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William Maley

Chrysler News: Gilles: Next 200 To Redefine Chrysler Design Language

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By William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

January 18, 2013

When the next Chrysler 200 is introduced in 2014, its design will signal a change for the brand.

“The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don’t reflect where we’re headed. What I can safely say is we are deviating from where we are today, completely. It’s a very different feeling (and) look," said Chrysler chief designer, Ralph Gilles.

Gilles didn't go into detail about the direction the styling will go for the 200 and ultimately the Chrysler brand.

“Saad (Chehab, Chrysler brand president and CEO) and Sergio (Marchionne, Chrysler CEO) both were very instrumental in finding the new mission of the car – new branding. I think it’s going to be a beautiful and relevant vehicle,” Gilles said.

Other things the next 200 will have is a new nine-speed automatic and use Fiat's CUSW platform that currently underpins the Dodge Dart.

Source: WardsAuto

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

Click here to view the article

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Interesting but this seems to tell me they are shooting themselves in the foot by clearly stating just how different the car will be. Guess they wanted to kill off any residual value in the current 200's.

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Yeah, I can pick up a used 2012 200 with a few ticks over 30,000 miles for $12k. There wasn't much "residual value" in the current Sebring/200 to begin with, so no worries there.

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Agreed my amphibious friend.

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>>“The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don’t reflect where we’re headed. What I can safely say is we are deviating from where we are today, completely."<<

This sort of corporate commentary always amazes me. All I ever read out of the above is 'Our current stuff is a mistake, trust me that we'll get it right the next time'.

You just don't DO this sort of thing intentionally in commerce.

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The 300 has become an icon through the last two generations. Dude HAS to know that, therefore, I choose to believe he is merely preparing the public for a vastly different styling future, not "exactly" dissing the current theme.

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^ You don't have to "prepare" the public, you just unleash it withOUT addressing the strongly implied inadequacies of the current product.

Auto executives spend FAR too much time preparing press releases over things no one would think about otherwise.

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Whatever the new 200 is, I hope they continue to offer a drop-top as when it comes to wanting a comfortable 4-place convertible that has good cargo room and isn't a muscle car this is the only American game in town. Always (secretly) liked the top-trim Limited hardtop convertibles, and with the refinements made from Sebring to 200 and the rock bottom prices on the used market I see it as a great value for a second car or a road trip cruiser.

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>>“The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don’t reflect where we’re headed. What I can safely say is we are deviating from where we are today, completely."<<

This sort of corporate commentary always amazes me. All I ever read out of the above is 'Our current stuff is a mistake, trust me that we'll get it right the next time'.

You just don't DO this sort of thing intentionally in commerce.

In this situation that phrase can be given with a straight face. They are trying to erase the Daimler/Cerberus era. Any other time, and your assessment is spot on.

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>>“The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don’t reflect where we’re headed. What I can safely say is we are deviating from where we are today, completely."<<

This sort of corporate commentary always amazes me. All I ever read out of the above is 'Our current stuff is a mistake, trust me that we'll get it right the next time'.

You just don't DO this sort of thing intentionally in commerce.

I really like the current 300, I don't know that they can go in another direction with it and not alienate the current customer base.

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>>“The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don’t reflect where we’re headed. What I can safely say is we are deviating from where we are today, completely."<<

This sort of corporate commentary always amazes me. All I ever read out of the above is 'Our current stuff is a mistake, trust me that we'll get it right the next time'.

You just don't DO this sort of thing intentionally in commerce.

I really like the current 300, I don't know that they can go in another direction with it and not alienate the current customer base.

I agree Drew, I think if they deviate from the current 300 DNA too much, they will loose the folks who are buying the auto's.

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It will be interesting to see where they go next....I really like the 300 as it is now, like the Charger and Challenger quite a bit also...hefty, sizeable, RWD, V8 available...everything i like in a car...

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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>>"I agree Drew, I think if they deviate from the current 300 DNA too much, they will loose the folks who are buying the auto's."<<

Correct- the implication is that the 200 'is in need of' a major revision.... but clearly the 300 is not. Conflicted message there.

Again IMO; you can address the future, well & good, but the current need not be so addressed (from a PR standpoint).

thedriver : I don't know that the 'Daimler/Cerebus' ownership period is on many people's 'front radar' today.

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I don't think the next-gen 200 will deviate too much from the current Chrysler formula. They'll exchange a few creases for a few more organic lines, and clean some of the small details up a bit.

Look at the 200C concept as a starting point and go from there.

Edited by black-knight

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But the implementation is that they are going to radically change their auto DNA to go in the direction they feel they need to go. This could hurt more than help Chrysler if they are not careful.

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That kinda burns me.... interior aside, how hard would it have been for Chrysler to build the 200c concept as is? THAT car would have sold and would have been a premium vehicle to wear the Chrysler name. It would have allowed Chrysler to drop the lower end 300C and push transaction prices higher though volume would be lower.

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Maybe the new 200 will be on a smaller RWD platform to be shared with an unnamed Dodge and the new 'Cuda. That would kick ass.

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I sure hope they don't style it so blandly like the Dart. Also a V6 should still be offered according to Chrysler from a smaller displacement version of the current 3.6 with 4 cylinder gas mileage.

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I sure hope they don't style it so blandly like the Dart. Also a V6 should still be offered according to Chrysler from a smaller displacement version of the current 3.6 with 4 cylinder gas mileage.

I disagree with you on your comment about the dart, it is anything but bland. I find it to be one of the more stylish compacts out there, far better than anything Honda, Toyota, Nissan has and competes well with GM and better than Ford products.

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      The goal is to see a 30 percent increase in sales to 130,000 vehicles by the 2019 fiscal year.
      For other markets, this is what Mitsubishi is planning,
      For Southeast Asia (Mitsubishi's largest and most profitable marketplace), a new assembly plant in Indonesia and the launch of Xpander multi-purpose vehicle The focus in Japan is revitalizing their mini-car business after the fuel economy manipulation scandal China will see an expansion in dealers with the goal to sell 220,000 vehicles by 2019 There will be one thing the U.S. will be missing out from Mitsubishi. It was expected that the tie-up with Nissan that begun last year would provide some help for the U.S. But according to Automotive News, Mitsubishi will be going on its own for this region. There are three reasons for this; antitrust concerns between the two companies, vehicles using common engines and platforms not being ready, and Mitsubishi wanting to build the brand back up on their own strengths.
      Source: Mitsubishi Motors, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Press Release is on Page 2
      MITSUBISHI MOTORS LAUNCHES ‘DRIVE FOR GROWTH’ PLAN TO INCREASE VOLUMES, REVENUES AND PROFITABILITY
      Three-year plan targets more than 30 percent increase in unit sales and revenues Operating profit margin to reach 6 percent or more Capital expenditure and R&D investment to increase to more than 600 billion yen over the three-year period Product renewal to accelerate with launch of six new models including Eclipse Cross SUV Market expansion planned in ASEAN, US and China TOKYO, Japan – Mitsubishi Motors today launched "Drive for Growth," a three-year strategic plan to deliver sustained and profitable growth, targeting an increase of more than 30% in both annual unit sales to 1.3 million vehicles and in revenues to 2.5 trillion yen.
      Under the plan, Mitsubishi Motors aims to achieve an operating profit margin of 6% or more by the end of fiscal 2019, up from 0.3% in fiscal 2016. The plan combines a product renewal program with targeted market expansion and operating efficiency improvements.
      Osamu Masuko, Mitsubishi Motors chief executive, said: "Drive for Growth is a new roadmap for Mitsubishi Motors. We will rebuild trust in our company as our highest priority, successfully launch new vehicles, and achieve a V-shaped financial recovery. These will be the foundations for our future sustainable growth, which will involve increased capital expenditure and product development spending."
      The Drive for Growth plan involves a 60% increase in annual capital expenditure to 137 billion yen in fiscal 2019 – lifting spending as a proportion of sales to 5.5% a year. R&D expenses will rise by 50% to 133 billion yen over the same period. In total, this will amount to more than 600 billion yen in investments. Even with these increases, Mitsubishi Motors will maintain financial discipline and generate positive free cash flow during the period. The company intends to establish a competitive dividend policy comparable to those of other Japanese automotive manufacturers. 
      As part of its investment drive, Mitsubishi Motors plans to strengthen its four-wheel drive SUVs and pick-ups, and to launch 11 models including the XPANDER and Eclipse Cross. The product renewal program will coincide with a market expansion drive in the ASEAN region, Oceania, United States, China and Japan.
      Mr. Masuko said: "This is an ambitious program to maximize our strengths in growing product segments, especially four-wheel drive, and to pursue growth in markets where our brand has strong potential, particularly the ASEAN region. This growth program will also involve an efficient and disciplined operating structure as we continue to manage costs."
      Under Drive for Growth, Mitsubishi Motors is targeting a market share of 10% in ASEAN. Sales activities will be reinforced in the US. The company's presence in China will be strengthened with the introduction of models such as the Outlander and Eclipse Cross. And the company will invest in its sales network and product portfolio to return to profitability in Japan by the end of the plan.
      The strategic plan is based on three strategic initiatives:
      Product renewal: During the period of the plan, Mitsubishi Motors will launch 11 new models, of which six will be entirely new model changes – averaging two each year – while the remainder will be important updates of existing vehicles. By the end of the plan, the company expects its five best-selling global models consisting of SUV, 4WD, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) to account for 70% of total sales volume. Reflecting the shift to lower emission models, the company also announced that it plans to provide electrified solutions across its core model range including an EV kei car from 2020. Focus on core markets to drive revenue growth: This year's opening of a new assembly plant in Indonesia, and the recent launch of the XPANDER multi-purpose vehicle, will drive the growth of the ASEAN business, the group's largest and most profitable operation. ASEAN volumes are expected to rise from 206,000 units a year to 310,000 units a year in 2019. Mitsubishi Motors will also launch new models to assist the turnaround of its important mini-car business in Japan. In the US, the company will improve its dealership networks, targeting a 30% increase in unit sales to 130,000 units in fiscal 2019. In China, Mitsubishi Motors will double the number of dealerships and more than double sales to 220,000 units in fiscal 2019.  Cost Optimization: Mitsubishi Motors will tightly manage production costs, with a target to reduce monozukuri costs by 1.3% per year, in spite of large investments in R&D. Alongside cost management, the company will benefit from growing synergies from its membership of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Mitsubishi Motors is seeking synergies totaling more than 100 billion yen over the course of the plan, with the bulk of these to come from efficiencies in procurement and costs avoided in R&D.  Mitsubishi Motors will contribute its expertise in PHEV technology, its capabilities in SUVs and pick-ups, and market strengths in the ASEAN region to the wider synergy program of the Alliance, which aims to double annualized synergies to more than 10 billion euros by the end of 2022.
      "We are refreshing our product line-up, investing in R&D and targeting core market growth," added Mr. Masuko. "Drive for Growth will enable us to continue the transformation of the company over the next three years."
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