July 17, 2013
While typically the butt of the joke in the mid-size class, the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger rental queens will see new sheetmetal starting in early 2014.
Sterling Heights, once on the chopping block, will be the site of production for the new Chrysler 200 and a replacement for the Dodge Avenger mid-size sedans. Production is expected to end on the current model in December of this year to allow for retooling of the assembly plant, with the new models starting production in early 2014 as 2015 model year vehicles.
The 200 and Avenger, having been criticized for many years for sub-par quality and a lackluster driving experience, will have to take on an ever more competitive segment when they arrive next year. Ford Fusion and Mazda 6 have seen major revamps, with Honda Accord taking home AJAC Car of the Year honours this year.
However, Ralph Gilles, Senior Vice President of Design at Chrysler, wants the new 200 sedan to be the standard of quality and design for the mid-size class.
“(The new 200) shares no surface language with any previous Chrysler we’ve ever seen,” stated Gilles last month.
The new sedan will be underpinned by Chrysler-Fiat’s CUSW platform, shared with the Dodge Dart and Jeep’s new Cherokee.