The Chrysler 300 is officially dead in Australia, meaning, the era of affordable rear-wheel-drive sedans is over. A sad thought considering Oz was once home to 7.0-liter V8 powered ‘Utes and LS9 powered family sedans.
Australia’s love affair with big affordable rear-wheel-drive sedans probably won’t go away, but enthusiasm has certainly taken a hit. Similar to the cycle that occurred in North America over the previous two decades, where we’ve watched many beloved nameplates either die or morph into something blasphemous.
The real Holden Commodore has been gone since 2017, replaced by a front-wheel-drive Opel, while the four-door Ford Falcon was simply replaced by the Mustang around the same time.
The last remaining holdout in the full-size RWD V8 sedan scene was the Chrysler 300, at least until Stellantis pulled the plug on the Chrysler brand in Australia earlier this month. Truthfully, the decision isn’t at all surprising. Chrysler had been facing dwindling sales in Australia for more than a decade, which made the decision to stop producing right-hand-drive cars even easier. In the past ten years Chrysler has sold just 8,800 cars there.
According to Australia’s Drive, this move has been telegraphed since January of this year, when the Chrysler 300 was discreetly withdrawn. The model was still shown on Chrysler’s Australian website and was still available for a short time via special order. New stock hasn’t been built for months, there are just 24 examples of V8-equipped Chrysler 300s remaining on dealer lots across Australia.
“Chrysler is no longer building right-hand-drive vehicles for international markets. This configuration is being eliminated in the short term while the company focuses on developing the next generation of electrified full-size vehicles,” said a media statement issued by David Elshoff, Global Head of Chrysler Communications.
Other Stellantis brands Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Fiat said there are no plans to stop right-hand-drive production of those vehicles for the Australian market. It’s unclear what the New South Wales Police will do now, as the force had become quite fond of the Chrysler 300 SRT V8 performance sedan for highway patrol duty.