The last affordable V8 sedan is no longer on sale in Australia – except for limited showroom stock – ending an era that lasted more than half a century.
The Chrysler 300 SRT sedan has been discreetly withdrawn from sale locally even though it still appears on the company’s website.
Only cars in showroom stock remain, but dealers have been advised they can no longer order one due to a shortage of V8s amid a surge in demand in the US.
A statement from Chrysler Australia said: "The Chrysler 300 SRT ordering has been put on hold due to production constraints. We currently have stock available for customers and will keep customers updated once we have more information."
Chrysler Australia dealers told CarAdvice they have been advised they can no longer order the car and can only sell what they have in stock – and that production for Australia will not resume.
Chrysler will honour its remaining fleet order to NSW Police Highway Patrol, but that deal will come to a close in December 2021 once the Australian certification for the Chrysler 300 SRT expires at the end of this year.
The Chrysler 300 SRT became the last sub-$70,000 V8 sedan sold in Australia once the Ford Falcon went out of production in 2016 and the Holden Commodore V8 reached the end of the line in 2017.
Last year, Chrysler released a limited edition Pacer version of the 300 SRT and advised that other models were a dealer-order only.
However, even that arrangement has since expired and only cars that are still in showroom stock can be sold.
Although V8s had been sold in Australia in various guises since before the 1950s, the first locally-made Australian-designed V8 cars were introduced by Valiant in 1965, Ford in 1966 and Holden in 1968.
The end of the line for the Chrysler 300 SRT means there are no more new V8 sedans on sale for less than $70,000 after a run that lasted more than 50 years.
Audi, BMW and Mercedes still use V8s in some top end luxury and performance cars. And, for now, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Patrol and Toyota LandCruiser 4WDs retain V8 power.
However, new V8 sedans are no longer within the price range of most buyers.
The future of Chrysler had been in doubt for years amid dwindling sedan sales globally and locally.
However, this week’s merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (the parent company of Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, Fiat and Alfa Romeo) and PSA (the Peugeot-Citroen group) seems certain to seal Chrysler’s fate.
The Chrysler 300 was withdrawn from sale in New Zealand a year ago and the model will quietly disappear from Australian showrooms once remaining stock has sold out.