By on December 5, 2016

2016 Chrysler 200C

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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207 Comments on “QOTD: What Should Replace the Chrysler 200?...”


  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Fire up the old 200/Avenger lines, the ones I see running around the ghetto now are starting to look a bit ogre. They can only take so much DUI curb hopping and hit and runs, you know.

    But seriously, they had their niche as accessible transportation. Reasonably roomy, simple and reliable enough, sort of “cool” looking in certain trims. Hilariously quick in Pentastar guise. I suppose the 200s will take their place one way or another just by way of low resale.

    A genuine attempt at reincarnating the “cab forward” mentality of maximizing interior room and getting cool styling as a result would be refreshing. Rather than cool styling being the leading motivator and utility becoming a victim as a result.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      The Journey fills that niche.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      No racism there…

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        No, only yours. Care to tell us what exactly was racist about my statement?

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          probably the “ghetto” part. though there is a grain of truth to it since FCA and Nissan have been the biggest sellers to sub-prime customers.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            For what it’s worth, the “ghetto” around here is pretty mixed, racially speaking (regardless of what Bernie said about white people not knowing about any of that). But the mentality and behavior is about the same. Most Avengers/Sebrings/200s have lost their hubcaps (and sometimes are rolling on space saver spares), have acquired limo tint and copious amounts of body damage (sometimes half-repaired with unpainted replacement bumper covers). All driven incredibly haphazardly, there’s a good chance the driver is under the influence of one or more substances. These Chryslers picked up right where GM J and N bodies left off.

        • 0 avatar
          ciscokidinsf

          Sure I guess in @gtemnykh world, The vehicles he sees living in the ‘Ghetto’ looking ogre automatically means those drivers have DUI and Hits and Runs (which I imagine NO ONE does that in his neighborhood) Why when you see a damaged car, do you assume its DUIs? Or Hit and Runs? But yes, nothing racist here, just a lot of condescending statements from seeing damaged vehicles at ‘the ghetto;.

          I guess next time I see your car with a dent, in a non-ghetto neighborhood, I’ll assume you are a rich cocaine addict who can’t control himself and crashes his vehicle… would that be fair?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            ciscokid, Jalopnik is thataway->

            For what it’s worth, I myself lived in this very locale and write what I observed. Yes cars would hit stuff (and get hit while parked, that was a big one). Friday nights, stay the hell off the road as there were a lot of drunk and high people that had cashed their checks (conveniently right next to the liquor store) and indulged. I’d always smell weed coming from cars at traffic lights coming home from work. Some fun highlights: I’ve seen a drug addled prostitute get tased on the sidewalk at 6:30am driving to work. I had various schizophrenic homeless people wandering down the sidewalk past our house screaming at the top of their lungs (turns out there was a methadone clinic not far awa). Shootings at the gas station about once a month. A house at the end of the block that was like a drug-drivethru in the middle of the day (when normal people are working). A cop that lived down the street from us got his house shot up by a guy out on parole about a month after we moved out, saw it on the news. Like I said above, the neighborhood was fairly mixed working class white/black with some welfare class white/black mixed in.

            Glad to have moved out, but we still go back there to go to church.

            Go virtue signal somewhere else (by the way, Trump won).

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Shux, gtem… NEVER apologize for hating ghetto! It’s scum, filth and danger NOT of our making.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Do you just go around looking to be offended by something?

            You are being obtuce. Clearly anyone can see he was taking about the types of people who mistreat their vehicles. Citing examples for comical effect isn’t worth your rant.

            I do see these types of cars in far worse condition than my decades old Taurus. They didn’t get that way by being owned by well-off, responsible people who pampered them like a fully restored ’57 Chevy.

            By the way, this isn’t @twitter

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “You are being obtuce”,
            a word that rhymes with puce.
            How often do you get to write puce
            or see someone misspell obtuse?

      • 0 avatar
        SirRaoulDuke

        Reality is not a 70s Blaxploitation flick. The ghetto has all races.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Yes, we formerly upright, backbone-of-America whites have shown an astonishing talent for becoming trash in under two post-abandonment generations.

          I’d say we’re ready for prime time and that’s not just racial pride talking; it’s backed by a lifetime of comparative observation and analysis.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I should mention I actually have a few friends with Avengers, in rare non-ruined condition. They’re sisters, daughters of 1st gen Vietnamese immigrants (their dad was a POW in a NVA camp for 6 years, crazy stuff, now works in a factory in Ft Wayne). Anyhow the dad bought his med-school bound daughters a pair of new Avengers. One sister lived with us a for month while doing a rotation for med school down in Indy, I don’t think she realized just what kind of area she was going to be in. I escorted her to the ATM once to get cash after hours, a strangely lonely Chase bank in a pretty bombed out area on the East side (14th and Arlington, across from the boarded up Marco’s Pizza). Drove out there in her black Avenger (mid trim, 4cyl), I kept a watchful eye on the smashed up ex-cop crown vic idling in the next parking lot over that was facing us, my little Taurus .380 auto always with me for such errand running. It all felt quite fitting to be driving around in that Avenger, it was a bit of camo in a way. Another time I picked up Domino’s on that strip, the super stoned kid behind the counter told me to “stay safe” rather than any sort of usual “have a nice day.” Hopefully I didn’t romanticize it too much :p

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Oh, boy… you’re giving me flashbacks. And not about the NVA; I just missed that trip.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            The nearest hardware store was out that way as well. What looks like a boarded up old movie theatre that shares strip mall space with a “Pregnancy options” center and check cashing place is actually an ACE Hardware, the entrance is around the back. Super helpful folks there, the older black gentleman helping me piece together a new drain setup for our rental’s kitchen sink was super upbeat and called me “brotha.” He also made a big fuss about the younger black guy that came in the store to buy something, telling him “It’s nice ta see a young brotha up doin’ somethin’ this time ah the mo-nin!” I wish I was making this stuff up. There’s definitely some good, very warm people just making do in those areas, and I’m glad to have met them.

          • 0 avatar
            FuzzyPlushroom

            I was bored enough to check out the block on Google Maps. Hey, sweet Mk1 Jetta coupe!

            goo.gl/maps/sKFV3NN5if62

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “I wish I was making this stuff up.”

            You’re taking me back 40 years. So many good, kind people living an undeserved hell but somehow still keeping their personal pride and integrity.

            I will now scuttle back into my hatin’, denigratin’ survival pod. Only affluent ignorati can dream of any humanly possible solution to de ghet-to.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Fuzzy yeah that thing looks clean!

            the hardware store:
            https://goo.gl/maps/QECjE4gTVPL2

            Funny how much easier it is to find what you need and a person to give you good advice at these cramped old stores isn’t it?

            Old school Chinese joint on the same block “Oriental Inn,” super nice lady runs it, never did get around to ordering from the ‘secret’ menu:
            https://goo.gl/maps/8Hi5ti1ZLb22

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            That posting alone makes me thankful that with the exception of the USA all other 1st world nations have gun control regulations.

            Never have and hopefully never would require a firearm to protect myself while going about the rituals of daily life in a Canadian city.

          • 0 avatar
            Whatnext

            Ah America! I hope Nigel Farage knows what he’s getting into.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “That posting alone makes me thankful that with the exception of the USA all other 1st world nations have gun control regulations.”

            When I lived out there, I thanked my lucky stars I had my lifetime CCW permit. The situation on the ground is that the bad guys have guns. I was happy to have an ‘equalizer.’ Doubly so when I was taking my fiance out somewhere.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          If we are going to get all technical, doesn’t the origin of the ghetto apply to areas that the Jews were restricted to? Again, from a purely historical perspective I doubt there were any 200’s in the Warsaw ghetto.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Quite right!

            “The term was originally used in Venice to describe the part of the city to which Jews were restricted and segregated.” -Wiki

            So, since the term’s usage traces back to at least the 16th Century, no 200s and likely no purple drank, either, as I don’t think carbonated beverages were as yet a widespread thing.

            But they may have had play auntays.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Final little “Eastside anecdote”

            We took our priest out to dinner this summer, he picked the spot, an Italian joint down in Beech Grove. Picture the scene: I’m bombing down decrepit New York St in my jacked up and tinted 4Runner with a 75 year old catholic priest riding shotgun, through an area locals call “The Swamp.” We pull over to let a few IMPD cruisers blast by, lights blazing. We see all the usual things on the drive down: boarded up store fronts, folks out walking their pitbulls, etc. I just had to pause and think to myself how the scene sounds like the setup of some kind of joke: “a catholic priest and a Russian guy are driving through the ghetto…”

            Dinner was delicious and I learned that Steve McQueen was baptized at our church(!)

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Crossovers. Nice, cushy, luxurious crossovers, in sizes compact, medium, and three row.

    • 0 avatar
      993cc

      I don’t care where in the Chrysler/Fiat/Jeep lineup they put it, but they have to fit the Panda 4×4 in somewhere. Since the Suzuki SX4 left, there’s been no small 4×4 available in North America. Seems a shame for them to ignore an unfilled niche they already have a product for.

      As for a Cushy, Luxurious Crossover (CLCUV?) how about this?

      http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/alfa-romeo/stelvio-2017/?section=history

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      ^^This

    • 0 avatar
      Speed3

      Yes, definitely MOAR crossovers! I would love to see Fiat bring the Panda over. Bring over the Tipo and see if it does any better than the Dodge Dart. Plus those Fiat dealers really do need new product.

      To be honest, is there really any purpose for the Chrysler brand now?

      In non NA markets, Fiat should rebadge the next-gen 300 and the Pacifica as Fiats. I would support them phasing out the Chrysler brand entirely in the US too if they aim to make Fiat closer to a full-line portfolio, not too far from VW.

      They should reorganize like this:

      RAM: Trucks and Commercial Vans

      Jeep: SUVs, Crossovers, and Wrangler Truck

      Dodge: RWD, Muscle, and Sports Cars

      Fiat: Compact, affordable, cars and crossovers (and maybe minivan too)

      Alfa Romeo: BMW competitor

      Maserati: Mercedes Benz/Bentley competitor

      See, no need for Chrysler. On a global perspective, it makes much more sense to invest in the Fiat brand than Chrysler. Add more crossovers and larger vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        motormouth

        Sounds logical, but no one has ever accused the auto industry of being overly logical.

        I reckon a quick rebadge/upgrade of a Grand Cherokee could work for Chrysler. At least put something in the showroom.

        As it is, kill the 300 and Dodge up the Pacifica, you’ve erased the Chrysler brand to where in 50 years, kids will ask why the New York skyscraper was ever called that.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    RWD 2 and 4 door on the Giulia platform.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Why throw good money after bad? Chrysler should specialize in Jeeps, Trucks, Mini-vans and Hellcats.

    Producing and selling family passenger sedans should fall to their European cousins.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      It’s pretty tough to meet CAFE with that plan, but maybe with Trump, economy requirements will be scrapped. Those who hate government intrusion will be happy to bail out the automakers with billions in tax money after the next economic crash or whenever OPEC gets its act together and turns off the spigot.

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        Dream on about OPEC ever controlling oil prices like they once did. With the discovery of oil shale finds; especially the recent one in West Texas; they have lost forever their market share. And Saudi Arabia has learned time and again when they turn down the spigot to raise oil prices, they only lose more market share; they are in a better position to ride oil prices down and put competition like pesky Iran and Russia out of business.

      • 0 avatar
        motormouth

        CAFE could be worked out across the wider FCA.

  • avatar
    THE_F0nz

    I really do love the look of it and I liked them even playing off the success of the 300.

    I think a small SUV would fill the void really. For now. There is no sense diving in when the marketplace is in flux like this.

    When they decide to, they need an X-factor that will get people to take a chance on something different. High risk, but may be necessary now.

    Full time all wheel drive. Major safety features. larger size than competitors. Same pentastar with a far better transmission.

    Call the AWD system something new, and preach about the technology and safety until people actually give it a shot and it sticks.

    In short: Split the difference between Audi and Subaru, while offering close-to-audi quality without the up-charge.

    Who knows. Crazier things have happened.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    Chrysler LeBaron based on the Mazda6.

  • avatar
    ajla

    LeBaron.

    ChryslerCo abandoned the convertible and the car gods made them pay.

  • avatar
    07NodnarB

    I dont know…I really really do not know.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    The Ford Fusion or Honda Accord since that is what responsible journalism lauded in favor of sh1tting all over FCA’s first legitimate attempt at a midsized FWD sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Chrysler LeBaron, by Honda

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      To be fair, the 200 wasn’t a bad car. Even the previous Sebring-bodied one and its Avenger counterpart weren’t bad. The styling is actually excellent, and the interior gives off the impression that it’s a more-expensive car than it is. However, for me, the 200 just has too many flaws, like:

      -The cramped rear seat, because it’s got less room than every other “mid-sized” sedan save for the Buick Regal
      -The astronomical depreciation if purchased new
      -The stigma of owning a car that’s a fleet queen, from a brand that is fodder for credit-challenged people and people looking to “floss” on a budget, and
      -The herky-jerky 9-speed

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        I agree. The 200 was a decent car. Like you mentioned, it had some shortcomings. In retrospect, it never had a chance.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        2/5 of your concerns were fueled by BS opinion. The transmission has been fixed from what I’ve heard and is part of the horrid launch issues.

        The cramped back seat is the only thing I can see being a miss by design, which inevitably should drive sales if the OEM has their sh1t together.

        It would have been wise to abort this thing in the design studio in favor of pumping out more horrible Jeeps that have no merit to purchase what-so-ever. YES PLEASE I WANT TO BUY THE CAR WITH PANEL GAPS, OIL CANNING, HORRIBLE NVH THAT I CAN F*CK MY SISTERCOUSIN IN.

        HERE YOU GO SERGIO, WE’RE GONNA NAME THIS ABORTED BABY DESIGN STUDIO FETUS THE LEBARON. BARON LIKE YOUR LAST NIGHT’S HOOKER’S OVARIES MOTHERF*CKER

        John Q Public has spoken. We all deserve to be driven off the cliff like the dumb buffalo we are… herded by a sh1tty f*cking Jeep Wrangler.
        F*ck everybody.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Eeee!

          There’s only one of this guy.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Right on.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          Panel gaps that even John Holmes could enjoy. It’s a Jeep Thing.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheeljack

          Having had a loaded 200c lease for 2 years, and an early-build car, I can say the transmission shifted fine once it learned my driving style, which is fairly aggressive. Every once in a while you could occasionally catch the transmission in a brain fart, but name me a transmission that can’t be confused on occasion short of a manual.

          I even had the much-maligned 2.4L engine (the only non-loaded aspect – I’ve got a long commute, so sue me) and it was perfectly fine. The low 1st gear allowed it to launch with more authority than a lighter Dart with the same engine, and it ended up returning 34 mpg on highway trips.

          Yes, I know an Accord would get better mileage, but guess what? The Accord, like all Honda products, is a noisy crapcan on the highway thanks to Honda’s lack of sound deadening and thin sheetmetal/carpet/etc. My car was dead silent on the highway and supremely comfortable, and that was worth a few MPG penalty to me. I take two major road trips a year that are 1,300 there and back, so having something comfortable and serene is high on my priority list.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        *shrug* as I said elsewhere, I spent a weekend driving a V6/9HP 200C, and I experienced neither herks nor jerks. and I was *looking* for them too.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…is FCA better off having Jeep carry the family-hauling weight?”

    They are.

    It seems that some mfrs specialize in certain vehicles. Ford and GM left the minivan market years ago, ceding that market to FCA, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Kia.

    Trucks? The ‘imports’ are barely alive, compared to the Big 3.

    Very few brands are full-line. It’s time for FCA to accept that it’s a waste of time for them to produce a mid-size car.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      So lifted Jeep sedan? Jeep Patriot can stay around as a sedan thing. Hooray!

      • 0 avatar
        bryanska

        Subaru does lifted sedans with similiar reliability to the 200, and they’re making as many as they can. Why not bring back the AMC Eagle?

        • 0 avatar
          gottacook

          Subaru’s “lifted” cars these days all have tailgates. Their last “lifted” sedan, the Indiana-produced Outback sedan, wasn’t very successful and hasn’t been offered since 2007.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Yep. They’re all wagons on high heels with AWD. You could turn a Renegade into a Dart AWD wagon, and a Cherokee into a Dodge Polara AWD wagon with just a bit more comfort/extras than the Jeep versions, and cover the compact and midsize classes for cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Trucks? The ‘imports’ are barely alive, compared to the Big 3.”

      with the exception of the Tacoma. and jury’s still out on the Titan XD.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Truck market share (full- and mid-size), month of November 2016:

        Ford = 32%
        GM = 34%
        RAM = 17%

        So the Big 3 have 83% of the market.

        Toyota = 11%
        Nissan = 4%
        Honda = 2%

        So I’ll give you that Toyota’s share isn’t bad, really, considering the strength of the incumbents.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Given my age (60+), I’m probably not qualified to opine on this. But, since you asked . . . One benefit of age is that you learn to appreciate the transitory nature of most things. In the car business, the SUV craze won’t continue forever . . . because it won’t. Just like tailfins didn’t continue forever, or mini-vans. My prediction is that hot cars won’t continue forever, because too few people have the opportunity to use them in a way that’s enjoyable (i.e. other than as grocery-getters and commute-to-work transportation). The darty little British sportscar of the 1950s and 1960s was perfectly suited to the British roads of the time — which consisted primarily of twisting, narrow two-lanes. On the Interstates, their vices were soon manifest and their virtues were left unexploited.
    Another thing that won’t continue forever is cheap fuel. When I started driving in the mid-1960s, it was common to ask the gasoline station attendant to give you a “dollar’s worth,” if you weren’t feeling flush with cash at the moment. That got you about 3 gallons of gas. I believe the “form factor” of the car is inherently more efficient than that of the SUV, regardless of vehicle weight. A Ford Fusion gets better fuel economy than a Ford Edge, for that reason. So, at some point, people will want to replace their SUVs with cars (and most people do not need additional ground clearance offered by some SUVs).

    So, my personal recommendation to Chrysler is to develop a hybrid car, which drives two of its wheels with electric motors in the manner of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. This gives the benefit of AWD for getting out of non-sticky situations (which otherwise is unnecessary), added fuel economy and can be accommodated in a sedan form factor. The assist from the electric motors will give brisk acceleration from 0-40 (which is what most people want).

    Hell, the gas engine might even be in the back, with the e-motors driving the front wheels and the battery back underneath the front seats, with the fuel tank under the rear seats. As VW demonstrated, a boxer 4 works fine as a rear-engine RWD. It’s when you scale up to six cylinders in the rear that problems begin (Corvair, Porsche 911). Not only is the six-cylinder engine heavier, it’s longer, placing more weight farther behind the rear axle, and a transverse-mount inline 4 might actually have even less of a turning moment, by being closer to the rear axle.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Yes, things change, but sometimes it takes quite a while. Look at the sedans sold in the U. S. from the mid 30’s until 1949, they were proto – crossover in shape. Now, some 65 years later, passenger cars are returning to the same basic shape as they did before the second world war.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        “Now, some 65 years later, passenger cars are returning to the same basic shape as they did before the second world war.”

        Don’t forget the rising ride height which makes sense since our roads and infrastructure are also reverting to their pre-WWII state.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      ” I believe the “form factor” of the car is inherently more efficient than that of the SUV, regardless of vehicle weight. A Ford Fusion gets better fuel economy than a Ford Edge, for that reason.”

      It’s funny that you say that, because we have one of each and it’s not exactly true. Our 2014 Edge has the 3.5L V6 and averages about 24mpg. Our 2017 Fusion with the 2.0 turbo and AWD comes in closer to 21mpg. It’s mind-boggling to me, as they have very similar usage profiles. I keep thinking that if they could have shoe-horned that 3.5L into the fusion then it would be almost as powerful as the Sport and (presumably) get better fuel economy than the 2.0 turbo.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Don’t you only have to replace something that’s worked? Nothing has or will for FCA in competition with Toyonda or even GM.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Probably some variety of right-sized crossover. Maybe a Murano / Edge competitor, a softer-sprung and FWD counterpart to the rugged Grand Cherokee. Ditch the 9-speed, too. This seems like a bad idea because Jeep is the SUV brand…but Jaguar / Land Rover has seen quite a bit of success with the F-Pace, even though Land Rover is supposed to be the “SUV brand” within that particular conglomerate.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Here’s a great opportunity to build a partnership with a nice reputable (by comparison) Chinese auto manufacturer.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    CUSW has been an utter failure for sedans, if there is going to be a replacement it needs to be based on the Small family. I can see Chrysler going with just two sedans for a while, but it needs to be a 100, not a 200. The 200 was frankly too small to be a midsize and too big to be a compact. Make a clear compact, and leave the LX in place. Steer midsize shoppers to the profitable Compass and Cherokee, which is probably what they came in to look at anyway. Compact car shoppers that don’t want to consider the Renegade want a legitimate compact, not a tweener like the Dart and 200.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Yeah, it was kind of a “tweener” mid-sized car. Automakers kind of damn themselves when they make mid-sized cars that aren’t actually mid-sized by contemporary standards. Other tweeners include:

      Saab 9-3
      Buick Regal
      2013-2015 Chevy Malibu (Classic for 2016 onward)
      2003-2008 and 2009-2013 Cadillac CTS
      Suzuki Kizashi (I never thought that one was mid-sized to begin with, but evidently other people did)

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      CUSW was a failure because consumers are f*cking dumb. Look upon ye works and weep!

      FCA could have dropped anything onto the consumer’s lap and it wouldn’t have made a difference. The consumer was getting a multi-link suspension at the cost of a corolla. Creature comforts and NVH engineering that they didn’t deserve, nor were shopping for.

      This vehicle will go down in history as the best unloved sedan ever. Honestly…. who gives a f*ck about what the rear passenger thinks when they are busy mashing their muddy shoes on your ceiling because they are f*cking 7?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I’m with you Tres. The UF 200 is a good car at a good value. Every time I get into a rental Sonata or Altima I’m reminded of that. Those cars are proof that you don’t need to be a good car in this segment to sell a lot of copies. If the 200 would have stuck around for another generation, more people might have noticed, like Ford eventually achieved with the Fusion.

        Unfortunately in a shrinking low margin segment being further cramped on by CAFE, it just didn’t make sense when FCA didn’t want to add capacity but had higher margin things to focus on.

        I’ve ridden in the back seat of a new 200, and I didn’t find it uncomfortable. I’m 6’2″ and 200lbs. I don’t believe that was the car’s detriment. The detriment was a car that was nicer than the price the brand on the grille could command.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          Exactly. Damned sheetmetal on the beast was sexy. The plant painted them well. The interiors were what most craftsmanship groups strive for.

          People were on a witch hunt and they ended up burning a Jessica Alba at the stake.

          Over engineered and under appreciated.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          The backseat of the 200 had the same issue as the backseat of the 2013 Malibu. It was just the excuse to shoot the car down in flames. GM has more resources to weather the storm. Sad to see the car go, I wish my old car was in worse condition so I had an excuse.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            The Malibu also didn’t have Mary Barra publicly insulting its designers.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Consumer: I have a hard time bending over the low roof to wedge my kid/car seat into the back of this tight rear seating area, and have a hard time fitting the stroller through the mail slot trunk.

            TTAC conspiracy theorists: That’s an EXCUSE MAN! You just don’t want to give it a fair shake!

            I think in loaded 200C form these are appealing cars for certain people, but you need to understand that in the midsize battle, the “midgrade” car (4cyl, one trim up from base) needs to be a contender. A portly 200 with the 4cyl motor and unremarkable base interior is not a contender.

            The old Intrepid could sell on a super roomy interior to counter whatever downsides (including perceived quality) it may have had. The 200 doesn’t even have that old American “biggest car for the $” factor any more.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            gtemnykh,
            I rarely remember removing or installing my ex’s kid’s car seat in her Hyundai more than one time in a 1.5 year relationsh1t.

            That excuse is lame as f*ck.

            I wouldn’t have dumped her had her rich Jewish dad sprung on a 200C instead of her Korean penalty box… or if she wasn’t such a c*nt.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Not the seat itself but the kid. If you have a wide and tall door opening (not low roof) and more distance to the front seat back, is it not easier to get a wriggling, crying kid back there?

            I guess I’m about to find out myself here in a year or so :O

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            OH, I can definitely see that. Her kid was mobile & >6 yrs. I wouldn’t have a small sedan with a new born. I’d be buying a Flex / MkT or 5 door hatch. Or just throw the kid in the back of the gf’s El Camino with my empty Hamms cans

            Edit: congratulations! :)

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Oh congratulations are quite premature at this point, but I will say that a plan/timeline is set in place :p

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Good luck with that! Let us know when it happens.

            The first two weeks are the hardest. (I had forgotten, but now I remember vividly, because my second kid is six days old today.)

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Either way, I’m glad you’re reproducing. Your comment history gives me warm fuzzies that some good genes are going to be passed on. But yes, keep us all posted especially on car integration with a kid. Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to knock a kid out.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I’m kind of worried about my future children being raised around Russian techno-pop and raspy bard music… my dad’s Vysotksy cassette tapes are etched into my brain forever:
            https://youtu.be/NeqdUN_-vnA?t=664

            Will they grow up to be embarrassed by my *occasional* wearing of Adidas track suits? (only sometimes on the weekends guys, I swear)

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “The first two weeks are the hardest.”

            Just like joint replacement!

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            @JimZ: true dat. At least Mary has the brains not to sh!t in her own pool…

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Not the seat itself but the kid. If you have a wide and tall door opening (not low roof) and more distance to the front seat back, is it not easier to get a wriggling, crying kid back there?”

            It’s not actually a big deal with this car in practice. Then again, I put my kids in the back of a Challenger every day for a year and didn’t think that was a big deal.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        Right on Tres. I had both a manual trans Dart and 200 and they were both good cars that never stranded me or required any major repairs during the term of my lease. The Dart was darn fun to drive too with a willing and eager chassis and decently powerful brakes.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        I disagree.

        Forget the styling–after renting one, I found the 200 to be a functionally inferior car in several critical areas:

        1. Visibility. Sight lines on that sleek greenhouse do suffer quite a bit.
        2. Rear seat and access: Sure, this would have been OK in 2001. But today, the 200’s competitors all have bloated rear seat room. Buyers care about that.
        3. Transmission. Granted, my car was a rental with 10k miles on it and loved to clunk in parking garages, but a transmission issue as widespread and noticeable as this WILL turn off a lot of buyers.

        It looks great and I would have one, if it had a better transmission, if I could only afford one new car, if I were forced at gunpoint to buy an automatic non-luxury midsize sedan, if there weren’t sportier alternatives with similar cabin space. That’s four too many “if”s and I suspect that’s the case with the rest of the midsize market as well.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I think it is a rhetorical question at this point.

    Chrysler needs a two-row CUV – but that is the realm of Jeep, and Jeep has laid on the luxury so you can’t do a GMC versus Chevrolet versus Buick model here in the way they segmented (at least today).

    Fullsize cars are dead, 4-door rear wheel drive non-luxury cars are dead, Chrysler has one product – Pacifica. That’s it.

    I see zero reason for Chrysler and Dodge to exist anymore. The LX cars have had a good run, the platform has had numerous upgrades to stay with the times (like the aged Lambda triplets at GM have too) but this is at its roots a 14 year old platform, based on a two-generations ago Mercedes E-class chassis.

    The real question seems to be, which has more brand equity, Dodge or Chrysler – no reason to have both. Zilch. The only thing in the FCA portfolio of value is Jeep.

    What the Americans started, the Germans then drove further into the ground, and the Italians are finishing the job.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Chrysler needs a two-row CUV”

      The marque will be bankrupt by the time this happens.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “The only thing in the FCA portfolio of value is Jeep.”

      Hey, the thing they put the Cummins into has some brand equity!

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      ” but this is at its roots a 14 year old platform,”

      if it’s been modified and upgraded, then it’s not 14 years old. by your standards, the Accord and Camry are riding 30+ year old platforms.

      “based on a two-generations ago Mercedes E-class chassis.”

      NO IT GODDAMN ISN’T

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “if it’s been modified and upgraded, then it’s not 14 years old. by your standards, the Accord and Camry are riding 30+ year old platforms.”

        Explain. As best as I’m aware, the Camry’s “K” platform debuted in 2000 underpinning the 1g Highlander.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Something can be significantly revised or redesigned yet still be an evolution of an earlier product. E.g. The 5.0 Coyote in the Mustang was “all new” in the sense that it didn’t share many parts other than nuts and bolts with the 4.6, but it wasn’t a clean-sheet design. They started with the aluminum-block 4.6 and changed what they needed to; hell, the 5.0 is still considered part of the Modular engine family.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        I was going to chime in JimZ, but you beat me to it. The L-cars are not just rehashed E-class bits. I wish that BS meme would die already.

        Having just bought a 2016 Challenger about 2 months ago, what I can say is that the L-car chassis/platform gives up nothing to anyone. The car rides and handles extremely well, and it is smooth as silk. Powertrain and road vibrations are well isolated without cutting off the good sensations that you want. The engineers who worked on this car did a superb job.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I will echo Wheeljack’s sentiments, on my brief foray into used late model fullsizer test driving, the ’15 Charger SXT impressed the most in terms of chassis+suspension tuning, and the 3.6+8A combination is superb. It’s almost enough to make a Toyota-phile switch things up!

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The platform is quite good.
            The fit and finish is quite bad.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I was holding my tongue to not ruin the mood haha, the cloth on the seats was kind of terrible, and the trunk trim was dangling down (dealer techs tearing into it for warranty work maybe?), the car had 15k miles on it IIRC. What exactly have your woes entailed ajla?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/chrysler-200-sales-freefall-no-wonder-sergio-shut-production/#comment-7298906

            Add to those:

            -The wiper cowl/seal is warping away from the windshield (I’ve checked out other 300s and Chargers in the area and they are warping in the same place so it’s not just mine). This a car that spends most of its time in a garage or covered parking.

            -When using the voice-guided NAV or BT phone calling, the main audio speakers “fade out” to a lower volume so you can hear the NAV or BT better. Then when the call is over or the NAV lady is done talking the audio should go back to the normal volume setting. My problem is that about 60% of the time mine doesn’t “fade back” to normal volume. It stays in the super quiet mode. The volume knob doesn’t do anything to fix it. I either have to pull over and restart the car or hope that the system “catches” the next time the NAV lady talks.

            -Some weird vibration started down by the parking brake last week.

            I’m sure the warranty will cover the speaker issue. I’m hoping it will cover the wiper cowl because it looks like sh*t.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Yeesh! I guess if I were buying a used one in a few years (I just might), those sorts of things would just be part of the ‘flavor’ of these things. If I had those issues in a new car… different story.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        Hahaha.

        Every time the E-Class/LX thing comes up, Jim has to set people straight. It’s wearing on him.

        Everyone: the LX cars are not simply old a$$ E-Classes with a more urban feel. Educate yo’selves!

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Yes it is wearing on me. I’m tired of correcting stupid people who think they know something because they heard it from their friend in 10th grade study hall, and won’t listen when you try to tell them different.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Jeremy Clarkson said it “modern Chargers/300s are based on Mercedes-Benz E Class from 1990 whereby the E Class divest known for being ubiquitous taxi in Germany” on 3rd Episode of The Grand Tour (whereby Hammond tools around in a Hellcat Charger)…

            …so gird yourself.

            *p.s. – The Grand Tour is ridiculously bad. Clarkson, Hammond & May now make 10x their former salaries that they did as hosts of Top Gear UK on the BBC, thanks to presumably great agents and deep Amazon pockets, yet the new how is worse than their Top Gear past shows.

            This is another example as to how smart, lesser money is so much more efficient and fulfilling than dumb, wads of money (thrown up into the wind or burned).

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I’ve never cared one whit for anything Clarkson said. not least because of all of the Internet idiots who think quoting him means they know what they’re talking about. But also because I don’t understand why we listen to the opinions of arrogant jackwagons from a country who couldn’t make decent cars to save their lives.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Mitsubishi Triton FCA clone.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Are we just pretending that there is no question and we’re just gonna name off some vehicles?

      Ford Thunderbird
      Oldsmobile Bravada
      Toyota Celica
      Isuzu Axiom

    • 0 avatar
      Longshift

      This.

      Given the popularity of the mid-sized pickup market, FCA needs an entry to compete in it. I know they are coming out with the Jeep pickup, but that will be an expensive specialty vehicle focused on off-roading. FCA also needs a basic, affordable general-market pickup truck. Since FCA already has a partnership with Mitsubishi to produce trucks (the Fiat Fullback and the Ram 1200) based on the Triton/L200, they should build and sell these trucks in the U.S. The platform will probably need some modifications to comply with U.S. regulations, but the cost of making the modifications will be a fraction of the cost of developing a new platform from scratch.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        “…but that will be an expensive specialty vehicle focused on off-roading. FCA also needs a basic, affordable general-market pickup truck.”

        Who’s to say the Jeep pickup can’t be both of those things, and then a compact unibody FWD trucklet like the Ram 700 could round out the line?

        When Chrysler bought Jeep, the Comanche pickup was discontinued, in part because there wasn’t room in the lineup for four pickups in three sizes (compact Ram 50, compact/midsizeish Comanche, midsize Dakota, full-size Ram).

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Drzhivago,
          A Wrangler pickup will be appealing ….. except it will not be everyones cup of tea unless you want an rustic vehicle.

          Toyota is in a similar position here. Two midsizers which have very similar capability on the road and one of them eats Wranglers for breakfast off road. The Hilux and 70 Series utes.

          This works well for Toyota and I don’t see why it will not work for FCA in the US.

          A comparison from 30 years plus is not a good comparison. As most all pickups back then were as refined as a turd.

          The Mitsubishi Triton is far superior on road compared to a Wrangler and cheaper.

        • 0 avatar
          Longshift

          I really don’t see the Jeep pickup serving the general market. It will surely be very expensive, likely well over $30K when equipped. It will probably only be available in 4WD, like the Wrangler. Also, the mules I have seen in spy shots look pretty large, around Colorado-sized.

          There is a substantial, unmet market for a modern, capable, affordable truck roughly the size of the last U.S. Ranger. The Triton/Fullback fits that role, since it is low-priced, almost exactly the same size as the last Ranger, and can be had in the basic 2WD four-cylinder/manual format as well as in 4WD.

          Since the Jeep pickup and the Fullback/Ram 1200 would serve different markets, there is room for both in FCA’s lineup.

          The Strada/Ram 700 is essentially a compact car with a small pickup bed. It could slot in under the Fullback. I think there is a minimal market for something like that, but some pest control fleets might buy it.

  • avatar
    yamahog

    They should ape the first gen Toyota highlander – it’s big enough for 3 rows (and putting adults in the third row in a pinch) and it’s smaller than all the current 3rd row cross overs (except the Nissan Rogue / Kia Sorrento?)

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Sorento is the same size (roughly) as the other 3-row midsize CUVS–including the newest Highlander, Pilot, and Pathfinder, and the stalwart Dodge Journey.

      The X-Trail-based Rogue is a /compact/ CUV with a third row, the only one on the market (a distinction it inherited from the third-gen RAV4). The third row is right up against the back window.

      Size-wise, the newest Rogue is about at the upper limit of what can be considered a compact CUV, and the first-gen Highlander was about at the lower limit of midsize.

  • avatar
    Fred

    They need to slap Fiat around and task them with designing a new platform. If that don’t work, hook up with the Chinese or India, that’s where all the growth is anyway.

  • avatar
    Rochester

    “Either way, so very few takers. Sad!”

    Steph, please don’t punctuate your articles like a tweet from a Fascist man-child. Have a little more dignity.

    As for Chrysler… a time to be born, and a time to die.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Give the Mazda 6 the HP it deserves. Make the Tigershark the base engine, offer the Pentastar. Let Mazda program the 9AT and maybe offer a 6MT on both powerplants. And an LSD for Christ’s sake

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    “QOTD: What Should Replace the Chrysler 200?”

    Why, the Ram 1500, of course.! Or maybe the Jeep Renegade, as an alternative.
    Nobody gives a hoot about little sedans anymore…

    ======================

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    What “brand name” is Big Serge gonna use for the NASCAR program he’s trumpeting today?

  • avatar
    John

    Bring back the Dart Hemi!

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Forget the 200. Bring back the Cordoba! At least that one was memorable.

    Nobody makes a decent personal luxury car anymore, where’s the article about that?

    Seriously, FCA doesn’t need to be in every segments, and they certainly don’t need to be in any segment where their main sales pitch is that they are the cheapest.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Just jettison Chrysler and Dodge and only make Jeep and Ram. Chrysler and Dodge are both dead brands, just take them off of life support and let them expire.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    They need a Soul. And a soul, but they need a small, affordable people mover that can carry some junk AND has a fun, almost-quirky look. Not bizarre like Cube, but interesting and pleasant. Make it an iPhone on wheels… let Marc Newson design it…have the panels be translucent colors and back light them… a Neon for the twenty-teens.

    You can’t say it wouldn’t sell better than the 200.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    We all seem to forget that the Dart (and the Neue 200) had stiff competition from the Avenger/Old 200 upon launch. When did they finally clear out the Avenger/200 inventory? Mid 2015?

    I still think that they might rationalize their product lineup in all of NAFTA land, i.e. sell the nuevo Neon (Tipo), Vision (Punto), and the Mitsu Mirage clone, Attitude. Sell them as Dodges, leave the 300 as the remaining Chrysler. That seems more fitting for the car anyway. (Actually, don’t bring the Vision and Attitude north, it seems like overkill.)

    In a perfect world, I would like to see FCA with the Nuevo Neon and introduce an updated 2006 Hornet concept as a Kia Soul competitor. I think if they were to re-body a Fiat 500L this would be a possibility. Also, all FCA dealers should be able to carry the Fiat 500 whether or not they have a Studio. The 500, priced sharply, would be the entry level into FCA products.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Is it just me or does the 200 in the title photo have pretty terrible paint match on the front bumper? Sorry I’m in paranoid used car hunting mode and can’t switch it off.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      You’re right. Supplier’s flake content / application may have something to do with it. That or some hack PR photo shopper was trying to lighten the fender flare for dramatic effect.

      God damn it I cannot unsee it! WTF

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    I said it when the car came out. How good or bad it was just wasn’t relevant. Not because of journalists or perception, but because for years prior Chrysler had turned out crap. For them to be successful this car had to be good and Chrysler had to be content not selling them. The same with whatever replaced it, and maybe even the next one. Then maybe, after several generations of good cars people would forget the years of crap and give them a look.

    Chrysler lacked the resources and patience to stay in the game this long. A car is a big purchase and in this segment there are many perceived safe bets.

  • avatar
    ciscokidinsf

    Good question. In the Old Days, Mitsu and Chrysler shared quite a lot of vehicles, but now Mitsu barely has sedans on their own (Mirage & hella old Lancer) and now as part of Nissan, I doubt they’ll play with FCA

    Mazda is friendly to the whole brand swap, so I guess you *could* re-brand the 3 and the 6 as FCA… else, get a Chinese manufacturer to join FCA and use their sedans.

    Third choice would be to copy the Mexican playbook, and sell every damn car they can get under a rebadge.

    I would argue, if the sedan is dying, then it is no longer critical to have a offer for mid-size/full size sedans. Perhaps FCA will lead the pack in abandoning Sedans. Just do more SUVs and just specialize in large muscle cars until they stop selling

  • avatar
    zeus01

    Picked up a guitar many years ago and self-taught me some basic chords, bar chords and a few hundred really cool and instantly-recognizable riffs. Easy instrument to learn how to play BADLY, but very practice-intensive to become fluent in. Suffice to say, I could never have made any money playing guitar. (Actually that’s not entirely true: I was once offered good money to “please put down the expensive musical instrument and back away slowly.”) Some people were just never meant to be musicians. And so it is with some auto manufacturers who were never meant to produce front-wheel-drive cars. Chrysler just couldn’t seem to get the knack for building reliable and durable FWD cars that didn’t betide their owners with crappy automatic transmissions, leaky head gaskets, electrical glitches, biodegradable trim pieces, etc. This is not to say that Chrysler should not be in the business of providing the public with reliable small-to-mid-size FWD cars. But they should leave the responsibility for designing said cars to a manufacturer that’s more qualified. They should divorce Fiat and then shack up with say, Suzuki. Let THEM design the cars and supply the components. Chrysler can then assemble them in the states and then re-badge them as Chryslers, effectively pinning Suzuki’s medals on THEIR chests. The public won’t give a rat’s derriere who came up with the design as long as the build quality , reliability and durability is up to world-wide industry standards. :)

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    The answer of course is they will replace this with a special edition RAM

  • avatar
    W126

    What will replace the 200? If anything, probably some wheezy 4 cylinder front wheel drive sedan with good mpg to satisfy CAFE and plenty of electronic stuff to appease millenials. It will, like most Chrysler products, be something that no one aspires to own but rather what they have to settle for due to their lot in life. It will be like its predecessor, the automotive equivalent of the Jelly of the Month Club.

  • avatar
    Parousia

    Wait two years and re-release it with honey-I-shrunk-the-300 styling (fixes the rear-seat headroom issue) and a re-programmed 9 speed. Copy Honda with trim levels instead of option packages to keep things simple (and inventory moving). Keep MSRP low and lay off the incentives. For Chrysler as a whole, find a way to offer a dealer experience equal to Lexus (or Black Label) for a competitive edge.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      A baby 300 with upright greenhouse actually sounds pretty awesome. Make sure to give it a cushy ride to complete the picture.

      Toyota made something similar for their domestic market in the early 2000s, the Toyota Brevis/Progres were IS300 based but tuned softly and styled to look like baby Toyota Crowns, with a rather tall and narrow profile. So you get a similar ‘flavor’ to the executive sedans but in a smaller package and at a lower price.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      Wasn’t the last Avenger a honey I shrunk the kids Charger? It didn’t work out. I would like a more “angular” small car though but Chrysler doesn’t have the resources to take a gamble in the segment.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Now that I think about it, the Avenger is a spiritual successor to the Spirit and/or Duster K-cars: angular/aggressive styling with an upright roof, available with a big motor (mitsu 3.0L V6 back in the day), and all at a cut-rate price. And they even share the crosshair grille!

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Unfortunate for Detroit. Hopefully new jobs can be found for the soon to be unemployed. Chrysler should replace the 200 with a vehicle that competes with the Civic/Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      No jobs will be lost (jobs will probably be added), as the all-new,upcoming 2017 RAM will be built at Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (which built the 200; a 1.4 billion dollar tooling & equipment upgrade is now underway there), and a FCA RAM facility (Warren Mound Road Assembly) will switch over to producing Jeeps (including the new Wrangled shorting, I believe).

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Offer a non-leather Chrysler 300 with the 8 inch screen. Start it off around 23-25K.

    Offer a Charger SE around 18-19K.

    You can’t tell me that they don’t have all the tooling paid for, they should be printing money on each one. Sell them on the merits of RWD, bad-assness, and against competing midsize sedans.

    Who the heck wants a FWD 2.5L CVT boring mobile when they can get a 300 hp RWD 8 speed with more room?

    There’s a reason a 5 year old accord resales for about 60-70% of what a 5 year old charger resales for, the charger is wanted, the 300 is wanted, they are just a tad pricey for their customer base.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Badge engineered Passat and Jetta with FCA powertrains or use 1.8TSI with 3rd party transmission in both vehicles. 3 year deal with VW. Keeps VW factories busy and lowers their overhead with no major capital investment from FCA or VW.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    FCA needs a federalized midsize and compact sedan. None of their competitors need anything from FCA.
    When no one else is going to solve your problems you best get busy and fix them yourself.
    Tipo is the answer to replace the Dart. Bring all three versions and sell the wagon and the sedan as Chrysler and install a 200HP motor in the hatch and sell it as Dodge.
    Midsize is going to take some time. Take what is good about the 200 and the new Pacifica minivan and update the 200 to be the largest interior, longest midsize in the midsize class. Very large backseat. Manufacture it in North America on the Grand Caravan line when it shut’s down and sell it in China thru GAC FIAT.

  • avatar
    Manta9527

    What they should do is use a variant of the “Giorgio” platform as the basis for a mid-size sedan similar to the Cadillac CTS. The standard engine choices for this new sedan should be the Pentastar V-6 and 5.7 Hemi, with the 6.4 Hemi and the Hellcat engine as optional choices.

    Also, since the SRT brand is now back under the Dodge banner, Chrysler needs a high-performance brand similar to SRT under which a Giorgio-based mid-size sedan and a new 300C could be sold.

    Furthermore, since Marchionne is having problems with finding a partner for this sedan, FCA should have it built by Magna Steyr, which used to build the Jeep Grand Cherokee under contract during the days of the original Chrysler.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    Chrysler really needs to fill in the void that the 200 will leave. It cannot have just the Pacifica and the 300. It also cannot have a crossover fill in the spot held by a midsize car (the Pacifica name would have come in really handy for a Chrysler crossover. Town and Country should have remained, or at least renamed to Grand Voyager).

    Resurrect the LeBaron name. The best car to look upon for inspiration is the W204 C-Class (notice I don’t say W205, that’s a serious downgrade in my opinion, as are all the other current Mercedes). Create a sedan, a coupe and possibly a convertible. Actually, a convertible would be requisite. The LeBaron name is incomplete without one, even though the marque never made it onto a convertible until the 1980s. When people think of LeBaron, the convertible comes to mind.

    Aim for direct competition with Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, etc. No rental-spec trim levels. Chrysler needs to go upmarket. They are halfway there with the 300. Dodge is mainstream, and RAM needs to be folded back into Dodge like nature intended.

    As for myself, what am I going to replace my JS 200 with (which I am extremely happy with)? I really don’t know. Perhaps a 300, a Grand Cherokee, or (a big maybe) an Accord. That’s about it. The list may get shorter (or nonexistent) after ten years (I am on year 3 of the ten-year minimum I will keep my 200). I don’t want an ugly, sophisticated car with questionable reliability due to having to meet heightened fuel efficiency standards.

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    I thought the plan was to sell the Dodge Neon – a badge engineered Fiat Tipo (a recently introduced, cheap, average car in Europe.
    Potentially available in hatchback, wagon and sedan, likely the NA market Neons will be sedan only).

    You can get a glimpse of what awaits you on the Mexican Dodge site – http://www.dodge.com.mx/autos/neon/

    FWIW in UK/Ireland I always liked the Dodge Avenger, it was a little bit different, as close as we will get over here to modern “coke bottle” styled US sedans like the Charger.
    Unfortunately they didn’t sell well, even with the option of a VW-sourced TDi diesel engine (back when these were the darling of European engines, before emissions-gate and potential city-wide bans).

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      If the only new car one can afford is a little car, that Neon at least is a handsome, cleanly styled little car. And the security of brand-newness means everything to ordinary working Americans on the slippery slope.

      I make out that Mexican base price to be roughly 12K American. That’s Deplorables money. And if FCA could profitably charge only that, Neons would proliferate in Flyover Country like cheap rifles and camo clothing.

      Dodge is still an honored brand here and would, for at least another generation, win over a Nissan equivalent.

      Edit: Oopsie, forgot about the 1-2K price bump from MT to AT. Now it’s not so sizzlin’. The target population will just go Nissan.

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    Take a loaded Durango, glue on a Chrysler 300 grille and headlights, and call it a Chrysler Imperial.

    As for the Chrysler 200, it was saddled with Chrysler reputation and without a clear differentiator in a very competitive market. With the MSRP matching that of Accord, Camry, and Fusion, I’m sure many potential customers crossed-off the choice even before entering the showrooms. They honestly should’ve priced it much lower or used the V6 as their standard engine (also reducing # of SKU in the process).

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Absolutely nothing. As far as I’m concerned – and in the mind of many others, Chrysler’s reputation is shot for good.

    I hate to say that, for I like many of their vehicles, but the market speaks volumes, whether completely true or not.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    This is unprecedented. This is the first time an American company decided to walk away rather than double down on price cuts.

    I think the solution is stretch the 200 and make a new Avenger, style it like a 4/5 Charger like how the Malibu looks like 4/5 Impala. I’ve heard numerous people who know little about cars think the Avenger was a good looking car or something better or sportier than what it was, so I believe that Dodge has muscle car cred more than Chrysler has any cred at all. At best it will get Malibu or less sales, or require a cheap price to move, but in my opinion its better to break even and keep sedans around just as insurance for a changing world.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    re: “This is the first time an American company decided to walk away rather than double down on price cuts.”

    That’s why you see so many full-size wagons, personal luxury coupes, RWD compacts, convertibles, 2-door SUVs, sedan-based pickups, and compact pickups on dealers’ lots! It’s also why Ford and GM persist in the US minivan market.

    It’s the first time, except for all the others…

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      Well done, HH. I didn’t know where to begin with such an enormity of wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      There’s a difference, nobody sold any of that stuff, midsize sedans are still a massive market. No matter how many stinking turd compact cars GM made in the face of Corolla and Civic they still stuck it out with price cuts and fleet dumping.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        CD, those segments were huge in their day. The Cutlass Supreme was the best selling car in America for a while. My Dad and every other family in our neighborhood used to buy a new full-sized wagon every 3 years, like clockwork.

        • 0 avatar
          Compaq Deskpro

          You think sedans are going to decline as fast as wagons in the 80’s or 2 door SUV’s in the 90’s?

          If that’s the case, then Chrysler is in the right by cutting loose sooner rather than later.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            They won’t decline to zero, but they will probably decline like minivans, where every brand used to offer one, but now only a handful of makes are represented.

  • avatar
    RobbieAZ

    “The best car to look upon for inspiration is the W204 C-Class (notice I don’t say W205, that’s a serious downgrade in my opinion, as are all the other current Mercedes).”

    In what way is the W205 a downgrade? I have a W205 C450 that is an upgrade in every way to my friend’s W204. The CLA is a downgrade but the current C-Class certainly isn’t.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    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.

  • avatar
    billchrests

    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.

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