By on December 5, 2016

2017 Chrysler 200C Platinum - Image: FCA

It’s over.

Consider the bucket kicked, the farm sold, the dust bitten. We have long been aware Sergio Marchionne was preparing a Chrysler 200-shaped coffin for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ remaining midsize sedan. On Friday, December 2, 2016, the lid of that coffin was slammed shut at FCA’s Sterling Heights, Michigan, assembly plant.

The Detroit News reported last week the Chrysler 200 is officially dead. Fortunately, the Sterling Heights plant lives on.

HISTORY
The 200’s Sebring predecessor was a 15-year-old nameplate with Mitsubishi connections before the third-generation Sebring took on numerical nomenclature in late 2010. Although the Sebring nameplate, weighted down by a dreadful reliability reputation and horrendous resale values, was left behind, the first 200 was very obviously a facelifted Sebring, which meant the new name wasn’t as clearly distinguished from the old name as Chrysler would have liked.

By the time Fiat Chrysler Automobiles launched an all-new midsize car, killing off the Dodge Avenger in the process, the leap forward from Sebring to 200 was wonderfully obvious. This was not the Chrysler Sebring you knew and didn’t love. This was an altogether different kind of effort.

2017 Chrysler 200C Platinum interior - Image: FCA

DECISIONS
But that didn’t matter to owners of Camrys, Accords, Altimas, Fusions, Malibus, and Sonatas. Those owners didn’t care if the new Chrysler 200 was better than the facelifted Sebring of 2011. They needed to know if the new 200, good-looking or not, was better than the car they already owned; better than the replacement for the car they owned.

In the new 200, rear seat comfort wasn’t up to par, limited by poor headroom and poor ingress. (Even FCA boss Sergio Marchionne has admitted to this fault, calling his own designers “dummies.”)

Concerns about the 200’s nine-speed automatic evident in early reviews carried through to poor real-world performance. The nine-speed, Consumer Reports says, “has proven to be a reliability albatross.”

SUCCESS?
Early sales results suggested those concerns were overmatched by the 200’s bright spots. To many eyes, the 2015 Chrysler 200’s exterior styling ranked among the class leaders. The interior design is attractive, UConnect is intuitive, there’s available all-wheel drive, and the optional engine is a beastly 295-horsepower V6. In the third-quarter of 2014, the arrival of the new 200 resulted in a 115-percent year-over-year U.S. sales improvement. In calendar year 2015, Chrysler 200 sales jumped 52 percent to 177,889 units.

2017 Chrysler 200S AWD - Image: FCA

That exceeded the total achieved by two FCA midsize cars in 2014, but it was well below previous Sebring/200/Avenger totals. Moreover, it was evident that in order to create such volume, FCA had to resort to significant incentivization. True demand for the 200 was made more apparent when FCA pulled back on those incentives at the tail end of 2015 and in early 2016. Over a three-month period between December of last year and February of this year, Chrysler reported only 20,376 sales of the 200, a massive 56-percent downturn.

FAILURE
After increasing 200 volume in 16 consecutive months beginning in July 2014, FCA’s U.S. dealers began a streak — now at 13 months — of year-over-year decline. At the end of January, it was reported that the Sterling Heights assembly plant would be shut down for six weeks. But the inventory backlog refused to be cleared out. And the plant shutdown was extended.

FCA has said in the past that it wants its dealers to have a compact and midsize car. (The 200’s demise, you’ll recall, goes hand in hand with the disappearance of the Dodge Dart, production of which ended in September.) We’ve showed you how FCA could get together with Mazda on a rebadged Mazda 3.

For the time being, dealers do have Chrysler 200s to sell. Cars.com shows 15,000 new 200s in stock, including 5,634 MY2017 models. Automotive News said there were nearly 19,000 200s in stock heading into November — Chrysler reported only 2,849 U.S. 200 sales in November.

The Dodge Dart’s death enables a move of the Jeep Cherokee to the Dart’s Belvidere, Illinois, assembly plant. The Cherokee’s departure from Toledo, Ohio, will open up space for more Jeep Wrangler capacity. The Chrysler 200’s discontinuation means the next Ram pickup’s production can move to the Sterling Heights, Michigan, factory while the outgoing model can continue at the current Warren, Michigan, plant prior to a Jeep incursion there, as well.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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136 Comments on “The Chrysler 200 Is Truly, Officially Dead – FCA Has No Midsize Car...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    Fifteen years from now these things will be as common on the roads as Pontiac Sunfires are nowadays.

    Oh… wait…

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Did this 200 really sell well in its early days, or did Fiat just report that it sold well in its early days?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      If you put enough money on the hood and offer the rental fleets too good to refuse deals then almost any car will sell well (and keep in mind that the 200 wasn’t really awful, just not quite good enough).

      The problem is that you can only afford to lose money on each car for so long before you run out of cash. This is Chrysler’s problem in general (outside of Jeep) – they can sell vehicles if they mark them down enough but since their vehicles are not quite as good as the competition, their actual real world selling price after incentives (not the fictional MSRP) is significantly less than their competitors. For reasons of pride or hubris or marketing or whatever, they introduce their vehicles with stickers comparable to the competition but in the real world these optimistic prices cannot be maintained. They are going thru this process now with their new minivans (and it will get worse if/when they discontinue the Grand Caravan).

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think it sold incredibly well…to fleets. And that destroyed whatever equity the nameplate had.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Well, my FIL was at least one non-fleet buyer who happens to love his 200. Of course, he has nobody to really have to cart around in the back seat, so there is that.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Chrysler 200 – beautiful car, but just can’t cut it compared to almost everyone else’s similar-sized offering.

    See ya.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      This. In top trim it was a beautiful car, eye catching – definitely one of the best looking in the class. Especially compared to the boring Malibu, the over wrought Camry, the really boring Altima. It is up there with the Fusion and the Mazda6 in the looks department.

      But looks aren’t everything – it didn’t have the goods – no game – no sale – buh-bye.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      I always thought it was designed by a focus group going off of pictures of 10 other cars. Incredibly forgettable and anonymous.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    This kind of bums me out. I really do like the looks of this thing, and that V6 is best in class.

    On the upside, hopefully FCA deepens the Mazda connection and gives the 6 the HP it deserves.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      ” V6 is best in class.”

      Honda’s J35 would like a word with you…

      • 0 avatar
        EAF

        +1 on every displacement J-series – this is the V6 you want, timing belt and all.

        I have come across too many Pentastar failures to ever consider owning one outside of warranty. It is a beast of a performer when new, short term.

        • 0 avatar

          The Pentastar has issues with the head they seem to finally be resolved after 2014 models. That said I know a ton of people with earlier ones without an issue. The J series may last a bit longer on average but it really doesn’t feel near as nice as the Penta to drive.

          • 0 avatar
            Click REPLY to reload page

            Definition of “A ton of people”: about six or seven, at least at the local Walmart.

          • 0 avatar

            We have them as company vehicles where I work (town and countries). And yes among the group of kids my kids hang out with lots have penta star powered Journey’s Durango’s and Caravans. I also have several family members and fiends with Wranglers and GC’s. I would say I know of around 20 in my family, work motor pool and close friends. Small sample size yes, but so far none have failed. Looking at True delta and CR data for engine failures seems to indicate the same.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “A ton of people”

            OMG Yess!! There’s a ton of times I wanted to of said that!

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “Definition of “A ton of people”: about six or seven, at least at the local Walmart.”

            Six or seven? That many to make only a ton? (I’m not counting the weight of their scooters either.)

        • 0 avatar
          bryanska

          What kind of failures? Other than the head issue, with the extended warranty, I haven’t heard of any. I thought this engine was pretty darn reliable according to the data.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            see, Internet Car People are like FCC complainers. they see something on a forum or website somewhere about a single car having a particular problem, then all of a sudden the Internet Car Person goes around claiming he knows “hundreds” of people who have needed their engines replaced.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Other than the head issue…”

            “I thought this engine was pretty darn reliable according to the data.”

            The fact that they had such widespread issues that required the replacement of a head on these engines for 4 years out of 6 of production sort of precludes me from calling it “pretty darn reliable” at this point in time. I dunno, maybe I’m just crazy.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “The fact that they had such widespread issues that required the replacement of a head on these engines for 4 years out of 6 of production sort of precludes me from calling it “pretty darn reliable” at this point in time. I dunno, maybe I’m just crazy.”

            maybe *I’m* just crazy, but I decided to look up the reliability ratings for Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep vehicles, and practically NONE of the ones with or offering the Pentastar V6 have anything but “Excellent” or “Very Good” in the categories of “Engine Major” (which would be where cylinder head replacement falls) or “Engine Minor.” The Grand Cherokee has “Good” for 2012 and the Journey “Poor” for 2012 with no explanation whether it’s V6 or 4 cylinder.

            So who are these scores of people trashing cylinder heads on Pentastar engines? Do they exist? Or is this a “Some guy told me that his cousin’s roommate’s best friend is replacing hundreds of these things every week” and we’re expected to just take it at face value? I mean, the data is out there, why is nobody looking at it and just re-stating unsupported anecdotes as “facts?”

          • 0 avatar

            Most of the cylinder head problems were on Wranglers which have a different use cycle and A different exhaust design. The problems has persisted a few years but actual reliability data seems to show limited problems outside the first year Wranglers (there are a few others if you look.).

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/simple-poll-on-head-problem-with-pentastar-3-6l-193546-2.html

            http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f38/cylinder-4-misfire-pentastar-3-6l-v6-220938/

            http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f188/multiple-p0302-pentastar-cylinder-head-replacement-143010/

            http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f309/2012-wk2-3-6l-misfire-2-cylinder-1424242/

            http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f309/2012-jeep-grand-cherokee-overland-summit-engine-problem-1410896/

            You’re right that it’s not like they’re all crapping out, but Chrysler wouldn’t have offered that extended warranty just for giggles. I certainly wouldn’t entertain the notion of buying one if said warranty was not in place.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            but see, most/all of those linked are 2011s and 2012s. Far cry from the “4 out of 6 model years” you claimed.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            ’14 and even ’15(!) Wrangler Unlimiteds are not immune apparently:

            http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/2014-and-up-cylinder-head-problems-1730498.html

            Your are right, most of the cases seem ’11-’12 centric, but as the newer years get more miles the picture could very well change.

          • 0 avatar
            EAF

            In addition to the valve seat issue, I have also replaced rocker arms and cam phasers. Time consuming & labor intensive especially if transverse.

            I no longer wrench for a living but I do wrench for recreation, I only call things how I experience them; first-hand. I don’t have a particular affinity for any brand in particular, only a deep hatred for VAG.

            In your browser of choice, type “JimZ Chrysler” or “JimZ Diamler” or “JimZ Pentastar” or “JimZ Dodge.” You will witness this Chrysler fanboy post on every Mopar related site known to man. His advice on the Pentastar is BIASED to put it mildly.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          I’ll gladly take the Pentas chain over Hondas timing belt interference V6. Both engines have their faults, I just feel safer using hopefully lifetime chains.

          That being said the J35 may be the best engine ever used in a Saturn.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            ” lifetime chains.”

            Ask those Lucky Audi 3.2 folks or 4.2 folks, or GM LLT 3.6 folks. etc how those lifetime chains are working out for them ;)

            I’ll take an easily serviceable belt (ideally in a non-interference setting to be fair) over a 10-15 hour job to swap a stretched chain on some of these modern DOHC mills. Although you can certainly have your cake and eat it too, plenty of chain driven motors without said issues.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            At gte:

            I’m confident the Penta is engineered a bit less overly complex than Audis engine. That 3.2s the stuff of nightmares.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Complex or not, plenty of older simpler chain driven motors have had issues with premature wear, Mercedes I-6 and V8s come to mind. What exactly helps one live longer than others is a good question for a valvetrain engineer. The metallurgy of the chain itself and how it is spec’d out, perhaps in some way varying loads on the chains from one motor to another. One big factor regardless of motor is definitely oil quality. The chains rely on the oil for their lubrication, unlike timing belts which are supposed to stay dry (unless you have an oddball variant like the 1.6 Fiesta motor). Change the oil with adequate frequency and with adequate quality stuff and it’s a non-issue. Take your car sporadically to Jiffy Lube like some folks might their old 3800 OHV-powered steed or a Vulcan-powered Taurus, and you’re might just be staring down a chain replacement before 100k.

            For what it’s worth when my brother and I took the decade old 100k mile belt off of my ES’s 1MZ, it looked like it had a ton of life left in it yet. Same goes for the original 206k mile water pump we took off, I almost felt bad replacing it. Only a single idler had just a bit of slop in the bearing, and the tensioner gasket was cooked fairly brittle. On a non-interference motor like that, if you’re willing to carry your AAA card around, you can very well just ignore the belt change recommendation and continue to motor along. Of course, I’m way too much of a ‘by-the-book’ kind of guy to do something like that. Same goes for my 4Runner’s 5VZFE. It’s a stupid-thick belt, plenty of instances of motors safely going 200k+ miles without a change, and again it is non-interference in case it does let go.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Ze Germans seem uniquely qualified to engineer failure-prone timing chainsets. There’s of course the well-known Rube Goldberg-ian Audi V6/V8 (with the added bonus of being on the *back* of the engine) but the Cologne-engineered Ford 4.0 SOHC was known for lunching its timing chain guides/tensioners prematurely in its first few years of existence. One of which was- wait for it- on the back of the engine.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “I’ll take an easily serviceable belt (ideally in a non-interference setting to be fair) over a 10-15 hour job to swap a stretched chain on some of these modern DOHC mills.”

            I’ll just take an OHV design.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “Ze Germans seem uniquely qualified to engineer failure-prone timing chainsets”

            Speaking of Rube Goldberg, maybe more like Rübe Von Goldschmidt, there was that VW inline diesel with a timing belt on the front of the engine and another one on the rear… Not to bring up past since because this one is going back 35-40 years, just an example of unnecessarily complicated and difficult to maintain.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            The 4.0L SOHC variant of the Cologne is just the perfect example of bean-counters run a-muck.

            “We need a modern OHC motor, just take the old OHV 4.0 and stick some camshafts on top. Oh, and use the old camshaft location to run a jackshaft to the rear of the motor. Yep that’ll be a fine motor indeed.”

            Give me a 302 or even the OHV 4.0 any day over that nonsense in a jellybean explorer. Oh and it wasn’t just at the beginning of the run. My brother dealt with an ’04 Explorer with about 164k about a year ago that had a blown headgasket, and upon teardown found that the timing cassettes/guides were shot, and yes it was the rear timing chain set. In a seemingly weird solution, he ended up swapping the transmission out of the customer’s ’04 into a different ’04 he had conveniently sitting in his driveway that had lunched its transmission (cleaner truck overall with a healthy motor and no cat pee smell inside, PO had given up on it). Happy customer is what matters at the end of the day!

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            ““We need a modern OHC motor, just take the old OHV 4.0 and stick some camshafts on top. Oh, and use the old camshaft location to run a jackshaft to the rear of the motor. Yep that’ll be a fine motor indeed.””

            Funny thing is that formula worked GREAT for how Volvo evolved their red engines in the early-mid 1970s. They took the old OHV block, kept the bore spacing, crank, accessories, changed the camshaft to a jackshaft (distributor, fuel pump, oil pump), put an all new head with OHC on top, and tilted all of it slightly to one side. The only real bad thing you could say about either version of those engines was that they were heavy. Everything else was superb- long life, ease of maintenance, power, smoothness…

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Jim I think the defining thing with Ford was that the jackshaft was used to run the rear timing set, which handled one of the cylinder banks. The other was handled in front. Hence, when the chain guides/tensioners started to fall apart, if it was the rear one, it’s an engine out job to mess with it. I do like the kind of power they make, basically competitive with the 5.0L V8 they were installing in the same Explorers at the time. I’ve heard some stories how they even underrated the 4.0L SOHC’s hp rating to keep it from stepping on the 5.0L’s toes.

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    Should have made a Hellcat version, that would have kept them going for another 6 months.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I suppose this announcement could make them instant lot poison and thus fantastic used car buys. But I’d be genuinely spooked by the 9spd at this point. With the announcement of discontinuing, I assume Chrysler will pull most engieering resources from continued support for developing further software/programming revisions to help current owners excise their shifting demons.

    Copy pasting from other thread, my continued used car search, which has now expanded to helping two different people with fairly similar budgets but different requirements. I wish the TTAC forum were more utilized, from what I saw this morning it is populated by random bots and internet weirdos. Anyways:

    So coincidentally my fiance’s sister’s bf came to me for used car shopping help, so I’m doing double time now. His requirements: newer than ’03 and 4 doors do to Uber driving on the side (he’s finishing an undergrad degree and sticking around for a grad program). Budget is $4-4,500. This one is definitely tougher.

    Went and looked at a decent ’06 Fusion (SEL, 2.3L manual) that had what felt like a clutch on its last legs with a high takeup point, leaking valve cover gasket and worn swaybar links in front. The last two problems are pretty easy fixes. The clutch, not so much. Super tidy interior though, and all original bodywork and paint.

    Next was a clean (looking) ’03 Camry XLE V6 with only 117k miles that turned out to be a rebuilt mess. Guy claimed to have already bought it repaired (only owned it 4 months). But looking at another car in his driveway that looked like an in-progress bodywork job, he was full of it. Front end had been wrecked pretty good, and rebuilt with terrible panel fit and even worse paint work. Transmission shifted funny, and the seatbelt light kept blinking. Also the pass. airbag was most likely missing. Just a total mess and a waste of time.

    Finally we looked at an ’04 Accord LX sedan (4cyl, auto, 150k, $3900 asking). A bit rough around the edges: resprayed front and rear bumpers (but decently done), some rust along the edge of the hood, a dent on driver side pass door. But it had new Michelin tires on it, it has obviously been well maintained with synthetic oil changes, the ATF fluid looked/smelled good and the car drove great. Suspension was tight with no clunks, transmission shifted great, engine sounded and drove healthy. Interior was also very clean. We reached a tentative deal for $3800 but there was another person coming to look after us. They ended up buying it for the asking price on the spot so we’re back on the prowl.

    Back to the initial long-commute small budget first car scenario, how about this beast?

    http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/cto/5905777444.html

    Plenty of budget left over for snow tires.

    Going in the opposite direction size wise and MPG wise, there’s stuff like this Civic:
    http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/cto/5885243225.html

    T-belt done at 105k so that’s the most crucial thing. Aside from that there’s really not a whole lot wrong that can go with one of those in my experience, and parts are cheap+ easy to work on, easy to drive and park for a beginner.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      There will be support for the 9-speed because of the wide variety of Jeep products in which it will continue to be used. I suppose one of these with the V6 might be a reasonable value if cheap enough, although they’re not very likable.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @gtemnykh: Thought that the clutch would be well within the competency of yourself/your network.

      If not and I am not sure about their availability in your area, what about a i) Pontiac Vibe, ii) Kia Rondo, iii) Scion Xb? All have good interior room and proven reliability.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Well my “network” is an 8 hour drive away, and in both of these car searching cases, I’m trying to minimize my involvement in the “repair” side of things. I don’t have a readily available heated space to work out of, nor do I frankly have the time even if I was offered to be paid for said work. That’s part of what’s making this so hard. If my brother were close by then absolutely I’d just tell both of these friends to take their new craigslist-specials over to him for a thorough inspection and base-lining of all fluids/filters/wear parts.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Perfectly understandable. Time,space, lack of friends willing to spend time doing that type of work and increasingly arthritic fingers have limited me generally to topping up fluid and telling our mechanic what I think the problem might be.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Yeah I love to help people out with this sort of stuff and/or play armchair mechanic helping diagnose stuff. I can get underneath your car with a prybar, test drive it, etc and tell you your lower control arm bushings are shot. But do I want to spend my weekend installing it for you on the cheap in my driveway? Not so much. I really wish my brother lived close by, as it would be a nice additional stream of income for him, my friends getting some top notch work at incredibly reasonable prices, and I get to help someone out with their car troubles.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      I’m pretty sure Sergio’s previous announcements already cemented the 200’s “lot poison” status.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I saw the 200 in a Forbes article this weekend, about 13 cars to avoid. The equally dead Dart made the list, along with the Fiesta and Focus, among others.

    http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ehmk45egmdf/acura-rlx/#7856a3c01c66

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    The local BMW/MINI/Jag dealership has a used 2015 200 – V6 FWD version for sale. $18.9k with 33k miles on the clock. Looked like a good deal if that’s your kind of car.

    And then I just looked up the 200 on Autotrader – a 2016 with V6/AWD with 8700 miles for $17k! Holy depreciation!

  • avatar
    hifi

    It’s disappointing that FCA didn’t stick with this car and plan for a 2nd generation of it. When I’m at the rental counter, I will always choose a 200 over a Camry or Sonata. It’s not perfect, but it’s a solid car that doesn’t make me feel like I’m in a penalty box for not upgrading to a premium car.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Financially, this car is such a disaster that FCA would rather eat their investment in the 200s supply chain than amortize the fixed costs over a longer build cycle. It is truly [email protected] Even Mitsubishi still builds the Lancer…

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      There was nothing wrong with the car. it was doomed, however, by two things:

      1) FCA seemed utterly disinterested in telling anyone about it (and the Dart,) and

      2) every singe review from the typically worthless automotive “journalist” had to work in what a dud the Sebring was.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        It’s even simpler than that. The US family sedan market is so cut-throat that only the top cars make money (Camry, Accord, Fusion, maybe Altima). Every other brand is barely breaking even, or worse.

        These cars don’t sell overseas, so it’s not like they can spread the costs. The Fusion/Mondeo has the biggest non-US presence of the 4 listed. It’s an also-ran in Europe behind the 3 Series and Passat.

        The minivan market is exactly the same, except that FCA is in the group of winners.

        People say they will miss the 200, but they’ll buy the next-cheapest mid-size sedan instead.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Yea. It’s kind of like the cell phone market. These things are commodities with very minor differences between them. So the strongest brands will win. Huawei can and probably does build something better than the Iphone for 1/2 the price, but nobody cares. People want the best brand, even at a premium. And in this market, there isn’t even much of a premium.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Heavyhandle,
          What vehicles are not sold outside the US?

          I think you’ll find the Camry is most likely a more popular car outside of the US.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Big Al,

            I looked it up. The latest numbers I could find show fewer than 50,000 Camry sales outside of the US. That means that 90% of all Camrys are sold in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            HeavyHandle,
            How is it Australia exported 60 000 Camrys to the Emirates a year?

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            I thought Australia didn’t make cars any more. Is Toyota still producing down under?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            heavy handle,
            Toyota moved out. But one would assume Toyota would source them from somewhere.

            The Camry is sold in SE Asia as a premium product up against the likes of Honda Accord.

            Camry is a bastardised word from the Japanese meaning “Crown”. I always thought the Cressida was the Crown replacement.

            The Camry is also sold in the EU. The old Eastern Bloc countries seem to have taken to the Camry more so than their Western EU neighbours.

            I don’t don’t know how many Camry factories their are outside of the US.

      • 0 avatar
        krohde

        I don’t know that I’d say “disinterested” – they did launch it with perhaps the best-known Super Bowl commercial of the past 10 years – the Eminem “Imported from Detroit” one. But when FCA needed desperately to make a profit (still does) and didn’t have the budget to support all its brands, putting the marketing money behind Ram and Jeep, as the most profitable brands, made the most sense.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        JimZ, the Chrysler 200 suffers from bad product development decisions that hurt its ability to compete is a crowded vehicle category. The really big one is the decision to have a shorter wheelbase than its competition. The reason the competition has so much rear seat legroom is to provide length for insanely large rear-facing car seats, not to haul basketball players. The second major problem is that the lower trim level 4 cylinder version is gutless in a market segment where the base engine tends to be the high volume option. The third major problem is the delayed downshift due to the ZF 9-HP dog clutches. Better marketing can’t fix small and gutless.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          200 still fits a rear facing seat, but yea, this was it’s undoing.

          Not so much a decision they made than a decision made by their limited resources- the 200 is FCA’s Compact Wide platform literally stretched to its limit. In that context it’s pretty impressive and a decent endorsement of the platform; but at the end of the day this market segment 100% sells on space.

          I think more than anything though this car failed because of its brand and the way FCA allotted it to fleets. It’s a great, competitive car with an image problem.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          George that is the most succinct (and I think correct) synopsis of what happened. Add to that the whole transmission thing and the “stench” of Chrysler that basically dooms the resale of anything they sell and you’ve got a recipe for sales disaster.

          They should have just stuck with the 6 speed auto from their other fwd models! With a bit more wheelbase, we could have had a second coming of the LH sedans. My fiance’s grandfather’s ’04 Concorde had a fantastically comfortable rear seat (when the A/C worked that is).

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    Sad that it didn’t work out. They’re going out on a limb not having a midsize or compact car to sell at all. They may not be sales leaders as a segment, but they are still important.

    • 0 avatar
      sutherland555

      On the one hand, it kind of makes sense to just abandon the midsize (and compact) market. One is an arguably dying segment and the other is a razor slim margin segment. They don’t have the money to hack it in all segments so might as well focus on what’s profitable.

      On the other hand, relying on FIAT to make up the difference is nuts. Also, when gas prices go back up, they’re screwed.

      I don’t know what the answer is for them. It seems like they’ve painted themselves into a shrinking corner hoping another company bails them out.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        What’s truly needed in America, even more than a 5-cent cigar, is a spectrum of profitable yet poverty-priced CUVs of at least 62″ height.

        They would be the new Modes Ts.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Can I show you to your Rogue Select?

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “It’s a traaaaap!”

          • 0 avatar
            tankinbeans

            Isn’t that the last generation Rogue with an added chicklet?

            I’ve ridden in my friend’s and that drone is monstrous. However, according to him it’s the best winter vehicle EVAR.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            My brother’s wife has been pretty happy with her ’10 (before they became “Selects”). More ground clearance than what the current iteration of cute utes have, and a locking center viscous coupling, yeah they’re pretty adept at even deeper snow if you put some snow tires on them. She’s got 173k miles of some pretty non standard roads (some washboard and poorly graded gravel for multiple miles each day) and the car has held up really well considering. CVT is fine and still on its original fill (commute is mostly highway once she gets out of the boonies). It’s had swaybar bushings and both right and left front hub assemblies replaced. Those potholed gravel roads do ultimately take their toll I suppose. Yeah the 2.5 is not the nicest thing to listen to up hills, but the powertrain is fairly responsive (just not aurally pleasant). 30-32 mpg during her rural/highway commute, the tall CVT gearing pays off on level ground. The ride is surprisingly comfy and compliant. Her’s is an “S” so the interior is pretty bare bones, which highlights the cheap materials. Trunk space is pretty compromised, as is rear visibility. As a cheap runabout, you could do worse than an AWD Rogue Select. If you’re after refinement and room for the family and their things, look elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            My in-laws have a Rogue (pre-select). They love it and it has been problem free.

          • 0 avatar
            Click REPLY to reload page

            I wonder if the folks at Nissan were aware that “Select” is one grade below “Choice”, and two grades below “Prime”.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Good riddance.

    When a 2013 W Body Impala stomps over your product in every important measure and costs less, it’s destined for the grave.

  • avatar
    FOG

    FCA seems to be taking the lead by moving away from the dying sedan market. None of my last five cars have been sedans. I have no intention of purchasing one in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      Our world is a fragile place. The foundations undergirding our car-happy American way of life are rather delicate…

      If/when there is a shock to the system, fuel prices could skyrocket. Perhaps the govt will give us ration cards for fuel.

      Either way, those of us who can afford a new car in those circumstances probably will prize efficiency over ‘utility’, and sedans and “low roof” hatchbacks will be in demands.

      Who will still be making them?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Here’s an analysis of the 200’s sales stats that we might find interesting – the 200 versus the Camry, a car that’s also sold heavily to fleets.

    Total sales for 2015/16:
    200 – 199404
    Camry – 688126

    Number of 2015/16 models available for sale on Cars.com:
    200 – 7952
    Camry – 8932

    Either a) people were buying huge numbers of 200s and then trading them in a year or so (unlikely given the abysmal resale value), or b) FCA dumped an astonishing percentage of 200 production into fleets. That explains why 2016 sales of the 200 bombed – how do you sell a new one when there’s a certified used one with +/- 35,000 miles for $12,000 or so sitting a few feet away on the used lot?

    Either way, I can’t believe how badly FCA shat the bed with this and the Dart. Neither model was bad per se, but man…were they TRYING to fail?

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Should have tried exporting them to China. Advertise how popular they are in America, and charge a premium price accordingly.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “(Even FCA boss Sergio Marchionne has admitted to this fault, calling his own designers “dummies.”)”

    that’s just proof of what a huckster a**hole Marchionne is. There’s no way he didn’t see and drive the 200 multiple times before it launched. For him to get up there and act like he had no idea about it and to take a big wet s**t on his employees is beyond the pale. I can’t figure out why the automotive “journalists” continue to lick this guy’s boots.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      This was my impression as well.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Except…the 200 wasn’t bad at all to drive. Far from it.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        But he didn’t notice the (lack of) rear headroom and “four door coupe” styling until production had already started? I think that was Jim’s point.

        He told the designers to out Fusion the Fusion. Styling wise, they came closer than anyone else. They gave him a car styled the way he wanted, it bombed, and now its the designer’s fault?

        That’s like blaming a kid for saying the F word when his parents use it all the time in his presence. You get out what you put in.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Sergo is somewhat arrogant.

    And very well paid!

    Our govt saved Chrysler (good) and gave it to him to run, free of charge, no strings attached.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    I was always conflicted about this car. I drove both the v6 and the 4. I truly enjoyed the v6. It was great to drive and I like it more than than any similar sized car I drove in the last few years. I drove the 4 and no bueno.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Know when to fold ’em? Why no acknowledgement if not praise of Sergio’s wise abandonment of a dying segment long owned by GM and Toyonda?

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    I mean, look at that photo.

    Who the sam hill is going to pay nice, comfy CUV money for *that* sad hummock?

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    How could they engineer a decent car and have it sell squat? Is it all about the backseat? The reliability, styling, engines, all were pretty decent. Same level as the last gen Malibu, and those while no Camry didn’t bomb.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Yeah, but Chrysler dug themselves a pretty deep hole with the Sebring/1st-gen 200, the new one had to be really good in order to climb out of it…and it wasn’t. Granted it’s not terrible, but the tranny is an issue, the 4-pot is not great, the back seat is not up to par, and this is a market segment in decline. That’s a lot to overcome.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      “Decent” doesn’t cut it when you’re competing in a class full of far-more-than-decent cars. Even the Hyundai/Kia twins are better cars, that’s not to mention the segment leaders like Fusion and Accord.

      If they could stick Toyota Camry badges on it, it would be selling like ice water in hell. A less-than-stellar car is only acceptable (by the masses) if it says Toyota on it.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        “…that’s not to mention the segment leaders like Fusion.”

        MOAR OF THIS!!!

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “If they could stick Toyota Camry badges on it, it would be selling like ice water in hell. A less-than-stellar car is only acceptable (by the masses) if it says Toyota on it.”

        That’s the exact opposite of the situation at hand: The Camry despite it’s current shortcomings in interior materials, excels in precisely the ways the 200 fails. Decent outward visibility, excellent rear leg/headroom, large trunk with big opening, good reliability and resale track record. The mainstream 4cyl/6A powertrain is much livelier than the Chrysler 9A/4cyl model, and has a reputation for being trouble-free. So in ways that matter to regular ‘non-car’ people, the Camry has strengths where the 200 falls short.

        Chrysler went for the “make it cool and sexy at a cost of utility” and got bit hard.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    what does this do to Chrysler CAFE wise? Nobody seems to be buying their smaller options to the point they are leaving the segment. They seem very poorly positioned.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      They’re buying credits with profits from Jeep and Ram. Probably from Tesla. Tesla seems to do more business selling CAFE credits than they do selling cars.

      They also have the awful selling Fiat 500, 500L, etc which get good MPG, even if they are as common as hookers in church. I think the Renegade, Cherokee, and ComPatriot get decent MPG and sell pretty well.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    “FCA Has No Midsize Car”

    Maybe the new Rampage will be that.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    As I said before my 20-something co-worker bought a 2016 200 just six months ago. He seems to love it but his previous car was a 2.4L 2015 Dart.

    When he was showing me the 200 for the first time I commented: “I hope you got a good deal on it.” But didn’t say anything about how he is going to be hurting loan-wise if he tries to sell/trade it anytime soon. Hopefully he gets many good years out of it.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This strategy by FCA is a good preview of the future. No midsize sedan, but three closely overlapping and closely related small CUVs clustered around the same price point.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      This. And those CUVs become increasingly denuded by aero until we’re all back in ’49 Beetles of varying wheel bases.

      Well, maybe not as tall as that Beetle.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      It pains me to admit it, but you’re right.

      Many are calling them idiots for abandoning traditional smaller cars, but it will probably turn out to be the smart move in the long run. I’m not saying that’s a good thing.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’m starting to agree with those folks who say Mazda + More Sound Deadening = Dodge/Chrysler. That would likely be more successful than the Dart or 200.

    However I’d never want to see Sergio give Mazda an “aggressive hug” as he himself put it.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I always kind of thought the problem with the Chrysler 200 and previous generation Chevy Malibu was that TPTB were afraid to make the cars too big because then they’d compete with the Chrysler 300 and the Chevy Impala.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    More will join it in the automotive has been graveyard. The midsized sedan market is shrinking fast, and marginal entrants will die first.

    How much longer can the Mazda 6 and Buick Regal carry on? Both are better vehicles than the 200, but their sales volumes are hardly worth the effort.

  • avatar

    Chrysler is now the only major car maker without a midsize and small car lineup. Heck, even Kia has its own midsize and compact cars. Does this mean Chrysler is the world’s worst carmaker? We all know their quality is just about the worst.

    Sergio is a fool. It is not going to end well for this guy.

    • 0 avatar
      FOG

      So FCA, it hasn’t been Chrysler for quite some time now, does have vehicles in the sedan market. Sure the Chrysler brand is probably going away because sedans are going away as the profit margin for them has disappeared. Based on numerous reports posted in TTAC, FCA is making a smart move to get out of manufacturing unwanted vehicles only to sell them at a loss. Why isn’t Kia’s executive an idiot for not producing a decent pickup. Where is Hyundai’s off road beast? Knowing what makes money is how you stay in business. Jeep and Ram are rocking sales in the U.S. and Fiasa is the largest car company in Brazil. People that buy toy cars want to pay toy prices for them. FCA has decided to quit making toys.

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