QOTD: What Should Replace the Chrysler 200?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd what should replace the chrysler 200

You read it here this morning, but perhaps a friend already texted you the bad news. Maybe a few Facebook acquaintances or Twitter followers changed their avatar to reflect the loss.

Yes, the Chrysler 200, formerly the Chrysler Sebring, has shuffled off its mortal coil, leaving behind only memories and a hefty inventory of unsold models.

As TTAC’s Timothy Cain said in his heartfelt obituary, the 200’s passing is more than just the loss of a slow-selling model — it’s the death of FCA’s midsize car portfolio. Formerly numbering one (after the death of the barely facelifted Dodge Avenger), the warehouse’s tenant list now registers zero occupants.

Think back to any previous decade. Back then, could you picture a day when the Chrysler stable contained just two models? That’s where we’re at: an aging rear-wheel-drive sedan and a minivan are the only things keeping Chrysler from joining Plymouth, Eagle, and DeSoto in the cold, cold ground.

Chrysler needs a lower-rung model, and the 200 — for all of its improvement in appearance and interior furnishings — wasn’t it. Maybe it was the bad taste in consumers’ mouths left over from the Sebring, the lack of name recognition, the poltergeist-plagued nine-speed automatic, or the cramped rear quarters. Either way, so very few takers. Sad!

The question now is: what does FCA do? After getting burned by the buying public, does it spend precious cash rekindling the same fire at the risk of having fickle consumers snuff it out again? Does it plead and beg another automaker to step up and offer one of its own for a badge-engineered placeholder? (So far, that strategy hasn’t worked, at least not for the departed Dodge Dart.)

Does Chrysler, or FCA for that matter, need a midsize sedan? It’s a shrinking segment, but Ford and Toyota and Chevrolet and Honda still feel there’s a need. Those automakers and others haven’t thrown in the towel, turned off the money taps and said so long to the segment. Can FCA do better, or is FCA better off having Jeep carry the family-hauling weight?

We’re turning this dilemma over to you, Best and Brightest. If you found yourself in Sergio Marchionne’s sweater, what would you do with the gap left by the Chrysler 200?

[Image: Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles]

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2 of 207 comments
  • Daniel J Daniel J on Dec 06, 2016

    sarcasm They need a wagon. They have no wagon, so I won't even consider them. And it has to be AWD, V6, and stick. /sarcasm.

  • Billchrests Billchrests on Dec 06, 2016

    Chrysler should save precious development money for more profitable products. If dealers have to have a mid-size sedan, get something rebadge by Mitsibushi. Focus on Trucks and Jeeps.

  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys for that money, it had better be built by people listening to ABBA
  • Abrar Very easy and understanding explanation about brake paint
  • MaintenanceCosts We need cheaper batteries. This is a difficult proposition at $50k base/$60k as tested but would be pretty compelling at $40k base/$50k as tested.
  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?