Dead on Arrival, Chrysler Kills Brand New Hybrid SUVs

Life is short, if you’re a Chrysler Hybrid.

Along with its third quarter earnings report, which included a $662 million loss, Chrysler announced that it will be moving ahead closure of its Newark, Delaware assembly plant from sometime next year to December 31st, 2008.

The facility is the only place Chrysler builds the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango full-size SUVs, including the recently introduced hybrid versions of both models. There are no plans to move production elsewhere.

Chrysler spokesman Scott Brown told web magazine Inside Line,” The demand for our full-size SUVs has really dropped off this year. Even though we got significant orders for the hybrids, it doesn't make sense to keep the plant open for just the hybrids."

The company says that the elimination of the SUVs has no effect on plans to introduce a hybrid version of the Dodge Ram pickup truck in 2009.

It was just a week ago that Chrysler announced class-leading EPA fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg city/22 mpg highway for the vehicles, the same day FOX Car Report reviewed the Aspen Hybrid.

Chrysler has not said how many of the hybrids will ultimately be built, so if you want one, you’ll have to get them while they last.

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