Give Chrysler credit for consistency.
A company executive said yesterday that it would indeed build electric and hybrid vehicles, though “sparingly” and for the “right kinds of targeted applications.”
The comment came from Bob Lee, Chrysler’s vice president and head of engineering for engine and electrified propulsion, during a conference presentation at the Center for Automotive Research “Management Briefing Seminars” held outside Traverse City, Michigan.
It’s only being built in low volumes as a “compliance car” to meet requirements for sales of a certain number of zero-emission vehicles in the state of California.
And that may not be Chrysler’s only diesel offering; the company trademarked the “EcoDiesel” brand earlier this year.
Lee’s comments on electrification, reported byBloomberg, indicate that Fiat-Chrysler is content to let other companies–Toyota and Honda in hybrids, Nissan in electric cars–take the lead and develop the market for such alternate technologies.
Arguably, Chrysler feels it has more pressing and immediate needs.
Before it can incur the considerable expense of developing such technologies for mass production, which may take a decade or more, it has to make a success out of its 2013 Dodge Dart compact sedan, just now launching.
In other words, making sure the company can design, engineer, and sell competitive cars with regular engines and transmissions takes priority.
Hybrids and plug-ins? They’ll be built “sparingly” (in low volumes) and “targeted” (meaning that you’re not likely to see them in most Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat dealerships any time soon).