By on November 14, 2010

I’ve made no secret that if I wanted one of Detroit big 3 to succeed it was Chrysler. I’m not really a Ford fan and any affection I had for GM got killed off with Bob Lutz’s insane ramblings. Chrysler was always considered the most broken. Heavily dependent on fleet sales, woeful reliability and bleeding money. Then Chapter 11 came and I thought it was game over for Chrysler. Until recently.

Chrysler’s sales are going through the roof, they only made a loss of $84m in the third quarter and they’ve raised their profit forecast to $700m. Even a Morgan Stanley analyst said “Chrysler may prove to be one of 2011′s most surprising success stories,” So, this week’s “Weekend Head Scratcher” is this: In 2011, will Chrysler blow us all away? Or will it be another damp squib? What say you?

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57 Comments on “Weekend Head Scratcher: Will 2011 Be “Year Of The Chrysler”?...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Dang Cammy, you really love the underdogs huh?
     
    There are parts of Chrysler I would like to see survive.  The 300, Charger, and Challenger, Ram Trucks, and the Jeep Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, and Patriot.  That’s it.  Sadly that’s not enough to run a company on.
     
    Will the Fiat rebadges sell in good enough numbers to keep things afloat?  I don’t know.  Chrysler (and GM) have too many “what ifs” right now for me to make any predictions.  There are days where I think the country would have been better off combining the best parts of GM and Chrysler into one company and allowing the rest to die.

    • 0 avatar
      Thinx

      They need to do something about their dealership experience.  A couple of weeks ago, the wifey suddenly got an itch to ‘go look at a Jeep’ (she meant the Wrangler) so we toodled off to the local purveyor of Chrysler/Jeep products – no intention of buying, just to poke around and look-see.  The moment we drove up to the forecourt, it felt like stepping into a time-machine to the seedy side of the 1980′s.  The entire process still seems to be a high-pressure approach to BS their way into a sale.  I don’t know if that is how it still is for other cars at this price point, but it would have killed a sale even if I had been serious about buying.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      It’s nice to root for an underdog, when that underdog has the right fundamentals.

      Sad, but true: Chrysler simply doesn’t have a single product that I’d be interested in putting my hard-earned money toward. And it’s been like this for the past 20 years or so.

      I suspect this is why Chrysler continues to post losses, rather than turn an actual profit. Sure, they’re smaller losses, but losses nonetheless. Which kinda defeats the entire point of washing their debt away via the government bankruptcy.

  • avatar

    One can only hope!

    I, too, have a soft spot for many of Chrysler’s products. From those early Airflows, to 50s and 60s, to the best pony/muscle cars. Recently covered Horizon/Omini. Recently cabfoward cars, Neon, hell event the PT Cruiser I like. 300 C. Seems like they were the most adventurous of the Big3. They surely don’t deserve to die just yet.

    And yes, I’m keeping my fingers-crossed the cross-polinization between Fiat and Chrysler will give rise to some very forward thinking and looking cars.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Quality and reliability concerns, especially with regards to their front wheel drive offerings will make a real sales comeback at the retail level iffy.
     
    I will give FIAT credit for at least showing some aggressiveness towards polishing the blank known as Chrysler.
     
    Except for their traditional RWD / 4WD vehicles and the minivans, there isn’t much for me to look at from Chyrsler, Jeep and Dodge that can’t be found elsewhere.  For example: Dan mentioned the Patriot, but a Subura Forester would be my choice in that segment.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      And honestly I only mentioned the Patriot because it actually did decently in a CUV comparo that Car and Driver did.  I know that saying that is damning it with feint praise but, its something.

    • 0 avatar

      The thing is, Patriot has the 0-th gear in some trims. The mad thing about Subaru is that they don’t, despite having a longitudial architecture. As far as my mission requirements are concerned, the AWD without low gear is worthless. It was essentially the only reason why I traded RAV4 for Wrangler after just 4 years with it. For anyone else with similar problems, it’s either Patriot of Grand Vitara.

  • avatar
    dwford

    A rising tide lifts all boats. I can’t see the upcoming facelifts making consumers turn away from other better options, though. Really, who in their right mind will be choosing a new Chrysler 200 over any of the other midsize sedans?

    • 0 avatar

      Why not? Not everybody enjoys the Asians products. Me, don’t like the Sonata that’s been almost universally praised. To my eyes they’re a sore. Don”t like the Civic, don’t like the Corolla. Elantra? Me tooish. Focus? 1st generation better, haven’t seen the 3rd. 2nd exclusively American itineration is ok in my book. Cavalier? Please.

      So yeah, if I lived in America I’d look at one.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      I’m with Marcello on this…
      Not a big fan of the Sonata. It looks like a caricature of so many other cars that it just doesn’t come together well.

      However, the upcoming Elantra seems to have done this better.

      The next 300 look rather boring. It seems to have lost its attitude.

      The real question I have is the new Pentastar V6..is it AS GOOD as the new sixes coming out?
      Ford’s 3.7 with 305 HP is tough. The new turbo charging by Ford and Hyundai seem to have Chrysler in prehistoric times.

    • 0 avatar
      Zammy

      Chrysler would never say this out loud, but think of the “new” 200 as really being a holding action.
      The Sebring is the only thing the Chrysler brand has below the 300. It was widely seen as one of the least competitive cars in this class. This produce enhancement and renaming is an attempt to hold onto part of that market while other products can be brought to market.
      If we assume that Chrysler/Fiat can execute to their published plans, then we will see a C-Segment vehicle introduced in 2012 and new B-Segment and D-Segment vehicles introduced in 2013.  Two-three years is a long time to try to coast on a rebranded Sebring, but it was the best that Chrysler/Fiat could come up with.
      I think a fair question to ask of the 200 isn’t whether it is a compelling new car introduction (because it really isn’t), but whether they addressed as many of the complaints towards the 200 as were feasible.
      For the next couple of years, Chrysler needs to subsist on the Ram, Minivans, LX platform, Wrangler, and Grand Cherokee.  They just won’t have a competitive small or mid-sized car in their lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      LXbuilder

      Well to some of us it only competes with two other sedans, as we don’t even look at foreign car companies. There is still a large number of shoppers that know whats best for the North American economy.

    • 0 avatar

      I think LXBuilder has every right to think the way he does. For me, though, it’s not a question of national origin. I mean, most of my life I’ve used Japanese electronics. Though I’d buy a Phillips product for example, were the price right. I like to maximize my cost benefit. So, lately, most electronics I buy are Korean, and, in the case of the computer I’m writing this on now, it’s from Taiwan.

      All cars here are foreign. Some though are built locally. I feel a little guilty everytime I buy a car that’s not a Fiat. Afterall, theyre built in my home state. In the metro area of my hometown. And I like them. However, the last time I bought a car for my wife I opted for a Renault as it offered more for less.

      What I refuse to do is pay more for the “brand”. That’s why lately I’ve started shopping elsewhere (than Japan) for electronics. And it’s why I refuse to buy in Brazil a Honda, Toyota or VW. I don’t think their brand offers more than the competition. Not even in terms of reliability. In terms of driving enjoyment then…Toyota boring and expensive, VW hard controls and expensive. Honda just expensive. The competition  offers more for less.

      So back to the thread. I’d try a 200. Though I think its a stopgap, too. But if in my book the price were right, the trunk better than Corolla or Civic, inside less boring than Japanese or less strark than VW. If I thought the drive was adequate (though I’ve never driven a modern Chrysler product), I’d buy it.

      Apparently Americans like the Japanese brands for superiority. But as a long term Fiat buyer I don’t believe in that. My Fiats have all been very reliable. My current Fiat is probably (nit in absolute terms) the best car I’ve ever had. It just goes and goes. Until I get burned by them (which I doubt), I won’t over pay  for a promise of reliability I know all the others offer too. Everything else is just personal experience and thus formed bias.

      And of course this is written from the POV of my personal experience and hence, informed bias.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      What’s with the nationalistic thingy?
      Today I am not sure what a domestic manufacturer is anyway!
      I am all for my own nation being a manufacturing heavyweight because when the next BIG war comes, I prefer not to import my weapons!!
      However, our Brazilian friend is talking cars here and why not look everywhere when shopping.
      He is correct when shopping around and testing all cars.

      Besides. be nice to him and understand the strain of having to remember all those letters every time he writes his name…right, Marcello?

    • 0 avatar

      LOL! Right. You’re right my friend. Test all you can and do the best you can for you. And remember, things change. A 2010 Fiat is not the same as a 1970 one. Neither is a Ford. Or a Honda. Well maybe a Chevy is still somewhat related! I jest of course. What I’m saying is don’t get too ennamored to the brand. There are mighty smart people around promoting and trying to sell you the brand. Telling you the brand is all. You don’t even need to think ’cause the brand tells you all you need to know. Pls., don’t ever get fooled by that! Shop, test and do the best for you.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    As an unwilling investor I’d like to see Fiatsler make it,  after all that means jobs and growth, but unless lessons were learned it only means we’ll be back to the same table at some point in the future.
    At least they are not peddling a battery powered car that costs twice as much as it should and delivers half as much as it ought to.

    • 0 avatar
      LXbuilder

      At least the man running “Fiatsler” seems to have a clue about what he is doing, unlike the gang of clowns from Stuttgart. Dimebag is the reason Chrysler fell so far from where they were in the late 90s, seems people forget how much money was rolling in back in those days. And that Chrysler was making the most profit per vehicle in the industry.
      Only took the Dimebag gang a couple years to destroy all that, nice how the free market will let a foreign company come in and destroy a domestic company and cost Americans jobs like that.

  • avatar

    they’re styling is quite improved and they’re ads are almost hot. yeah, they’ve got it going on.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      I can’t tell if Buickman is being sarcastic or not, although I suspect he wouldn’t mind having a car with about the same stats as the 300 (with a Buick worthy interior) to sell as a flagship.  (Actually now that I think about it, I don’t think he’s being sarcastic.)
       
      BTW I was checking “TrueDelta” on the 300, Charger, and Magnum and except for the 2005 model year vehicles, the stats are pretty decent.

  • avatar
    mdensch

    Optimism in the face of Chrysler’s current uphill climb is seriously misplaced.  It ignores the company’s history, at least over the past fifty or sixty years, of careening from one crisis to the next. It is the history of AMC on a grander scale.  It ignores the tepid effort to remake one of its weakest products, the Sebring.  It ignores the abysmal reliability ratings that simply are not improving to a meaningful degree.
     
    Fiat to the rescue?  Name one merger/partnership of an American and foreign car maker that succeeded and sustained.  Studebaker/Mercedes?  AMC/Renault?  Chrysler/Daimler?  NUMMI?  Did Fiat take over Chrysler because they knew exactly what it would take to solve the company’s problems and turn it around?  No.  Fiat took over Chrysler because they got it for free.
     
    Back in 1979 when a previous Chrysler bailout was being discussed, doubters were concerned, not that the bailout would fail, but that it would succeed, allowing the company to live to ask for another bailout another day.  Which is exactly what happened.
     
    I will admit that there are bright spots.  I had a chance to drive the new Grand Cherokee at a press event earlier this fall and it is a fine effort that should do well in the market place.  Unfortunately, as others here have said, there just aren’t enough really good products to make a successful, full-line car company.
     
    If you have some unyielding urge to bet on an underdog, put your money on the Cubs.

    • 0 avatar

      Renault Nissan are doing fine the worldover (though not so hot in NA). So a Euro-American cooperation must be easier than a Franco-Nippo one. Or Americans will just have to learn to cooperate. More and more Americans work under foreign bosses. It just takes getting used to.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      I’d say NUMMI was an unqualified success. It closed because the rug was pulled from under it, not out of any inherent weaknesses or failures of its own.

    • 0 avatar
      mdensch

      Steve65:   Note that I said “Name one merger/partnership of an American and foreign car maker that succeeded and sustained.”  Arguably, NUMMI may have succeeded, but you cannot argue that it also sustained.

  • avatar
    threeer

    There are some decent rides in their lineup (given some attention and love).  The 300 is so “American” it hurts, and I for one still enjoy seeing it on the road.  The old interior was horrid, so hopefully the new ones will see large strides forward.  I’m currently actually in Croatia and have seen three or four 300s here (they tend to stand out)…and although FIAT hasn’t always been the paradigm of reliability, I’ve seen numerous 500s out on the road and I like them.  Not sure how well they’ll do Stateside, but I’m really willing to give Chrysler a break and hope they make solid gains at home.

  • avatar
    MikeAR

    I actually hope they make it, I like their RWD cars, Jeeps and the Ram. The new Grand Cherokee seems to be a winner. The Charger would be my choice for a RWD V8 sedan, it just looks so bad ass. The Challenger would be the best of the pony/muscle cars if it was lighter and a little smaller. The off-road Ram at SEMA would be a decent Raptor fighter. But, and a very big one, their small and mid-sized car lineup is horrible. The 200 isn’t far enough from the old models and will be a fleet queen. The worst thing about them is price. Everything is about 10-20% too expensive for what you get compared to Ford in particular.

  • avatar
    slumba

    I would point out that on the Jeep side, they don’t really make large SUVs anymore.  Both the Patriot and Grand Cherokee have about 65 cu feet of storage once you put the seats down; hardly larger than a Chevy Equinox.  By contrast the Highlander has 90 cubic feet and the Acadia/Traverse about 115.  That is a missing market for them, not everyone will want to get a Grand Caravan instead.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    The world would be a less interesting place without Chrysler, and Fiat for that matter. I hope they thrive just to keep it interesting.
     

  • avatar
    John R

    Probably not.

    As far as I am concerned Chrysis can shove off. My Sonata hasn’t asked me to fork over $2500 for a transmission rebuild. Probably because it’s built properly and doesn’t commit seppuku as soon as the warranty’s expired.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Much like the Fed, Chrysler will be printing money like mad for 2011. On top of the JGC, they’ve got the new Durango, 300 and Charger about to come out, all high profit producing home-runs that will swell the bottom line. Add to that the heavily revised minivans and the substantially revised 200, Journey and Avenger, that will at least be competitive in their class, and Chrysler’s really set to be the one to watch in 2011. Chrysler will be introducing the Fiat 500 as well, which could become another cult hit like the Mini. Then the new Dodge C-segment sedan (Hornet?) replacement for the Caliber goes into production in the 4th quarter of 2011. Then brace for the Fiat-based B and C and D segment sedans and hatches that will follow in 2012, 2013 and 2014, giving Chrysler real competitors in segments that they have little to offer in currently. I’d say they are going to surprise a lot of people.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Zammy: The 200 is a “holding action”, but a pretty impressive one though. Think about it, they gave it a whole new front/rear, revised engines and suspesions, plus what is supposed to be a “Lexus like” world class interior, all done in about a years time. That’s pretty amazing given the turtle like pace of the auto industry. Now if only they could have gotten rid of that darn little black plastic triangle on the c-pillar…although I just read that the 200 will offer optional two-tone paint with the top painted black, lower body contrasting. That might help hide that pesky triangle.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      My guess is ChryCo didn’t want to pony up to redesign the rear door.
       
      The way to eliminate the plastic triangle on the back corner of the rear doors is to use shorter piece of rear window glass at the forward part of the doors, then fill the rear space with a non opening rear quarter glass like other manufacturers.   It’s shame ChryCo chose not to,. They would be enjoying much better press had they done so.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Black triangles are proliferating right now. Check out the Chevy Cruze. At least Chrysler puts the “200″ emblem on it, which is a nice touch. Dropping the window reveal down at the rear fixed window’s back edge destroys the roofline of the car. Although it would be a more “honest” design, I can see why they do it like that. I don’t really like it, but it is what it is. Otherwise, too many of these cars would look like a Mazda3! Or, the only other answer is OldandSlow’s suggestion, which is regularly done, too.

      My biggest concern with Chrysler is: Are their transmissions reliable, now? Their engines? Their cars? I wish the Jeep Wrangler would get back to basics, too. AND at least 25 mpg around town, too. 16 mpg is unacceptable.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    ” Investors Bullish on Chrysler IPO, Poll Says”
    http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/story/10921231/1/investors-bullish-on-chrysler-ipo-poll-says.html?cm_ven=YAHOO&cm_cat=FREE&cm_ite=NA

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Chrysler is done….as others note, the line-up is thin.  The new Grand Cherokee may do “well” (ie better than the present Grand Cherokee/Commander), but not as well as the 90s.  And not well enough to make up for the new cars.

    The “new” 200/Sebring may in fact have great interiors (I haven’t seen them).  But they look too much like the outgoing versions, which were losers.  Noboby like losers, especially for $17-22k.

    It gets worse.   If Chrysler could come up with an Camrcord/Malibu/Fusion killer, would they be able to manufacture good ones and lots of ‘em?   Chrysler’s assembly and stamping operations are 10 to 20 years behind GM.  To succeed, you have to have a good design AND be able to build it in volume with quality.

    So the best that can happen is the Chrysler name will continue….if somehow the Minivan, Jeeps, & Ram P/Ups can comply with new fuel economy regs by being mixed in with some token Chrysler products.

    Good luck!

  • avatar
    tparkit

    First, Chrysler sales are not “going through the roof” relative to just a few years ago. Regarding the future, breakup candidate Chrysler’s middling product line is being left in the competitive dust.

    That aside, Chrysler is a firm stolen at gunpoint from its bondholders and given to Friends of the State. May it rot in hell.

  • avatar
    YYYYguy

    Captive imports rarely sell well.  I’m not confident that Fiat will be able to rebrand their vehicles as Chryslers and have them flying off the lots.

    If Chrysler can’t get its employees to quit smokin doobies and build high quality products from high quality materials….it’s goodbye to the smallest of the Big 2.5

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Here’s hoping that it is. They’ve managed to survive with the current lineup since what- 2006? 2007? virtually unchanged. There’s a market out there beyond the rental lots as so many blithely assume. I’m stunned at the speed that the updates have been issued, albeit they have been long, long awaited. I suspect bankruptcy had something to do with the delay.
     
    Regardless, I think that if the cars have the right mix of reliabliity, styling and pricing, they will do well. I’d also like to get my investment back, too. Additionally, I don’t think that Fiat will blow it’s chance to comeback to the largest market in the world (well at least for now). I’ve posted this here before, I have to imagine that Chrysler must be an interesting place to work these days.

  • avatar
    ajla

    In my dreams, the redone Charger/300 sell so well that Mulally and Akerson have no choice but to sell the Falcon and Commodore lines here in the US.

    However, I’m more hopeful that 2012 ends up being the “Year of the Alfa Romeo”.  I really don’t want to see them die or become another province in the Piëch empire.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    As great as that would be, NO. If oil prices continue to climb, Chrysler might be in deep trouble. Remember the spring/summer of ’08? No one bought anything once oil topped $100 a barrel. SUV’s and RAM’s are the only thing making any money there. If oil tops $100 again, those sales go away.

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Chrysler is done.  My friend attended the Seattle Auto show this weekend and said that their booth was deserted.

    They should kill the brand off altogether, the Sebring will only sell to rental car fleets, nobody else even knows that this car still exists.

    Rebrand the minivan as a Dodge Ram van, and keep selling the Dodge trucks and Jeeps.

    Now where’s my 6-figure salary?!?

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Does Chrysler need to have a full line up of cars that don’t make a profit to make a profit? I’ve never understood that logic. If only trucks, Jeeps and minivans make a profit, only build trucks, Jeeps and minivans. Chysler knows their cars are going to suck before anyone else does. It’s a corporate decision to half ass the design of those cars. Building a car as good as Honda or Toyota is not rocket science.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      If only trucks, Jeeps and minivans make a profit, only build trucks, Jeeps and minivans.

      This is precisely the line of thinking that pushed GM over the edge. All their eggs were in the “gas hog jumbo truck” basket, and when the bottom fell out of that basket, they had no backup plan.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      Indeed, but building a car as good as a Toyota or Honda that also looks good is ‘rocket surgery’.
      I like the looks of quite a few Chrysler’s and Dodge’s, I even like the Caliber (just because it doesn’t look like every other mid-size hatchback), but the Sebring… Not even the first gen. looked interesting, compared to it’s brother the Stratus (just to make things complicated they mixed them together and called it Chrysler Stratus in Norway :P) And I see a few Calibers, Avengers and a whole lot of Voyager/Caravans (tbhb, despite quality problems they are the only ‘luxurious’ minivan.) And I know someone who just bought a Journey, and love it. And the Ram continues to be one of the better trucks of it’s size.
      And, because (I guess) of company politics, Chryslers/Dodges are the only ‘US’ passenger cars we see over here, and I’ll miss them if they disappear.
      Edit: When or if I can find a decent used PTCruiser I will consider it, despite being wrong-wheel-drive…

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      All their eggs were in the “gas hog jumbo truck” basket, and when the bottom fell out of that basket, they had no backup plan.

      GM failed for a lot of reasons. I don’t think the Silverado/Sierra were two of them. Full size trucks are extremely profitable regardless of fuel price spikes. They may sell a few less for sure. So they build less at that point. Over a million full size trucks sold so far this year. Even if gas hits $10 a gallon next year, people still need to put these trucks to work. Ask Ford if they regret building the F-150. Or Chrysler the Ram. Clearly you were talking about GM’s lack of economical small cars in their basket. I mean good small cars.

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    I love the LX vehicles, they are the only proper “yank-tanks” left. The new JGC is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen Detroit (or really anyone else) make in along time. Chrysler finally has an industry competitive V6 with the Pentastar. If they can get Fiat’s multi-air tech over here asap they’ll really have something going for them other than the Hemi – which has been the only reason to buy a Chrysler vehicle for years.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    Chrysler could surprise some people next year.  Most fundamentally, it seems to be managed really well right now.  Maybe not quite Ford levels, but from outside, it appears that there has been more significant change at Chrysler than at GM.
    Second, product.  The new JGC is really impressive.  The new Charger is really hot, and the 300 looks really elegant.  The new minivans appear to be much improved and should continue to hang with the big boys.  Much of Chrysler’s product is in the less populated niches, so they are not beating their heads directly against the full complement of Toyota, Honda, Ford and GM, except perhaps with the new 200.  Ford and GM are out of minivans altogether.  Nobody competes directly with the Charger and 300.  Ditto the JGC.  I find the new product from Chrysler AT LEAST as interesting as that from Ford, and much more interesting than that coming from GM right now.  The new Hondas are ugly as sin, and Toyota’s quality rep has taken a big beating.  If they can fix the Journey’s quality and appeal issues, it could be a big seller as well.
    The big question is quality and durability.  This has been Chrysler’s challenge since the 1950s.  The Daimler and Cerberus years stopped any progress made in the Iacocca era and reversed it badly.  IF the new Pentastar engine has the long-term durability of the old 3.3, and IF the new transmissions and electrical systems can at least match the competition, then Chrysler can be a player.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      I love the new Charger, and the new 300 looks good, but they won’t be enough to right the Chrysler ship. The bottom line is that any manufacturer that wishes to compete as a full-line player in the USA needs to have credible entries in the Corolla-Civic-Focus-Cruze class and Camry-Accord-Fusion-Malibu-Sonata class. These are the segments where Chrysler is the weakest.

      The “new” Chrysler 200 and revamped Dodge Avenger are the AMC Concords of the 21st century.

      And the effort to sell the pickups under the Ram nameplate is dumb, dumb, dumb, in my opinion. It will likely work as well as attempting to sell the Imperial as a separate marque did back in the late 1950s and 1960s. People always referred to it as the Chrysler Imperial, and today people still refer to the pickup truck as the Dodge Ram.  

  • avatar
    d002

    Depends on how much longer Fiat – Chrysler division can keep selling its shoddily made antique Jeeps and Rams to sad old baby boomers who are unsure of their sexuality.

    Not very long I suspect.

    The 300 is a dinosaur and the Challenger is hopelessly outclassed by everything else on the market.

  • avatar

    I hope so.
    As I mentioned before, my family’s history with Chrysler products is great- my parents have owned a LeBaron convertible (don’t know the year, it’s a first gen model), a ’91 Grand Caravan, a ’99 Intrepid that I learned to drive in, and an ’02 Grand Cherokee. My dad still owns the Grand Cherokee, and has run 160K miles with little in the way of problems. The others were all used and traded in after hundreds of thousands of miles, and were all running well when they god rid of ‘em.
    I hope for the best, if only so I can get my hands on a Fiat 500. Saw one in the flesh today, I want one badly in the worst way possible.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie


    I think the 3rd quarrter of 2011 will yeild some suprising results for Chrysler.

    I also see, in years to come, Ralph Gilles riding the fast-track to CEO. He’s truly one of the great car-guys in the industry.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I am hoping the new Durango will be better than the second generation.  We have a 2000 SLT and love it.  It tows well (and averaged 13.5 mpg loaded down and towing a car from CA to WI).  150k pretty trouble free miles and its still pretty solid.  I also like the 300C and, since I have a track toy, I would take a Challenger if I were in the market for a pony car.  I thought the Journey would be decent but after riding around in a friends 2008 I thought better of it.  My but was asleep in 20 minutes.  Maybe they will fix that but it seems all car companies now have seats made of slate covered with a bit of leather. I haven’t liked the styling of the last two generations of Sebring and the Caliber is not attractive…in any way…at all…whatsoever.  The Avenger isn’t bad looking but just seems so average in every way.  If they made the Stormtrooper Edition on the other hand!

    I hope they do well.  If they ever make a hot hatch that you wouldn’t mind being seen in I would get one for my commuter car.  After all, I need to have some reason to wear my Mopar Performance jacket other than track days.

  • avatar
    windswords

    One of the many myths about Chrysler like the 300 is an old E Class, “superb Daimler management”, and “government” bailout of 1980 (well, today that would be true, since the banks that loaned Chrysler money in 1980 are practically run by the government now), is the “factories are old and antiquated” line. Most of Chrysler factories are very modern and have the latest technology, especially in the area of flex manufacturing. FIAT having read the American press reports about Chrysler expected much worse when they toured Chrysler stamping, engine and assembly plants the first time. They were surprised how modern the plants were. Why? Because they assumed that the media’s coverage was accurate. So I’m not surprised that tomLU86 thinks they are behind GM (I guess he thinks GM is pretty backwards too, but it’s not).
    Oh, one more myth I forgot to mention, that Chrysler builds all their cars in Mexico. Chrysler has 23 assembly, stamping, engine, and transmission plants. Five of those are in Mexico and two are in Canada. The rest are in the US. That’s more than two thirds for those of you who are math challenged. They used to have an assembly plant in Graz Austria but I believe it was sold to Magna. Part of that “superb Daimler management” perhaps.

  • avatar

    Sorry, but there’s no way.
    Sure, the new Grand Cherokee is nice.  The Challenger is sweet, but its volume is negligible.
     
    Have you seen the resale values on 2010 Sebrings/300s?  They’re already at the 50-60% level.  We’re talking about a vehicle that loses HALF of its value when you drive it off the lot.
     
    The new Charger/300 are very similar to the old.  I wouldn’t even consider them new generations, just facelifts.  Same should be said about the 200.
     
    Only exceptions to their old product is the Fiat stuff.  Sure that will do well… at first.  But with their Ram trucks getting their ass handed to them by Chevy/Ford, I wonder how much profit can be realized.
     
    There is quite simply no hype for any Chrysler product right now.  No innovation.  Nothing worth talking about.  Blah, blah, and blah.


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