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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman



    Chrysler is rapidly changing its lineup following the sellout by Daimler AG last May. According to a representative from Chrysler, Chrysler LLC announced on on Nov. 1 that it would phase out four vehicles in 2008.

    The under-performing vehicles are all a bit left-of-center and are as follows: Dodge Magnum, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible, Chrysler Pacifica, and Chrysler Crossfire.

    While the Magnum’s sedan version, the Dodge Charger, has sold relatively well, the sporty station wagon never caught on with the American public.

    When it was introduced in 2000, the PT Cruiser became the crown jewel in DaimlerChrysler’s crown. It was a high selling, value priced vehicle. In subsequent years, however, the desirability of the quirky four-door hatchback has declined.

    DaimlerChrysler hoped to re-interest the public in 2005 by introducing the PT Cruiser convertible. Unfortunately for Daimler execs, the convertible never caught on. Instead, the lack of development of the car is what stood out.

    With the top up, the Cruiser convertible looked very much like a 1930’s roadster. Once the top was folded down, however, the rigidity bar over the B-pillar made the car resemble a pick nick basket. The PT Cruiser was not pre-developed to support a convertible model and without the proper engineering the car-buying public was not fooled.

    The Pacifica was Chrysler’s attempt to enter the ‘crossover’ SUV segment. Developed with Mercedes engineers, the Pacifica was a whole-hearted attempt to offer a well constructed, utility vehicle. The idea was novel, but the design mimicked a station wagon more than it did an SUV. The Chrysler never became the soccer-practice vehicle to envy like Volvo and BMW had previously.

    Finally, Chrysler is going to cut its sports car in 2008: the Crossfire. This was a highly designed vehicle with good bones made in Germany since 2003.

    Although the Crossfire coupe and convertible had many sculpted lines and angles, the two-seater was not fashionable for all. The Crossfire was more ‘look at me’ compared to the understated looks of other sports cars like the Porsche Boxster.

    None of the factories that produce the four discontinued vehicles are in the United States.

    As the four vehicles are phased out, Chrysler plans on introducing two all-new vehicles, the Dodge Journey and the Dodge Challenger.

    The Journey will be Chrysler’s second attempt to conquer the crossover market. This new crossover will bring more sporty looks and (hopefully) a lower bottom-line than the Pacifica.

    The Dodge Challenger will be the car to desire. With its vintage good looks and powerful V8 engine, the cash deposits are already down at the dealers. To those who crave the trendy, cool cars — watch this one!

    Along with the two new cars, hybrid versions of the Chrysler Aspen and the Dodge Durango, the full-size SUV’s will be added to the lineup.

    Now that Chrysler has some new designs, and has cut its losses with a significant part of its lineup, the future is almost all-new for one of America’s Big Three.

    Only if this time, Chrysler has learned from the past with quality engineering, desirable designs, and a product appealing to more than the car-rental companies, will Chrysler be one of the regularly mentioned in this new car column.

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