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November 7, 2008

Chrysler pares sedan models

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Chrysler LLC said yesterday it has scrapped versions of three sedans and is adding more standard equipment on the remaining models.

Affected are Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler 300, and Dodge Avenger.

The automaker said it also will offer smaller engines in the most expensive versions of the sedans.

Chrysler is trying to attract customers with more features and improved fuel economy after its U.S. sales through October tumbled the most of any major automaker. Sales of the 300 fell 44 percent, of the Sebring fell 31 percent, and of the Avenger fell 12 percent.

The third-largest U.S. automaker dropped the Sebring LX and Touring versions, leaving only the Limited model. With standard features such as heated seats and a leather interior, the Limited gets the Touring version's $23,380 starting price and offers a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine, Chrysler said.

The 300 lost the entry-level LX. The Touring model, now the lowest-priced version, keeps its $27,415 starting price and adds an interior and exterior package that had been optional. Also, the top-end 300C can now be bought with a V-6 engine instead of only a V-8.

On Avenger, the entry SE model was eliminated. The top-end R/T is available with a four-cylinder engine, or in a V-6 version that's less expensive than the previous model. -- Chrysler pares sedan models
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