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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Enough, Already

Why is it that the automotive press keeps blubbering on about what a great thing the Chrysler 300 is, and gives Chrysler a pass, to then go and beat up on GM and Ford? It is a nice car, yes. but Chrysler has the same kinds of problems that Ford and GM do, sometimes in spades. Old products? How about the ancient, non-competitive Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Sebrings. The weak Dodge Neon, long in the tooth. The aging and declining PT Cruiser. The slipping Durango. An apparent lack of a hybrid electric strategy.

The 300 is a nice car. But Chrysler is always one hit away from going under.


Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree! The 300 is nice, as is the upcoming Charger. But meanwhile Ford continues to offer the awesome Focus (although I'm disappointed they didn't upgrade to the improved euro version), and while the 500 is underpowered, it is a gorgeous quiet design, and a tremendous value.

The Angry Engineer said...

While the 300C is so noteworthy as to completely obscure any other problems with Chrysler, and the Charger will only contribute to that effect, it's also important to remember the success that Chrysler has had with the Hemi branding. While I still don't think it's a better engine than GM's GenIII/IV smallblocks, "Hemi" certainly has more of a ring to it than "LS2" or "LQ9".

Trust me - if GM had a single model that was special enough to cause a multi-billion-dollar turnaround in their bottom line, very few people would be obsessed with comparing G6 to Grand Am sales figures.

Anonymous said...

I agree that DCX has some of the same problems that GM and Ford have... but one thing that DCX has going for the 300, Magnum and upcoming Charger is the fact that these cars sell themselves. No incentives... no talk of an immediate refresh or the need for a larger motor. DCX managed to bring a car (a whole line of cars) to market that was priced just right and has the right mix of options.

Ford has done this with the Mustang and it looks like GM may have done this with the upcoming Soltice, but the key difference is that DCX did it with a family car... something that GM and Ford haven't done in decades.

I predict that DCX will do this with the upcoming minivan due to be re-designed in 2007. This has given the brand great momentum to bring out new vehicles using the same market strategy.

Anonymous said...

It has something to do with the LX cars but I think the main reason is that Chrysler is (gasp!!) actually doing fairly well and not warning about sales going down or losing money.

Anyway the LX cars are not the only thing that Chrysler has going for it. The Stow 'n Go minivans are doing great - in fact, sometimes I feel they deserve more of the credit for Chrysler's success than the LX cars do. Also - several other models like the Durango, Grand Cherokee and Dakota seem to have turned the corner as well.

I agree that Chrysler isn't out of the woods by any means but from a pure bottom-line point of view, they are doing better than GM or Ford.

Daniel Beckelman said...

Chrysler is in better shape all around. These cars are creating buzz and getting people into dealers. Also, the Grand Cherokee and revised Town and Country are very strong.

Anonymous said...

Chrysler Group's Small and Mid-sized cars get new models for 2007. (Neon replacement, Stratus replacement, Sebring replacement and others) You can't redesign every car in the fleet all in the same model year. The Chrysler Group is still not totally out of the financial woods yet, though they haved turned the corner, so they have to be careful. Chrysler Group has a lot of new vehicles coming in 07/08. If those cars do nearly as well as CG's recent releases, it will be a very powerful line up to contend with.