AF: Where is Chrysler trying to go? | Page 13 | Allpar Forums
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Where is Chrysler trying to go?

Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by Dave Z, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    10,246
    Likes:
    21,517
    Agree.

    I noticed Forbes recycles many of Consumer Reports "press releases". I wonder if there's some sort of business arrangement between the two.

    If you notice, that list reflected a typical CR short list: Toyota, Honda and Subaru. Period. There's nothing else in this world.

    God forbid CR would ever allow any CDJR product to get onto a list like this.
     
    #241 aldo90731, Jan 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  2. freshforged

    freshforged Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes:
    2,542
    there is a lot of factors that go into car-retention. It crazy to pin it on just the manufacturers label, when socio-economic status, income, age, changing family dynamics all play a (IMHO more) important part.
     
    Cornupenuria likes this.
  3. Prabhjot

    Prabhjot Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes:
    1,370
    @ScottB

    Most Asian usa-made vehicles have extraordinarily high import content: they are much more assembly operations than outright manufacturing and development operations. As you are aware, that and the rhythm of Asian-marque investments and developments in the US have had MOSTLY to do with currency value shifts on a long term structural basis, since the volcker fed moves in around 1980.

    Currently, the massively depreciated yen- and thai baht-relative to the us$ means that Asian marques have a HUGE (it is said: upto 2000$ or more of a pure currency-effect margin advantage vis-a-vis the domestics esp FCA per compact and midsize sedan and cuv).

    'World car' is a reductionist way of understanding (a) platitecture and/or powertrain sharing/commonization, that too selectively (b) a more-global supply-chain and manufacturing geography depending on the usual myriad factors that underpin such sticky decisions, not the least of which is available spare capacity and workforces and supply-chains+logistics that MAY already be on-the-books, waiting to be put-to-work but underused currently.

    So no, a Chysler 100 made largely or entirely in say Turkey or a Dodge rwd sedan+coupe made somewhat or mostly in say italy, alongside Alfa-s does NOT amount to 'world car' standardization a la 'one ford' or Toyota etc. And certainly is not mere re-badging. Although, for SOME nameplates of some brands it may be no bad thing to do a re-badge or three (a la Fiat pro vans-->Ram promaster.) That goes 'both' ways (eg., Chrysler-->Lancia, in the past and in the future?) of course!

    The point are the brand-'identities', whether or not they evoke or tap into a 'national-identity' sub- or main-text and this is something IMO FCA under Marchionne and o francois etc have been exceptional-at is brand reflation, cultivation, focussing, aura-tisation, curation even, albeit a VERY still-work-in-progress of course. Esp wrt the long-weakened Chrysler brand. And soon to be tested: the renewed Alfa Romeo. It is their brand reflation/buoying abilities and winning-bets, esp in the usa, that've saved FCA's mergered bacon. Now: on to the easier/harder (?) matter of new models off new plants with new 'merged' tech and r&d. Starting with the Minivan and the phev on Monday!

    The C brand suffers first and foremost from a margins-problem IMO, and only then from a distrust or qdr-deficit-perception problem or an indifference or ignorance problem among most in the US. That is why the c200 is beingmoved to Mexico, that is why am hopeful the next C compact/smaller sedan and smaller cuv should/will be made in lowercost location(s): mexico/brazil/turkey, maybe who knows by 2018/2020: china, not italy not the usa, not even canada. Off 'commonized' platform+architectures, naturally!
     
  4. Cornupenuria

    Cornupenuria Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Messages:
    749
    Likes:
    161
    Having read the entire Forbes article; I have the impression that the research group Forbes quoted is independent of CR. A couple or three decades ago CR published a similar list and it included Ford and Chrysler [Dodge, Plymouth] vehicles but no GM.
     
  5. TripleT

    TripleT Allpar Legacy

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Messages:
    7,385
    Likes:
    10,193
    This depends if you mean by most volume or if you mean most by number of models.... this is not the case for Honda and Toyota high volume vehicles they have tremendous amount of domestic content typically exceeding that of the average GM model and even some Fords depending on the power plant. GM imports a tremendous amount from Asia (not Japan or Korea). They do this to offset the high legacy costs that Asian made vehicles do not have, and it is a logistic and quality issue.
     
    Prabhjot likes this.
  6. HotCarNut

    HotCarNut Defender of Reality
    Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,927
    Likes:
    2,767
    Not even close. The US content of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Civic, etc are ALL higher than cars from Ford, GM, and CDJR. The Japanese co-locate suppliers geographically near their plants much like US companies do. You're WAY off on this.

    The currency advantage that the Asia an companies enjoy is a TRANSLATION advantage. Meaning that the dollar profits they are earning are worth a LOT more Yen, Thai Baht, etc than they were just 5 years ago. This makes their profits jump and the gains YOY look outstanding, but a large portion of it is simply due to the FX rate and not any operational margin improvements.
     
    valiant67 likes this.
  7. james.mooney.

    james.mooney. The Poster Formerly Known As "Bethlumboy"

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,644
    Likes:
    1,470
    I think that this is where my (and perhaps others'?) misunderstanding stems from.

    I was thinking of "mainstream" in terms of brand positioning: affordable vehicles in popular segments.

    In contrast, you define "mainstream" more as "high volume."

    I think that the connection between the two is fairly obvious. That is, in order to sell high volumes, a brand must sell affordable vehicles in popular segments.

    And likewise, in order to be profitable selling affordable vehicles (which, in comparison to more expensive vehicles, still require substantial investment in development), a brand must sell them in high volumes due to lower margins per unit.

    So, in a nutshell, while not exactly the same thing, mainstream positioning and mainstream volumes go hand-in-hand and are interdependent.

    Putting aside volumes and positive/negetive/neutral public perceptions of the brand for a moment and focusing on brand positioning, how is the Chrysler brand perceived by those who have a perception of it? Is it perceived as more of a Chevrolet competitor, a Buick competitor, or a Cadillac competitor?

    Many folks on allpar seem to object to the idea of Chrysler as a Chevrolet competitor. They seem to think that it is a Buick competitor and that it should strive to be a Cadillac competitor (I'll admit to once being in this camp!). Where does the general car-buying public come down on this question?
     
  8. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    36,672
    Likes:
    19,412
    My opinion is Chrysler can't be mainstream without a full lineup. Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, even Honda realize that a true mainstream brand needs to have a lineup to cover the majority of the needs of their customers. The economy car, midsized car, SUV/CUV and pickup truck all have the same brand on the hood. Only Dodge was (once) capable of doing that. Yet you could leave the mainstream brand for a more aspirational/luxury brand without leaving the family. The mainstream brand is the default choice of the corporation because it meets the most common vehicle need cases at a pricing point where the public can see the value. By default the mainstream brand becomes the volume leader as well.

    Now with FCA it's such a mismatch. You want a small car? A truck? A CUV? You can't find any of those in the mainstream brand. That right there makes the plan a fail, the fact theose products are still just hypothetical after years of Chrysler as a mainstream brand.
     
    HotCarNut and Doug D like this.
  9. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,747
    Likes:
    1,013
    The co-located suppliers are usually Japanese transplants also. I've worked in auto plants for 40 years know and seldom have been awarded a project in a transplant facility. The few i've received have been minor. We don't even bother to quote their work anymore. Yeah, i know "but their built here just like your Dodge". They may hire U.S. workers but it's a closed shop otherwise I.M.O.
     
    HotCarNut likes this.
  10. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    10,246
    Likes:
    21,517
    Those with a perception of Chrysler have a higher split down the middle between Positive and Negative sentiment than Chevrolet --and/or possibly Buick, too... I rarely look at Buick. Chevrolet has many more brand loyals and advocates than Chrysler.

    Chrysler's more polarized sentiment comes from many areas:

    1. A consistent stream of negative news associated with "Chrysler" over the decades --i.e., layoffs, layoffs, bailouts, layoffs, low Quality rankings, layoffs, low Safety rankings, layoffs, low Quality rankings, takeover, low Quality rankings, bankruptcy, etc. This is the result of the short-term vision that has prevailed in Detroit; and Chevrolet is somewhat buffered from this because GM, not Chevrolet, would normally have hit the headlines; and Buick has been, for many years, in the top of the JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study, a place I cannot recall Chrysler ever occupying.

    People like me --as do many on here, perceive Chrysler quality on par, and sometimes above that of Chevrolet. But we are in the clear minority compared to the number of those who think the opposite.

    2. In addition to the stream of negative news, Chrysler has been greatly responsible, out of its own making, in ensuring that the number of loyal customers is a fraction of Chevrolet's. Beyond the fact that Chevrolet has outsold Chrysler 10-1 for decades, Chevrolet has done a better job than Chrysler establishing --and retaing-- nameplates in the market like Silverado, Impala, Malibu, Corvette --none of which is to say GM hasn't done its share of killing well established names, too. But over the 30 years I've been buying vehicles, Chrysler has killed well-recognized household names like LeBaron, Cordoba, New Yorker, in exchange for GTS, LHS, Sebring, Crossfire and Aspen. T&C and 300 have been on the market on-and-off, with different interpretations each time they were resurrected. But those gaps meant that owners of the outgoing Chrysler model had nowhere to go, and were forced to pick between a GTS or a GM, a Ford or a Toyota, and many took the latter route.

    IMHO, it is not even worth trying to turn around those with negative views of Chrysler; that's the path of most resistance. Instead, Chrysler is better off catering to its remaining loyal customers (i.e., do NOT screw up 300; do NOT dramatically change Chrysler's market positioning either!), and building a fresh start with an expanded product lineup for those with no perception of Chrysler.

    To achieve the latter, (a) stunning styling and value (i.e., NOT lowest price) will be the key to getting their attention, (think Kia but with the advantage of a wider dealer network, and a bias towards Made in USA over Made in Korea); and (b) an untainted ownership experience the key to keeping them as customers. However, unless Chrysler has a way to leapfrog the competition (like Toyota did with the 1991-92 Camry) this is a decades-long task.
     
    #250 aldo90731, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
    GasAxe, wvutuba, jimboy and 2 others like this.
  11. james.mooney.

    james.mooney. The Poster Formerly Known As "Bethlumboy"

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,644
    Likes:
    1,470
    But what IS Chrysler's market positioning? To the general public, is it considered affordable, everyday transportation like Chevrolet, or slightly more premium like Buick? And does the 200 reinforce or detract from that positioning?
     
  12. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    10,246
    Likes:
    21,517
    My interpretation of Chrysler is likely more in line with those who view it as slightly above Buick. I don't have the liberty to share our data, but suffice to say I recall seeing evidence in the general market data that Chrysler still retains much higher associations to "luxury" and "prestige" than Chevrolet, Ford, Honda or Toyota. But what FCA ought to do, to do this correctly, is approach Chrysler-brand loyals/advocates, and quantify their perceptions of the brand to avoid throwing the baby with the bath water.

    The 200, in my mind, is Chrysler's first product aimed at the next generation of buyers and, from a styling standpoint at least, it looks appropriately aimed at Kia Optima. What 200 needs is a larger rear seat --which requires a redesign, and a stronger perception of "value" --which can be reinforced through marketing.
     
    #252 aldo90731, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
    HotCarNut and james.mooney. like this.
  13. james.mooney.

    james.mooney. The Poster Formerly Known As "Bethlumboy"

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,644
    Likes:
    1,470
    Perhaps the logic is that when customers go to their Chrysler dealership for those "white space" vehicles, they will be drawn to a Ram or Jeep instead?

    If the product plan comes to fruition, Chrysler will have most of the mainstream segments covered (C-, D-, and E-sedans, D- and E-segment CUVs, minivan). Will this be enough?

    I agree that it is frustrating, but the company is still recovering and the brands (Dodge and Chrysler) are still transitioning.
     
  14. james.mooney.

    james.mooney. The Poster Formerly Known As "Bethlumboy"

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,644
    Likes:
    1,470
    What about pricing? Does the 200's low price point hurt the brand? And is the wide price range between the base model and the 200C too ambitious?
     
  15. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    10,246
    Likes:
    21,517
    That'd defeat the purpose of building Chrysler into a "mainstream" brand.

    I believe so.

    But Minivans are becoming irrelevant. Unless FCA can figure out how to revive the segment, the only reasons to remain there are purely sentimental.
     
  16. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    10,246
    Likes:
    21,517
    It is not about having the lowest price. It is about helping buyers develop a sense of value in their heads for the price they are paying.

    Toyota, Honda and Subaru consistently are seen to deliver "value", although they are rarely the lowest priced options in the market. This perception of value comes from the sense that buyers are getting top quality, safety and efficiency for the price.

    Affordability should not be discounting. Affordability is having an entry into lower priced places, like in the B-Segment, or offering an attainable Laredo that gets people into a nice Grand Cherokee without having to pay $50,000 for an Overland.

    For instance, Honda Fit has built a reputation for value because it gets you Honda quality, safety and efficient packaging at an affordable price.

    Laredo gets you into Jeep's mystique for fun and adventure with Grand Cherokee posh and style for $30,000, instead of $50,000.
     
    #256 aldo90731, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
    james.mooney. and HotCarNut like this.
  17. HotCarNut

    HotCarNut Defender of Reality
    Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,927
    Likes:
    2,767
    Absolutely! People are willing to pay what they BELIEVE a product to be worth. Further, they will not buy a "lesser" product unless the price difference is significant enough to to offset the perceived value difference. That's why the 200 struggles against the Camry and Accord despite being several thousand dollars cheaper when incentives are factored in.
     
  18. Dave Z

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

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2001
    Messages:
    34,940
    Likes:
    20,627
    The first Chrysler and the original Plymouth cost more but were also see as delivering value but for different reasons; Plymouth for reliability from day one, and Chrysler for engineering. Eventually Chrysler gained reliability rep too. However that was all wiped out in 1957 (ancient history now).
     
  19. Archknight

    Archknight Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    312
    Likes:
    260
    +1

    I have tried to figure out Chrysler's obsession with getting the new minivan to the market instead of concentrating on segments that are the hottest (CUVs, compact premium sedans). I've looked at the minivan market and they aren't selling in really high numbers, but the T&C/Caravan were the segment leaders.

    Chrysler's lack of product is the problem with trying to move them "mainstream". There is nothing to shop for with the brand. Instead of them consistently giving them new product, FCA has focused on Jeep, Fiat and the defunct Alfa with Jeep being the only one making any money. The brands they should have been focusing on got nothing.

    If they are making Chrysler the group with all FWD derived variants, then the 100 should have been completed and the Dart immediately repositioned to fit Dodge's portfolio. The fact that they have available platforms and powertrain options makes it even more ridiculous that they are holding back. If the "Hurricane" engines are ready they should be available for Chrysler, since they have already made one available to Alfa. Instead of just developing the 200, a DCUV counterpart should have been partnered with it. Same goes with the new C-segment Jeep which could focus on interior accommodations and handling. If they hadn't wasted millions on trying to get Alfa going that money could have been better places to get the volume marques going then go after lower volume higher margin segments. Sorry to say but even once Alfa is up and running they still have to contend with the power players (BMW, MB, AUDI, Cadillac) in the premium lux segment.
     
    HotCarNut and valiant67 like this.
  20. jerseyjoe

    jerseyjoe Plymouth Makes It

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2002
    Messages:
    8,089
    Likes:
    2,181
    Dave
    My first new car was a 1966 Valiant, list price was $1 more than the VW Beetle and it had a boat load more equipment including the optional radio and heater! Standard suff VW did not have was heavy gauge steel bumper, gas and engine temp gauges pluse oil pressure light 3 times the horse power and better rust protection. Much better value. Did not attempt to bicker over price.
     
    aldo90731 likes this.

Share This Page

Loading...
 We are not affiliated with FCA. We make no claims regarding validity or accuracy of information or advice. Copyright © VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.