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AN: Exploring the 2018 Dodge Neon and Chrysler 100

Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by Dave Z, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. runfromcheney

    runfromcheney Member

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    What the Fiat 500L and Ram ProMaster City also have in common is that they've largely flopped on our market and sell at a glacial pace. In the 500L's case, its one of the lowest rated vehicles on the market in both reliability and customer satisfaction. The Renegade has so far been a success, but that may just be the case of the Fiat Small platform following in the same footsteps of the CUSW, where they make one good, successful version while the rest of them fail on the market. Its possible that between that, the failure of the Dart, and the findings of field testing and consumer clinics, FCA has concerns that the Tipo won't sell here. If it doesn't make it over, I'm sure it will be for a good reason, yet one we may not learn until years later. It's not unheard of for a car to get shelved in development because it bombed in customer clinics or failed in durability testing. To give a recent example, a redesigned Ford Taurus was supposed to be released alongside the new Continental on the same platform. However, the Taurus bombed spectacularly in customer clinics. The Chinese were the only ones who liked it, thus that's the only country its currently sold in.

    Our tastes in cars are very different than the rest of the world, the Australians are the only ones whose taste in cars generally aligns with ours. That's both why American cars have only had limited success when exported and why numerous major global players such as Peugeot/Citroen, Renault, Opel, Suzuki, British Leyland, Mitsubishi, (pre-merger) Fiat, and the old European Fords such as the Sierra (Merkur XR4Ti) and Mondeo (Contour/Mystique) failed to find lasting success here. The Japanese got lucky in that they came over when we were being socked with gas shortages and the Big Four were filling the market with tens of thousands of dissatisfied customers who vowed to never buy another American car. Even then, it arguably wasn't until the 1982 Honda Accord and 1983 Toyota Camry that they had figured out how to build a car that appealed to the tastes of the mainstream American car market. Similarly, it wasn't until the 2006 Hyundai Sonata that the Koreans figured out the same, and they got lucky in that it was released when the Big Three and the smaller Japanese players were committing suicide. Hyundai is the reason why Suzuki and Isuzu are gone and Mitsubishi is hanging on by a thread.

    It was with the younger generations being more inclined towards smaller, sportier cars (we can thank the Japanese for that?) and the older generations being prodded into accepting smaller, more fuel-efficient cars thanks to numerous gas price spikes that allowed Detroit to finally globalize its product lines by adapting and reworking their European models for the home market.
     
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  2. runfromcheney

    runfromcheney Member

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    From a business standpoint, I understand 100% why GM is importing the Envision from China. The Envision was originally developed as a China-only model. Sensing that there could be a market for it here with the CUV boom, GM wanted to bring it over, but sales projections wouldn't justify the cost for setting up a separate North American plant to produce it. However, it is a very risky move from a PR standpoint. It's possible that importing the Envision from China may only be temporary. When GM launched the Buick Regal in 2010 they were originally imported from Germany, as it is just a rebadged version of the Opel Insignia. However, when they launched the Cadillac XTS, which is produced on the same platform, they moved Regal production to their Ontario plant where the two vehicles are now produced alongside each other. The new Chevrolet Equinox is going to be based off the Envision's platform, so maybe if it proves successful on our market, Envision production will be moved over to CAMI when the next-generation Equinox comes online.

    I always figured Chinese cars in America were inevitable, I just never thought it would be a Detroit manufacturer bringing them over. The times, they are a-changin'.
     
  3. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator

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    Unfortunately, until it is officially done... it ain't official and anything can happen during the official tests that require changes and repeats.

    Mike
     
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  4. Erik Latranyi

    Erik Latranyi Allpar Legacy

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    You are aware that GAC is building an R&D Center near Detroit?

    Just imagine a Chinese "partner" assembling the cars here in the US.
     
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  5. Mopartial

    Mopartial Fits and Finishes

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    Fixed that for you. :)

    And as far as a lack of power, the K-cars sold over a quarter of a million units right here in the U.S. every year it was in production--every one with less than 100 HP (except the turbo LeBarons and New Yorkers). And part of that streak was after the oil bust of '85. Besides, the Corollas, etc. have healthy sales numbers here and they are ridiculously sluggish.
    FiatCA will be in serious trouble when gas prices rise, because all the company has in high-mileage cars is Fiats, which Americans have (correctly) judged as poor quality. I don't see buyers heading out to scoop up eco-Pacificas to beat the pump.
     
    #585 Mopartial, Dec 5, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
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  6. JavelinAMX

    JavelinAMX Well-Known Member

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    ... And in process, imagine they become conformable and Unionize on NA soil .

    Benefits to Chinese manufacturing evaporate. Costs, if they don't fully normalize, will in essence wash.

    Back to square one.
     
  7. npaladin2000

    npaladin2000 LOAD "*",8,1

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    Actually, the ProMaster City isn't doing too badly. It was always envisioned as a low-volume model here anyway, otherwise they'd build it in NA. Ultimately, the Small platform family has done much better than CUSW, and I figure FCA's next C segment entry here will be Small-based (assuming they ever try again anyway). That doesn't necessarily mean the Tipo is easily federalized, however. Even though it's a shared platform family, the unibodies riding on it are clearly different and may have different crash test performance.
     
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  8. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Like Toyota, I guess. Toyota never did become much of anything in the USA, given that their first two plants were unionized and they used mostly cast-offs from GM, Chrysler, and Ford.

    Sorry 'bout the sarcasm. A local R&D center in the midst of discontented experienced workers is a great idea for them, IMHO.
     
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  9. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    What does that have to do with the section of my post that you quoted?
     
  10. Erik Latranyi

    Erik Latranyi Allpar Legacy

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    I was trying to back you up and show that instead of the Chinese building cars in China (as Prabhjot advocates) I believe we will see the Chinese building cars here.
     
  11. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    If this becomes the Dodge Neon or Chrysler 100, it has to be a good car. It can't be seen as a cheap or low quality entry (or worse yet, cheap and low quality). FCA's reputation in the US for small cars has been destroyed. It was bad before, but Sergio's tantrum about the Dart and 200 makes any new small car face a much larger hurdle than any past effort. I agree, they probably need to do this but the car needs to be right for the market or it will just be another failure for FCA.
     
  12. hmk123

    Level III Supporter

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    I went with the 2.0L and the proven six speed because I personally usually like to go with the least complex solution. Seems to usually work out better that way in the long run...
     
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  13. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    The lighter side is, it IS a fun car when you get the turbo going! I have the stick shift so either way I’d have the same transmission. THere were lots of 1.4s used, no 2.0s I could find with a stick. The gas mileage is quite good when you don’t use the a/c, I’m showing 31 mixed now and have beaten 42 on the highway.
     
  14. JavelinAMX

    JavelinAMX Well-Known Member

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    'Yota was here in the States in 1958, and Honda in 1959. Both were headquartered near my childhood home (within a short bicycle ride to either office). The community was founded and heavily populated by Asians - particularly of Japanese extraction.

    The companies started by selling cars to the Asian families in the area. Those Asian families already had Ford, GM, Chrysler products. The Toyota or Honda or Datsun was their second or third car.

    In the late 60's the Japanese-Car-In-America industry turned a corner and sought to appeal to USA-American customers more directly (most notably planning for the physicality of an adult male of Western European heritage).

    I was in a band at the time ('68-'69), and the Bass-player's family was contacted by Datsun (Nissan) who chose the men in the family as testers, which meant the Bass-Player's father was included to short-term test the Datsun 1600 and 2000. But the time this was happening, Honda had already made the commitment to leverage their CVCC engine in the next-gen car : the Civic (which didn't appear for two or three model years).

    The Civic impacted the N.A. market fairly quickly. Not long after launch was when the Oil "situation" hit the USA market. Honda's timing was impeccable.
     
  15. hmk123

    Level III Supporter

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    Strange question: how much did Sony help the Japanese car industry in the eighties? I wasn't living here back then but visiting a few times and it seems like a company like Sony made a lot of things coming from Japan "cool". Their commercials and their products in my opinion might have elevated a lot of things coming from Japan. If you loved a Sony Walkman or VCR you might be inclined to look at a Honda as well. Wondering if Samsung helped Hyundai a bit in the last decade as well...
     
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  16. Citation84

    Citation84 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Sony was THE brand in electronics in the 80s. The Walkman was a premium product. It became the name for a personal CD player, like Kleenex and tissue paper, or Band-Aid for adhesive bandages regardless of the brand it actually came from.

    There's a word for that sort of morphing from a brand name into a common word, but I can't remember what it is.
     
  17. jerseyjoe

    jerseyjoe Plymouth Makes It

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    Sony makes some premium stuff that most people aren't aware of.
     
  18. Erik Latranyi

    Erik Latranyi Allpar Legacy

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    Brand Eponym
     
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  19. Citation84

    Citation84 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for that, Erik.
     
  20. UN4GTBL

    UN4GTBL Allpar Legacy

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    ..and "Jeep" for any type of SUV
     
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