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It’s Time. Kill Chrysler.

July 15, 2009
tags: ,

Earlier today, I came across a really interesting statistic by way of Twitter:

AOLAutos: Study shows Americans 18-64 years would rather buy a car badged Fiat than Chrysler. Amazing.

My initial reaction was to laugh. Amazing? Obvious, more like.

I mean, would you rather drive this train wreck of a car:

Chrysler Sebring

Chrysler Sebring

…or this?

Fiat Bravo

Fiat Bravo

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized yeah, it actually is kind of amazing, when you consider the average American would probably be hard pressed to name a single car Fiat sells. In a lot of ways, it’s the perfect commentary on just how bad Chrysler’s situation has become. Americans would rather buy a car from a brand they are largely unfamiliar with, that has a reputation for pretty much the opposite of reliablity, than from a long-established domestic marque.

And you know what? They’re right.

Chrysler has no reason to exist. As a brand, it’s pointless. It can’t move downmarket for fear of cannibalizing Dodge, and it can’t move upmarket to compete with Cadillac, Lexus, and the other luxury brands because nobody would take it seriously. It’s caught in the same “kinda-but-not-really upscale” death slot as Mercury and Buick.

To make matters worse, Chrysler has one of the weakest lineups in the entire industry. Seriously, go look for yourself. The PT Cruiser created something of a stir when it was introduced EIGHT YEARS AGO. Nowadays, it’s a dog that’s been lapped by a multitude of more capable vehicles. The Sebring and Aspen are terrible, uncompetitive vehicles. That leaves the 300, whose best days are behind it, and the Town & Country, which plays in a segment that’s been regarded as dowdy for twenty years.

Dodge and Jeep both have reasons to live on. They have their share of dogs, too, but they also have a few strong offerings like the Ram, Wrangler, and Challenger. But Chrysler? They’ve got nothing in the stable and nothing in the pipeline.

If I were Fiat, I would do the humane thing and put Chrysler out of it’s misery. Shut it down and turn all the dealerships into Fiat/Alfa Romeo stores. For all I know, that may be exactly what they’re planning. If it is, they haven’t said so, but why would they? It will take several years for Fiat to federalize their models for the U.S. market and work out all the production angles, and in the meantime an announcement of Chrysler’s death would send its sales into even more of a tailspin than they are already in.

At this point, all we can do is wait and see, but what do you think? Should Chrysler be killed?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Liam permalink
    July 15, 2009 10:52 pm

    Chrysler’s been dead to me ever since Celine Dion was their spokesperson.

  2. July 18, 2009 12:19 am

    Kill Chrysler and take the Routan with it!

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  1. Gutting Chrysler… « Carpe Hot Dog

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