• Chrysler 150

The Chrysler 150 is a passenger car that was produced by Chrysler Europe and later by the PSA Group. The model had different names depending on the market: In most of Europe was known as Simca 1307, 1308 and 1309, Chrysler Alpine in the British market, Irish and New Zealand, Dodge Alpine in the Colombian market and Chrysler 150 in Spain. Later, after the sale of Chrysler Europe in 1978 to PSA Group has changed since 1980, the type designation 1510 Talbot throughout Europe except in markets in the foregoing was called Talbot and Talbot Alpine 150 respectively.

It was introduced in July 1975 and achieved the awards of Car of the Year in Europe in 1976 and Spain in 1978.

In 1980 a model of three volumes called Talbot Solara or sedan was launched.

The Chrysler 150 was the first car developed by Chrysler Europe intended solely for the European market and to do so using the full potential of the British Rootes as the French Simca, enterprises controlling for several years.

The immediate occasion of the beginning of the development was to replace the already obsolete Simca 1500. Referred to as C6 Project, its mechanical development was the responsibility of the French part of the company’s plant in Poissy, France, which took based on the Simca 1100 (1200 in Spain); while the stylistic design team commissioned Roy Axe, Head of Design Rootes, in Whitley, near Coventry (UK).

It was a front wheel drive vehicle; available engine 4 cylinders in line, transversely placed at an angle of 41 ° backward, with respect to the direction of travel. Initially two engine types Poissy, one of 1,294cc and 68hp, and used in the Simca 1100, and another of 1,442cc and 85hp, which was the same as the 1,294cc but with a longer stroke mounted, 70 to 78 mm. Another feature of the engine was the electronic ignition, Hall effect, already used by Chrysler in the United States since 1973.

The front suspension and braking scheme was inherited from the Simca 1100, with slight modifications, while a new rear-wheel independent suspension with triangular arms thrown axis transverse oscillation, coil springs and stabilizer bar developed.

As for the styling of the vehicle, the body of two volumes hatchback was not new as it had been seen in the first version of the Volkswagen Passat which had appeared a few years earlier, still supposed to advance a new aesthetic online at the moment in further emphasized by the large glass area, the spacious interior and bumpers resin, which were a novelty in those years and is widely used from then. As a curiosity about what his line and balanced use of space, it should be noted that years after production ceases the USSR after comparing units of different Western models, body modeled for Aleko, substitute Moskvitch while modeling mechanical select the Audi solution that allowed them to spend FWD continuing with their old engines and could remain Longitudinally used.

It was presented to the media by British and French media in July 1975, prior to a pre-presentation in Deauville, France on September 15, 1975 before the official presentation of the new vehicle that took place at the Motor Show in Paris in October of that year.

Production began in Poissy factory in September 1975. Denominated Simca 1307 to 1308, in the French market were put on sale, versions 1307 GLS and 1307 S with 1294cc engines, and the 1308 GT with 1442cc. The car was very well received in France where sales were a success production capacity overflowing the Poissy plant, producing 900 cars a day in 1975 and went on to produce 1050 in May 1976. During that year point topped 7% of registrations in France, in the previous year when the Renault 12, Citroen GS, the Simca 1000 and the Peugeot 304 together had reached 6.5% of enrollments.

The sales success resulted in obtaining the award of Car of the Year in Europe, first time a Simca he succeeded. He also managed to be recognized as Car of the Year in Denmark, Belgium, and Scandinavia, joint award from Norway, Sweden and Finland.

1977 marked the peak of this vehicle with a production of 258,000 vehicles in Poissy and a daily rate of 1,200 cars. In 1978 a new version was added S 1308, finishing 1307 with S but with the 1442cc engine in 1979 and 1309 SX version, which marked the top of the range by including a new 1,592cc engine yielding 88 CV, power steering, cruise control, automatic transmission and sunroof.

Against the French success in the UK was greeted with more indifference. Popular taste is still favored the aesthetics of three volumes, and the vehicle, known as Chrysler Alpine in line with former Rootes models known of the British public, was too new. However, in October 1976 the production plant in Ryton, Coventry was launched to cater to the UK market. Sales began in January 1976 offering two versions: the GL engine of 1,294cc and S with 1,442cc engine. In 1980 he offered the British market the SX version that was already on sale in France from a year earlier.

In Spain the vehicle was introduced in Menorca in May 1977 along with the start of production at the plant Barreiros, subsidiary of Chrysler Europe in Spain, had in the Madrid district of Villaverde. It was named Chrysler 150 to take advantage of the advertising pull Chrysler 180, which had some good sales in Spain, unlike in the rest of Europe, and is also produced in Villaverde. GLS models were offered with 1294cc engine and S and GT with 1442cc, corresponding with the French versions GLS 1307, 1308 S and 1308 GT, respectively. In 1978, as in other European countries, also won the award of Car of the Year in Spain. In 1979 the GLS version by LS equipped the 1442cc engine but adapted to regular gasoline and began marketing the SX version corresponding to the French 1309 SX replaced. At the option of the Spanish market, the air is offered conditioning. It was the vehicle chosen by the Civil Guard to replace the inadequate Land Rover Central Operations Services (COS).

Chrysler, the U.S. parent of Chrylser Europe, had been suffering serious financial problems since the mid-70s, so in 1978 the company management decided to sell Chrysler Europe to PSA for the symbolic price of 1 dollar. The agreement included the authorization for use of the brand Chrysler until the end of 1979. Starting in 1980, the models would be rebranded as Talbot, trademark PSA group.

The name change also came accompanied by a change in car design, primarily interior and exterior aesthetic elements, redesigned front and front and rear groups optivos. The model became France Talbot 1510, Talbot Alpine in the UK and 150 in Spain Talbot.

However, the rebranding marked the beginning of the end of the model, which went on to have serious competition both within the PSA group, with the Peugeot 305, and out with the Renault 18. Moreover, the Talbot Horizon, Chrysler born or by market Simca Horizon, which was the last success of the brand, also played down the new Talbot sales in France and the UK.

In order to increase sales went on sale a three-volume sedan version called Talbot Solara, which will be the first vehicle to bear the brand Talbot since birth. The release of this car meant accelerating sales decline big brother was discontinued in France in 1982.

In the United Kingdom, in 1984 the model underwent another change of identity and design for recovering the two versions that were on sale last names Rapier and Minx, names from former Rootes models, and using many interior elements taken Peugeot 305.

Production continued in Spain and the UK until 1985, but already with a view to their respective markets.

Both the debt inherited from Chrysler Europe as the loss of confidence in the brand Talbot in France, after the severe restructuring that took place in Poissy plant during the final years of the life of the automobile, led the PSA group without the Talbot brand and all new developments lead Talbot and Peugeot.