Chrysler Proving Grounds:

Chrysler Introduces Sebring at Home


At DaimlerChrysler’s Chelsea Proving Grounds, Chrysler Group President and Chief Executive Officer Tom LaSorda introduced the new-generation 2007 Sebring. The Sebring will be in dealers by November 2006, and VehicleVoice and AutoPacific were on hand for the unveiling.


Chrysler has promised the new Sebring is “creating inspiration in the common car,” is “as good as or better than the best mid-size sedans in the world,” and that brings “unexpected levels of style, craftsmanship, technology, and affordable performance.” Sebring offers some features new to mid-size sedans, but for the most part, it leans toward the “as good as” side of the equation rather than on the “better than” side. Safety is advanced from the current Sebring, but only to the point they match the top players. In terms of performance, the base four-cylinder should be a strong contender and Sebring offers an atypical six-speed automatic for the top V6, but at 235HP the top V6 puts Chrysler only mid-pack in the brochure horsepower wars.

The Sebring package is well researched and well plotted. Based on our initial review in the metal, it is in the subjective area of overall styling and in the look and feel of some interior materials where we think Sebring may have landed just off the mark.
Value Proposition
Final pricing comes later, but LaSorda promised MSRPs lower than Toyota Camry or Honda Accord models closest in content to new Sebring models. Where the 2006 Sebring sedan has a short $20,730-$23,160 price ladder, a taller ladder is expected for 2007. The 2007 Camry and the 2006 Accord start a bit below $20,000 and go as high as about $29,000 (aside from hybrids). Chrysler has said the 2.7L V6 models will be priced closer to competition’s four-cylinder-equipped offerings. Chrysler will position this new, longer ladder so that the both top and bottom ends stay below the key competition. The Sebring may see a drop in MSRP from 2006 to 2007, which may bring the MSRP closer to transaction price.
The Chrysler Group has been successful in finding a sweet spot for pricing their new entries of late; Sebring will be just as aggressively priced and well contented.

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