Chrysler Launches New Hybrids, then Cancels Their Production

More bad news for large SUVs, even the hybrid versions thereof.

| Nov. 5, 2008

  • Chrysler Aspen Hybrid
    Don't blink: This is the here-today, gone-tomorrow 2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid SUV, which is rated for 20 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway (the best fuel economy for that size of SUV). Chrysler will cease production of the hybrid and conventional Aspen and Dodge Durango SUVs at the end of 2008.

  • Chrysler Aspen Hybrid

In a sign of these strange economic times, Chrysler is simultaneously preparing to launch its first hybrid vehicles and to shut down their production.

Back in June, the company hyped the price benefits and performance achievements of its new hybrids, the 2009 Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid and the 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI Hybrid, which were to be delivered to showrooms in August. That never happened, but on October 16, Chrysler released the official fuel economy numbers for the two hybrids: 20 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, which are best-in-class fuel economy ratings for full-size sport utility vehicles.

At that time, Chrysler said the hybrids would arrive in showrooms "later this year," and the company included a photo of the Chrysler Aspen Hybrid "after production at the Newark Assembly Plant" (note that the company dropped the "HEMI" from the name).

A week later, Chrysler announced that it will close the Newark Assembly Plant in Newark, Del., at the end of this year, a move that will bring an end to the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen in all their forms, including the new hybrids.

Reprinted from EERE Network News, a free newsletter of the U.S. Department of Energy. 
1/24/2009 9:03:44 AM

Here today, gone tomorrow. What happens to all the hyped up hybrids? With a stockpile of non-hybrid vehicles to sell do you really think a newer idea will be implemented? Henry Ford, when he introduced the Model T, had a large number of Model N cars in stock which were not selling. The Model T was selling at fantastic rates. His solution to the non-selling Model N? Require dealers to take one Model N for every 10 Model T's when ordering vehicles. That moved them out. Where is The 2008 FORD HYDRAULIC HYBRID F-150? That one was supposed to be here in August of last year. BETTER CITY EFFICIENCY THAN THE PRIUS!!!!! Yet, we don't have them. Garbage trucks and UPS vans are hydraulic hybrid, yet the general public gets nothing. Check out the following links. “The most efficient, lowest cost, hybrids” EPA DEC 17, 2007 June 26, 2006 For 5 years the EPA has sat on this technology and NO ONE is building it. GREENER, more EFFICIENT and would help us GET OFF FOREIGN OIL!

Kelsey Wood
11/11/2008 12:36:38 PM

Maybe GM and Ford, with a little help getting on track to build small cars, could bounce back with a new competitive edge... Wishful thinking, I'm sure; I'm only trying make myself feel better about the billions my government is prepared to waste in my name. Ideally, and I know this is highly unlikely, I'd rather see the money go towards overhauling the infrastructure that Americans use every day to get themselves around. I'm talking mass transit and bike routes to get people to and from work without relying on cars no matter their size or fuel efficiency, and mixed-use development patterns for cities and towns to reduce the need for long-distance transportation in the first place. It'd be ludicrous, though it's probably just what the government will do, to just fork over cash to allow GM and Ford to continue manufacturing vehicles whose fuel economy pales in comparison to what we know is possible because it exists elsewhere in the market. -Concerned and Car-free in Canada

Kelsey Wood
11/11/2008 12:35:13 PM

I, for one, am delighted to see the era of big SUV's drawing to a close. I never did like them. Those who did were probably not interested in mpg's and eco-friendly hybrid technology in the first place. The fact that GM forges ahead with these ridiculously large vehicles, whose hybrid versions still can't attain the fuel economy standards of most conventional smaller cars, just goes to show how out of tune they are with the environmental and economic concerns of real consumers. I surmise that they have no choice but to continue making large vehicles because it's what they've designed their machinery to do and they lack the capital to overhaul their factories with the machinery to build smaller models. These guys are headed for bankruptcy and it's about darn time! They do currently employ a lot of people and owe countless retirees their pensions, so it would be a terrible blow to the economy--not to mention, many middle class American families--to lose them. Thus, we're hearing talk of yet another government bail-out plan, this one aimed at salvaging junk American car makers, Ford included. Have you seen the new hybrid Ford Flex? Laughable! Free market capitalism (not that I'm a big proponent in the first place) would dictate that we let these companies die: they failed to keep up with consumer demands and ceased to be competitive in the marketplace. If however, my tax dollars are going to go towards saving them, I want a say in how the money will be spent. I'd like to see that injection of government capital go towards rebuilding the infrastructure of American car makers so that they can build truly fuel efficient vehicles. Maybe then the bail-out wouldn't be so much of a band-aid solution. Remember how rebuilding the Iraqi oil infrastructure was supposed to result in massive profits so the Iraqis could swiftly and completely pay us back for reconstruction efforts? Maybe GM and Ford, with a little help getti


Fermentation Frenzy!

September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pa

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me