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an observation about chrysler


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33 replies to this topic

#1 of 34 OFFLINE   Micah Cohen

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Posted May 01 2009 - 03:43 AM

So, it's in the news, right?

And I heard on some talk show today someone explaining it by saying, "Look at the roads, you won't see any of their cars on the road," or something like that, implying they are just not selling product.

At that moment, I was in my car... and I was seeing lots of Chryslers and Dodges and Jeeps!

In fact, I have noticed that in the past year the cars that most consistently catch my eye are... Chryslers and Dodges. I love their late models, like the Crossfire. And I love the late model Dodges, where practically ever model looks like some awesome Big Daddy Ed Roth muscle car! Every time I see a new Charger, I imagine Rat Fink bursting thru the roof with an eight-ball gear shift in his hand. And the Challenger? Holy moly, I want this!

I see loads of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep products on the road, and most of them look nice! I drove a Dodge for years in the 90s (till it was totalled), and I loved that car.

So, why the big Fail?

Challenger! Amazing!

MC
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#2 of 34 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted May 01 2009 - 04:40 AM

But those cars may not have been purchased within the past 7 months.

Chrysler had a MASSIVE decline in sales since just this past fall (Nov 08). It was so severe that they are literally out of cash.

#3 of 34 OFFLINE   Scott Simonian

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Posted May 01 2009 - 05:02 AM

I own a Jeep and have been a long fan of Dodge/Chysler automobiles. I used to have a Dodge Neon before my Jeep Liberty. Its a shame that they arent doing so well compared to other makes. Loved the classic Challenger and love the new one too.
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#4 of 34 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted May 01 2009 - 05:37 AM

This is not just related to Chrysler, but the whole auto industry. Look at this headline from today: Fords vehicle sales fell 32 percent in April - Autos- msnbc.com It makes it sound like this just happened, but but they are talking about the past year. Duh.. Who doesn't know that auto sales are down from last year? When you read the story, things are doing much better. Why isn't what I put in bold below the headline?
Quote:
Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford sold 133,979 light-vehicles in April, compared with 195,665 for the same month last year. Sales rose from March to April, with Ford selling 2,878 more cars.
What is with the news service and why are they so bent on putting down our auto makers? (rhetorical question) Maybe sales would improve even more if the buyer had more confidence in the companies and headlines like this don't help at all or overall consumer confidence.

#5 of 34 OFFLINE   Matt^Brown

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Posted May 01 2009 - 06:17 AM

I really like the commercial from Saturn where they are telling everyone to not believe that every U.S. auto maker is doing bad.
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#6 of 34 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted May 01 2009 - 06:33 AM

Isn't Saturn being sold off? Posted Image

As for the new Chrysler and Fiat partnership, I hope this means we'll see the Fiat 500 in North America very soon. That looks like a fun little car!

#7 of 34 OFFLINE   Shane D

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Posted May 01 2009 - 07:23 AM

i've always wondered how quickly things would have bounced back had the media not sensationalized it all and constantly doom and gloom. (not just the current situation but everything in the last 15 years, when a 'disaster' or 'attack' or 'financial crisis' happens it always freaks me out that there is a customized logo spinning at you on the screen within an hour).

in the past 6 months i've stopped looking at news sites, avoided tvs showing the news and my level of stress/worry has been great where as before i felt physically ill with everything i'd read through out the day

#8 of 34 OFFLINE   Micah Cohen

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Posted May 01 2009 - 08:06 AM

"The Cars That Wrecked Chrysler" is today's CNN headline expose. And yet, even the Magnum, the clunky wagon-y thing they excoriate in this article... is kind of cool looking in a Jeep-y kind of way (to me). I have often looked upon it's boxy shape and thought: "I'd drive that."

Challenger? Look at it again! It's the most smokin'ist retro remodel muscle car in ages! What's "better looking"? A Civic? Please!

So, I still don't get this.

MC
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#9 of 34 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted May 01 2009 - 08:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah Cohen
"The Cars That Wrecked Chrysler" is today's CNN headline expose. And yet, even the Magnum, the clunky wagon-y thing they excoriate in this article... is kind of cool looking in a Jeep-y kind of way (to me). I have often looked upon it's boxy shape and thought: "I'd drive that."

Challenger? Look at it again! It's the most smokin'ist retro remodel muscle car in ages! What's "better looking"? A Civic? Please!

So, I still don't get this.

MC
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#10 of 34 OFFLINE   BrianW

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Posted May 01 2009 - 10:41 AM

Quote:
This is not just related to Chrysler, but the whole auto industry.
Correct. Honda sales were down almost 25% in April from the previous year. Toyota Prius sales were down 61%, though that may be in part due to the anticipation of the next generation model due out soon.

Of course, Chrysler was the last to the "eco-party", with its CEO towing the SUV line longer than anyone, speculating (beyond reasonable hope) that once real-estate prices pick up, people will want to buy big Chrysler vehicles again so they can do the rounds in the back 40. Chrysler was still advertising how many gas giants their vehicles could tow when even GM got the religion and started talking up the Chevy Volt and doing market research on the Cruize and a couple of other econo-concepts. The Magnum, nice as it is, came on the scene with collossally bad timing.

But even that magnificent failure to do a timely U-turn isn't what ended up hurting Chrysler. People just aren't buying cars.

Of course, I'm no help. I've been driving the same car now for 21 years.
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#11 of 34 OFFLINE   Greg_R

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Posted May 01 2009 - 10:53 AM

Poorly designed cars with quality issues = failure. BTW, the challenger was one slight ray of sunshine for Chrysler, they relied far too much on larger vehicle sales.

#12 of 34 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted May 01 2009 - 11:43 AM

Chrysler has come up with some great designs but has fallen down in the execution and quality areas. Why buy a great design that breaks down by the side of the road? I personally was hoping the Daimler-Chrysler merger would add up Chrysler's brilliant designs with Daimler's build quality. What we got instead was insipid Daimler manufacturing productivity with Chrysler's dubious build quality.

Now we expect Feeble-Italian-Attempt-at-Transportation to come to the rescue? Fix-It-Again-Tony pulled out of the US market 25 years ago because they couldn't compete in the US market. With the completely-innocent UAW as majority (55%) shareholders? Oy veh. Posted Image
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#13 of 34 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted May 01 2009 - 11:52 AM

Oh my god. It just hit me. Fiat also now owns Ferrari. Will a Fiat-controlled Chrysler rebrand the Dodge Viper as a Ferrari Viper? Posted Image
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#14 of 34 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 01 2009 - 11:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane D
i've always wondered how quickly things would have bounced back had the media not sensationalized it all and constantly doom and gloom.
Present problems are rooted in fundamental financial problems, unaffected by the citizens' mood. The breaking point was people defaulting on mortgages: that didn't happen because people were gloomy, but because they couldn't refinance their over-financed debts.

It's been argued that if everyone was more upbeat, we'd be out there spending, taking loans, and keeping the economy humming. We did that for the post-dotcom crash and then for the post-2001 recession. We are, in part, reaping the postponement unrealized market corrections. A non-real "escape" from the current situation would also postpone necessary pain and would does nothing about the underlying debt problems of the financial companies.

As for the car companies: too few cars sold and too high costs. And a now-losing gamble on leases (automotive leveraging, it seems). I don't know how their financing arms (e.g. GMAC) factor into the carmakers' problems per se.

#15 of 34 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted May 01 2009 - 12:10 PM

Quote:
And a now-losing gamble on leases (automotive leveraging, it seems).

I think you may have something there. A lease is like an interest-only loan with a balloon payment at the end - on a depreciating asset. You either make the balloon payment on the depreciated asset, or you let the car company foreclose. Sounds like the recent home mortgage industry.

I always paid cash for cheaper cars than I could have leased, although I've been teased by my friends for decades because of this. I bought a Contour SVT rather than a BMW sedan. I bought an F-150 XLT rather than a super-fancy truck. I bought a Miata rather than a Boxster.

Many of those friends are now bankrupt.
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#16 of 34 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted May 01 2009 - 12:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by drobbins
It makes it sound like this just happened, but but they are talking about the past year. Duh.. Who doesn't know that auto sales are down from last year? When you read the story, things are doing much better. Why isn't what I put in bold below the headline?
Neither figure makes a good headline, because neither tells the whole story. Comparing March and April is apples and oranges since car sales usually go up as the weather improves. On the other hand, the year to year comparison is overly negative: Auto sales fell 37 percent year-to-year in March, but only 34 percent in April. A better headline would have been something like: "Ford gains market share in April amid weakened auto sales"
Quote:
What is with the news service and why are they so bent on putting down our auto makers? (rhetorical question) Maybe sales would improve even more if the buyer had more confidence in the companies and headlines like this don't help at all or overall consumer confidence.
The media's job is to report the facts, not cheerlead industry or artificially bolster consumer confidence. There's no question that media coverage amplifies the good times and deepens the down times, but that coverage is a reflection of the larger reality, not a cause of the larger reality. While it's of no comfort to anyone, especially those employed by the auto industry and the dependant parts and service industries, auto sales down 34 percent is big news.

My first car was a Chysler. A V6 sedan that was a lot of fun to drive, but an absolute lemon. Two transmissions, multiple water pumps, new power steering lines, gas tank, electrical, as well as some I'm not remembering. My next car was a four-cylinder Toyota with trouble making it up the hills. But the biggest expense was ~$10 for a new power steering belt. I'd never buy a Chysler again, and I've yet to see anything to convince me to switch from Toyota. The larger issue with GM and Chrysler (and to a lesser extent Ford) is that their brands have yet recover from the decades of building crap. There's no question the product they're putting out now is leaps and bounds more improved; but there's a lot of people like me that will stick with the foreign brands that have been dependable for them.

#17 of 34 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted May 01 2009 - 12:32 PM

Quote:
The media's job is to report the facts, not cheerlead industry or artificially bolster consumer confidence.

Posted Image

The MSM cheerleaded real estate, because real estate was one of the most - if not THE most - important source of newspaper advertising revenue. You do know how that has turned out?
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#18 of 34 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted May 01 2009 - 01:05 PM

Quote:
Chrysler has come up with some great designs but has fallen down in the execution and quality areas.
You could almost substitute "Harman Kardon" for "Chrysler". Calm down H/K owners, I have, and love, a 520.
Quote:
Oh my god. It just hit me. Fiat also now owns Ferrari. Will a Fiat-controlled Chrysler rebrand the Dodge Viper as a Ferrari Viper?
With the way Fiat constantly screws things up they'ed probably call it the Yugo Viper (the Yugo was based on a Fiat design. Surprised?). And calm down you Fiat owners. I also have (and yes, love) a Fiat 124 Spyder.
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#19 of 34 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted May 01 2009 - 01:27 PM

Isn't Chrysler just selling the Fiat, not making them??

#20 of 34 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted May 01 2009 - 02:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Nicholls
Oh my god. It just hit me. Fiat also now owns Ferrari. Will a Fiat-controlled Chrysler rebrand the Dodge Viper as a Ferrari Viper? Posted Image
When Dodge originally designed the Viper, they owned Maserati, who designed the heads for the truck-based V10.

I recently had a Caliber and a Mazda3 as rental cars while my Subaru was in the body shop (I managed to take out not one but two deer). Of the two I was MUCH more impressed by the Caliber. Drove nice, looked great, nice utility. Some of the interior plastics were kind of cheapish feeling compared to my (admittadly much more upmarket) Legacy, but they were way nicer than the ones in the Mazda.

Chrysler makes nice looking cars, some of which are well engineered. I'd buy one, but I just paid off the wagon and won't be buying another car for at least 5 years if I have my way.
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