Chrysler is more creative than most. They've built a number of niche market
cars that made their own way. It didn't save Plymouth, though. The could
really benefit from an economy division now.....
I don't think any of these ideas are new. In business, fads just swing back
and forth. At one extreme, they get criticized for not listening to
customers, and then at the other, they get criticized for not thinking out
of the box. One minute you're not diversified enough, and in another you're
in trouble for not being "focused" on your core business. The truth is, if
business leaders would just do nothing at all, it would save companies a ton
of money. They really just wiggle back and forth to create an illusion of
Technically, it's another matter. Servicability, wasted space, packaging,
ergonomics, crashworthiness. They have a lot of constraints to deal with.
You could build a car for $3500 that would get 100 mpg. We have laws in the
U.S. that would keep it off the roads, though.
Chrysler could very easily offer affordable cars. I don't believe the
profit margin would be big enough to satisfy the powers that be or the
Chrysler shareholders. Look at GEO for example. A line of American
badged econo cars at an affordable price. To affordable & to slim a
profit for GM not to kill off GEO. Bells & whistles are what makes the
money flow like water. Plymouth had the potential to be the Geo of the
Chrysler world catering to the basic transportation market. I want an
automobile with automatic, a/c, tilt & cruise. Not me being forced to
buy bundled & over inflated option packages that include things I'll
never use to get the things I do. Trucks come that way. Why not cars? My
'03 Ram had automatic, a/c, tilt & cruise & plastic coated chrome
wheels. Chrysler are you listening? I hope so... JL
Chrysler is listening all right.
They're listening to their bosses in Germany.
They're being told to design cars that use more and more Mercedes
parts and systems.
They're being told that there is a luxury/performance level that they
must not cross lest they be in competition with Mercedes.
Chrysler could have had a much classier-looking sedan with more
universal appeal had they built the 300N concept car shown in 2000.
They could have had captured some of the youth market that went to
Honda and Nissan had they built the '99 Charger concept.
The LX platform has severe styling limitations and North American
consumers will get tired of it. Sometimes the answer to everything is
not "put a hemi in it". Not just because gas is heading towards $3 a
Where is Daimler's push to market Chrysler cars in Europe? Where is
the synergy in this "partnership" ? So far it's only in one direction
- to put more Merc content into Chrysler.
Because that's not how the game's being played right now. With the Koreans
selling toastermobiles loaded up with power everything, a zero-options car
just doesn't have the power to sell any longer, as it seems.
Amen. The buying public is just stoopid enough to prefer a complete POS
Kia with a bazillion options including power nose-pickers, rather than
buy a very solidly engineered but stripped-down Neon or Focus for the
same price. People gotta have their power nose-pickers. Its the same
reason people go buy cheaply-made-in-China, noisy, 3-year lifespan
window A/C units from Home Repo because they have remote control, rather
than spend a little more on a much quiter and 4x longer-lasting
Freidrich from an independent retailer. The market is just absolutely
brimming with examples of how optioned-up/engineered-down is
(unfortunately) whipping well-engineered/optioned-down in sales these
days. Don't blame manufacturers for what BUYERS are driving them to!
For that matter, where's it written that only small/cheap cars can be
strippers? I have to wonder what might happen if DC were to market a
cloth-upholstered, manual-locks, manual-windows, toy-free, steel-wheel
variant of the 300/Magnum.
But what would they *name* such a car, though? Gosh, that'd be a toughie.
I was disappointed to learn you have to get leather seats to get a
Hemi in the Charger. My experience has been that there are very few
climates where leather upholstery is actually superior to cloth -- as
a matter of fact, I'm really just taking it on faith that there must
be one *someplace* since leather is regarded as up-market.
Cloth is definitely better anyplace that gets either hot or cold.
That was one thing that convinced us to get an Intrepid R/T rather
than a 300M: cloth seats.
Joseph J. Pfeiffer, Jr., Ph.D. Phone -- (505) 646-1605
Department of Computer Science FAX -- (505) 646-1002
I bought the Charger R/T nearly fully loaded... My steering wheel goe
in and out AND up and down.....
I'd say they're creating a market with that car. The slight body styl
change and the revival of the charger brand creates a 4dr sports ca
market. yeah the 300 is the same car and the magnum is just the wago
version but in the end the charger is the 4dr sports car luxur
sedan... Wheel squealin family car....
Screw gas mileage and screw the price......
blank's Profile: http://www.usenetcars.com/member.php?useridView this thread: http://www.usenetcars.com/showthread.php?t9157
I don't see this market your talking about - unless what your talking about
are the 50 year old empty nester baby boomers who finally have some money to
since the kids aren't sucking it out of their wallets, and are out to have
last car fling with a new car. That's probably why they put 4 doors on it
and a plush suspension that can't keep the tires from wheel hopping when you
the engine. My 4 year old can squeal the tires on his battery powered
ride-in car, big whoop de do.
But for the younger crowd who's 15 years behind your crowd, there
isn't any such thing as a 4 door sports car. If Chrysler really wanted to
Chargers viewed as sports cars, they would
bring out a 2 door and bring out a ragtop 2 door. Otherwise all it is is
another boring 4 door sedan that someone slapped a legendary car name
on the fender to try to get away with tacking on an extra $7K to the sticker
Unfortunately right now the demographics in the US means theres a lot
more of your age bracket buying cars than the younger crowd. So there's
out there for the younger crowd except for Chrysler sports cars like the
Viper that none of them can afford . That is going to create a real crunch
for Chrysler 15 years from now when that group is in their mid life crises
with money to burn and wanting to buy a feel-young-again sports car.
They won't be there for Chrysler then because they will have been so used to
buying Japanese cars that Chrysler will be just another automaker
that they've been trained to believe only makes "old people' cars, receeding
into the dustbin of history.
GM did the exact same thing with Oldsmobile then belatedly tried to
save the name with the Alero, too little to late, though.
I think that's what the Crossfire is for. Every time I see a
Crossfire there's always someone older than 50 driving it.
Ford probably created the Thunderbird for the same reason.
What they forgot is that old people don't want to drive small cars, no
matter how expensive or chic they (the cars) are.
Back in the late 60's and early 70's, when you look at the advertising
material for cars like the Monaco line, there were 4 doors and 2 door
versions of that car. The Lincoln Mark series (with 500 cubic inch
engines and 10 foot long hood and its ->2 doors<- were also geared
towards someone with $$$ that didn't have kids (or that had kids who
moved out). I don't see any equivalent to the Dodge Monaco 2-dr or
the Lincoln Mark IV any more.
At some point I'm going to give my '2000 300m to a family member and
when I look for a new car it's going to be tough. I think Lexus is
high on my list. It's too bad that Chrysler no longer makes anything
that appeals to me. It's not Chrysler's fault - it's Daimlers. It's
plain as day that Chrysler is simply not able to design and build a
car without interference (or complete oversight) from Daimler
management. Back when Chrysler was independent, they may not have
been the best car builder on the planet, but they had spirit. Who
else put a bumble bee logo or a road runner horn in a car? On damn
good looking cars too.
If you're over 40, and a male, and want to buy a vehicle for you
(kids/family be damned), and are not on a budget, it seems what you
end up buying is an SUV-ish vehicle, or maybe a jeep, or a truck.
There is no car under $80k that stands out from the crowd. Maybe you
can blame it on the wife, who (they say) plays a more than 50% role in
a purchase decision. And we all know that women practically never pay
attention to vehicle makes or models. One car looks like any other
car to them.
I'm 41, so I'm *nearly* 15 years behind that crowd. The Charger is just
fine for me- and in fact the Magnum is a little better from a
practicality standpoint. I do wish there was a 2-door option, because
(if I were considering a new car for ME right now, not a new family car)
the Mustang would be the ticket. But that's not the worst hole in the
The gaping hole is in a lower price class: What's missing from many car
companies' lineups is more like what the thread started on earlier- a
CHEAP "muscle car" that is inexpensive enough to be a first car for the
20-something crowd, and appealing enough when optioned up to be a
non-family daily driven car for young parents or singles in the
30-something range. Something the size of a Sebring, but with a Hemi
under the hood and rear-drive. No power anything, cloth seats, sporty
styling but for the most part all "go" and no "show."
Practicality isn't in the same realm as a real sports car.
I agree wholeheartedly on that one, but the auto companies have all decided
that people that have enough money to spend on a sports car that isn't
practical must have a ton of money.
The other thing missing is a pure, clutch-driven manual transmission coupled
to a powerful V6 or V8. Somehow the car companies got it into their stupid
heads that clutches only belong on 1500 cc 4 bangers. I don't want some
power-ass-sissyed manual transmission wannabe, I want the real thing.
And, speaking of clutches, since when did it become accepted for 4x4's to
have automatic transmissions? Where did that come from?
Getting back to the ideal vehicle though, I am not convinced that power
accessories add a whole lot to the cost to manufacture, but I guess you need
something to option. I would draw the line at power windows, though, I
would be pretty leery of a new vehicle that had manual cranks - that's a
safety issue really, you don't want drivers screwing with a crank while
down the road. And A/C is a must-have as well. But I'd be happy to drop
the rest of it.
Who says they were going for a "real sports car?" A Plymouth Roadrunner
was *not* a sports car. Neither was the original Charger. They were
muscle cars, which (IMO) are infinitely preferable to "real sports cars"
(Alfa-Romeo, MG, Miata, etc.) anyway, because they combine performance
and a reasonable amount of practicality. The pracitcality may be a
little compromised (ever seen the trunk on a Barracuda?) but its not
Preach on, brother! Pure heaven was the first time I shifted a Chrysler
A-833 4-speed behind a big block. After driving 2-liter FWD 5 speeds
and hating every minute, it was an eye-opening experience to have a
buttery-smooth yet PRECISE shifter, and an engine with GOBS of torque.
I drive crank-window cars all the time. What's the big deal with turning
a crank, you don't have to take your eyes off the road or even move
much! And lots of modern cars have crank-open sunroofs. I do like the
basics- power steering, A/C. I hate power brakes, but try to find a car
without them today. Non-powered disk brakes have by far the best pedal
feel of any braking system I've ever driven. Power windows are nice in
some instances too- I find them most useful in my '69 Convertible since
I can lower or raise the windows and the top while parked at a red
light, rather than having to lean over and reach for cranks. But who
needs electric seat warmers, circulating-liquid seat coolers, seat
position memory, and all that other crud? Its nice to OFFER it, but why
package it so that those of us who don't want it arent' stuck with it.
REAL upholstry-grade vat-dyed, non-laminated leather is as comfortable
as cloth. But you can't even get it on most furniture anymore, let alone
in a car. Even the "good" leathers that high-end cars use are not really
all that good anymore.
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