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How will Chrysler simplify?

by David Zatz on

Chrysler’s future brand image, according to one source, is partly based on simplicity. However, the current product line makes that difficult; look at the variety of 300s available now.

One way to simplify is to have consistency within the product line, which they have started to do: S is Sport, C is luxury, and no letter at all is base. So we have 200S, 200C, and Limited; and 300S, 300C, and Limited. 300 Varvatos is now 300C Platinum.

Based on this, we will have a 100 Limited, 100S, and 100C.  Cars may keep have their numerical names because they are easy to understand and well established, at least for 300. (Cadillac and Lincoln made their alphanumerics impossible to figure out, unlike BMW).

Town & Country does not fit, though. Egads, what a confusing panoply. This is likely to end when the next generation shows up. (In order of price, it is LX, Touring, S, Touring L, Limited, and Limited Platinum.) Perhaps we will have Town & Country, Town & Country S, Town & Country C, and Town & Country Platinum. (No need for the C there.)  Indeed, they could make the Caravan the base model, as it is now — after Caravan itself is dropped at the end of the 2017 model year.

The expected crossovers may drop the numerics in favor with traditional names. German cars have alphanumerics; Italian and American cars traditionally do not. So maybe the large crossover will be the Pacifica, and maybe the mid-sized crossover will be Journey or Voyager or Caravan.

Chrysler has long tried to replace Plymouth in sales, and so far has not been able to (that is, compared with years when Plymouth was not artificially constrained). Now that FCA has a plan and definition for Chrysler, assuming the source is correct, product will follow — and if they hit the target, and raise quality, sales will follow as well.

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