Let’s hope it shares nothing with Chrysler’s GEM lineup
By Chris Haak
Chrysler LLC, under assault for questionable quality, questionable finances, and a questionable (truck- and gas guzzler-heavy) product mix, plans to announce an electric vehicle at a webcast for dealers on Tuesday. While news of the announcement leaked out over the past few days, word also came out that some dealers had been given preview drives in prototypes of electric cars. Aside from this evidence, Vice Chairman Jim Press said last month that Chrysler would launch seven new vehicles in 2010 – far more new models than most had expected, which means that Chrysler had some surprises up its sleeve over the next two years. Or, it could be a simple matter of counting line extensions such as a Ram Hybrid as a “new model,” which certainly would be a stretch to label it as a new model.
Chrysler showed three electric vehicle concepts at the 2008 NAIAS in Detroit this past January, so it’s possible that the vehicle to be shown to dealers on Tuesday (which will surely be leaked on the Internet within hours, if not minutes, even if it’s not officially sent to the media) could be a production version of the Chrysler ecoVoyager, Jeep Rampage, or Dodge ZEO – or a completely new vehicle we’ve never seen or heard of before.
Last week on the Charlie Rose Show, Chrysler LLC CEO Bob Nardelli said that he was confident that his company would be as competitive as GM in the electric vehicle space, mentioning that his company has been producing electric vehicles for 10 years with its GEM subsidiary, so they have all of the fundamental technology necessary for an electric vehicle. Continue Reading →