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200 and Dart

Discussion in 'Rumors and Speculation' started by unverferth, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. TRaceR

    TRaceR Well-Known Member

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    I would have bought a new SRT version of the Dart to replace my Caliber SRT. I ended up buying a used Charger R/T instead.
     
  2. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    That makes sense if you trade it in before too long. If you keep a car forever like I do, it will be old enough that its value is comparable to other makes of its age/nil.
     
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  3. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    There wasent anything wrong with 9 speed, but it has two shifts that are different from what the customer is used to and thought it was something wrong with the tranny.
    And i Think its the same problem with the ddc, they tried to hard to make it behave like an old school auto tranny.
    - how do you educate the customer...
     
  4. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    Yes, there was something wrong with the 9 speed, two things in fact:
    1) That it did not behave as desired. It makes no difference how great a design is if it does not meet the basic expectations of the user. If you have to explain how it works - well that's an indication of a poor design choice.
    2) That the behavior varied wildly between vehicles. My FWD Cherokee with the 2.4 9 speed was fine. Most others I drove with this combination were either unpleasant or terrible.

    As for the DDCT - It was a design decision made without understanding use parameters.

    Seems like they made the same mistake twice.
     
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  5. Christopher

    Christopher Socially Unacceptable
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    I don't know what the average age of my cars is. But it is pretty long. My last car I had for 11 years. I ended up selling it to an old girlfriend because she needed a car and I was willing to part with it for what she could afford to pay. Otherwise, I'd probably still be driving it. My Charger is 4.5 years old and with the Lifetime MaxCare warranty I hope to have it for many more years. My goal is at least 15 years. The three cars I've had for the shortest period of time I have gotten more money than I paid for them....though one of those was totaled after 17 days of ownership.

    I get that doesn't work for everyone either.
     
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  6. Ernesto

    Ernesto Active Member

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    Pryor to the production end announcement, my 200 was worth about $500 under comparable Malibu in my zip code according to kbb. Today about $1700 under the Malibu according to kbb. I might drive the car as I did my 15 year 1996 Plymouth Neon. I might choose not to. I'm likely to keep driving the 200 with it's artificially depressed value. Cars don't rust in Central Texas. Heck, I might even purchase a G based Avenger.
     
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  7. somber

    somber 370,000 miles
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    Gap insurance is of no value to me, as I always save up and pay cash for my cars. I also tend to drive them an average of 15 years (until they become too expensive to keep on the road). Gap insurance only helps someone who finances or leases a car, right? When my 4 month old 2015 Charger was totaled, I was lucky that Chargers had pretty good resale value. Had I been driving a new 300 or 200, I'd have taken a bath on the insurance settlement. I can understand why Ernesto is nervous about the resale value of his 200. But once he's had it for several years, the difference in resale (from other makes) becomes less.
     
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  8. duster92

    duster92 Well-Known Member

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    I think people forget that creating a compact car in this market from scratch is a massive undertaking. Chrysler was just emerging out of bankruptcy when the design process started. It had to be designed quickly and it had to have the latest technology. They were behind the Eight Ball from the beginning. Chrysler was short on engineers. They were also squeezing suppliers for all they were worth. The result in the beginning was major quality issues and a lack of repair parts. There was enthusiasm early but it was squandered.

    The cars they were competing against had been established for YEARS. They had suppliers in place and their designs were an evolution of previous successful designs. So it was a major long shot that the Dart was going to succeed. The half baked quality of the Nine Speed would have a similar effect on the 200. Again, the Camry, Corolla, Accord, and the Civic all benefit from being around for decades. The engineering and relationships with their suppliers are solid. The Corolla had a 4 speed auto and rear drums for how long? People didn't care because it didn't break. I understand this. If you are on a budget, you can't afford to have your car stuck weeks in the shop waiting for parts. This happened a lot with Dart owners.

    I would have loved a Dart SRT but the sport compact scene had faded by 2010. If you made a 300 HP AWD Dart it might out run the V6 Challenger and they wouldn't want that. Plus, they didn't have the money. They would have had to Federalize a new engine for that. If you remember, it was a miracle that the Neon SRT even made it into production. The Neon SRT also existed before the Charger came of age in 2005. The Caliber SRT was a disappointment. Insurance rates went sky high for Sport Compact Turbos which put them out of reach for its primary Demographic: Men in their early 20s.

    I still really like the look of the Dart and every time I see one I shake my head. It could have been a contender.
     
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  9. aldo90731

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    Let me try to answer your question.

    I have seen no evidence that out-of-the-box styling would have helped Dart and 200, the way it did PT Cruiser. The sedan buyer is notoriously conservative; they prefer familiar, unassuming designs that age well. These buyers tend to focus primarily on reliability, safety, efficiency, low cost of ownership and resale value.

    Both Dart and 200 were handsome IMO, but that didn't help. They didn't have the established reputation for reliability, safety and efficiency that sedan buyers seek. The thing is, it would have taken years for these sedans to prove themselves in the market, but they were discontinued long before they even had a chance.

    I remember reading awhile ago that the unique strength that both Camry and Accord enjoy resides in their 4-cyl engines: a 4-cyl Accord or Camry delivered performance and refinement comparable to competitors' V6, all the while delivering much greater fuel efficiency and a lower purchase price. As well as Altima and Fusion have done for themselves, neither has a 4-cyl with the reputation for power, refinement and efficiency of Honda or Toyota, and sales reflect this. With Chrysler it was even more lopsided: as great as the 200 V6 was, the 4-cyl was the step-child. Accordingly, a powerful, smooth, reliable and efficient 4-cyl may have done more to grow 200 sales than anything else.

    The PT Cruiser buyer was completely different. Hatchback buyers are known to be younger, more attracted to interesting designs and in fun to drive. They are willing to try a brand without an established reputation for reliability and safety in order to get something more eye-catching and/or fun to drive. After the success of PT Cruiser, Toyota briefly pickup up some of these buyers with the first generation Matrix. By the time 2nd gen Matrix came out, buyers had moved on to 1st gen Scion xB.

    For years Golf used to appeal to a unique group of US buyers who wanted something more premium than a Honda or a Toyota, but within reach of a young person who couldn't afford a luxury vehicle. In 2012 VW screwed all that up when it decided to decontent its vehicles to reduce prices and grow volume to 800,000 by 2014. The strategy backfired: all of a sudden VW offered Honda and Toyota prices but without the reputation for quality it failed to attract more buyers. And in the process, VW alienated that group of loyals who valued VW's premium design and performance, but were unimpressed with VW's new decontented products. VW US sales had been in freefall well before Dieselgate hit in late 2015. They finally have started recovering after giving up on their world domination plans, restituted Golf to its traditional premium perch, and added CUVs to the lineup.

    These days Kia Soul is the vehicle of choice for young buyers seeking a fun, stylish 5-door vehicle. With Soul now in its 2nd generation, Kia has been able to keep interest in their hatchback longer than other 5-doors have --excluding Golf.
     
    #29 aldo90731, Oct 4, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Socially Unacceptable
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    You are correct. And I should have clarified that if you're financing a car, doing so without GAP is foolish unless you plan to self insure. I assumed (I know...) that it was financed since paying cash for a car is not the norm. So from that point of view, I stand corrected.

    I can definitely see what you're saying and yes, that could be a problem. I'm working on saving up for a new car. If I can't pay cash for my next one I sure hope to have a majority of it covered with the down payment.
     
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  11. JavelinAMX

    JavelinAMX Well-Known Member

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    .

    Good input.

    I think a company is best served to maintain a model already selling in the segment as a serious and dedicated part of the portfolio. Had we been forthright, the follow-up to the Neon would've been the next, but better Neon. But I digress.

    After the US Government Green-Lighted Fiat-Chrysler, it might have been better to do the Miata-Fiata style Joint Venture to piggy-back a Fiat/Chrysler Commuter Car over a Mazda3-base ( just as a "For instance" ) and use our Power Plant to reach the goal. If you had to, shutting THAT down would have been less painful and possibly less costly.

    Re-establishing a model is harder than keeping and correcting an established model. I think dropping a line makes it more difficult to try to re-establish into the same segment some years later. We might already have exceeded our allotted effort, which the confidence level of the buying public dictates. Caliber and Dart just might have exhausted the market's tolerance for that sort of thing from one company.

    .
     
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  12. somber

    somber 370,000 miles
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    The way I began paying cash was by keeping my cars a long time. Once I made my final payment to the bank and got the title, I continued making monthly "payments" into my new car savings account. I drove my Neon for 17 years, which was far more than long enough to save up for a new Charger.

    Given the depreciation rates of the 300s and 200s, buying a 2 to 3 year old one is probably the best way to go. Let the original owner or lessee pay the depreciation. Around here I sometimes see 2 year old 300Cs selling for about half of their original MSRP.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Socially Unacceptable
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    My job pays me $150/week to drive my car. I have that money deposited into an account that will be used either to buy my next vehicle outright, or put a significant down payment on it.

    My Charger was my first, and probably last, new car I will purchase. And if I had actually had the numbers in front of me, I probably wouldn't have purchased new. I'd much rather buy a car that is a year or two old and costs significantly less.
     
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  14. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    ... and maybe the reason why the Dart and 200 were dropped is because Chrysler looked at an equivalent of Aldo’s analysis posted here, and said, “The Dart can’t regain the trust we lost with the utterly poor quality of the 2013 1.4 cars, with their fail-every-few-years engines and transmissions, lousy electricals, and pervasive rattles, and the 200 doesn’t have the four-cylinder engine it needs and won’t for at least four more years.” Neither can really compete the way it should. The 200, had it only been marketed as a low-volume V6 premium car, might have succeeded financially if it had shared its assembly line, but that's hindsight talking, and probably it could never make the volume to pay off the engineering and tooling costs.

    The Dart... was FCA’s 1976 Volare. After 2013 they fixed the quality issues, but the damage was done.
     
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  15. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    The 200 with the 2.4L and even the 6-speed automatic was FINE for power. My only complaint is that when you really step on it, the engine growls REALLY loud, and that's above 4000 RPM. At all other times it is very, very quiet.
     
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  16. aldo90731

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    I agree. You can find lots of fine Chrysler 200 and 300 out there with less than 20,000 miles on the odometer, in excellent shape, with the remainder of the factory warranty, for 50-60% of MSRP.

    Wranglers, Challengers and Grand Cherokees with a HEMI, and Ram pickups...not so much. They hold their value pretty well.
     
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  17. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    It seems the earlier generation with the 2.4 6 speed was more refined (power train wise) than the 2.4 9 speed was. I know I was deeply disappointed in the new 200 2.4 cars I drove.
     
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  18. unverferth

    unverferth Well-Known Member

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    Very good analogy.
    Thank you.
     
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  19. MJAB

    MJAB Well-Known Member

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    For the Dry DCT it was not a hardware design error, but a a tuning decision = active creeping.
    It is like driving a manual gearbox and driving it making slip the clutch ... it will not last so much time.

    The C635 DCT was engineered also to use a wet clutch.
     
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  20. nastijeep

    nastijeep Active Member

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    this was your reply to Bob Lincoln . I have had 5 vehicles with the 2.4l engine; Breeze, Sebring, 200 & (2) Compass 4x4s. changed out to K&N air filters. after just a bit of lag while getting into throttle, these engines will do surprisingly well. I keep on top of maintenance. have had 4, 6 speed & CVT. wondered if 2.4t could've been used in any of these. for smaller vehicle not used to tow, I am satisfied with the 2.4. was interested in 200 AWD & V6, but wanted better visibility. sebring got up to 32 mpg on occasion, best with 1st gen 200 was upper 28mpg with 4 speed. compass with cvt getting 23.5 to 26mpg.
    one of my coworkers had a tricked out mustang, spent money souping it up. traded it off on 200 with V6 & 9 speed; said 200 was as fast or faster than 'stang.
     

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