If you're shopping for a new car and have a preference for Chrysler Group products, expect to see frequent model updates from Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep in the coming years. Ralph Gilles, head of design at Chrysler (and president & CEO of Dodge) believes that frequent styling changes may be the key to sales growth.
Going forward, Gilles expects Chrysler to have even more frequent design tweaks and updates, emphasizing more substantial mid-cycle product redesigns. Citing recent experience with cars like the 2011 Chrysler 200, Automotive News quotes Gilles as saying, “In some cases they acted like brand-new cars with a fraction of the investment.”
The Chrysler 200 had previously been called the Chrysler Sebring, a name consumers associated more with rental cars than with desirable mid-size sedans and convertibles. Thanks to an exterior freshening, suspension improvements, a new interior and a Super Bowl ad campaign featuring Eminem, Chrysler has seen sales performance from the 200 in the first quarter rivaling that of a new car launch.
Citing his experience throughout the Chrysler and Dodge product lines, Gilles went on to say, “We learned a lot from what we did with 16 products. Many of those were heavy, heavy refreshes, and it actually has done miracles.” You can see evidence of this in other Chrysler Group products, such as the newly refined interior in the 2011 Dodge Journey, or the new exterior styling of the 2011 Chrysler 300 and the 2011 Dodge Charger.