Marchionne said European transmissions shift more often and accelerates more slowly than Americans are used to.
Fuel efficiency not enough
“It's a great fuel mileage solution, but it's got to meet consumer expectations, and were not quite there,” Marchionne said. “If it's a mismatch to consumer expectations, you're going to pay the price, and we have.”
The solution, he says, is a nine-speed automatic transmission. The added gears will help the car accelerate faster and give it great mileage. Chrysler is developing such a transmission in America that will first appear in a revamped Jeep Liberty small SUV later this year. The Liberty is to be unveiled at the New York Auto Show in March.
Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of automotive testing, said Darts with a 2-liter four-cylinder engine, and a conventional automatic transmission, are too slow. The European automatic behaves more like a manual transmission and isn't to the liking of Americans, he said.