Marchionne was on hand at the Windsor plant to celebrate the production launch of the new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, the latter being the most likely recipient for Chrysler’s latest hybrid technology.
That brings us to another point. Chrysler will no longer rely on the aging Two-Mode hybrid system co-developed with GM, Daimler and BMW and last used on its Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen SUVs in 2008. Instead, Marchionne boasted that Chrysler will use its own in-house developed system.
The hybrid minivans will almost certainly be based on Chrysler’s next-generation minivan design, which will stick with a sliding door and offer all-wheel drive as an option.
The story doesn’t end there, as Marchionne also used today’s meeting in Windsor to confirm that a replacement for the Dodge Neon would arrive in April of 2013 and be the first model in Chrysler’s lineup to feature a new nine-speed automatic transmission.