Intrepidation

How I would fix Chrysler

16 posts in this topic

Since everyone gets a shot at how they would fix brands/companies, I figure I'll give it a go. And no, nothing is being sold off.

Dodge:

The brand stands for bold, designs that don't follow the crowd, powerful, and performance oriented. Dodge isn't badly damaged IMO, and there are some easy thing that could properly repair it.

Ram:

Ram is up for redesign, the powertrains seem promising, as does the styling. Give it a truley great interior and it should be in good shape

Charger:

Give the 2.7L a 5-speed automatic, and improve the interior design/materials some.

Magnum:

Add 5-speed to the 2.7L

Caliber:

Upgrade the materials in the interior, teh design itself is fine. Ditch the base engine since the Hornet will become the new budget model (this allows to move the Caliber upscale and justfies the extra cost of a better interior). Add a 6-speed automatic as an option for the R/T model...

Avenger:

Drop the 2.7L since the 2.4L makes almost as much power. Make the SXT come with the 2.4L and a 6-speed automatic. Make teh R/T's suspension standard on all models, and upgrade the R/T's suspension a little further. Add an SRT-6 to the range, featuring a turbo perhaps. Interior design is fine, but upgrade the materials considerably, and add more color options.

Dakota:

Upgrade the interior

Nitro:

Upgrade he interior, make a 5-speed optional on the smaller engine, make a better performance suspension tune for the R/T models

Durango:

Upgrade the interior materials, colors, and design and transmissions, and put the new 4.7L V8 in it.

Caravan:

Doesn't need fixing (from what I can see)

Add the Hornet, the new Crossover, Challenger, and the Demon

Continue to offer Flex Fuel engines and create Hybrid versions of the Caliber and the Avenger

Jeep:

Jeep is probably the least damaged and the one that has least gone astray

Grand Cherokee:

Upgrade the interior further if needed, make the diesel an option on the Larado

Patriot:

Upgrade the interior materials and make a 6-speed automatic an option

Compass:

Drop it or redesign it to look like the original Compass concept and make it more liek a Rally vehicle as far as offroad performance goes

Commander:

Redesign it on the Durango platform, and make it look like Recue, make it a low volume model so sales don't need to be high

Wrangler:

Upgrade the powertrains and the interior

Liberty:

Upgrade the powertrains and give the interior it's own design that's not a meld of the Nitro and a Shadow, and upgrade the materials

Position Jeep to offer diesels in a wide range of its products, that will be it's gas alternatives.

Chrysler:

Chrysler is the most damaged, with no current or clear direction to go. With Mercedes out of the picture, the answer is simple: However, Chrysler should keep it's names...something unique to the luxury market. Push it all upscale and the premium they will command will compensate for less sales.

Aspen:

Drop it, there's no place for it in this fuel-conscious world, the Durango is enough.

300:

Drop the base model, leave the bargain hunters to the SE Magnum and Charger. When the redesign comes, push it a little further upmarket with an swooping interior and elegant but powerful lines. Make a Hybrid version to give it a powertrain differentiation from the other LX cars

Sebring:

Redesign the Sebring, on an either RWD platform or FWD platform with and advanced AWD standard. Style it beautifully and gracefully, the way Chryslers should look. make the interior much more upscale. Make it come with a 2.4L and 6-speed standard, the 3.5L being optional, and a range topping 24L Turbo from the SRT-4 as the Top model (almost as powerful as the 3.5L with less weight and better fuel economy). This will give the Sebring something unique.

Town and Country.

Push it further upscale and make it look nothing like the Caravan.

Pacifica:

Redesign it, pushing it more upmarket and making it more space efficient behind the 2nd row. Make the 6-speed standard across the board.

Ad a new halo car, either the FirePower (with a new name perhaps) or the ME-412 since Daimler will no longer refuse it because it's better than their SLR.

PT Cruiser

Drop it from the Chrysler lineup

Plymouth: Bring it back, it can become a more unique alternative to Dodge. Whereas Dodge is about performance and manliness...Plymouth should appeal to women and men.

PT Cruiser:

As it was meant to be, redesign the PT and bring to Plymouth. Offer the same Powertrains as the current Caliber, but make automatics optional, and the 6-speed of the top model. Keep it retro

Neon:

Bring the Neon back for Plymouth, giving buyers a sedan alternative to the hatchback PT and Caliber. It will sell well if styled right.

Small Crossover:

If the new Dodge crossover is going to be as big as the Lambdas, make a smaller, 5 seat crossover for Plymouth, since none of the other brands have a truly car-like small CUV

Breeze:

Instead of having a midsize car, Plymouth should have a larger LH sized FWD sedan (with AWD optional) to appeal to those who don't want RWD. Find a partner like ford to use a FWD platform and keep costs down.

`Cuda:

Give Plymouth a halo car using the LX platform, style it more modern than the Challenger (go the route of the new Camaro), and make it a hardtop (to satisfy those who are dying for one).

By doing this, Plymouth can be justifiably different than the other brands, and has a unique sales opportunity.

And possibly, bring Eagle back and position it as a youth-oriented division like Scion that sells small, funky cars.

--

So that's what I would do to fix Chrysler. I'm not sure if it's the perfect way to go, but i think it's one of the better ideas about what to do with it. What do you guys think?

Edited by Dodgefan
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Why in the world would you drop a constant seller in the PT Cruiser?? I know people that have them and it's the ONLY Chrysler car they ever owned. Keep it ,refine it but don't 86 her

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Why in the world would you drop a constant seller in the PT Cruiser?? I know people that have them and it's the ONLY Chrysler car they ever owned. Keep it ,refine it but don't 86 her

He moved it from Chrysler to a resurrected Plymouth

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Plymouth is DEAD and not coming back. I can see no reason to bring that nameplate back. Pontiac S -When the Chevy HHR sells like the PT then we will talk.

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Plymouth is DEAD and not coming back. I can see no reason to bring that nameplate back. Pontiac S -When the Chevy HHR sells like the PT then we will talk.

Hmmmmm, what shall we talk about? The PT is the only thing that sells there in any numbers at all. I will watch with interest as Cerberus sells it off bit by bit, the sum of it's parts is worth more than the whole kit and kaboodle.

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Why in the world would you drop a constant seller in the PT Cruiser?? I know people that have them and it's the ONLY Chrysler car they ever owned. Keep it ,refine it but don't 86 her

He moved it from Chrysler to a resurrected Plymouth

Plymouth is DEAD and not coming back. I can see no reason to bring that nameplate back. Pontiac S -When the Chevy HHR sells like the PT then we will talk.

Now, if you actually read the entire thing you'd see why I brought Plymouth back.

Plymouth: Bring it back, it can become a more unique alternative to Dodge. Whereas Dodge is about performance and manliness...Plymouth should appeal to women and men.

To further elaborate, it would take the place of Chrysler as the alternative to Dodge, which is all it really is anymore. If Chrysler moves upmarket to compete with luxury marques, it would be leaving behind a chunk of its customer base who don't want a macho Dodge but don't want a premium car. That would be Plymouth's role.

The PT was meant to be a Plymouth. If Chrysler moved upmarket the PT wold be out of place, which it kind of is already. Putting it back where it belongs only makes sense. Having a compact sedan would open more sales for Chrysler, since we all know Americans don't like hatchbacks as much as sedans, it's a historical fact. Chrysler Corp has no true midsize crossover, the Nitro and Liberty are too trucky. Give the softer vehicle to the softer brand...crossovers are all the rage...so it makes sense to have a smaller one than what Dodge is getting. Having a FWD large sedan gives buyer an alternative to the RWD LX cars..not everyone likes or wants RWD. The `Cuda can be halo. If everything were to be done right, this would open up a large amount of market share for Chrysler to gain.

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All manufacturers really only need two or three brands. Gone are the days of the Big Three dominating this market. Now there are 12 major manufacturers in the market; whereas, 30 years ago (in Plymouth's hayday), there really was only 4 1/2 major manufacturers in North America (American Motors was always the ugly stepsister) so it made sense for the Big Three to have subgroups within them. Trust me when I say that the average consumer is too stupid and too overwhelmed with branding from every sector of our lives to care.

Keep it simple, I say.

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Dodge fan.I did read the entire thing. I'll say it again. Plymouth is DEAD. The name signifies NOTHING to the younger folks. I'm OLD and remember many fine Plymouth products but the time had come to finish off either Dodge or Plymouth. They made the right choice I think

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I think you need to have far more redesigns, inside and out. Chrysler Corp has the poorest designs of any manufacturer.

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I'm not going to win any friends with this but .... what is the point of "rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic". When I think of the former Chrysler corporation I think of excellence in engines and the tourgeflyite transmission. Now its a mediocre engine shared with Hyundai and an even less acceptable CVT transmission. First thing s first.

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Plymouth is DEAD and not coming back. I can see no reason to bring that nameplate back. Pontiac S -When the Chevy HHR sells like the PT then we will talk.

Looks like you guys can talk, the HHR outsells the PT: http://www.fleet-central.com/af/stats2007/trucks_web.pdf

(Page 3)

Chrysler is in very bad shape. Your lineup is a start, but it needs much, much more. It could be done, but it's not going to be easy.

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Looks like PT sales - 58,730 HHR - 37,914 so ??????????? Did I miss something

Retail:

HHR: 26493

PT: 22453

Selling more to rental companies isn't something to be proud of :AH-HA_wink:

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Retail:

HHR: 26493

PT: 22453

Selling more to rental companies isn't something to be proud of :AH-HA_wink:

OK so the PT which is Years old ( not sure ) is just about even in Sales with the much newer HHR in retail sales. I woul;d think DCX got there design money back many a moon ago. Has Chevy?? The HHR is a PT lookalike in a way or at least size and idea. I like them.

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Very interesting ideas. I am not sure if Chrysler Corporation needs to take on more brands when the brands they currently have need some serious overhauling and repairs. I think they need to fix what's wrong first before piling on more distractions. If they can actually turn the corporation around, then adding more brands might be a strategy to consider in the future.

A couple of overall and general things the company needs to fix: cheap interiors, outdated transmissions, brand positioning, and sometimes bizarre exterior designs (especially the current Sebring, YIKES!!!!) When you introduce a brand new vehicle and the interior materials would make an 80's era car appear like a luxury vehicle, something is terribly, terribly wrong. I am not saying the overall interior designs are awful; just the fit, finish, and choice of materials. The interiors need to be upgraded as soon as possible. As far as transmissions, here's what the corporation should remember: NO MORE 4 SPEED TRANSMISSIONS! Chrysler needs to surpass expectations and offer more than outdated technology. The brands need to be positioned to clearly relate their intentions and purposes to the public: Dodge-affordable and sporty, Jeep-offroad adventure, and Chrysler-near luxury (after all the bad directions the Chrysler brand has taken, I am afraid near luxury is all the brand can be). If the corporation would like to explore the luxury market in the future, then it should resurrect the Imperial brand for this purpose. Finally, when the company had a clean slate to compete in the midsize segment, they blew it by introducing the current 2007 Sebring (what in the world inspired this design). The car appears to have been designed by three different teams (front, sides, and rear) who never communicated or collaborated during the design process. The designer who used a big blob of black plastic to alter the roofline to look like a poorly received recent concept car (Airflite, I think?) should be fired immediately (what an embarrassing design element to slap on a midsize car for a near luxury brand!)

As far as future lineups, here are some ideas:

DODGE:

* Hornet: subcompact car; if the concept car can be executed properly, then the company might have a winner on its hands (especially if gas prices continue to rise); Dodge will need to find an outside partner for the platform to leverage costs as no other Chrysler Corporation brand or car will be using this platform

* Caliber: compact wagon/crossover; it was a good idea with poor execution (fix the shortcomings and continue this car in the lineup)

* Aries: compact sedan based on the Caliber platform; give it some Dodge attitude and none of the Caliber's shortcomings

* Stealth: compact coupe based on the Caliber platform; again, give it some Dodge attitude and none of the Caliber's shortcomings

* Rebel: compact 4 door SUT (truck) based on the Caliber platform; again, give it some Dodge attitude and none of the Caliber's shortcomings; maybe use design cues from the M80, MAXXcab, or Rampage concept trucks

* Avenger: midsize sedan; fix the interior and eliminate the 4 speed transmission (car should continue in the lineup)

* Intrepid: midsize wagon/crossover on the Avenger platform; do not let it inherit the Avenger's shortcomings

* Charger: large rear drive sedan; continues in the lineup with updates and timely redesigns

* Magnum: large rear drive wagon/crossover; needs to morph into more of a crossover when it is redesigned

* Caravan: minivan; 2008 version is a horrible, boxy, outdated design unworthy of the brand (give it a sportier redesign as soon as possible); also drop the "Grand" ("Grand" designations are so 1980's) moniker and only offer the van in long wheelbase format as "Caravan"

* Challenger: sportscar (pony car); hopefully this car will not get botched as it makes it way from concept to reality

* Viper: sportscar; keep in lineup as brand's halo car; update and redesign on a timely basis

* Daytona: rear drive affordable roadster; bring the Demon concept car to market without messing it up (I realize I am in the minority about not particularly liking the Demon moniker, I like Daytona better)

* Dakota: midsize truck; keep it in the lineup, but please fix the cheap looking interior; update and redesign on a timely basis

* Ram: fullsize truck; continues in the lineup; update and redesign on a timely basis

* Durango: fullsize SUV; redesign on the Ram platform as full size competitor to Tahoe, Suburban, etc. for people who still require this type of vehicle (large families, towing, etc.)

* Nitro: midsize SUV; I think the market for this vehicle is rapidly disappearing (from what I understand, most midsize SUV buyers are opting for crossovers); Jeep is the brand to serve off road enthusiasts

* I believe if Dodge can give the Hornet, Caliber, Aries, Stealth, and Rebel aggressive, avant garde, sporty styling and can properly market the products to the youth population, then there would be no need to resurrect the Eagle brand.

JEEP:

* Other than the Wrangler (which I consider the brand's icon, I would reposition the other products to offer a more streamlined lineup that truly represents the brand); do not use anymore front drive compact car platforms

* Wrangler: continues as the icon of the Jeep brand; update/redesign on a timely basis

* Compass: I like your idea of returning this vehicle to the original concept Rally car design; maybe use the rear drive platform from the Dodge Daytona to leverage the development costs of the platform but add Jeep's 4 wheel drive system

* Liberty: compact SUV; redesigned on the Wrangler platform as the entry level SUV for the brand

* Cherokee: midsize SUV; redesigned on the current Liberty platform as the company's midsize offering

* Patriot: midsize SUT (4 door truck); redesigned on the current Liberty platform as a competitor to the Chevy Avalanche giving it a similar versatile midgate function like the Avalanche; shares platform with Dakota and Cherokee to leverage platform costs (versatile midgate function and styling would differentiate this from the Dakota)

* Grand Cherokee: eliminate it completely; "Grand" designations are so 1980's; this vehicle is redundant in the new lineup

* Commander: full size SUV; redesign on Ram/Durango platform to become the flagship of the brand (I agree with you on this matter, this would leverage the costs of the Ram/Durango platform)

* I know this lineup would make Jeep a niche brand, but isn't that what it was in the first place (before the SUV explosion)?

CHRYSLER:

* Concorde: midsize front drive sedan; redesigned on the current Sebring platform but change the name so the beautifully redesigned car is not connected to the horrific mess that is the 2007 Sebring sedan

*Chronos: midsize crossover; built on the Concorde (redesigned Sebring) platform; a taller and more modern alternative to the Cruiser listed below

* Cruiser: midsize retro wagon; keep the PT Cruiser under the Chrysler brand but morph it into a midsize retro wagon on the Concorde/Chronos platform; drop the "PT" designation and simply call it Cruiser; keep a convertible version if demand warrants such a vehicle

* Cordoba: midsize five passenger front drive convertible; redesigned on the Concorde (redesigned Sebring) platform but change the name so the beautifully redesigned car is not connected to the 2008 Sebring convertible; I would also give it a distinct exterior design from the Concorde and keep all the options (fabric or folding hardtop) of the 2008 Sebring convertible

* 300: large rear drive sedan (continues in the lineup); please give it a beautiful redesign when the time comes

* Pacifica: large rear drive crossover; redesigned on the 300/Charger/Magnum platform

* Town and Country: large rear drive wagon built on the 300/Charger/Magnum platform; I don't think a minivan fits in with the Chrysler brand image (especially the ugly, boxy 2008 version); the Caravan could be optioned up into luxury territory leaving Chrysler to use the moniker on this vehicle; please do not build it with any kind of wood siding (real or fake)

* Atlantic: large 4 door coupe; give Chrysler's former partner (owner) a headache by offering its own affordable version of the Mercedes CLS (give it some design cues from the Atlantic concept coupe); this car would be the brand's flagship car instead of the truly hideous 2006 Imperial concept sedan; built on the 300/Charger/Magnum platform

* LeBaron: large rear drive 4 door convertible built on 300 platform; give Mercedes another headache by offering an affordable version of the Mercedes Ocean Drive concept convertible (I understand it might be headed for production); give the car its own distinct exterior design so it is not viewed as a convertible version of the 300 or Atlantic

* Nassau: 2 seat roadster; leverage the cost of the Dodge Daytona platform by giving the Chrysler brand its own roadster with totally distinct exterior and interior styling

* Aspen: delete from the future lineup; I agree with you (it does not fit in the lineup in these times of high gas prices, besides the Commander would help leverage the Ram/Durango platform costs)

* A couple of additional notes for this brand: NO MORE 4 CYLINDER ENGINES & NO MORE FRONT DRIVE COMPACT PLATFORM VEHICLES! Chrysler is a near luxury brand (Although I might be subconsciously pushing it into luxury territory with the Atlantic and LeBaron - oops!)!

Edited by cire
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