By on April 4, 2011

The 2011 Model Year will probably not go down as one of the better lineups in the Chrysler brand’s history, consisting of only four models from three nameplates. But, according to Automotive News [sub] it will probably be one of the most exclusive and rarest years for the Chrysler Group, which includes Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Fiat, as the 2012 model-year will go into production as soon as dealers receive the “one or two buildouts” of 2011 vehicles.

According to the report

The truncated 2011 model year is a result of Chrysler’s efforts to reinvigorate its lineup after its 2009 bankruptcy. The company introduced 16 new or revamped models for 2011 after a frantic 18-month engineering push.

Most of them did not arrive in dealerships until the first quarter, almost half a year later than normal. And some dealers report they still haven’t received their first 2011 Chrysler 300s, the last of the 16 models to go into production. Dealers can start ordering 2012 models in late May or early June, according to Chrysler spokesman Ralph Kisiel.

But don’t expect anything too exciting from the 2012 builds, as Chrysler is planning “only a few” changes to the lineup, like the addition of the Pentastar V6 to the Wrangler’s engine choices. Otherwise, the next big Chrysler rollout looks to be the Fiat-derived replacement for the Dodge Caliber, which launches early next year as a 2013. And by then a number of the remaining Chrysler Group products could be on their way out, as AN reports

The 2012 model year could be the last for a number of products.

In short, if you don’t get a 2011, you’ll be able to get nearly all the same products for 2012. For those in the know, however, the 2011 model year Chrysler could become a perversely rare (if not universally desired) thing.

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20 Comments on “2011 Chryslers: A Rare Vintage...”

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Makes me think of how certain vehicles are rarer than Rolls Royces or Porsches.  Like if you happen to have a Jaguar X-type wagon from the Ford years.  (Of course, certain vehicles are rare with good reason.  :P)

    • 0 avatar

      X-Type wagons may be rare in North America – but there are loads on the road the other side of the Atlantic. I count over 500 on alone. Wander down to your local auction house and you’ll find the going for absolute peanuts.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Car and Driver ran a feature on rare cars in the USA by registration and sales numbers.  IIRC there were only a few thousand sold in the States during the entire production run.

  • avatar

    Dodge, Chrysler, Ram, and Fiat???! Makes me so nostalgic for Plymouth, Dodge, De Soto, Chrysler, and Imperial. And Simca. Of course, we’ve had Ramblers in there in the interim. Sheesh.
    Why are they taking so long to replace the Caliber? I used to think the Neon was so dorky, but next to the Caliber the Neon has a high level of artistic integrity.

  • avatar

    This makes me question why they bothered with MY 2011 cars anyway. Why not just go to the 2012 MY designation? The cars aren’t really changing from ’11 to ’12, but to have a 2011 MY, they had to prepare brochures, owners’ manuals, and all the other model year dated stuff associated with a car.  The costs associated with running a truncated ’11 MY were probably non-trivial.
    Actually, since Chrysler is trying to reinvent itself, with those 16 “new” models, maybe they could have made a bigger splash in consumers’ minds by selling them as 2012 models. It’s not like companies have religiously followed the Sept-Sept model year scheme. Plenty of mid year replacements have been sold as the following year’s model.
    “Chrysler: so advanced that we’re selling next year’s cars today”
    Apples and oranges, but Bugatti skipped the ’09 model year on the Veyrons.

  • avatar

    Rare != Sought After

  • avatar

    “And by then a number of the remaining Chrysler Group products could be on their way out, as AN reports”

    If that’s a subtle hint at the American-platformed models, that may not be far from the truth. I believe within a short time, ALL current Chrysler platforms may be history and only platforms that make economic/engineering sense will be developed. Lancia? Maybe. Put it all in a blender and see what comes out.

    EDIT: That Chrysler 200 may just be a future classic! Buy yours now!

  • avatar

    I agree that Rare does not equal Valuable.

    I have a buddy that believes in the future collectibility of the last-gen Fox body Mustang Cobras.  I keep arguing that these cars are not really special in the grand scheme of muscle cars.  

    When I debate him, I use a few rare car examples to prove my point.  For example, Geo Metro convertibles are rare.  So are Hyundai Excels or Ponies.  Are these future colllectibles? 

    • 0 avatar

      Oooh oooh.  I saw a rare Italian-designed car on the street yesterday that made me stop and stare.  It was a Daewoo Lanos.

    • 0 avatar

      This debate came up on another forum in regards to the car I currently own: a Volvo C30. Its  sales numbers are laughable (less then 300 a month) and its sold (like the Mini Cooper) in a wide range of customizable options and colors. Thus each individual car is an extremely rare combo… but does that make it a future collectible? My guess is like these odd ball Chryslers it will simply become a footnote in the production run history books.

    • 0 avatar

      JMII, I doubt that “rare combos” are especially impressive in the long run unless the model itself is a much more widespread success.
      I knew a guy that had a 1972 Chevelle SS with a 350, floor-shift 4-spd, and a bench front seat.  He figured it was one of a handful made by the time you accounted for color and whatever other options it had.  Occasionally someone found it hard to believe they made an SS with a bench, or a 4/floor with a bench etc, but it didn’t make his car especially desirable even among model enthusiasts.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      @cdotson, ha you should see the price of a 1979 A-body GM coupe with a 4 on the floor and a tiny V8.  Guys are asking $13,000 for mint condition originals.  I laugh cause some of them were even sold with “radio-delete.”

    • 0 avatar

      Your Cobra owning buddy is half right.  Fox body Mustangs will be collectible as donors for engines and transmissions to Volvo 240s.

  • avatar

    They probably HAD to do a 2011 model year to meet CAFE standards for the year. Most of the refreshed models were higher mileage cars, and Chrysler is truck/SUV heavy to beging with.

    • 0 avatar

      mjz, you’re probably right.
      And it reminds me of another “rare” Mopar that is conspicuously not sought after:
      MY2000 Ram 1500 trucks.  The 2000 model year ran from fall of 1999 to January 2000.  In late Jan/early Feb 2000 the 2001 model year rolled out…because the PT Cruiser was expected to be a big seller in 2001.  The high (for an EPA-classed light truck) mileage of the PT was expected to outweigh the extra sales of the low-mileage Ram trucks for that model year.

  • avatar

    An ’11 392 Challenger (especially with the manual trans) could be a commodity for future car collectors. I know allot of people on this site don’t care for the new Challenger (or Chrysler in general) but look at some of the interest late ’70s muscle cars have been drawing at auctions, and the current Challenger is a hell of a lot better than any of them.

  • avatar

    How many times have we seen a car company present their line up like this a year before they stop production permanently?

    This looks so similar to AMC’s 1979 line up. Remember that? A Spirit that was a Gremlin, a Concord that was a Hornet? No more larger cars. No more different cars. 1979 ended up giving AMC a profit as designed, in order to make it attractive to unload to someone willing to buy it.

    The good folks at Packard swore their 1958’s were just a stop-gap to a renaissance.
    Henry Ford II assured the press that the 1960 Edsels were a new beginning for the marque.
    This company showed the 1961 DeSotos and put them into production before pulling the plug.

    This whole thing Chrysler had been doing over the past year smells so similar, and looks so similar to the fate of Willys and Kaiser.

    No way would I buy one of these cars from this zombie auto company.

    • 0 avatar

      When the history books are written about Chrysler circa 2008-2015, the writers are going to ask two questions:

      1. Why was FIAT reintroduced to the US, after gaining a “Fix It Again, Tony” reputation?
      2. Why did Chrysler introduce the separate RAM name for their pickups?

      Because you see, if Chrysler was going to reinvigorate the Chrysler brand by linking up with Lancia, all they had to do was introduce the FIAT 500’s stablemate, the Lancia Ypsilon, as a Chrysler AND assemble it on the same Toluca assembly line as a FIAT 500 that is destined for Central/South American markets.

      As it is, it sure seems to me that the FIAT-based “replacement” for the Dodge Caliber is, in all likelihood, going to be the C-EVO version of the FIAT Bravo. In all likelihood, FIAT will proceed with the dismantling of the Dodge brand from there. One other thing to really watch for: Whether or not the Bravo’s cousin (Lancia Delta) comes over here as a Chrysler.

  • avatar

    And look what I found via Bloomberg:

    Money quote:
    “Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne plans to sell Chrysler models under the Fiat brand in Brazil to reach the first goal that 90 percent of Fiat’s Latin American dealers offer Chrysler vehicles, the people said, declining to be identified because the plans are private.
    The plan would allow Marchionne to sidestep negotiations with dealers on Chrysler contracts and avoid the cost of introducing the brand in Brazil, where Fiat has the largest share of the market, one of the people said. Fiat has already met the second demand of $1.5 billion in revenue outside North America at Chrysler since Fiat took a stake in the Auburn, Hills, Michigan-based carmaker, one person said.”

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