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I think many saw this coming, but who knows what Chrysler and Cerberus will do to address this issue.

If I remember correctly there was a whole slew of articles that talked about "Project D" which was supposed to rush the development of the new mid-sizers to market sooner than expected. What happend to that project? Has it now been dissolved and they are looking at alternatives like sharing a platform with another company?

Regardless, in the meantime, I hope that they get the updated versions of the Sebring and Avenger to market sooner rather than later as they are sorely overmatched in the market.

SOURCE: Motor Authority

Chrysler considering platform sharing for Sebring replacement
Posted on Wednesday 30 July 2008



Development of the car that will eventually replace the poor-selling Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger, a venture known as Project D, is reportedly taking up more resources than the company had hoped. Pinched for cash in the midst of a tough market, Chrysler is now looking for ways to cut that cost while still coming out the other end with a suitable product.

The replacement car isn’t due until the 2011 or 2012 model years, so the company does have some time to work out a solution. Nevertheless, the realities of bringing a car to market mean the decision must be made soon. The primary options being considered, according to MotorTrend, include developing an all-new custom platform for the car; using another carmaker’s platform, such as suitably-sized Fiat or Nissan products, with unique body styling; or all-out sharing of a platform with another company as it is currently doing with Volkswagen on the Routan minivan.

MORE HERE
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Ah, it seems Motor Trend has more on this and they mention that original direction for "Project D" may have been stalled:

Motor Trend: Chrysler's Project D Avenger, Sebring replacement plan may go platform sharing route

Wonder how this will eventually play out?

SIDE NOTE: This quote may prove to foreshadow what many on GMI and Chrysler fans have been saying for some time now:

Whatever happens, we still think it's likely Dodge will get midsize sedans, and only the convertible will carry on from the Chrysler Sebring line...
As Cerberus and Chrysler push to consolidate their dealerships into a single, streamlined dealership network, there is no doubt that overlapping models will have to be killed.

Many have stated obvious examples of the Durango/Aspen, Grand Caravan/Town & Country, Nitro/Liberty, etc. One must survive, the other die to make the conslidation work and save valuable R&D dollars on other projects.

If Cerberus stays true to its plan, that will also mean that something must happen with the Sebring and Avenger paradigm; and the above makes the most amount of sense.

Just like many on GMI, I know I've said this many times before: Keep the Avenger as is, make the Sebring a convertible (and possibly coupe) only version so that it can be sold as a bit more "upscale and desirable" from the Avenger itself.

It may prove to be an easy (and possibly elegant) solution on how to fully stock the Dodge lineup while allowing the Chrysler brand to have a handful of core products.
 

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Well either they are screwed. Where are they going to get this Nissan or China. Nissan has the horrible CVT connected to their Altima and the Chinese are junk.
true but I bet Chrysler is so desperate right now that they are willing to try just about anything to get a hit vehicle. Most Chinese cars are junk and the CVT that Nissan currently has just won't cut it especially when Chrysler is touting this car as a substantial improvement over the two current piles of crap that are out now. However expect Chryslers money troubles to impact not just "project D" but also the other projects Chrysler is working on. One such example that I've heard (and a positive one) is that Chrysler is looking at concept car designs that are buildable and look good as well versus the outlandish and unconventional designs we've seen in Chrysler concept cars in recent years that look like garbage when they are put into production.
 

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Ummm, I don't know if you guys are speaking from experience or not, but CVT does not suck. It's really an advanced and excellent transmission that makes Nissans unique. And if a CVT can go into a car, what's to say that a conventional automatic transmission can't? Nissan = CVT = Bad? Well, then the VQ-35 must = Great!.

And about the Sebring/Avenger twins, how could you screw a car up so badly? I understand that not every car can be a Malibu or Accord, but they are absolutely terrible, and I wouldn't drive one if it were given to me.

For the Sebring/Avenger, I would recommend having a base economy model, with Nissan's 2.5 I-4, if they can get it. And they should try to get the 6 speed manual from Nissan as well (Its one thing I wish the Epsilon cars all featured). Interior quality should be good coming from the Dodge, but top notch from the Chrysler. And then, a good V6 should be developed, or the 3.5 that is featured in the current twins updated, 235 horses just doesn't cut it when it is reported that 300 horses can come from the same displacement.

I can see Dodge-Chrysler living a Honda-Acura lifestyle, or Nissan-Infiniti. But rather than Chrysler focusing simply on luxury, they should focus on fun to drive cars, bold, flashy cars. While Dodge takes a more vanilla approach to things.

Dodge: mainstream, family oriented, value packed.
Caliber - based on Versa platform
Avenger - based on Altima platform
Challenger - LX Platform
Grand Caravan - B-Body?
Journey
Dakota - Unibody truck
Durango - BOF truck - Pathfinder platform?
Ram - shared with Nissan to create Nissan Titan
*Pardon my lack of knowledge to Chrysler platforms

Chrysler: Upscale, bold, fun

Sebring Coupe/Convertible - Altima Platform
300 - LX Platform
PT Cruiser - Altima Platform
Crossfire - Shortened LX Platform

Jeep: Built for the outdoors, off roading, goes against Land Rover in high trim levels, while still with value.

Compass - On Xterra platform
Wrangler - as is
Grand Cherokee - pathfinder platform
Commander - ram platform

Of course a lineup like this would rely heavily on Nissan, but a partnership between the two would save each other large sums of money.
 

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So the sale of Chrysler to Nissan progresses. Chrysler cars will be Nissans and Chinese rebadges. The small truck will be Nissan but the full size will remain a Ram, but the Titan will be a rebadged Ram.
Of course the Fiat Panda will also be the platform for the Fiat 500, the Mini and the Ford Ka. Is it just me or does it seem that the cars of the future will all be essentially the same in order to achieve the lowest cost?
 

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As Cerberus and Chrysler push to consolidate their dealerships into a single, streamlined dealership network, there is no doubt that overlapping models will have to be killed.
Why have more than one brand then? I mean you need multiple Durango/Aspens could work if they were more different. People want a cheap SUV and some people want an expensiv SUV.
 

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Ummm, I don't know if you guys are speaking from experience or not, but CVT does not suck. It's really an advanced and excellent transmission that makes Nissans unique.
CVT doesn't make Nissan unique. Tons of manufacturers offer them. Chrysler, Audi, BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi and more. Of course they are not that popular because they... SUCK.

Yeah, I've driven them. Lots of folks don't like them... because they.. you know.
 

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An Nissan's claws dig deeper into Chrysler.

Yes, but then there wasn't a danger of Mitsubishi eating Chrysler whole. I haven't seen a Mitsubishi commercial in over a year now.

With Cerberus Capital Management the owner of Chrysler, there is the real danger a few years down the road Cerberus Capital Management will sell Chrysler piece by piece to Nissan for the sake of making a profit off their investment. May this never come to past.

Remember, Ghosn is very very persistent, who I'm kidding, he is Extremely persistent. The depth of this relationship has just only started and will going much much more deeper if Ghosn gets his way.
^^^ Cerberus prove me wrong, PLEASE!!!!.
 

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CVT doesn't make Nissan unique. Tons of manufacturers offer them. Chrysler, Audi, BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi and more. Of course they are not that popular because they... SUCK.

Yeah, I've driven them. Lots of folks don't like them... because they.. you know.
The ONLY CVT that I've driven that does NOT suck is Nissan's Xtronic CVT. The rest like the one in the Caliber SUCK.

Nissan's CVT is damn good.
 

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Ummm, I don't know if you guys are speaking from experience or not, but CVT does not suck. It's really an advanced and excellent transmission that makes Nissans unique. And if a CVT can go into a car, what's to say that a conventional automatic transmission can't? Nissan = CVT = Bad? Well, then the VQ-35 must = Great!.

And about the Sebring/Avenger twins, how could you screw a car up so badly? I understand that not every car can be a Malibu or Accord, but they are absolutely terrible, and I wouldn't drive one if it were given to me.

For the Sebring/Avenger, I would recommend having a base economy model, with Nissan's 2.5 I-4, if they can get it. And they should try to get the 6 speed manual from Nissan as well (Its one thing I wish the Epsilon cars all featured). Interior quality should be good coming from the Dodge, but top notch from the Chrysler. And then, a good V6 should be developed, or the 3.5 that is featured in the current twins updated, 235 horses just doesn't cut it when it is reported that 300 horses can come from the same displacement.

I can see Dodge-Chrysler living a Honda-Acura lifestyle, or Nissan-Infiniti. But rather than Chrysler focusing simply on luxury, they should focus on fun to drive cars, bold, flashy cars. While Dodge takes a more vanilla approach to things.

Dodge: mainstream, family oriented, value packed.
Caliber - based on Versa platform
Avenger - based on Altima platform
Challenger - LX Platform
Grand Caravan - B-Body?
Journey
Dakota - Unibody truck
Durango - BOF truck - Pathfinder platform?
Ram - shared with Nissan to create Nissan Titan
*Pardon my lack of knowledge to Chrysler platforms

Chrysler: Upscale, bold, fun

Sebring Coupe/Convertible - Altima Platform
300 - LX Platform
PT Cruiser - Altima Platform
Crossfire - Shortened LX Platform

Jeep: Built for the outdoors, off roading, goes against Land Rover in high trim levels, while still with value.

Compass - On Xterra platform
Wrangler - as is
Grand Cherokee - pathfinder platform
Commander - ram platform

Of course a lineup like this would rely heavily on Nissan, but a partnership between the two would save each other large sums of money.
Jeep going up against LR? What the Heck are you smoking. So a Liberty would range from 19,000 to 40,000. No one would buy a small jeep for all that. Maybe a Ram but not a small SUV. Commander is already dead...forget about it. Compass is about to be killed next year because thee is too much overlap with the Patriot. Again that would ruin Jeep.
 

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As long as Nissan doesn't shaft these naiive idiots like Daimler did and actually throws them a bone once in a while.......I'll take a wait-and-see on this.....(if some kind of deal with Nissan does indeed become a reality)
 

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CVT doesn't make Nissan unique. Tons of manufacturers offer them. Chrysler, Audi, BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi and more. Of course they are not that popular because they... SUCK.

Yeah, I've driven them. Lots of folks don't like them... because they.. you know.

It makes Nissan unique in the aspect that they are one of the few brands that push the technology. And they are just different. I wouldn’t say that they suck. They just aren’t widely accepted, and few people know the benefits of fuel economy and performance. Personal preference, I’m sure, but just because you aren’t a fan, doesn’t mean that everyone hates them. I kind of wish that GM had something similar, instead of just a traditional 6 speed auto.



Jeep going up against LR? What the Heck are you smoking. So a Liberty would range from 19,000 to 40,000. No one would buy a small jeep for all that. Maybe a Ram but not a small SUV. Commander is already dead...forget about it. Compass is about to be killed next year because thee is too much overlap with the Patriot. Again that would ruin Jeep.
I’m not saying that your bargain basement Jeep is going against a Land Rover. I guess what I meant to say was like a loaded Commander type vehicle would undercut the price of one by 10 grand or so, and offer similar features. I didn’t even include the Liberty in my “lineup” so I didn’t suggest a price of $19-$40K. Jeep is not going to be a volume brand. I’m not saying reintroduce the Commander, but something of its size, a large Jeep. But if there is no market for it, then just have the G.C, Wrangler, and something smaller.
 

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A more serious alliance between Nissan and Chrysler would yield a lot of value for all parties involved.

Nissan would design the FWD car platforms, and Chrysler would design the RWD car platforms and truck platforms. Nissan would design I4 and V6 engines, while Chrysler develops V8 engines.

With flexible manufacturing and parts sharing, Nissan could build almost all of its higher volume North American products in the United States.

As far as brand management goes, we'd be dealing with Nissan, Dodge, Chrysler, Infiniti, and Jeep. Nissan and Dodge would be similar, and differentiated by exterior and interior design. Chrysler could cherry-pick Infiniti and Nissan models it wanted versions of, and Jeep would be scaled back to the core offroad brand it once was.

Dealers could easily sell Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep products side by side, since overlap would be significantly reduced.

An easy and simple line:

Dodge

Cars
Dodge Hornet (Nissan Versa)
Dodge Neon (Nissan Sentra)
Dodge Intrepid (Nissan Altima)
Dodge Charger (LY/FM hybrid platform)

Family Vehicles
Dodge Journey (loosely based on Altima)
Dodge Grand Caravan (Nissan Quest)
Dodge Durango (Ram platform)

Trucks
Dodge Ram
Dodge Dakota (scaled down Ram architecture)

Look how much savings already... I'll do the rest if I feel motivated later.
 

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It makes Nissan unique in the aspect that they are one of the few brands that push the technology. And they are just different. I wouldn’t say that they suck. They just aren’t widely accepted, and few people know the benefits of fuel economy and performance. Personal preference, I’m sure, but just because you aren’t a fan, doesn’t mean that everyone hates them. I kind of wish that GM had something similar, instead of just a traditional 6 speed auto.





I’m not saying that your bargain basement Jeep is going against a Land Rover. I guess what I meant to say was like a loaded Commander type vehicle would undercut the price of one by 10 grand or so, and offer similar features. I didn’t even include the Liberty in my “lineup” so I didn’t suggest a price of $19-$40K. Jeep is not going to be a volume brand. I’m not saying reintroduce the Commander, but something of its size, a large Jeep. But if there is no market for it, then just have the G.C, Wrangler, and something smaller.
For a Commander to even undercut a Range Rover it would have to cost 60,000. NO jeep owner, my self included would buy it. No LR owner would buy it because jeep would also have models on the lot that cost 19,000.
 

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It makes Nissan unique in the aspect that they are one of the few brands that push the technology. And they are just different. I wouldn’t say that they suck. They just aren’t widely accepted, and few people know the benefits of fuel economy and performance. Personal preference, I’m sure, but just because you aren’t a fan, doesn’t mean that everyone hates them. I kind of wish that GM had something similar, instead of just a traditional 6 speed auto.
Nissan's CVT has a belt inside the tranmission, Right? Having a belt inside my transmission kills the idea of buying a Car with a CVT, Belts break. From the looks of the cutways in their Ads, it would be a PAIN to replace it myself.
 

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Nissan would design the FWD car platforms, and Chrysler would design the RWD car platforms and truck platforms. Nissan would design I4 and V6 engines, while Chrysler develops V8 engines.
If Chrysler decided to start taking V6's from Nissan.......they would've just wasted millions (if not a billion) of dollars from their next-gen Phoenix project.....(which is one of the things I think, that is sapping money up---money that could've been sent towards the Sebring/Avenger). Then again, the VQ is just that good....so if it helps jolt sales back to life....it may be a wash in a few yrs (if the new products are actually decent)

As for Chrysler cherry-picking Infiniti models......I don't think even Ghosn is that stupid. One muck up by Chrysler and that would put a huge black mark on Infiniti's image, not to mention the field day the drive-by motoring press would have with it....
 

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The plan for total sharing of platforms makes NO sense... It creates the same overlap they have now.... Just w/ different logos.
And furthermore, saying you can set up a Compass on the xterra platform, the Grand Cherokee on the Pathfinder platform, so on and so forth is saying the will be based on the same thing. The Xterra, Pathfinder, Titan, Frontier, and Infiniti variants are all on the same platform anyway
 

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As far as CVT's, they suck. I rented and SUV, and somehow enterpise called a Freestyle an SUV. It had the CVT, when you let off the gas the car didn't slow down at all. I'd hate to see how long a set a of brakes last.
 
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