Apparently, Chrysler has been demonstrating plug-in hybrids to select dealers around the US that have “at least” a 300 mile range and can go from 0-60 in “less than” 4 seconds. According to the LA Times, Chrysler Vice Chairman and President Jim Press claims these prototypes are in a “producible” state.
Following in lock step, Chrysler has screwed the pooch like every other American car company over the last 5 years by completely ignoring the market for fuel efficient vehicles.
While both GM and Ford have finally reacted to this plight by beginning drastic company-wide overhauls from the ground up, I’ve been left wondering: does Chrysler still know that they’re losing money?
After buying Chrysler off of an ecstatic Daimler-Benz last year, private equity firm Cerberus began a plan to turn the company’s fortunes around, including laying off 12,000 workers, closing factories and deleting some models from its line-up. As of yet, none of this has staunched the flow.
So when I hear news that Chrysler has a producible plug-in hybrid prototype that can go from 0-60 in less than 4 seconds, I’m left wondering: WTF mate? Who’s in charge and why are only dealers being allowed to see this thing? Makes me hesitant to believe a word of it… but still… I want to believe.
No word on the time frame until those of us who might actually buy the plug-in will be able to see it, but Chrysler said back in July that it will start producing plug-ins in 3-5 years. Holy crap. Granted, I’m not a businessman, but it seems like that time frame is engineered to put Chrysler out of its misery without a fight.
Wake up Chrysler. If you’ve got the goods, bring it to the market. There’s no room in this brave new world for beating around the bush.
Posts Related to the Re-tooling of the US Auto Industry:
- Like GM, Ford Decides They’d Better Start Producing Smaller, More Fuel-Efficient Cars
- Prototype Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid: 88 MPG on 85% Ethanol
- How to Build an Electric Car Charging Infrastructure: Smart Grids, Fast Charging and Universal Access
- Think Electric Cars are Expensive? Try Ford’s F-250 Full-Sized Truck
- Smaller Is Bigger: Car buyers are thinking small
- Report Claims Every New Car Will Be a Hybrid By 2020
- Plug-in Hybrid Drivers are Charged Up
- Aptera Electric Car Closer to Production After Cash Infusion
Image Credit: enviziondotnet’s Flickr photostream. Image reproduced and altered under a Creative Commons license. Note that the image above is of a Chrysler concept car that may have no relation to the plug-in hybrid prototype.