Very roughly the national average wage is GBP 24 000 (c. USD 43 000 @ 1.8.)
Until about now you could not buy easily certain Chrysler models in the UK,
such as the 300s, as the official dealers did not sell them.
Even now the 300 is not listed:-
Thus no price yet. In the review there was an estimate of GBP 30 000 (c.
USD 54 000).
However, the 300M is officially sold in Germany, where it starts at about
EUR 40 000 (c. USD 48 000 @ 1.2).
Just cruise around the Chrysler website for all this info.
I think this shows you why these cars don't sell well -- far too expensive
for what you get (if you rule out exclusivity). This was confirmed by data
I collected for the Sebring convertible, which I drove in the US last year.
It would have been nice for the US price, but at its European price it does
not compete well with the Merc cabrio, which is similar in size, i.e. a full
4-seater. And with the Merc I get a much bigger range of engine sizes.
Having said that, I think there are more 'American' Chryslers in Europe
(even from pre-DC days) than from Ford & GM because, AFAIK, there are no
Chrysler factories in Europe any more, so any sales here have to come from
North American factories. Very different for Ford and GM, who produce vast
volumes here, both under their own names and under bought-in brands (Volvo
and Saab to name but two).
Now that Chrysler has a German/Euro parent/partner, I am sure it will get
more exposure in Europe, especially in Germany. Don't forget that Jeeps
already sell quite well and have been for years. There are quite a few PT
Cruisers in the UK and the Grand Voyager is a respectable competitor in this
'Renault Espace class'.
In the UK in particular these cars (Ford and Vauxhall) dominate the Top 10,
so neither GM nor Ford would have any interest in bringing over cars from
They do exist, even those long limos (incongrous in London!), but they are
special imports via specialist dealers or individuals.
Look at these websites to get price ideas:
List prices are usually discounted, but I wouldn't know if it's more than,
Top 10 sellers in UK in first quarter 04:-
43,115 Ford Focus
33,355 Vauxhall Corsa
29,479 Peugeot 206
27,217 Ford Fiesta
23,496 Vauxhall Astra
22,283 Renault Megane
21,688 ditto Clio
19,067 Ford Mondeo
18,366 VW Golf
17,830 Peugeot 307
In Germany the Top 10 are quite different, dominated by VW/Audi, Merc and
These are the figs for year 2003.
Finally, here is the full text of the Sunday Times review article. I do not
subscribe so I don't know what the problem was. I even tried clicking on
the link in the msg I posted -- no problem. I have written nothing further
article -- this post is long enough!
May 02, 2004
First Drive: Andrew Frankel drives the Chrysler 300C
A triumph against the odds
By the standards of the modern BMWs, Audis and Jaguars against
which it is intended to compete, the new Chrysler 300C is a flawed car. And
this from a marque whose image would be confused were it not already barely
detectable. So it says something about the power of charm that these words
are flowing from my fingers with an enthusiasm I cannot remember any
30-grand saloon engendering in the recent past. The 300C is not a very good
car but, to the right sort of person, it may just come to be thought of as a
I'll explain. Think of a Chrysler and there's an equal chance
that anything from a large MPV, a retro-funky hatchback, a cute coupé, a
small saloon or even an 8 litre supercar could float through your mind. We
know they come from America, but it's never seemed clear what their focus in
This speaks of a brand personality more splintered than split,
and adding a large saloon to the unlikely mix would hardly seem to help
bring a sense of cohesion. Bringing the 300C to Britain - as Chrysler will
next year - seems at first a triumph of optimism over common sense, and even
pure folly when you consider its merits relative to the German opposition.
Its platform is evolved from the E-class Mercedes - not the one
you can buy today, but the previous generation, a car I was writing about 10
years ago. The only truly Chrysler element of the running gear is its
engine, which, instead of being a Stuttgart-designed multi-valve marvel with
a quartet of camshafts, is a simple slice of Detroit metal with two valves
for each of its eight cylinders and a single camshaft. They call it the
"Hemi" because its combustion chambers are hemispherical, something of an
innovation when Chrysler began making Hemis in 1952.
At first glance the 300C appears to be the worst of all worlds:
a cynical plundering of obsolete engineering to be foisted upon a public the
company must hope wouldn't know a good car if it ran them over.
Then again, just look at it. It is a masterpiece from front to
back - I love its high waist and short glasshouse. Unmistakably,
unapologetically American, it oozes cool and confidence.
Now turn your attention back to its mechanics: the old E-class
chassis was a class act then and so it remains. And as for that apparently
antediluvian engine, it's actually brand new and, in one respect at least, a
sight more clever than any European rival. Boasting 5.7 litres and 340bhp at
maximum effort, if you choose merely to potter it automatically turns off
half its cylinders, boosting fuel economy by 10-20%.
Use all eight cylinders and the 300C is quick - the claimed
0-62mph time of 6.4sec seems conservative. Its Mercedes five-speed automatic
gearbox is smooth and slick but I'd have preferred a slightly louder, more
raw exhaust note for that authentic muscle-car sound.
The age of the chassis shows most on tight roads, where the
stiff steering feels lifeless, the nose heavy and the ride jittery. Give it
some space, however, and a decent road surface and it can be hustled along
at a pace you'd need an unusually well driven European saloon of similar
power to eclipse. It's also refined enough for normal conversation to take
place at 130mph.
My biggest quibble is with the interior. It's a triumph by
American standards but is still miles behind the Audis of this world. There
are too many hard plastics, poorly fitted panels and unrelieved expanses of
grey to come close to the quality the customer now expects. It's not exactly
a grand saloon in the US fashion, either - space in the back and boot is
acceptable but no more.
Which is why I struggle to see how the 300C Hemi (and the 3.5
litre petrol and 3 litre turbodiesel variants) is going to tempt buyers from
the German quality manufacturers. It may be that Chrysler is able to sell
the 300C for more than £10,000 less than the equivalent BMW or Audi, but in
a market propelled by a fanatical desire to drive the "right" car I doubt
even that will be enough.
All is not lost, however. Chrysler should point the 300C in a
different direction. There is good evidence that the market for large
mass-produced saloons is waning, with Ford and Vauxhall for example electing
not to replace the Scorpio and Omega. This provides an opportunity the 300C
can exploit, particularly as Chrysler aims to shift just 2,000 a year in
It is a car that oozes charm. And who cares about a lack of
brand image when you're selling against cars as forgettable as a Peugeot 607
or Volvo S80, or as conspicuously ugly as a Renault Vel Satis? If I was
offered a 300C as an alternative company car to any of the established
players in this class, my fleet chief would lose his arm at the elbow.
Model: Chrysler 300C 5.7L V8
Engine type: V8, 5654cc
Torque: 340bhp @ 5000rpm / 387 lb ft @ 4000rpm
Transmission: Five-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Suspension: (front) coil springs, double wishbones, anti-roll
bar (rear) coil springs, multilink axle, anti-roll bar
Performance: 0-62mph: 6.4sec /
top speed: 155mph
Verdict: More than makes up in charm what it lacks in image and
Model: BMW 545i SE, £41,925
For: Driving experience, engine, build quality
Against: Highly individualistic styling will
Model: Mercedes E500, £43,750
For: A consummate all-rounder
Against: More expensive, quality not what it used to be,
especially inside; dealers can be poor
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling