by Christopher Freeburn | May 30, 2012 10:29 am
Chrysler is shaking up its product line, ending production of its Jeep Compass and Town and Country minivan.
The changes are part of an effort to refocus the carmaker, which is turning its attention to the relaunch of its once-popular Dodge Dart brand name, the Chicago Tribune notes.
New Darts began rolling off the production lines at Chrysler’s Belvidere, Ill., factory this month. The updated Dart uses Fiat-designed architecture and is the first Chrysler product to borrow from the company’s Italian owner.
Featuring an updated design, the Dart is Chrysler’s attempt to gain a foothold in the compact car market, where it faces stiff competition from rivals including the Toyota (NYSE:TM) Corolla, Honda (NYSE:HMC) Civic and Ford (NYSE:F) Fiesta.
The Belvidere factory currently produces the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. Those models will continue production until 2014 when Compass ends its run. Plans for the Jeep Patriot were not disclosed, though some speculate the a new Jeep could be developed based on the Dart’s chassis.
With the end of the Town and Country, Chrysler will have only one model, the Grand Caravan, in that category.
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