Ask The Best And Brightest: Can A Refresh Really Change Your Opinion Of A Car?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ask the best and brightest can a refresh really change your opinion of a car

With 15 “new or refreshed” Chrysler Group products launching over the next 4 months [complete product plan in PDF format here], we’re about to find out definitively if a company’s product can be turned around in a little over a year. Given how complex automobiles are, and how deeply uncompetitive many of Chrysler’s products have been, the odds are obviously stacked against Auburn Hills… and Chrysler’s $50m loss on the Grand Cherokee launch is a sign of how scary things can get in a product blitz. But the real question here isn’t how many recalls Chrysler is risking, or how much money it could lose on launch costs and “associated industrial inefficiencies” but whether consumers will actually notice a difference.

The “mid-cycle refresh” is a familiar phenomenon for the American consumer, and few of them fundamentally change the character of a car. Though Chrysler is doing “deep refreshes” on cars like the 200 (neé Sebring), reworking the body, drivetrains, suspension and interior (also, the Durango, 300 and Charger will be “all new”), a number of the new launches will be of plain-old refreshes… like the 2011 Town & Country pictured here. Will the deep changes to some vehicles be lost in the flood of refreshed Chrysler Jeep and Dodge vehicles? More importantly, will refreshes like this one convince consumers that Chrysler has really changed?

Join the conversation
4 of 69 comments
  • Roundel Roundel on Sep 15, 2010

    Since when is it a reskin, if it gets a new powertrain, revised suspension, interior redesign and exterior changes? The 09 Fusion was a reskin as well if thats the case.

    • See 1 previous
    • Roundel Roundel on Sep 15, 2010

      haters gonna hate....

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Sep 19, 2010

    The only refresh I paid any attention to was the 2007 Mazda3 refresh, since I had owned a 2004 since new. I preferred the older grille, and I really didn't like the 17" snowflake wheels that replaced the 17" 5-spoke wheels. The refresh didn't change my opinion of the car much, but I would have bought it with the 16" wheels to avoid the snowflakes if I had been buying an 07-09 model.

  • Dusterdude @SCE to AUX , agree CEO pay would equate to a nominal amount if split amongst all UAW members . My point was optics are bad , both total compensation and % increases . IE for example if Mary Barra was paid $10 million including merit bonuses , is that really underpaid ?
  • ToolGuy "At risk of oversimplification, a heat pump takes ambient air, compresses it, and then uses the condenser’s heat to warm up the air it just grabbed from outside."• This description seems fairly dramatically wrong to me.
  • SCE to AUX The UAW may win the battle, but it will lose the war.The mfrs will never agree to job protections, and production outsourcing will match any pay increases won by the union.With most US market cars not produced by Detroit, how many people really care about this strike?
  • El scotto My iPhone gets too hot while using the wireless charging in my BMW. One more line on why someone is a dumbazz list?
  • Buickman yeah, get Ron Fellows each time I get a Vette. screw Caddy.