News Column

Chrysler Display Impresses Metro Detroit Car Dealers

Sept. 12, 2012

Brent Snavely


Chrysler dealers left a new model preview in Las Vegas impressed by the array of fresh products the automaker plans to introduce over the next several years.

"You came out here wondering what it was going to be like and it was an absolute wow," said Bill Golling, owner of Golling Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Bloomfield Hills.

Chrysler showed its dealers more than 60 combinations and trim levels of cars and trucks to be sold by all of its brands, including two Alfa Romeo models that the company expects to sell in Fiat showrooms, Golling said.

The 2013 SRT Viper and Ram 1500 pickup were on display.

Dealers also were shown an all-new Chrysler 200 sedan, a Chrysler 100 subcompact, future versions of the Jeep Liberty, a subcompact Jeep, two commercial vans for the Ram brand, and a Ram 6500 with dump truck capability, said David Kelleher, chairman of the Chrysler National Dealer Council.

The two Alfa Romeos, Kelleher said, "Blew me away ... these cars evoke passion."

The Chrysler 200, Kelleher said, is "extremely refined," and the replacement for the Liberty will be a modern crossover SUV with as distinctive of a design as the Land Rover Evoque.

"It's very tight, very attractive and fitting where the market is right now," Kelleher said.

Chrysler spokesman Ralph Kisiel declined to confirm any of the new models shown Monday. About 6,000 dealers and employees attended the conference, a company official said.

CEO Sergio Marchionne recalled a similar meeting two years ago in Orlando when he asked dealers to stick with Chrysler as it launched 16 new or upgraded models.

"I want to express my sincere appreciation to you for upholding your end of the bargain," Marchionne said. "You did so despite the hard times and the uncertainty that surrounded our fate."

Source: (c)2012 the Detroit Free Press. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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