Marchionne wants new Chrysler line earlier. image

Sergio Marchionne is pushing designers and engineers to get all future models to market sooner than later. The lack of fresh product has slowed Chrysler’s ability to capitalize as much as competitors on the industry’s fledgling recovery.

The new 2011 Dodge Charger is scheduled to begin production later this year, before the revised 2011 Chrysler 300. That plan may be altered a bit though, as Marchionne may push 300 production ahead of the Charger. As the company’s flagship sedan, Chrysler needs to hurry its 300 release to help draw customers back to the brand.
Leon Rideout, president of CAW Local 1285 in Brampton, said the Charger is still scheduled to go into production first.

But Jim Hall, a product development consultant with 2953 Analytics in Birmingham, said dealers have been pushing for the 300, because it will be priced slightly higher and people who have seen the new 300 in Chrysler’s design studio says it is stunning enough to take some sales away from competitors.

Chrysler sold more Chargers last year — 60,651 — than 300s — 38,606.