By on October 18, 2014

003-2015-chrysler-200-leak-1Through the first nine months of 2014, sales of the Chrysler 200 are down 27%. That’s to be expected, as the 200 was transitioning from Sebring-based (but Pentastar-powered!) fleet favourite to sleeker 2015 200 form. Granted, Toyota is transitioning from Camry to refreshed Camry and sales are up 5% this year, but that’s a somewhat invalid comparison for another day. Dodge Avenger volume is down 37% to 49,363 units in 2014, but again, this was an anticipated decline, as Chrysler Group has actually killed off the Avenger.

Jointly, the duo is down 31% to 124,505 units. For the third time, this is not a shocker. We expected a period of decreasing 200 volume, and we knew the Avenger’s drops were going to be severe.

Perhaps Fiat Chrysler Automobiles does not need the remaining, sibling-less 200 to sell in 200/Avenger-like fashion. But if we set aside the year-to-date numbers to look only at September’s results, we’ll certainly see that the new 200 is, in fact, not coming close to selling in 200/Avenger-like numbers. In fact, the 200 and remaining Avenger – 1677 were sold in September – aren’t selling like the 200 and Avenger did last year, either. While 200 sales jumped 15% in September, that was not enough to overcome the near disappearance of Avenger sales.

Chrysler Group midsize car sales chartThe pair was down 14% to 12672 units, a loss of 2010 units. Is that a concern if the new car has greater potential for profit generation? Not at all. But the discounts are already piling up on the 2015 200, with a $2500 cash allowance being just the starting point.

Of course, Chrysler Group midsize car sales fluctuate wildly, and we could yet see a surge by year’s end. The accompanying chart shows nine-month U.S. sales totals over the last nine years.

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100 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: The 200 And A Decade Of Chrysler Group Midsize Car Sales...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I saw two of these 2015 200s yesterday,they’re fairly impressive looking in real life. If they function as well as they look they’ll be worthy competition in a crowded segment

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      Agreed, a very nice, restrained styling and I really like the treatment of the side sculpting, very 2002 Sable-ish with the door-handle level ridge.

      Now if they only had a greenhouse…

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I think if you took an Avalon, new Impala, 200 and Fusion, removed the badges and grills and parked them next to each other, a lot of people would not be able to tell them apart.

      I don’t mean that as a criticism of FCA, I think the 200 is attractive. And I am not accusing them of plagiarism – it’s not like they went to the design studio thinking “let’s make a stubby Avalon.” Aerodynamics, design trends and consumer interest have brought these designs very close to each other.

      But the issue for Chrysler is that the design language of the 300, T&C and 200 are very different. When I look at a BMW, I may not be able to tell which model it is, but I know it’s a BMW. Same with Acura, GMC or even Lincoln these days.

      But I really don’t know what a Chrysler is from a design or brand perspective.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I think if you removed the badges and grilles from any cars in any time period, a lot of people would not be able to tell them apart.

        But yes, I do understand what you mean with the 200, 300 and T&C exhibiting dissimilar design cues.

      • 0 avatar
        James2

        “But the issue for Chrysler is that the design language of the 300, T&C and 200 are very different. When I look at a BMW, I may not be able to tell which model it is, but I know it’s a BMW. Same with Acura, GMC or even Lincoln these days.”

        I kind of wish at least one automaker wouldn’t try to make everything in its lineup look the same. To me, it squashes originality and imagination. What if a designer came up with a fantastic design BUT since it doesn’t look like the rest of the lineup it can’t be produced… that’s a crime.

        Perversely, the idiots at Mini and Porsche insist that every model MUST look like a Mini or a 911, the result being hideous mistakes like the Mini Coupe (forget its name) and the Panamera.

      • 0 avatar
        Sky_Render

        The Fusion is the one that looks like an Aston Martin.

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      National Car Rental has quite a few of the new 200. I rented one 3 weeks ago – It’s a very competent car now; a far cry from the previous 200. My main complaint is the rotary gear selector. It’s located very close to two other similar knobs and I reached for the wrong knob a few times. Probably not an issue for long-term drivers.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “I reached for the wrong knob a few times.”

        Everyone will. Unacceptably stupid design failure.

        Drivetrain controls need to be made more “special” by isolating them.

        I also despise the Prius’ “shifter” but for different reasons.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          I had a 200C rental a little while ago. It’s a VERY nice car. The interior is bespoke. The leather is very high quality and the dash looks very cool. It’s roomy, powerful and just nice in general.
          I like the styling too. It’s sleek and striking in silver.

          I dare say it gives the Lexus ES a run for its money (but doesn’t take it).

          Almost worth buying.

          • 0 avatar
            mjz

            I agree, the interior is a cut above the mainstream Camcord offerings. The 200C with the premium interior group ($995, I think) adds real wood and super upgraded leather. It really could compete with the near luxury brands equipped this way. I hope they add the AWD option to the 2.4 base engine. They already offer it on the Cherokee, so why not the 200 too?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      There are two 200’s here now in the parking garage. One is an upper trim and the other a lower. I checked out both in passing, and I was pleased to see they look to have small panel gaps, and their exterior chrome trim is flawless in alignment.

      Both of these things are more than the old ones ever accomplished.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        A lot of investment was made in a state of the art body shop and metrology methods to achieve that snug panel fit and nice paint finish. There is distinctly less orange peel in the finish of the new 200 than on most competitors, I think it’s pretty noticeable.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Aside from price, it’s hard to come up with compelling reasons to choose one of these over one of the more established rivals. Not an easy segment to get serious about at this stage; this is one area in which Daimler’s and Cerberus’ legacies continue to dog the company.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I foresee a future for this car similar to the Ford Contour. It’s got above-average style and available V6 power for the price, the reliability is unproven compared to the usual Japanese leaders, and the back seat is uncompetitively small.

      All of which is to say it’ll probably go over for a while with an enthusiast crowd, but it won’t move big numbers.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Aside from price, it’s hard to come up with compelling reasons to choose one of these over one of the more established rivals.

    Not an easy segment to get serious about at this stage. This is one area in which Daimler’s and Cerberus’ legacies continue to dog the company.

    • 0 avatar
      MLS

      A few compelling reasons to choose the Chrysler 200:
      – Available V6 engine, increasingly rare for the class
      – Available AWD
      – Premium interior
      – Exterior styling

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        If there’s “a $2500 cash allowance being just the starting point”, add price to the list.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Six-cylinder engines are rare in this class because very few people want them. The segment overwhelmingly prefers MPG to 0-60 times; last I checked, the Accord and Camry sell four-cylinders over six-cylinders at a ratio of about 9:1.

        AWD is not that popular, either, and Subaru does a fine job of owning those customers. Probably can’t hurt to offer it, but also not compelling for most people.

        The interior and exterior are debatable selling points. But along with price, those two things will probably determine who chooses this over something else. Those aspects may help to clinch some people, but will those be enough?

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          In this segment the only things that are compelling is price and reliability. However should you be someone who prefers a V6 the 200 is $5K cheaper then the cheapest V6 Accord and $8K cheaper then the cheapest V6 Camry. If the 200 manages some kind of decent reliability they could become a compelling alternative to anyone who desires a little kick in their beigemobile

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          As far as Camrys and Accords are concerned, “people don’t want” the V-6 because Toyota and Honda restrict it to the top level models, so you’re looking at a $30,000-plus car. Pretty much the same story with the Altima.

          Meanwhile, Chrysler offers the Pentastar in the 200 at a $25,000 price point…and so equipped, the car has a definite power advantage over the Camcord V-6s (and the 4-cylinder versions too).

          I do think it’ll be a selling point for the 200.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You might want to give the benefit of the doubt to Honda and TMC. These packaging choices aren’t arbitrary; they have reasons for doing things that way.

            Many of the buyers of these cars care about fuel economy. Performance at the expense of gas consumption is not something that interests most of them, particularly those who aren’t willing or able to pay for all of the other bells and whistles.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Saving $5K to buy a 200 vs. Accord/Camry may be short sighted. When you go to sell the car 3 years later, your resale is likely to be $5K+ lower. So where’s the savings?

  • avatar
    dwford

    I saw a couple of these yesterday and thought what a nice car a V6 AWD would be in a couple years. I’m not taking that new car hit on a 2015 200 though. Ouch!

  • avatar
    Spartan

    Chrysler is playing the long game with sedans, which I’m not sure is even a good strategy right now. They need a crossover badly. The $ they spent with this Avenger/200 business should have went into the much needed CUV they need to bring to the market.

    They had something going with the Pacifica and let it die, only for GM to complete takeover the market with the Ford Explorer picking up what’s left.

    Chrysler needs something other than the horrid Dodge Journey to pick up the slack. I know they have Jeep, but Jeep alone isn’t enough when Chrysler can easily pick up sales with a mid and full size CUV.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “Chrysler needs something other than the horrid Dodge Journey to pick up the slack. I know they have Jeep, but Jeep alone isn’t enough when Chrysler can easily pick up sales with a mid and full size CUV.”

      I agree, but how they could pull it off without being accused of badge engineering a Jeep, thus diluting the brand further would be quite an undertaking

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      With Jeep and Chrysler both being offered at the same dealers, it’s difficult to justify offering two versions of the same thing. The money devoted to R&D for a second vehicle could be better spent on getting CUV buyers to buy the Jeep.

      • 0 avatar
        frozenman

        A valid point, but a Jeep Cherokee with exterior styling from the 200 might be a nice balance against the polarizing look of the Jeep.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I actually don’t disagree with you, given that crossovers are probably the future. But the challenge is being able to justify having three brands with crossovers, all being sold on the same lot — that looks a lot like GM-style bloat, and Chrysler is too weak financially to be able to make too many mistakes.

          If they can’t move most of those buyers into Grand Cherokees, then they are probably doing something very wrong. And what would one do to meaningfully distinguish the Chrysler model from the Jeep and the Dodge? Simple badge engineering would be a mistake.

          • 0 avatar
            WildcatMatt

            Hasn’t Sergio’s justification for brand proliferation been based on reducing overlap?

            Fiat = small/quirky
            Dodge = basic/sporty
            Chrysler = near premium
            Jeep = crossover/offroad
            Ram = trucks/vans

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I can’t believe that rained-on-noire-ghetto-roach image is official publicity.

    Soggy piece of cardboard is a nice touch. Breathe in the stank.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    This car is plain compelling. Most interesting car in the segment. I wish they would figure out a way to market the incredible UConnect experience to the masses. For those of us whom infotainment is a top attribute, it takes thtothisar way above everything else.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Funny, my comment in the spam filter made the opposite point. (Perhaps Chrysler is secretly producing anti-spam plugins for WordPress.)

      It’s a crowded field. Aside from price, it’s hard to see why most people would even bother to put this on their shopping lists. This is a hangover that continues from the Daimler and Cerberus days; Chrysler’s potential to build a good reputation in this segment was badly damaged by both of them.

      • 0 avatar
        bryanska

        In my very small role as n=1, what makes the 200 so compelling for me is the excellent UConnect system. At this price point there is nothing better. SYNC comes close but is too flashy and the interface is not ergonomic.

        My average day involves lots of podcasts during the morning commute, and several traffic checks and nav activity during the evening commute. During big snow delays when my commute stretches to 80 minutes, I use the Bluetooth phone to make some brief conversation and keep my family updated. So between all the info checks and entertainment options, a good infotainment system is worth more than the driving experience. 75% of my driving is commuting on boring highways. I need a car that maximizes that time in my day.

        I think Chrysler is leaving a lot on the table by not marketing UConnect as THE system for anyone who has a commute and/or family life.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    The new 200 seems like it may be a good car, but it’s very hard to tell apart from a Sonata, especially from the rear. It’s almost like they are two trim levels of the same car.

    We should have known it was going to look bland when the press teasers talked about “Chrysler’s bold new design direction.” You don’t need to do preemptive damage control when you’ve got a good product.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      It’s only “bland” like the better VWs are bland. I like it.

      Your only choices today are 1_Bland and 2_Manga Hideous. I’ll take this kind of bland.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Yeah, kind of a upscale bland

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          Once they get it away from the dead druggies behind that grating and hose it down.

          This car has to appeal to middle-age white flight-ers. Deliberately evoking the nightmares they fled from doesn’t strike me as the ideal way to achieve that. Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” motif is all too ironically true and shouldn’t be played up in their ads for anything but the 300, if that.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You can hate the crumbling eyesore Detroit while still being proud of it’s automotive heritage

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Heritage can indeed sell some coffee table books. I don’t know about 30+k cars (optioned like most will).

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I think FCA needs to be careful in invoking ‘heritage’ to sell the 200.

            What exactly is the FCA heritage in selling midsize sedans in the US? Avenger? Sebring? K-car? Volare? Stratus?

            I thought the reason they invented the 200 name a few years ago was to escape associations with their ‘heritage’.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Imported from Detroit” = “American cars used to suck, but now they don’t.”

            Chrysler cannot escape the baggage that invariably accompanies an American brand. They may as well confront it; ignoring it won’t help, and GM’s “we’ve always been oarsome, you import bigots!!!” pitch isn’t particularly effective (or accurate).

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Agreed that at the sloganizing level “Imported from Detroit” is somewhat brave, clever and harmless with a home-run product like the 300 that appeals across socio-economic lines.

            But visuals matter more and evoking what for millions of potential buyers of a middling car is a visceral fear and avoidance response is another matter.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            There’s are still a lot of people in the “buy American” camp, even if they really don’t understand what that means, so Chrysler’s just trying to cash in on that little bit of misconception

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “There’s are still a lot of people in the “buy American” camp”

            Absolutely. I live among them. And I guarantee that they’ll respond more positively to happy, blue sky, green suburban settings in ads than to this misfired hipster dabbling with ghetto darkness that Chrysler ads are presently in love with.

            Interestingly, Chrysler’s website considerably lightens-up the ambiance for T&C imagery.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            My reply got flagged as spam.

            Time to go outside, cover the A/C, shut off the faucets. Frost is a-comin\'(yay).

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            I think some of you guys are reading a little too deeply into that backdrop.

            Maybe it’s time to go play outside?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @heavy handle,
      It ironic you mention the Hyundai, even though we don’t receive the 200 here in Australia, Chrysler does target the Korean’s in the market.

      I’ve mentioned this before. If Fiat want to develop it’s “US” product lineup ie, Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler, FCA will have to stop targeting the Koreans and at least try to challenge the Japanese in quality.

      Chrysler vehicles even in Australia have been a hit and miss affair. Their vehicles just don’t have the longer term staying power that a Sonata or even a Camry have.

      Fiat must look at developing a decent longer term plan in the midsize market, even with pickups.

      Fiat seem to be concentrating on Jeep and Ram in the US and in it’s global markets.

      • 0 avatar

        “Fiat seem to be concentrating on Jeep and Ram in the US and in it’s global markets.”
        Can you blame them, thats where the money is.

        And give FCA in some time, this is a long lead time business and you still getting old Cerebus products out there at the end of the line in Oceania. I follow it closely as my wife is a New Zealander and hope some day to relocate there, dreaming of it now on this cold wet Chicago morning.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Al,

        To be fair, you Aussies are getting stale Chrysler cars. The minivan is overdue for replacement, the 300 was recently refreshed, but it’s still a Daimler-era product, and the Dodge Journey is an antique that sells on price alone.

        The new 200 isn’t a stunning car, but it’s a solid contender that can be seriously compared to Japanese and Korean cars.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    The new 200 does seem to above par in many areas of this segment. Sadly, if does not have a japanese name plate it will not give that tingly feeling to so many buyers. You will never read or hear someone giving emotional description of the steering wheel buttons on an American branded vehicle. Even though it could be one of the best built sedan of the day.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    FCA invested $1.2 billion into the 200 and it’s sales are sliding.

    I do know they are currently only LH drive and the factory has the capacity to manufacture RH drive.

    To boost production will Fiat make a RH drive version for export?

    • 0 avatar

      BA the 200 is just getting to showrooms in numbers, give it a few months and then lets reach conclusions on its ROI.
      You have to see it in person it is very handsome and tailored, and looks more expensive than it is.
      And I do believe it destined to show up in RHD as all the new FCA vehicles are designed as world cars from the onset.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @crazycarlarry,
        I don’t know where you are getting your information from.

        Fiat considers the RH drive market not sufficient at the moment.

        http://www.carsguide.com.au/car-news/chrysler-200-will-miss-australia-28071#.VEJpGLvn_IU

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @crazycarlarry,….maybe it will post this time.
        I don’t know where you are getting your information from.

        Fiat considers the RH drive market not sufficient at the moment.

        http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/chrysler-200-not-for-oz-20140114-30re3.html

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @crazycarlarry,….maybe it will post this time.
        I don’t know where you are getting your information from.

        Fiat considers the RH drive market not sufficient at the moment.

        I did have a link from an Australian site, but TTAC newest and greatest WordPress software will not allow it to post. It states we will not be receiving the 200.

        We’ll see if this one goes.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @crazycarlarry,
        I tried to post a comment from an Aussie car site. We will not and nor any other RH drive countries be getting the 200.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “FCA invested $1.2 billion into the 200 and it’s sales are sliding.”

      Really?…

      “Sales of the 200 were up 15 percent last month, its best ever sales in the month of September.”- FCA

  • avatar
    aycaramba

    I just had one of these as a rental last week for a few days. I specifically picked it over some of the other interesting or larger cars on the lot so I could see how it stacked up. It was of particular interest to me since I recently concluded the shopping and purchase of a new mid-size sedan.

    Impressions of my with cloth seats, 4 cylinder, U Connect 5.0-equipped rental were more positive than negative. The seats were pretty comfy for about an hour, but then my back and rear started to get stiff. It’s definitely one of the smaller cars in the class, but not as small as I had feared. I certainly think of a couple of adults would fit easily in the back.

    The engine was just okay, and certainly got a little buzzy if you started to push it a bit. I don’t recall if the 200 is equipped with the 9 speed transmission like the Cherokee, but I can certainly say that it was not as smooth as a 300 I drove earlier in the year with the 8 speed transmission. Highway mileage was about 25-28 MPG, which I think is surprisingly low for a FWD I-4 equipped vehicle these days.

    I think the exterior looks pretty good, though it is a little too pill-shaped for my taste. I like something a little more traditional in shape. And visibility out of it was about as good as you can expect these days. Backing up was a challenge without a rear view camera.

    The interior had plenty of nice touches. UConnect 5.0 is certainly a great interface, especially for a lower trim-level car. The interior had plenty of USB ports, power ports, and axillary jacks to accommodate any music needs. That said, I think that the center console design, though it looks innovative, was a little less than useful. The rotary knob shift selector was difficult to get used to. I liked the enormous storage space under the floating console. My biggest problem was that I had a very difficult time finding a place to put my phone so that I could see it for GPS purposes.

    all in all, a solid effort by Chrysler. But I still think other cars are better, bigger, and more competitive.

    Would I choose it again the next time I rent a car? Maybe. Though I think I would give the 2015 Hyundai Sonatas that were lined up at the lot a chance first.

    So what did I buy when I made my midsize car purchase? A 2014 Honda Accord EX V6. And though it’s not an apples to apples comparison, I am sure I made the right choice.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The Honda is a much safer choice. Even if you don’t particularly love it, the expected resale value makes it a more financially prudent choice.

      That’s one reason why this is a tough slog for Chrysler. You have to really, really love this car and/or pay a much lower price for it in order to justify choosing it over some other more established competitor.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Pch101,
        I find it odd that Fiat is trying to sell it US branded products in the US as a “better product” when clearly they aren’t.

        Because Fiat’s US branded products are normally cheap and cheerful, sometimes of relatively good value.

        Maybe Fiat should re-assess it’s US pricing structure. If they can’t afford it move manufacturing to Mexico or even down south where workplace relations are more equitable.

        This article indicates that maybe Fiat’s overseas cost structure is more accurate in reflecting it’s product lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-X

      “all in all, a solid effort by Chrysler. But I still think other cars are better, bigger, and more competitive.”

      Real-world comments, here. Unlike some of the other “stories.”

      In many ways, I’d like to see a Big-3 unit like this kick-butt. But as a real world buyer, show me the red dots on Consumers Reports first. That’s mandatory. I’ll take the CR faults over the MFR lies any day.

      If I were to buy into this segment, I’d be very compelled with the Accord 4-cyl. too. For long term ownership, and other particulars aside, to avoid the ‘out of warranty repairs’ wallet-rape and depreciation. High-level execs rarely consider that.

      Of course, if you lease a car like 28% of the “new car buyers” do, out of pocket costs can hardly matter because it’s in warranty. That’s the unspoken dividing line on purchase decisions and blog-comments: If you lease a car, you are much less committed to the MFR’s credibility and capability. You are just checking out what’s on the other side of the train tracks…

    • 0 avatar
      frozenman

      The 4 pot fwd version of this car also has a rough time against the likes of the Subaru legacy with standard awd, if I was to roll the dice on a bit of a snoozer it would not be the 200.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I wouldn’t go for the Subaru, speaking as somebody who’s got 95000 miles Subaru and has just been told that head gasket and timing belt issues will cost $2000. Hence I’m looking for a new car with a Honda Accord sport been a top of the list. The Accord is discounted over $4000 from MSRP, don’t let anyone tell you that Honda doesn’t discount they just don’t do it is openly as others. At that price Chrysler and others have no chance.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Nice.

  • avatar
    Rday

    It all reminds me of a cartoon where a woman puts on her girdle, bra and makeup and ends up looking darn good. But under the ‘skin’ she is not at all that attractive. Looks are only skin deep as many of us have found out in our lives. Better a really steady and reliable person than a good looker. And there is always ‘Makeup’.
    It is that way with cars too. I am looking to buy a van because we travel between Kansas City and LA very often. I have a home in the KC area and my fiancee has one in LA. seems like as we get older we collect more ‘necessities’ to carry with us. And we have been in CA for 5 months. SOmeone asked me where my home was and I didn’t know how to answer them!!!! I told them it was wherever my lover was.
    So we will be ordering a panel van and converting it to a custom van. not an RV. My city has strict laws and does not allow residential parking of commercial vehicles and RV’s. THey are changing their height restrictions to 8′ from 7′. These new vans are much taller than the old ones.
    SO now we will be ordering a Sprinter standard height van. Chrysler has the new Ram/Fiat and Ford has the new Transit. Like the Ford but Alex says that she will never buy another Ford after all the grief she suffered at their hands with her Fiesta. Dealer did not do his job right at all; I have had similar experiences and that is why i only buy toyota…except for this time.
    Sprinter is competitive because ford charges $6k for their diesel. What a ripoff. So the Transit is more expensive. I guess we will order the Sprinter if we can get a good deal.
    What goes around comes around. Looks aren’t that important to me. It is what is under the ‘skin’ that really matters. You can put lipstick on a pig but she is still a pig.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      Just FYI … A Sprinter low-roof is just short of 8 feet tall.

      The Ram ProMaster sits a few inches lower because the cargo floor is lower, so the whole thing is lower. But it’s still more than 7 feet tall. I know some people on the forums have lowered the suspension – there is some room to work with but even with that, it’s still just over 7 feet.

      Disclaimer, I have a ProMaster (and I like it a lot). I park it in my driveway and it hasn’t been a problem. I specifically bought one that was a colour (as opposed to white), and low roof, so that it wouldn’t look like a contractor’s van and didn’t stick out like a sore thumb to the neighbors.

  • avatar
    StaysCrunchy

    Great looking car, yes it’s a bit conservative but not everything has to be a quantum leap forward in design to be successful. Sometimes clean lines and a handsome profile are enough, and an interior I wouldn’t mind looking at every day helps too of course.

    My only hope is that they managed to engineer all the vile sh–tbox Dart DNA out of it. Speaking as somebody who recently couldn’t sign the loan papers adding several-thousand dollars of negative equity carried over from his 6-month old Dart trade-in onto his new car quick enough or with a bigger smile, FCA needs more than a pretty face and catchy slogans to sell cars in this market. Lipstick on a pig fooled too many of us once, we won’t be fooled again.

  • avatar

    The only numbers that matter are retail sales and average transaction prices. There is no other way to tell if Chrysler Group is making inroads in the mid-size segment. The new 200 by the looks of it will have a hard time gaining any market share. Asking Camry/Accord prices for what seems like a Corolla/Civic sized car, from a brand with zero market value is a losing strategy. Chevy’s moderate success despite a poor record in the compact and subcompact segments was because the Cruze, Sonic and Equinox seemed to offer more for the same price. All three appeared larger than the cars or cuvs they were competing against.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    All that maters is profit, if it is profitable than Chrysler has a hit.

  • avatar
    mjz

    The old 200 was a fleet queen with huge amounts of cash on the hood. It will take a bit for Chrysler to get into the consideration mindset of consumers. The new car is much nicer and has some unique features (available AWD) that should make it much more successful. Certainly the average transaction price for the new one is going to be considerably higher than the outgoing model.

  • avatar
    mjz

    The old 200 was a fleet queen with huge amounts of cash on the hood. It will take a bit for Chrysler to get into the consideration mindset of midsize car buyers. The new car is much nicer and has some unique features (available AWD, Pentastar V6, gorgeous interior) that should make it much more successful than the outgoing 200/Avenger duo. Certainly the average transaction price for the new one is going to be considerably higher than the 2014 model. I would like to see them expand availability of AWD to the 2.4 also, since they do already offer that combo on the Cherokee.

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    This is the most competitive segment and Chrysler has been the laggard for so long. Chrysler has been out of people’s mind. In order to compete, it needs to have a stand out feature, be it a unique exterior design, fuel economy, value-pack features, price, etc. but at least something. The Sonata of 2010 came out with a great exterior design and value pack features. This thing is a 3rd best in every category. It beats its predecessor but that only impress the Chrysler fans, no one else care about the comparison to its predecessor. The same story was the Malibu, compared to previous Malibus, the press was so impressed, but the market that loves Camry, Accord, Altima wasn’t impressed one bit; and where is the Malibu in the discussion now, no where. And so will this Chrysler car. Chrysler brought a knife to a gun fight and it’s going to get slaughtered. BTW for those who says well then why does a Camry and an Accord sell well when they don’t excel at any one category, well,that’s because they have had a MODEL-SPECIFIC reputation and fan base, as well as a BRAND reputation and fan base.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      I disagree about the Chrysler having nothing to offer.

      1) Price; it’s on par with Hyundai in the features-for-money area. That’s offering a lot.

      2) UConnect; nothing beats it. Nothing. And look around: the macro trends point to a buying base that spends more time looking at screens than driving.

      3) Power; most horsepower in the segment

      4) Reliability; with no tiny overstressed engines with turbos, outsourced German transmissions, and proven systems everywhere else, this thing should outlast the Fords with powertrains tthat coke their oil

      5) Interior; especially one that blows Honda and Toyota away and is second maybe to Ford (seriously, have you seen the ventilated seats in person?)

      One or two differentiating factors are all you need in this segment. It’s folly to go right up against Camcord with an identical point-for-point model (see Altima and last-gen Mazda6). What Chrysler’s done is landed a Buick Regal at several thousand less. In the gunfight it’s a smaller, more premium gun (think Kahr 9) versus an M1911.

  • avatar

    I think from the side the 2015 200 likes too much like a Fusion. The reason the 2011-14 200 sold so much better was it was more distinctive looking. The strange proportion of the 2011+ 200 was what made it so unique looking. To be honest I like the look of last year’s model better. I guess consumers agree and that explains why Chrysler sold 125,000 200s in 2012. I don’t see how this years 200 will even break the 100,000 sales mark.

    Chrysler 200 sales numbers are more in line with cars like the Mazda 6.

  • avatar

    I think from the side the 2015 200 likes too much like a Fusion. The reason the 2011-14 200 sold so much better was it was more distinctive looking. The strange proportion of the 2011+ 200 was what made it so unique looking. To be honest I like the look of last year’s model better. I guess consumers agree and that explains why Chrysler sold 125,000 200s in 2012. I don’t see how the 200 will even break the 100,000 sales mark this year.

    I think Chrysler 200 sales numbers are more in line with cars like the Mazda 6.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    The previous JS 200/Avenger were cranked out so hard at bargain prices to fleets, it’s not hard to believe that volume might be down initially. The trend points to the new car gaining traction in the marketplace. It took Ford quite a few years to build up credibility in this segment with the Fusion, Chrysler will have to ensure the same.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Have they actually cut the fleet sales for this class? I see that overall Chrysler Co. YTD numbers through July show that overall retail was up but fleet was flat. I’m guessing that a lot of that retail went to Jeep and Ram, not to Dodge or the Chrysler brand.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The old 200/Avenger sold better cause to the uninformed, it was a lot of car for the money as far as room and size, for the price of a decant compact, you could get a mid-size (kind of) car. Some people buy cars by the pound.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I love the looks of the 200, but I also loved the Dart. Driving two different Darts was a major disappointment.

    Having sat in the 200 in a showroom, my only real complaint was the back seat. They should have given about 4 more inches from the enormous trunk to the back seat passengers.

    Plus, if you lift the hood on the V6 model, it looks impossible to work on. That nice ‘pill’ shape really constricts the engine bay.

  • avatar
    mags1110

    I drove this car for the afternoon on a test drive. I now drive a kia optima hybird which I have grown to hate, but anyway the 200 drove very nice. The A piller is hard to see around and felt mildly powerful. The sound of the engine is not nice when pushed hard. I have to say the interior is wonderful and a big step in the right direction with controls very nicely laid out. If you’re looking for a exciting car to drive then you absolutely must move up to the V6 as the 4 cylinder will pit you to sleep, an thats coming from a guy driving a hybrid. So would I buy it? Eh, may be, with a very good Chrysler cash back, ill sign the dotted line.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here’s an interesting insight from one of our business magazines in Australia regarding the future fortunes of FCA and in particular Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram.

    I wonder how accurate this is. It seems like I stated in a prior comment that Fiat can’t produce any vehicle that has the staying power. There is generally a surge in sales, then inconsistency.

    Is this due to quality issue? Marketing? Chrysler here in Australia has ups and downs. Is this a feature of Chrysler historically?

    Ram and Jeep are keeping FCA alive. Is there an issue regarding the other FCA brands that the consumer shies away from?

    Are Chrylser products very “faddish” like the PT Cruiser, Neon and other great pieces of engineering (sic).

    For FCA to grow it must now grow it products other than Ram and Jeep.

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/heres-why-chryslers-sales-boom-may-not-last-2014-6

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I wonder??? if this works.
    Here’s an interesting insight from one of our business magazines in Australia regarding the future fortunes of FCA and in particular Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram.

    I wonder how accurate this is. It seems like I stated in a prior comment that Fiat can’t produce any vehicle that has the staying power. There is generally a surge in sales, then inconsistency.

    Is this due to quality issue? Marketing? Chrysler here in Australia has ups and downs. Is this a feature of Chrysler historically?

    Ram and Jeep are keeping FCA alive. Is there an issue regarding the other FCA brands that the consumer shies away from?

    Are Chrylser products very “faddish” like the PT Cruiser, Neon and other great pieces of engineering (sic).

    For FCA to grow it must now grow it products other than Ram and Jeep.

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/heres-why-chryslers-sales-boom-may-not-last-2014-6

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The link won’t allow me to post, so here’s the interesting link.

    Chrysler Fiat announced this week that its U.S. auto sales in May jumped 17% over the same time last year, beating industry projections by 3%.

    In fact, with more than 849,000 cars sold so far this year, the much-maligned automaker is having its best year in nearly a decade.

    Much of this year’s sales turnaround can be attributed to the company’s Jeep and Ram Truck divisions, whose sales have increased by 49% and 24% respectively.

    But can this sales surge last?

    Jeep’s stellar performance can be traced to the introduction of new products like the Jeep Cherokee and revitalized existing models like the Jeep Wrangler. While, Jeep, as a brand, is likely to grow in the near future, don’t expect it to maintain this bullish pace. Sales figures for the controversially styled Cherokee are likely to fall after the initial pool of early adopters and fanboys run dry.

    Dodge dart2013 Dodge Dart

    The Cherokee could even meet the same fate as the last year’s hot-selling Dodge Dart which, like the Cherokee, sold well initially based on early adopter hype, but has since fallen on hard times. The Dart, which the company had hoped would become a sales leader, has seen its sales spiral downward 20% just two years after its launch.

    Even more troubling is the all new Dart’s inability to outsell its older and now discontinued stablemate, the Dodge Avenger.

    The Dart wasn’t the only Chrysler product to struggle this year. In fact, Jeep and Ram’s success puts into sharp focus the slumping sales of Chrysler Group’s entire passenger car line. The company’s Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat brands have seen car sales fall 27% in May and 23% for the year.

    2015 Chrysler 2002015 Chrysler 200

    However, there may be glimmer of hope for Chrysler’s passenger car business as their is strong buzz surrounding the company’s 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan, which is set to hit showrooms en masse next month.

    While strong demand for the new 200 may be able to cushion some drop in Jeep or Ram sales, it will be difficult for Chrysler Fiat to sustain this level of sales growth consistently. But the company may just surprise us all and continue its hot streak.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Big Al,

      That article has too many factual errors and omissions to be taken seriously.

      The new Cherokee is a year past “early adopters” and still growing. Jeep has a new small SUV on the way (Renegade) which replaces two lackluster products (haven’t seen a Patriot or Compass on a dealer’s front lot in almost a year).

      The Dart didn’t have a strong start, quite the opposite. It effectively had a soft launch.

      Any journalist should figure out that the Avenger and old 200 were cleared-out at rock-bottom prices. Their volume can’t be directly compared to the new 200 which is priced much higher.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @heavy handle,
        I don’t disagree with you at all. It’s just an interesting take on FCA’s position.

        Personally I do think FCA has a brand problem with it’s vehicles. Jeep seems to be it’s best globally and add in Ram in the US.

        But, I do believe that Ram’s improvement will soon taper off. I also think that Jeep in the US is near it’s zenith, but outside of the US I do think Jeep still has some legs.

        If FCA can bring out it’s OWN midsizer for the global market branded as a Dodge will help. But it has to be reliable.

        It seems FCA and cars aren’t doing as well as the should. Someone mentioned that the Chrysler side of the story tells all. That is Chrysler have been in a rut for years and it needs to build an image of reliability.

        The average Joe and Jane don’t want to risk thousands on a vehicle they need to drive to work everyday. That’s why Camry’s and Sonata’s etc are more popular. They have a good name concerning reliability, whether correct or not.

        I think people are apprehensive of the Chrysler name in the past, this is hurting them.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        heavy handle,
        I don’t disagree with you at all. It’s just an interesting take on FCA’s position. Personally I do think FCA has a brand problem with it’s vehicles. Jeep seems to be it’s best globally and add in Ram in the US.

        But, I do believe that Ram’s improvement will soon taper off. I also think that Jeep in the US is near it’s zenith, but outside of the US I do think Jeep still has some legs. If FCA can bring out it’s OWN midsizer for the global market branded as a Dodge will help. But it has to be reliable.

        It seems FCA and cars aren’t doing as well as the should. Someone mentioned that the Chrysler side of the story tells all. That is Chrysler have been in a rut for years and it needs to build an image of reliability.

        The average Joe and Jane don’t want to risk thousands on a vehicle they need to drive to work everyday. That’s why Camry’s and Sonata’s etc are more popular. They have a good name concerning reliability, whether correct or not.

        I think people are apprehensive of Chrysler’s name in the past, this is hurting them.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Boy, I do wish this WordPress problem disappears…..and soon.

        I don’t disagree with you.

        I do think that Ram sales improvements will taper off and Jeep is the best bet for FCA globally.

        Chrysler cars historically don’t have the same ring as a Camry. So why would the average person slogging it out everyday buy one. They want to feel safe and buy a Camry.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Big Al,

          Not sure the Ram pickup will taper off. It’s outselling the Chevy/GMC pickups (combined) in Canada, and I could see the same happening in the US. I know a few people who’ve switched, and they tell me it’s a better product all around: modern engines, modern suspensions, and a much better interior.

          The Camry has a great following in the US, but it’s not a significantly better car than the competition. True story: I was talking to my regular mechanic recently, and he was working on a Camry and a Passat, both around 4 years old. He told me that he was amazed that the VW was holding-up much better mechanically and physically (body, interior).

          That’s a huge change from the days when a Camry was clearly a superior (but rust-prone) car. Toyota is now just as likely to cut corners as other brands.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    The 200 may be very good. The problem for Chrysler is that it will have to be followed up by a couple of generations of very good 200 models before the average buyer in this segment is going to give it a serious look…cash on the hood nonwithstanding.

    Chrysler’s image wasn’t destroyed over one model run and it won’t be rebuilt over one. Buyers in this segment are likely the least emotional and will always opt for the safe choice. The Japanese are bland, but they are known quantities. It is a reasonable bet that based on years of data they will be reliable appliances. The Chrysler doesn’t have this yet and won’t for some time. Even if the 200 was an absolute home run, this segment is so tight that it isn’t going to make serious inroads for some time.

    In my early car buying days the Detroit 3 were always advertising the car that had “finally caught the imports”. I eventually purchased an import and haven’t looked back. There are some products now I would give a look at but I doubt I’d plunk down cash unless those models are backed up by solid efforts, especially in the midsize sedan class where they are all pretty indistinguishable anyway. Bottom line, why buy this over an Accord. Are the wonderful leather seats enough to overcome my not too distant memory of slipping transmissions and other trademark Chrysler issues? not yet, but given time those memories will fade so long as new ones aren’t created. Will Chrysler stick with it that long?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The irony is that it is quite likely that this segment will start to decline just as Chrysler gets its chance to become competitive. If a product cycle is five years long and Chrysler needs two generations to earn an reputation, then this will process will require another decade.

      If the market transitions toward more crossovers, then everyone in this space will be competing for a shrinking piece of pie. That shrinking pie will make the market increasingly unattractive to those that don’t have either leadership or a solid niche.

      If it follows the path of other segments, then most of the lesser players will bail out over time, leaving only a few of the majors and perhaps one or two others that hang in there for the scraps.

  • avatar
    mags1110

    Pch101, nicely said. This renegade cant get here fast enough. Kill the twin step brothers and set the bar higher Chrysler, we all deserve it.

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