US: Chrysler stops development of Pacifica replacement

By just-auto.com editorial team | 8 November 2006

Chrysler has halted development work on a new model code-named CT that was due to replace the Chrysler Pacifica in 2008.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the move is thought to be a cost-cutting measure as Chrysler struggles to rein in costs in the final three months of the year, after reporting a $US1.5bn Q3 loss.

The CT is a crossover utility vehicle.

According to information from suppliers obtained by the newspaper, contract workers, hired to work on the new vehicle, have been laid off over the past few weeks.

The move appears to have puzzled many analysts. Several manufacturers have been moving into this segment and doing very well, so it seems strange that Chrysler would pull out completely.

On the other hand, the company is developing a smaller crossover to replace the PT Cruiser in 2010 and cost-cutting executives may think that two crossovers is excessive. Alternatively the CT may not be meeting future requirements for component sharing and/or emissions. Chrysler recently embarked on an ambitious goal, dubbed Project Refocus, which aims to reduce costs by $1,000 per vehicle.