more and FIAT has listened! \ We want leading edge, reliable cars that are affordable, environmentally sound and great fun to drive! FIAT! ~MAKE IT SO!~