Friday, February 6, 2009

Best Car : Chrysler Approves IMPERIAL

Chrysler executives have approved production of the new Imperial luxury sedan, according to industry sources cited by the Toronto Star. The official announcement is expected June 11th, according to the newspaper.

The company will invest $700 million for Imperial production at its its Brampton, Ontario plant, which already builds the Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, and Dodge Magnum.

The news comes not long after Brampton workers rejected a company proposal that asked them to give up $115 per week in exchange for a contract to build the Imperial. The move put plans for production in jeopardy, but about 1,800 workers overturned the decision a few weeks later and accepted changes, according to the Star.

Chrysler announced plans to produce the new Dodge Challenger in early July 2006. Production will begin in early 2008. Chrysler will unveil the production version of the Challenger at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2008.

It’s not known when the company will reveal the production Imperial, or how closely it will match the concept version. Various reports have indicated it will retain its 214-inch length and 123-inch wheelbase.

Another mystery is the Imperial’s price. Chrysler’s Joe Eberhardt previously said he believes the brand enhanced its image enough with the 300 that it can now push further into the premium segment, challenging Cadillac and Lincoln. Eberhardt said Chrysler is not ready for a $50,000 vehicle, suggesting the Imperial will be priced comfortably below that. Analysts have predicted the Imperial will be priced $5,000 to $7,000 above the 300.

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