Chrysler wants to expand its sales with new vehicles, including a plug-in hybrid minivan and a new small Jeep SUV, in a more aggressive effort to differentiate its brands.
Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne addressed an audience of investors and media on Tuesday at an all-day event to reveal the future product plans at Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills in the US state of Michigan.
Chrysler is dropping the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan and Dodge Avenger sedan, which it says compete too closely with the Chrysler Town and Country minivan and Chrysler 200 sedan.
From now on, the company said, Chrysler will be the mainstream brand that competes with Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford, while Dodge will be a sporty, performance-oriented brand designed to appeal to younger buyers.
Chrysler's SRT performance brand, which includes the Viper sports car, will be consolidated with Dodge and considered the "halo" of the Dodge brand.
Chrysler is in the process of combining with Italian automaker Fiat SpA.
Fiat completed its purchase of Chrysler in January. Shares of the combined company are expected to begin trading jointly on the New York Stock Exchange and in Milan, Italy, by October 1.