Even Eminem Can’t Save Chrysler

2 May

I just saw a brand new Chrysler 200 Convertible in the parking lot and took a few minutes to walk around and check out the much-heralded (by Chrysler) design.  Even though the company is still non-public (sans Fiat ownership), I thought I’d share my reactions on the car and its implications for the company, which Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne seems to think will one day soon be public again…

Front: Dash of a Mercedes, headlights of a (modern) Jaguar that slept with a Hyundai Genesis coupe, design still WAY too reminiscent of the fantastically mediocre Chrysler Sebring.

Profile: Vehicle appears to have been well-optioned; nice, large wheels in good proportion to height/wheel wells.  Shape looks like elongated VW EOS.

Rear: Tail lights and truck/decklid appear to be shared with the new/current Ford Taurus/Lincoln MKZ.

Verdict: Considering Chrysler has made a significant bet on the 200 being able to revitalize the firm’s sales and brand image, this is a pretty unimpressive effort.  The company can re-pay the U.S. government loans and Sergio Marchionne can shout whatever sensational claims he wants, but until the firm has a solid baseline product portfolio, it’s going to be fighting a steep uphill battle back to global relevance.

Nice commercials, but perhaps if they spent half as much time, money, and creative effort on the vehicles as they did the ads, they’d simply speak for themselves…

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