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How do the large Mopar cars compete?

by David Zatz on

Large cars were the old Chrysler Corporation’s comeback kings, back in 1992. They erased any thoughts of Chrysler as being simply a stodgy relic able to make nothing but minivans, Jeeps, and endless variations of K-cars.

The large car market, then, was dying; the LH cars brought it back. It is shrinking again, now, with crossovers still gaining ground. But Chrysler seems to still be doing well. The company sold 48,253 of the premium 300 series so far – down just 2% — but the rather similar, relatively downmarket Dodge Charger saw another 86,058 sales, slightly higher than year to date in 2014.

Finally, the Dodge Challenger, built off a similar platform and architecture and on the same line, with the same engine choices as the Charger but manual transmissions on V8 models, added another 61,621 cars — up 32%. Overall, that means the series went up by 8%, in a segment many critics saw as being near death.

hrv hellcat challenger burnout side

Nothing is complete without context.  Keeping in mind that FCA US sold 195,932 large cars in the US, year to date, all bearing a similar design:

The Ford Taurus limped along with 35,801 sales, January – November 30. If you add police cars, as Dodge does, that’s 44,794, or fewer sales than the Challenger. The Lincoln MKS adds another 6,406, at a higher price point; sales were down by 11%.

Florida Highway Patrol Dodge Charger police car

At General Motors, the Chevrolet Impala was good for 107,765 sales year to date, down 15.3% from last year.  The Buick LaCrosse adds 38,877 sales, also down 16%. Throw in the Cadillac XTS for another 20,042 sales —  down 9%. GM , too, fails to come close to the Mopar triplets.

Finally, at Toyota, the equivalent car is the Avalon, with 54,247 sales year to date — down 11% from last year. Admittedly, Toyota really lives off its luxury vehicles and three massive sellers — Camry, Corolla, and RAV4. The large Lexus LS adds another 6,311 cars (down 16%), at a large profit margin.

Overall, it seems that Chrysler is doing well in large cars. The next step is re-conquering the minivan segment — by dominating with one brand, and no rebates.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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