• Feb 20th 2007 at 3:58PM
  • 35
Chrysler will further tout its connection to Mercedes beginning with the launch of the Sebring convertible. Well, gee, the Mercedes DNA is fairly oozing off the Sebrings, isn't it? Underwhelmed by the Sebring sedan's sales performance thus far, Chrysler has decided to move the image for the entire brand upmarket. The idea is to play up the idea of "German Engineering" while also emphasizing that Chrysler is the premium American offering under the DCX tent. Ultimately, the goal is to attract customers from Toyota and Honda, which are also seen as premium-engineered vehicles.

Time will tell how successful they are about passing off the Sebring and other mainstream Chryslers as having any link to Mercedes (LX platform excluded). The "merger of equals" has played out more like Mercedes throwing their dregs over to Chrysler in the form of the R170 platform for the Crossfire and the suspension design under the LX cars. The mainstream Chryslers -- the ones that actually need to be popular instead of the halo cars -- have nary a lick of Mercedes in 'em as far as we can tell. Premium in this case must mean content and value for the dollar, which the Chrysler line certainly represents. Then again, how strong is the connection between Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz if one is about to be auctioned off to the highest bidder?

[Source: Auto News - sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      To: 25

      Sit in a Chrysler cause obvious you don't see what I'm talking about.

      You can't compare a bumper to an interior. Weird comparison!
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Yet so many people keep buying that brand of car. If the G E line works so well for V W, why shouldn't Chrysler try it?"

      VW has a legitimate claim to "German Engineered", considering its cars are, well, German engineered.

      But they are not doing well in the U.S. Sales have fallen significantly since 2000/2001. Not Jaguar bad, mind you.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Comparisons to VW are irrelevant--see, at least VW *has* great interior, even if their electrical reliability is questionable. Sebring interior? Tacky. Chrysler 300 is in bad need of a refresh, and its interior is nevertheless inferior to a Honda Accord.

      The solution is not to move prices upscale. It's to move *quality* upscale. Fancy that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #22, sounds like you got it figured out to me. The car market is a tough nut to crack, alot of brands are having trouble. You'd think the robust economy would have an effect. Are folks buying new cars every few years like they used to? Don't know, I certainly never did that, but I'm not representative of the majority. Maybe folks are figuring out the massive amount of depreciation involved with a new car and going for the next-to-new certified used car to avoid that. How many new cars are sitting on the lot compared to the used ones in exceptional condition?

      Enough already with you mental midgets who never graduated from highschool brand bashing! All brands have their good and bad attributes, yes, even Honda and Toyota. Would I pick a 300C Hemi over a '97 Accord? Ah.......yeah. Would I take a 300C Hemi over a new Accord? Ah.......yeah. I'm sure I'd get over the supposed "cheap" plastic for the uncomparable performance. Please spare me the disneyland disagreements Honda worshipers.

      Being around older cars most of my life, I get a big kick out of you guys talking about varying grades of "plastic". My '77 Chrysler is cheap in comparison to a '64 model, but makes today's cars seem like the inside of the electric toy car you buy for your kid at Christmas.

      I grew up in a Mopar family. We had 1959-1966 Imperials that went 350,000+ miles while my father tried to drive them into the ground. I've had many Chryslers that had no problem. I've got a cherry '77 New Yorker that handles like a boat and rides like a dream. A level of ride quality that most modern day luxury car owners would know nothing about. I had a K-car station wagon I wish I hadn't sold and many minivans that were very reliable. I also have a 2000 Durango with an annoying and recurring door lock problem. I've got a Ford Windstar with 145,000 miles that's still going strong. I also know someone that sold the same year Windstar as mine after 100,000 miles and 3 transmissions. I know guys who swear by their Ford trucks. My brother bought one and had nothing but trouble, he's also rough on vehicles which might also explain the 3 trannies in the Windstar. I can say the same type of comments about GM owners. I know of a few Suburbans approaching 200,000 miles.

      I'm sure the same could be said about Toyota and Honda. In fact, I've heard some on this very site. Although, their religious cult like followers would never admit it (or maybe it's sexual in nature?). I guess I'm getting old, the moment went right on by when owning a Honda became a status symbol equal to that of a Ferrari, affording the same level of smugness.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This see-saw motion of DCX dumping Chrysler while doing more to try and increase image and sales...I see something brewing in the background. It seems like the Teutons are throwing out the idea of selling Chrysler in order to make the stock go higher, and if they start getting Chrysler turned around, they may just repurchase or take Chrysler off the market. I see this as a ploy to just shut the stock holders up and make them richer.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Many folks here RIGHTLY believe that other brand that touts it's "German Engineering" is a piece of crap. Yet so many people keep buying that brand of car. If the G E line works so well for V W, why shouldn't Chrysler try it?

      What really kills me is all the brands that think their salvation is in just "moving upmarket". It's the automotive equivalent of the Clampetts moving to Beverly Hills and expecting to become "high society folks". Rover cars tried this, and where did it get them? Mazda has tried it...I'd consider them a work in progress. Hyundai wants to do it...time will tell, they may actually pull it off.

      As a previous poster said, Chrysler WAS once a premium brand. THAT all went out the window right before they decided to downsize EVERYTHING to a FWD K-car clone. Are you listening Buick? (See earlier topic)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sorry Chrysler. You've got a lot to learn. Claiming GE and charging even more is not going to help you. The whole buying experience sucks and the dealerships treat you like 3rd class citizens, several times a year try to charge for unrequired parts and labor ...

      [ like you need a new battery after 12 months because you live in Florida and that strains the battery, we need to do 2 hour pressure testing to calibrate the airconditioning system, the little thing there requires us to drop the transmission and perform a ... ]
      • 8 Years Ago
      People aren't as flat out dumb azzz as Chrysler assumes. Remember the press reporting that part of Chrysler's LAST move upmarket was their "Path to Premium" strategy with Crossfire and Pacifica and 300... wow, they really are quite premium - in the eyes of someone who has no clue maybe.

      When engineers, finance people and field staff turn their fine energies to marketing it can be a scary thing. They treat it like it's the lowest skill level possible - and it shows.

      The stakeholders in the brand should be accountable for wasting countless millions of the company's money on yet another hair-brained strategy.

      Maybe that's why when you spell-check Chrysler in m'soft word the word they advise instead is "chisler".
      • 8 Years Ago
      First off, #30, that was quite possibly the most well thought out, well worded comment I have ever seen on Autoblog. Thank you.

      As for everyone bashing interiors on Chrysler vehicles, I can understand it in the case of cars like the new Sebring and PT Cruiser, however the interior on the 300 or Pacifica are extremely nice, using soft touch plastics and nice wood accents. I think in most cases with ppl complaining on this website you have never actually gone and sat in one of these vehicles, or have done so but went in expecting the worst and couldn't see anything but that.

      Anyone who would rather drive a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry over a 300C (or use the Avalon, I don't care) is simply not thinking. The 300C is a beautifully styled, powerful, well mannered car that is a pleasure to drive and can make you daily commute all the better, and give you that extra grunt when you need it.

      I wouldn't be so bold as to claim that everything Chrysler is making is a good product, its not, nor do I think their company is heading in the right direction, but to make a comment like #36 is rediculous. Chrysler designs have never been 20 years behind the curve. The LX platform vehicles have led to the resurgence in big sedan american styling and the use of RWD, something that Honda and Toyota STILL have yet to catch onto. The Chrysler Pacifica started the current big trend or crossover vehicles, a HUGE new segment that other companies are scrambling to join, so please don't spout all these ignorant comments on this site without first doing a little research or just thinking them out. It's really pretty unsettling. If Chrysler, Ford and GM were all to disappear today, the world economy would hit a depression like never experienced before and you all would be reminiscing about the days they were around and how you miss them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm really wondering how DCX has managed to screw up Chrysler so bad. Surely it cannot have been that difficult.

      Take the platform of the outgoing C-Class. I assume it's being thrown in the trash now a new one is coming out. Why then did they not give it to Chrysler to base the new Sebring on? DCX would get more use out of the platform saving development costs and Chrysler would have a really good starting point on which to build the Sebring.

      All Chrysler models should be based on outgoing Mercedes platforms. It seems so simple and would give Chrysler real cachet in the marketplace. Then they would just need to put more focus on styling (300 awsome, Sebring awful) and better quality plastics for the interiors.

      Ta da!

      Instead now we have the odd looking Sebring based on ropey old bits of Mitsubishi, full of cheapo plastic and now apparently to be marketed as "Germanic classy". Well. Bravo.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Chrysler may want to hold off on the Diamler connection if they decide to dump Chrysler
      • 8 Years Ago
      LOL! They are so lost! The new Sebring is a design disaster. If they want to sell more, they need to hire all new designers. This is just like Ford calling their 500 the Taurus in a desperate attempt to cover up a substandard product. Chrysler is now doing the same by listing the Sebring as Germanic. There is nothing Germanic about this car. It's a mish mosh of odd styling that turns Accord and Camry buyers off. Good like Chrysler... you got 5 long years to live with this mistake.
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