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Chrysler to add cars, crossovers

by David Zatz on

Not surprisingly, the Chrysler brand is expecting sales growth; the extent of that growth, though, may be more of a surprise, with sales expected to grow from 350,000 in 2013 to 800,000 in 2018. The largest step will be in 2017, according to the company’s predictions. They will move forward partly by covering new segments: mid-sized and full-sized crossovers, and compact cars.

As noted earlier, the Chrysler 100 is back “on again.” The new mid-size crossover will take over Journey’s function as a “mini minivan,” and Dodge will re-focus Journey itself to be more in line with Dodge’s new image, just as Dodge will re-focus Dart to be consistent with the “brand DNA” once Chrysler 100 appears.

The brand claims its key attributes are quality, design, craftsmanship, performance/efficiency, innovation/technology, and value.   It delivers, according to the slides, substance and style, driven by innovation, craftsmanship, and quality, with value, built in North America. “We offer a full line of exceptional and attainable vehicles for mainstream America.” Chrysler is, according to the presentation, “FCA’s mainstream North America brand,” — taking the old place of Plymouth (particularly in the 1930s and 1940s). The main competitors are Ford, Hyundai, Honda, Chevrolet, and Toyota.

The best year for the Chrysler brand was 2005, when it passed 801,000 sales. Sales fell precipitously in 2008, and continued to plunge in 2009, slowly recovering since then.

From 2009 to 2013, Chrysler increased its minivan market share from 20% to 24% (albeit partly or largely at the expense of Dodge), its large-car share from 8% to 10% (despite a higher-priced base model), and its mid-size cars from 1% to 5%. Global sales have gone from 225,000 to 350,000, with slightly higher (3 points) customer consideration and brand loyalty (7 points).

One amusing slide, titled “internal brand turf war” for the volume mainstream customer, depicted the Caravan vs Town & Country, Avenger vs 200, and Charger vs 300, with the Dodges in red and Chryslers in white.

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