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Well, either the Chrysler planners know something we don't, or this is the worst example of bad timing we've ever seen. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Chrysler Group is betting a big part of its new product development on five all-new SUVs, to be launched over the next few years.

Currently, Chrysler Group's SUV segment sales are led by the Jeep brand, which posted sales of 40,659 units last month.

Apparently the new SUVs are "mostly" small and mid-size models, presumably based in part on the Dodge Caliber and Nitro (pictured) concepts, so they may not be affected by the fuel price issues that have depressed sales of big SUVs. Even so, this is a crowded market segment and five new models might be overkill.

Chrysler is also said to be planning to bring back the Challenger sports coupe to compete with Ford's Mustang. Better late than never?
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