Chrysler 200 Could Become a Lancia in International Markets

Product funding at Chrysler was cut severely as it headed into negotiations process with the Fiat Group. Unlike competitors General Motors and Ford, there has been a startling dearth of new products available on the market.

After the ensuing partnership, development was ramped up. We’re beginning to see the fruits of that with Chrysler’s introductions of vehicles like the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango and Chrysler 200.

The partnership with Fiat has resulted in the 500 minicar coming to our shores. Now, the Chrysler 200 could be heading overseas as well, badged as a Lancia.

There has been much talk about the potential for sharing between Lancia and Chrysler. But until now that has mostly been for all-new models farther out. But reports circulating now point to the the 200 possibly seeing duty overseas.

Olivier Francois is the CEO of both Chrysler and Lancia brands and told AutoNews that “We are running numbers to see if it could become a profitable business case.”

One issue with importing the 200 from the U.S to sell internationally is the lack of a diesel option in our market. In Europe, availability of a diesel is a must. The current Sebring however, is available in select European markets with a 2.0-liter CRDi turbodiesel engine.

It would seem like a no brainer to sell as a Lancia, but another obstacle is a short shelf life planned for the 200. As a mid-cycle enhancement to the Sebring mid-size sedan, an all-new model to do duty for both Chrysler and Lancia is slated for 2013.

That would provide only a short time on the market. The price tag for converting it for suitable use as a Lancia is around €50 million ($70 million).

That includes redesigned grille and other design elements, as well as modifications to accommodate a diesel engine. Fiat has to be certain that money will be recouped, hence the numbers being crunched right now