Dealers installing vinyl roofs on 300C's - ignore Chrysler's requests to stop

I was doing a google "news" search (not usenet) and saw this:
---------------- USA: Customers crown Chrysler 300C with vinyl roofs as dealers ...
just-auto.com, UK - 21 Jun 2004 ... Chrysler officials reportedly are quietly asking dealers to stop having the faux-convertible tops installed, but dealers say the response from customers has ... ----------------
So Google has clipped some of the text of the article and is showing it. The link is:
http://www.just-auto.com/news_detail.asp?artD787
But when I click on it, I get:
--------------- USA: Customers crown Chrysler 300C with vinyl roofs as dealers ignore maker's objections 21 Jun 2004 Source: just-auto.com editorial team Article Summary: Some buyers are asking dealers to install 1970s-style vinyl roofs on their new Chrysler 300s, as many owners of Cadillacs and Lincolns have long done and still do today, the Detroit News reported. ---------------
To get more of the article, I have to subscribe. Ok, fine. But can someone explain how google was able to obtain the whole article (and quote part of it - the part I can't even read from the link?).
Anyways, interesting that some buyers want the landau roof dealer option. Don't blame the dealers for offering it - most buyers must be smart enough to avoid the "clear-coat sealer" and "scotch-guard carpet protection" gimicks that have been offered for decades. Good to see the dealers finally clueing in on extras that have some value (in the eyes of some customers anyways).
So why is Chrysler whining about dealers doing this? What - is Chrysler planning a landau roof option of their own for the 2006 LX cars?
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wrote:

I would think it's because they have a hot new car and they don't want them to make bad first impressions on people. (i.e., 300's are for people with HORRIBLY TRAGIC TASTE!)
I can understand that. The cars look great without it and Landau roofs smack of "old tired Detroit" and remind others of the days of bad quality. Very ghetto. I would cringe if I saw one.
-FPtM
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I can't. When someone puts down money and buys a car, the car is THEIRS not the automakers. If they then want to fuck it up, it is their right. The automaker should ignore this.
Obviously Chrysler designers all need to be fired. Not only do they inflict one of the most butt-ugly front ends on a new car ever designed, now they think that they still own the goddam things once they leave the showroom floor. Instead of Chrysler complaining about the ugly stone in someone elses eye, they ought to see the ugly boulder in their own.
Ted
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I used to have a Dart Swinger with a vinyl roof. One nice feature was the roof was quiet in the rain.

inflict
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I owned a 70 Super Bee with baby-moons and an Alligator roof.
Those two items were quickly removed.
Ken

they
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I don't see how they can, to be honest. A bunch of 300s running around with vinyl roof damages the image of the company and of the car with everyone except the well-past-retirement set.
While state law protects the independent actions of dealers, you will notice that Mercedes and BMW, to say nothing of Lexus and Infiniti, manage to prevent the worst excesses from being inflicted upon their cars by the dealers. Part of this is that the dealers recognize that most regrettable dealer add-ons are good for short-term profit but disastrous for long-term viability.
I suspect most of these tops are not the more subtle Everflex-style roofs, like GM, Ford, Chrysler, and Rolls-Royce used to fit to their cars, but the "fake-convertible" style complete with faux rails and hinges - bad news from an image standpoint, and poison to the buyer base Chrysler is trying to woo.

Most people like the looks of the 300.
You know, I think a well-done factory vinyl roof might be decent- looking on the 300. It would have to be offered in a restricted range of colors and would have to follow the lines of the steel roof, including the standard rear window opening.
I'm also kind of looking forward to the year 2050, when old people festoon their hydrogen aircars with airdams, spoilers, and non- functional "dubs". How the young people will laugh!
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On Tue, 20 Jul 2004, Jack Baruth wrote:

And the yo-yo-whatup bizzzzitch-bling-bling-yo set.

1977 called, it wants you back.
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Daniel J. Stern wrote:

I can't help it, I'm a child of the Seventies. If I ran General Motors, I would command them to resurrect Oldsmobile and sell slightly modernized versions of the 1976 and 1978 Ninety-Eights in parallel - two great cars, go great together!. Every time I see a '79 Eldo Biarritz with the stainless steel top, I get goosebumps. And I tried to get the Euro-market velour interior in our last 330i.
When the 300C Coupe comes out it should have a vinyl top option. I bet you a lot of people would take it up. There's ample precendent to put a vinyl roof on a sporting full-sized coupe, the XJ6C and XJ12C not being the least impressive among that precedent.
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Daniel J. Stern wrote:

I had a white '66 Coronet 500 two door hardtop with a black vinyl roof, and to me, it made the car look much better than the non-vinyl roof version of the same car. I don't know if this is because it was MY car, but, to me, those cars still look better with vinyl. That said, I can't think of any four door car with a vinyl roof that ever did much for me.
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Jack Baruth wrote:

Really? How do you know? Most people I've talked with who've seen one in person think it is ugly.
Matt
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one
I can tell you that most people who see mine love the look (as do I). Just driving to and from the office each day garners more stares then I can count and believe me, they are stares of approval.
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| > Jack Baruth wrote: | > | > > Most people like the looks of the 300. | > | > Really? How do you know? Most people I've talked with who've seen | one | > in person think it is ugly. | > | > | > Matt | | I can tell you that most people who see mine love the look (as do I). | Just driving to and from the office each day garners more stares then | I can count and believe me, they are stares of approval. | |
I stare too...but not from any admiration. The car is ugly as hell. But, it's selling, so obviously most don't agree with my tastes! OR, they're all a bunch of Lemmings. :-)
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James C. Reeves wrote:

I stared at the first one I saw on the road, but it wasn't a stare of admiration. Now I just ignore them like I do most other ugly cars. :-) Too bad as the car looks pretty good from a mechanicals perspective.
Matt
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Peter A. Stavrakoglou wrote:

How do you know?
Matt
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seen
I).
then
Would you crane your neck backwards while driving 75 MPH on the highway to stare at an ugly woman?
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Peter A. Stavrakoglou wrote:

You didn't tell me you had a woman in the car with you! :-)
Matt
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LOL!
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You sound like you can't understand this, but it's very simple. This has been a brand issue for the last 100 years. You can't build prestige into a car. That comes from the kind of people who drive it. Chrysler wants to influence that. Obviously they have no influence over the owners, so they're not trying to influence them. They have some influence with the dealers, however. Remember, Chrysler can build luxury and performance into their car but NOT prestige. Hope it makes sense.
This will probably shock you, but back in the 50's, if you built an ice cream truck out of an old Rolls Royce, and it came to their attention, they would try to buy it. It was worth it to them. They charge 20 times what normal people pay for a car, so they were prepared to protect their position.
You may read this and say "Chrysler has no business caring what their cars look like on the road and blah blah blah", but they do care, and it effects their finances. Hope that makes sense also. While I'm sure they've got more to worry about than what one consumer thinks, they were trying to be secretive about it anyway.
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I do understand this.

they're
car
It makes sense. But, at least in the United States, companies affect what kind of people buy their products by proper marketing. Or if your more cynical, like I am, you would say they affect what kind of people buy their products by brainwashing them over the TV set.
Chrysler had their chance to do this during the 300C marketing and advertising campaign. If they wanted the supposed cream-of-the-crop Lexus owners to buy the 300C they would have to do what it takes to get those people to buy them - which appears to be, you advertise in a lot of expensive in-flight magazines, show commercials with doctors and rich yuppies driving your car, try to win meaningless design awards for the "keep up with the joneses set" and price your car ten times more than it's worth. Also offer it only in colors of black and white for the first 6 months. That appears to be what Lexus does when they market their roach coaches, and it seems to be working.
Instead though, what it appears that Chrysler did was waste a lot of money on Martha Stewart Living, meaningless comercials with Celine Dion, then to top it off, the rediculous Lingere Bowl 2004 which got killed at the last minute. None of this would appeal in the slightest to the Lexus set. But as for the tasteless set - hmm, good match there!!!
Now the cars are turning into the Pimpmobiles of the year and Chrysler is unhappy about it. Well, they should of thought of that when they dreamed up the Lingere Bowl - my goodness, the pimps must have figured Chrysler was getting into the same market they are in!!

effects
affects, not effects.
What Chrysler should be doing is understanding that the 300C is a lost design, it's too late to do anything about the marketing on it. The design has been rejected by the Lexus set, but no big deal - they can try again next year and next time start listening to their advertising firm rather than trying to put European marketing into the United States. In the meantime though, they can make the best of it. Rather than encouraging dealers to send the vinyl top set to the local sporty top place which is going to saddle the vehicle with an even worse looking top (if possible) than it has, Chrysler should be designing a decent looking vinyl top for the vehicle and telling their dealers to offer it, in that way at least they have a chance of getting the cars out there that are gonna get vinyl tops to have something put on them that looks halfway standardized.

Which is the surest way in the United States to attract attention.
If they wanted this to be ignored, what they should have done is put out a press release to all the auto pundits saying how they are seeing a resurging interest in vinyl tops, and they are planning on offering a whole line of them. (and of course, never bothering to actually offer an entire line, just 1 design in a variety of colors) The pundits of course would urinate all over themselves saying how misguided Chrysler is, and in less than a week, the whole thing would have been forgotten, old news. Then you would never hear a peep about vinyl tops on the 300C ever again.
Of course, the larger issue is that until Damlier decides to let the Chrysler division be run by Americans, and decides to let Americans sell the vehicles produced by that division, they are going to continue to have these kinds of problems. Germans may understand how to engineer something, but they do not have the cultural background to understand what works in the US culture and what doesen't. And the more time passes the further and further the US culture diverges from how the rest of the world thinks. This is a simple consequence of the fact that the US culture is one of the earliest of the truly post-industrial-revolution-technology-integrated cultures in the world, and because of this, we simply do not think the way that the rest of the world thinks. Issues like Nationalism don't have much meaning to a society where half of the people are walking around with Blueberries instant messaging a collection of coorespondents that are scattered across the globe, over burning issues like why did you frag me when I came around the corner in the online game we are playing?
Ted
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Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

See comment below.

Don't forget the rapp star promos for the gangsta image!

See "rapp star...gangsta image", above.

And earlier in your post, it should have been "you're", not "your". 8^)
Bill Putney (to reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with "x")
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