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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has dropped a bombshell as the executive has revealed the company will phase out the Chrysler 200 and the Dodge Dart.

Speaking during the company's business plan update, Marchionne said FCA has decided to shift its focus from sedans to trucks and crossovers.  The executive went on to say "There are two cars in particular, the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200, which will run their course." The cars are slated to be phased out within 18 months and the decision puts a kibosh on plans to launch a Dart SRT which was slated to all-wheel drive and a turbocharged engine.

The move to abandon the mid-size sedan market is surprising but FCA believes consumer interest in crossovers represents a "permanent shift in demand."  The automaker also says "Low gas prices [are] now seen as [a] permanent condition."  The latter statement could come back to haunt the company if gas prices return to pre-recession levels and the automaker finds itself with a lineup that consists primarily of trucks and crossovers.

While the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart are going away, the hiatus might not be permanent as the company noted it is exploring partnership opportunities to "address compact and midsize car segments."

Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and The Detroit Free Press

Gallery: Chrysler 200 & Dodge Dart to be phased out within 18 months

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