Allpar Tenth Anniversary Survey Results
Thank you for participating in the Allpar 10th Anniversary Survey.
Chrysler feedback: in the news
It seems Chrysler folk have been focusing mainly on the upcoming deal with GM (or Nissan, but GM is more likely). Unfortunately, the company that generated insane profits in the 1990s is now reaching the end of the line, according to most readers. 329 readers — a majority of the respondents — gave their opinions on the biggest surprise Chrysler would have for us in the next year. 72% said the surprise would be a merger — 49% with GM, 3% with Nissan, and 20% not mentioning the other party. 5% said the surprise would be closing; 15% said it would be some form of new car; and the remaining 8% said it would be success! That’s a pretty pessimistic group, especially since most of the opinions expressed about this were fairly negative.
Allpar readers are hardly happy with the idea of a GM takeover, with 65% feeling it would destroy Chrysler. That’s even worse than the perceived effects of the Daimler takeover, which readers overwhelmingly thought caused immense damage to Chrysler.
|Destroy(ed) Chrysler, leaving a pale imitation||65%||23%|
|Cause(d) immense damage to Chrysler||25%||58%|
|Wouldn’t / Didn't hurt much||3%||5%|
|Help(ed) Chrysler a little||4%||9%|
|Save(d) Chrysler from death||3%||5%|
Moving on to the raison d’être for these companies, we asked readers for their favorite cars — in general, out of the cars they’ve owned, and out of the past ten years. The latter was the smartest question because it didn't involve us going through huge lists of cars and trying to figure out which ones were on top. That said, readers’ favorite cars were by far associated with muscle — and were cars rather than trucks. (By the way, only a very few Challenger citers mentioned “new” or “old.”) We got 375 replies to this question, with dozens of cars showing up, most cited by one to three people.
The favorite cars readers actually owned were generally less iconic. The Ram was no surprise given sales figures; the Neon was a surprise, coming in tied for first place with the Ram. The original Charger was also a surprise, given the low sales figures and how long ago they were made; we guess our demographics are a little different from Autoblog’s. The Dakota was also a surprise. Note that the Daytona is the front-drive version.
Original Charger (31)
Road Runner (27)
New Charger (14)
Orig. Charger (19)
Which vehicle will be the biggest seller for 2009? Here are the answers you gave. One surprise for me was the number of people citing the Challenger, which Dodge hasn’t really given high sales estimates for. Not many thought the Chrysler minivan would take the lead, though the Dodge minivan got a number of votes — our readers seem to have different ideas than Chrysler execs.
|New small car (TBA)||44||11.00%|
|Chrysler Town & Country||17||4.20%|
|Chrysler 300 series||7||1.70%|
We asked for your favorite brand, and we gave you a long list. Plymouth, long dead, was actually given a higher place in our readers’ hearts than Chrysler — hear that, Bob, Jim, and Tom? If you manage to keep the company going, think about a swap... nobody associates Plymouth with buyouts and failures!
|Plymouth (including Valiant)||103||25.60%|
Then we asked for your favorite car (or truck) from the last ten years — allpar’s official reign of existence through 2008. By far, the Dodge Challenger and its LX stablemates held sway. The Neon still showed up, but it was relegated to #5. Three people mentioned the Crossfire as a write-in. Also mentioned were DeSoto (2%), AMC and Hudson (1% each), and, with one respondent per brand, Eagle, Nash, Rambler, and SIMCA. Nobody selected Humber, Hillman, Singer, Sunbeam, Matra, Maxwell, Chalmers, Commer, or Talbot, and we didn’t put in Kaiser-Frazer.
|LX (300, Charger, etc.,
|Neon (including SRT4)||33||8.20%|
|LH (Intrepid, 300M, etc)||30||7.50%|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee/
|J-cars (Sebring, Stratus, etc.)||6||1.50%|
|Jeep Patriot, Compass,
or Dodge Caliber
As for the future, we asked people which vehicle would be produced in 2010. We were told:
We asked for your favorite “underground” car — a car that was developed, designed, or introduced with substantial executive resistance. The three choices were the Plymouth Fury — see Curtis Redgap’s insider history to understand why executives were opposed to that car (and punished Plymouth for it); the Plymouth Duster — see Curtis Redgap’s Duster history to see why and how Plymouth was punished for it; and the PT Cruiser (which I still believe was originally to be a Plymouth) — you know what we’re going to say already. The Duster was by far the favorite — and that’s probably no surprise, not just because the Fury is so far back in history, but because its sales made the Fury and PT Cruiser (and for that matter the 300) seem like poor-selling niche vehicles. You know, like the 300F or Dodge Challenger... or any current Chrysler car.
|1970 Plymouth Duster||208||53%|
|2001 PT Cruiser||123||32%|
|1956 Plymouth Fury||59||15%|
So much for favorite cars — the next question is, which was the most significant? Here we had some surprises. It seems many people found the “saved the company” cars to be most significant in Chrysler’s history.
|300 Letter Cars||25||6%|
|Original Hemi cars||25||6%|
Other choices included, in order from most to least popular: the full 1957 line, 1993 Ram, Road Runner, LX series, 1960 Valiant, Jeep Cherokee, first unit-body cars, Jeep CJ, 1970 Plymouth Duster, Neon, Airflow, 2009 Ram, EV, the first ''real'' Plymouth, the 1924 Chrysler, and A-series trucks and vans. Garnering absolutely no votes were 'The Good Maxwell," the Imperial, the SIMCA 1100 (best-selling car in Europe and model for the Volkswagen Rabbit), the Jeep Wagoneer, and the TEVan and EPIC electric minivans.
But what about under the hood? Here are the favorite engines, with few surprises:
|318 / 360 (5.2 / 5.9) V8s||14%|
|2.2 / 2.5 liter four-cylinders||10%|
|2.0 / 2.4 Neon/PT/minivan engine||9%|
|3.5 / 4.0 liter V6 family||5%|
|3.3 / 3.8 liter V6 family||5%|
|2.5 / 4.0 AMC/Jeep engines||4%|
|3.7 V6 / 4.7 V8 truck/Jeep engines||3%|
|2.5 or 3.0 Mitsubishi V6||2%|
|2.7 liter V6||2%|
|World Engine (current four-cylinders)||0.5%|
Back in the corporate arena, we asked for your favorite person or group from Chrysler history. The results were fairly surprising, though perhaps the #1 choice wasn’t. Here are some of the top picks:
|Sox & Martin||8%|
|The Dodge brothers||5%|
|Walter P. Chrysler||4%|
Getting four or fewer votes were Frederick Zeder, Carl Breer, and Owen Skelton; the Golden Commandos; Willem Weertman; Mike Castiglione; Trevor Creed; George Wallace; Lynn A. Townsend; Francis Castaing; Bill "Maverick'' Golden; John North Willys; John Fernandez; Burton Bouwkamp; and Pete Hagenbuch. Getting zero votes were Glenn Gardner, Thomas Stallkamp, Bob McCurry, Tom LaSorda, Jim Press, and Bob Nardelli. But you know we had to put some of them in. We were a bit surprised neither Glenn Gardner nor Tom Stallkamp got any love.
Getting back to Allpar, we asked for the goofiest thing we’ve done over the years. Keep in mind we started out as a pretty much un-named site in 1994, and only got the Allpar name four years later.
|Trying to revive Plymouth||None really needed||36%|
|Popup ads||Ad money from the Luna Network let me leave my “real” job. Then Luna was bought out and shut down. I needed money — partly to pay for the servers but mainly to pay for my time off from work! Banner ads paid 1¢ to 5¢ (CPM), and popups could pay up to $2 (CPM), while Luna had paid $7.50 (CPM). Then, in came Google, with a fair revenue split and less sleazy advertisers! (DoubleClick allowed their advertisers to install software on viewers’ computers!) I still work part time but I have much more time for Allpar now, can sponsor annual meets, make mugs, etc.||16%|
|Quote of the week||Some of these were controversial. A quote from Stalin was taken as implied support of Stalin. For the record, I have no desire for anyone to follow in Stalin’s footsteps, but as they say, “know thine enemy.” Which I assume means “Understand how they work so you’re not fooled.”||13%|
|Trying to free Chrysler from Daimler||On second thought, maybe we were better off in the frying pan.||12%|
|Not having our own domain name||Why did it take so long for me to pay the $30 to get allpar.com? I mean, four years? Then I finally realized that I never, ever, ever wanted to contact 200 webmasters that linked to an obsolete name to try to get them to update their sites.||10%|
|Spammy classifieds||I actually paid for that awful software. Seemed really nice until I discovered it didn’t support people living outside the United States, and was a gift to scammers.||4%|
|Behind the Shed||Having a place for people to fight turned out to be not as good an idea as we thought.||3%|
|WebBBS forums||These were very popular, but they reached a performance limit at around 10,000 messages because each message was its own file; so old messages had to be archived, and the archiving system was ... mediocre. (It was also very hard to lock out people who abused the system.) I accidentally lost many of the old messages, so though Bob O’Neill wrote a program to rescue the old WebBBS messages, we ended up without much of John Auto Tech’s wisdom. We also lost some users who really liked the chatty nature of WebBBS. I still sometimes see sites using it (updated in 2016)!||2%|
|UBB forums||They were my first attempt at a modern forum; unfortunately UBB’s lead programmer left to found Invisionboard, and they pretty much made it clear that the version of UBB we were using was slated for eventual elimination. I sometimes wish I had gone with VBulletin, but I'm not switching now! Probably very few current readers remember the UBB forums since we only had them for a short time.||2%|
Finally, let’s look at your favorite Allpar sections. We had a huge list of options here, and I'm only showing those which got 10% or more of the votes. People were allowed to pick up to three options apiece. I was happy to see corporate history show up, given how much time that stuff takes.
|Upcoming vehicles / rumors||140||35%|
|Individual car writeups||127||31%|
|Engines / transmissions||67||17%|
Then we asked what we should feature more of, and were mainly told — muscle cars, performance tips, and model year changes.
By far, the most popular gift desired by respondents was a T-shirt. Some people wanted memorabilia and we’ll be going through our stockpile soon; others wanted mugs and we’ll mail some of those out soon.
As for what Allpar needs to do now:
- "Keep it up" was cited by more people than just about anything else.
- The next most popular was a petition to prevent the takeover, but this has two possible results I can think of. First, many people sign the petition; in which case Cerberus either ignores it or points out how it is irrelevant to their business. Second, no matter how many people sign the petition, Cerberus points out that it is a small number, given all the car buyers in the country, and shows how few people care. I short, I think the risk of blowback is stronger than the potential for gain.
- Numerous people said we need to take over Chrysler. I agree but this is not practical given our current range of assets and high-finance connections.
We were surprised by the response to the question on people's favorite story or feature at allpar. The largest category, by far, was history — an area where we get relatively few hits. Numerous people mentioned stories by Curtis Redgap; we really have to figure out a better way to feature these after their first two weeks on the site.
Thanks for your participation. We’ll start mailing out some presents to randomly chosen people soon — except for T-shirts, which will have to wait until we print them this summer!