GENEVA – Chrysler Group says it will add another product to the nine already committed for the European market, and the yet-undisclosed all-new vehicle will not carry the Dodge badge.
CEO Dieter Zetsche tells Ward’s Chrysler will announce the additional product in the second half of the year. The new vehicle did not require Chrysler to increase its product-development budget.
Even with the additional offering, Zetsche doesn’t expect this year to be gangbusters for Chrysler in Europe.
“This is kind of a transitional year where we start the launch of a number of vehicles for (Europe) and the benefit will be coming later in this year. So this year I would not see significant growth,” Zetsche says. “I think that within three years we will achieve the 1% (goal) of market share.”
|Chrysler will add another product for Europe to go with the Chrysler 300 C Touring wagon.|
Chrysler currently controls 0.7% of the European market.
The European market remains a roller coaster for most auto makers. Some markets, including the U.K., are experiencing robust economic times, while others, most notably Germany, remain in economic doldrums.
The weakness in Germany, the largest auto market on the continent, is causing an ever-increasing number of auto makers to use a marketing tactic once reserved for the U.S. – incentives.
“Everybody sees incentives playing a bigger role than they did in the past in the volume segments of the European market,” Zetsche says.
Increasing competitive pressures from South Korean and Japanese manufacturers also are having an impact, similar to what the U.S. market has experienced for the last 20 years, he says.