Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Crucial cars for Chrysler

To turn around its falling sales numbers, these are the cars and trucks DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group must get right.

Subcompact
Dodge Hornet concept
Subcompact
The smallest car the Chrysler Group currently offers is the Dodge Caliber, a car that has been selling well, according to Tom Libby, an analyst with the Power Information Network.

Competition is really heating up one size below, in the B-class segment. Until recently, Korean manufacturers had the market segment to themselves. The Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio were battling against the Korean-made Chevrolet Aveo. Then Toyota brought in its Yaris and Honda came in with the Fit.

The contracts haven't been finalized yet, but Chrysler has decided to turn to a Chinese manufacturer for its entry in this market. The vehicle, possibly something like the Dodge Hornet concept shown here, will be built by China's Chery car company. Still to be decided are issues like whether the car will be engineered by Chrysler Group or Chery and whether it will be introduced elsewhere in the world first - like China - before coming here.

Relying on China to introduce a small car could be a dangerous strategy for Chrysler, though, said David Zatz, editor of the Chrysler Group watchdog site Allpar.com.

If the Chinese car isn't good, that will obviously be bad for Chrysler. But if it is good, and consumers learn they can trust a Chinese manufacturer, Chrysler could be offering a hand up to one more potential competitor, said Zatz.


Speed

Minivan

Crossovers

Family car

Subcompact

Big truck

Sporty coupe
Acadia: Big, roomy, almost perfect General Motors' big crossover, but for one flaw, just about hits the bullseye. (more)
Best Cars 2007 Consumer Reports: To be a 'Top Pick', a vehicle must have at least average reliability and must perform well in crash tests. (more)
Iacocca: 'They're throwing us to the curb' Fortune's Alex Taylor interviews former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca. (more)