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Why the 200 was dropped

by David Zatz on

When the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart ceased production, some wondered why — since FCA could easily produce them on the Jeep Cherokee line.

2016 Chrysler 200C Alloy

Perhaps it’s because nobody expected any return on spending hundreds of millions to bring the tooling down to Toledo, then to Belvidere.  Autodata information published by Automotive News suggests it would have been hard for Chrysler to see a return.

The Chrysler 200 had an average discount of $3,767 in 2016, but its competitors have gotten even bigger discounts — which seem to be growing.

The Passat leads the way with over $5,000 plunked down on the hood in 2016, followed by the Nissan Altima at $4,360. The Malibu, Fusion, and Optima all had over $4,000 “on the hood” for the year — with the Optima passing $5,000 in December (and Altima not far behind).

Even the mainstays of American midsize cars, the Camry and Accord, had hefty discounts — over $3,700 on the Camry and around $2,670 on the Accord. In December, those numbers were both much higher.

With less name recognition and a lower quality reputation, the 200, while arguably a better car to drive, would have had a harsh ride, and investing in its production would only have raised its costs at a time when prices had to be cut.

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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