The American maker is now controlled by Fiat, which is helping to develop a fleet of new vehicles which use its engine and chassis technology for sales from 2012. But that has not stopped Chrysler group rushing new features, extra equipment and better quality into 15 re-worked vehicles for 2010.
"Our local product team is working closer than ever with the factory to come up with revised or all-new models for our market which we're hoping to see in the near future," says Jerry Stamoulis, spokesman for Chrysler in Australia. As the top performing right-hand drive market for Chrysler, there has been a strong emphasis placed on our market to help lift international sales over the next five years."
He says the first of the updated models is already in showrooms and the most important, the all-new Grand Cherokee, will be revealed this year ahead of sales in 2010. "The Grand Cherokee will be the first vehicle in Australia to be available with the all-new Pentastar V6 petrol engine," Stamoulis says. The Jeep Patriot has already had an interior update and similar work will be finished soon on the Dodge Caliber, which comes in the third quarter of this year.
"Other immediate changes to our line-up are that all Dodge Journey models receive, as standard, active head restraints and the 5.7L Hemi V-8 in the Chrysler 300C receives variable valve timing and an additional 15 kiloWatts, which lifts power to 265kW," Stamoulis says.
Apart from the Pentastar V6, various Chrysler models will also get a six-speed, Fiat dual-clutch gearbox. It will be seen first in a re-worked Chrysler Sebring, which also gets updated body styling, a new interior and revised suspension for better ride and handling. The Jeep Wrangler also gets a styling tweak this year, as well as stop-start technology on its diesel engines.