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:
But when I click on it, I get:
USA: Customers crown Chrysler 300C with vinyl roofs as dealers ignore
21 Jun 2004
Source: just-auto.com editorial team
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
| > 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
| > 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. :-)
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.
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
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.
It makes sense. But, at least in the United States, companies affect what
people buy their products by proper marketing. Or if your more cynical,
am, you would say they affect what kind of people buy their products by
them over the TV set.
Chrysler had their chance to do this during the 300C marketing and
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
which appears to be, you advertise in a lot of expensive in-flight
commercials with doctors and rich yuppies driving your car, try to win
design awards for the "keep up with the joneses set" and price your car ten
more than it's worth. Also offer it only in colors of black and white for
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
Martha Stewart Living, meaningless comercials with Celine Dion, then to top
it off, the rediculous Lingere Bowl 2004 which got killed at the last
of this would appeal in the slightest to the Lexus set. But as for the
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!!
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
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
the vehicle with an even worse looking top (if possible) than it has,
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
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?
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