Chrysler Starts Production Of The Pacifica Hybrid, Axes The 200

Products come and products go at any manufacturer. That’s certainly the case at Fiat Chrysler, which has ceased production of one model and just begun production of another.

In one corner is the Chrysler 200, which The Detroit News reports reached the end of the line on Friday at the Sterling Heights Assembly plant in Michigan. In the other is the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which the company announced has officially commenced production in Windsor, Ontario.

The 200 sedan has been on the chopping block since July, when FCA announced that it would discontinue the model sometime in December. The company initially sought a manufacturing partner to continue producing the model (along with the smaller Dodge Dart), but with none having stepped forward, the mid-size luxury sedan has reached the end of its life.

The current, second-generation model was only introduced in 2014. Its assembly line is currently being retooled to produce more profitable Ram 1500 trucks.

Meanwhile production of the Pacifica Hybrid has picked up just as the 200 was leaving off. Billed as “the industry’s first-ever electrified minivan,” the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is being built alongside its conventional counterpart as well as the aging Dodge Grand Caravan at the same Windsor Assembly Plant where some the automaker has built 10 million of its minivans since 1983.

Though the minivan does not, strictly speaking, take the place of the mid-size sedan, it does represent a shifting of priorities at FCA US headquarters in Auburn Hills, which is placing an increased emphasis on its larger vehicles, which are more appealing to customers.

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  • Ilbirs

    Phasing the 200 out was one of the dumbest decisions in the short FCA history. Instead of this, better would be shifting its production to Mexico, where it could take advantages from the trade deals this country has not only with U.S. and Canada but also with Brazil and Argentina. Ford builds the Fusion in Mexico and hasn’t any complaints about it, as this car is exported to Brazil, where it leads its segment by a large margin, and other places where plays a significative role. Nissan also is satisfied with some of its products being built by the south of the Bravo river and here in Brazil the Sentra is one of the top sellers of its niche, for now the Kicks is being built there and soon, when it will be built at Resende plant, will be replaced by the next-gen Frontier while its Argentinian factory is being built.
    FCA could do the same with the 200. Transfering its assembly to Toluca or Saltillo would not only keep its production, remembering that it was the best selling Chrysler sedan, but also open the possibility of being sold in other countries where the American one would be too expensive due to a lack of trade deals, like mine. Being too dependent on trucks and SUVs could hurt FCA if the tables change and for some reason these kinds of vehicle that now are cashcows suddenly become too expensive to buy, insure, repair or keep.

    • Tumbi Mtika

      I agree. Sergio is focusing so much on getting these brands profitable in the short term, that if things change, FCA will be caught out. He needs to focus on actually building up these products for the long term, so FCA will be more stable in the future, and be known for better quality product than they have now.

      • Ilbirs

        For the 200, it wouldn’t be any problem shifting its production from Sterling Heights to Toluca or Saltillo. It wouldn’t be the first car which production is transferred to another plant in its lifecycle and everyone knows that an operation of this kind can be done without big problems, just needing to increase the number of units built before the shift to have the model easily available, some promotion in which someone can buy a 300 for the price of a 200 and other temporary measures until the new plant would be ready.

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