Planet Gore

No More Hybrids for Chrysler?

Big news out of Chrylser today that it’s shutting down its Dodge Durango/Chrysler Aspen SUV plant in Delaware. An excerpt:

The Newark plant builds the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen. The company did not announce any plans for other plants to build these vehicles, and it would appear that for the next few years, those nameplates will not be on the market.

In addition, the move appears to mean that Chrysler will be losing its only hybrid vehicles until 2010, when the Dodge Ram is expected to get that fuel-saving option. Chrysler is in the process of launching its first hybrid vehicles with the Durango and Aspen.

“We can’t comment on our future product strategy,” said Stuart Schorr, a Chrysler spokesman. He noted that Chrysler has already announced an investment in its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit “to build a full line of SUVs … with the ability to include full-sized SUVs.

And the demand for hybrid SUVs is unlikely to improve, at least while oil is at $65 a barrel.

One other thought: I wonder how much of today’s move in Delaware and this announced cut of 25 percent of Chrysler’s white-collar workforce is simply Chrysler positioning itself to merge with GM.

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