Chrysler Facing A Charger Disaster?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Chrysler chooses to ignore its history - a decision they will live to regret

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    [​IMG] by Peter M. DeLorenzo

    The Chrysler Group is doing their best to quell the negative rumblings bubbling up from the Internet chat rooms about their new Dodge Charger, dismissing such bleating as being from misguided enthusiasts wedded too much to the past. But the fact remains that this chatter is rooted in sound and remarkably simple logic - and that is the fact that a new "Charger" from Dodge and Chrysler has no business being a four-door sedan, period. And frankly, they're right.

    It doesn't help, of course, that the new Charger is the least attractive version built off of the Chrysler 300/Dodge Magnum architecture
    , despite Chrysler PR's best attempts at convincing the media and the public otherwise. Whereas the 300 and Magnum have real personality and an edginess about them, the Charger is a less successful rendering - too tame and much too timid for what the Charger name signifies. Yes, Chrysler will trot out plenty of "hot" versions at next month's Detroit Auto Show, including a "Daytona" in Hemi orange with a flat black hood (as if that will be enough to convince anyone of its authenticity). And, of course, the obligatory "NASCAR" version of the new Charger (which will make its racer-tainment debut at Daytona in February) will be on display, which we're officially dubbing the "clown car" version - because Chrysler's desperate attempt to hang Charger design cues on NASCAR's template-mandated body work fails miserably - just like it does for every other Detroit manufacturer trying to rationalize their participation in NASCAR.

    This business is littered with examples of car companies not understanding the power of their own brands. One memorable moment of temporary insanity in the car biz was when John Z. DeLorean, the then newly-minted general manager of the Chevrolet division, had the brilliant idea (in his mind) of combining the Corvette and Camaro into one vehicle back in 1970, figuring he could make a ton of money by eliminating the specialization needed to manufacture the Corvette by just building it off the Camaro platform. Fortunately for the Corvette, people rose up from all corners of the corporation and got his plan vetoed before it ever left the starting gate.

    There are many other examples of car companies tampering with their brands (far too many to list here), but some would even point to GM's recent experience with the GTO as yet another instance of a manufacturer failing to understand the significance of its own automotive history.

    In the case of the Charger, it's clear to me that the people at Chrysler not only refuse to understand the significance of the Charger name to the Chrysler/Dodge portfolio, they refuse to believe that it really matters that the new car is a four-door sedan in its newest iteration. Why? Because they don't believe today's younger buyer will care whether or not it's a sedan or a coupe, and they think that they can relaunch the Charger into the market with no lingering image-baggage whatsoever.

    That rationale might make sense if Chrysler were introducing the new Charger in some perfect revisionist history/marketing vacuum - where the public's memories are wiped clean and the media will somehow deem it unnecessary to mention what the Charger used to be in every single article they write.

    But it just doesn't work that way.

    What should Chrysler have done? Introduce the four-door sedan version of the rear-wheel-drive LX platform in Detroit as the Magnum sedan. Then, six to eight months later, do a two-door, shorter wheelbase, high-performance coupe version called the Charger. As for their NASCAR program, who cares? They can use their "Intrepid" headlight decals and grille openings on the NASCAR template body until the Charger Coupe is ready.

    But then again, what am I thinking? After all, that's too simple and far too logical of an idea for an organization that seems to pride itself on knowing absolutely everything there is to know about this business (and anything they don't know either doesn't matter or must not be true anyway as far as they're concerned).

    What really bothers me about Chrysler's plan for the Charger is that it reveals an organization that believes it can not only ignore history, but that they can actually make people ignore their recollections of history too. There's a built-in arrogance about this rationale for a four-door Charger that is almost beyond comprehension.

    Let me be the first to remind Chrysler that the Charger name is as significant to Chrysler as Corvette is to Chevrolet and Mustang is to Ford.

    Whether or not they choose to believe that isn't the market's problem or the nostalgia buffs' problem or the media's problem.

    It's their problem - because they're choosing to ignore their own history, and it's a decision they'll live to regret.


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  2. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark John McCain has an illegitimate mexican baby

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  3. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    wrongpost
     
  4. thomez

    thomez Guest

    fugly
     
  5. bottomline

    bottomline Guest

    :Ownedd:
     
  6. Sandlapper

    Sandlapper Nothing is Finer, than Carolina!

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    The Dodge boys over at NASCAR are pissed about that thing.
     
  7. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Guest

    let chrysler dig its own grave... its about time they went under
     
  8. SaintGRW

    SaintGRW OT Supporter

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  9. Remington

    Remington OT Supporter

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  10. Shiva Chaos

    Shiva Chaos i see boobies!

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    you ARE trisheild!
     
  11. 93CivicEX

    93CivicEX Charming, Dashing, Rental car bashing

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    the author of that is vastly seperated from the real world, and the reality of what motivates the big 3
     
  12. GrassHopper

    GrassHopper Happiest motherf***er you're EVER gonna meet OT Supporter

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    Some charity BS for knocked-up teen
    I'm cool with 4 doors.....as long as they're all welded shut.
     
  13. CygnusX1

    CygnusX1 Credit Cards and Apple Pie

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    Because he actually makes sense?
     
  14. TankRizzo

    TankRizzo Sensational Moderator Super Moderator

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    How do these idiots get to such high positions in seemingly EVERY auto maker's company? :wtc:
     
  15. jelloslug

    jelloslug OT Supporter

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    Most of the people that are bitching and complaining could not buy one anyway.
     
  16. GrassHopper

    GrassHopper Happiest motherf***er you're EVER gonna meet OT Supporter

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    Some charity BS for knocked-up teen
    :confused: I know you've seen Office Space? It's corporate America, mang
     
  17. TankRizzo

    TankRizzo Sensational Moderator Super Moderator

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    :ugh:
     
  18. TankRizzo

    TankRizzo Sensational Moderator Super Moderator

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    :o
     
  19. aggr3ssor

    aggr3ssor Active Member

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  20. 93CivicEX

    93CivicEX Charming, Dashing, Rental car bashing

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    to a degree....

    I quit reading when he started in on how dumb the obligitory NASCAR model is...

    fact is, NASCAR is the fastest growing spectator sport in America right now, and for an auto maker to put out a Performance Model and not tie it to nascar somehow would be suicide...

    what 'makes sense' in our eyes is not waht makes $$$ in detroit's eyes...

    granted, Chrysler hasnt been the world standard model for making money the past 20 or 30 years, but... they are still around arent they ;)
     
  21. SaintGRW

    SaintGRW OT Supporter

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  22. Supernoma

    Supernoma servus publicae OT Supporter

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    No concept-based production line, no care.
     
  23. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    I don't think it will bomb, it offers a low priced V6 model (and therefore much broader appeal and attainability) and the 340HP RT Hemi should be reasonable starting at around $29k like the Magnum RT.

    Old timers will forever hate it though. 425HP SRT-8 or not. :o
     
  24. Shiva Chaos

    Shiva Chaos i see boobies!

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    it's because now they're German :o
     

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