Chrysler will launch all-new 200 in January
DETROIT -- Chrysler will cut in half the mid-sized 200 sedan's 2014 model year to make room for a redesigned version scheduled to arrive in January.
Internal Chrysler documents indicate that the 2014 Chrysler 200 will start production in July at Chrysler's Sterling Heights plant in suburban Detroit and end in the second week of January. Normally, production of the 2014 model would run well into 2014.
It is unclear from the documents whether the 200's line mate, the Dodge Avenger, will also have a short 2014 model year.
A Chrysler spokesman declined to comment on future product plans. But Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said this year that introduction of the next-generation 200 had been delayed until January.
Chrysler is spending more than $1 billion to build paint and body shops for the Sterling Heights plant. The projects, announced in December 2010 and October 2011, will add a 1 million-square-foot body shop and a 425,000-square foot paint shop to the plant. Construction is expected to finish this year.
Marchionne: Confirmed the delay of the 200
Chrysler also shortened the Jeep Grand Cherokee's 2013 model year to prepare for the introduction of the 2014 model at this year's Detroit auto show.
The 200 is a hot seller. Its sales rose 44 percent in 2012 to 125,476 units, making it the automaker's best-selling car and fifth-best selling nameplate. Sales through the first two months of this year are up 21 percent to 20,292 units. On March 1, the company had a 68-day supply of Chrysler 200s.
The 2015 200, which will ride on a Fiat-derived platform and have the same nine-speed automatic transmission as the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, is expected to debut at the 2014 Detroit auto show.
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