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Back when I was doing a review for the Dodge Dart I was sitting in the lobby overhearing a salesman trying to finalize a sale on a 200 but the woman was very hesitant about the quality and reliability of chrysler vehicles, and she cited her sister's toyota as bulletproof. So just curious, how to you sell a vehicle in terms of quality/reliability?
 

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Stick to the positives. Recent overwhelming sales success, aceptance by the motor press, high crash ratings, superior engine technology superior electronics, and profit that stays here.
 

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in the 200? The engine was on the Wards Top 10 Engines list two years in a row, Chrysler offers a 5/100 powertrain warranty - 40,000 more miles than Toyota. Offer an extended LIFETIME warranty... you don't do that unless you have a lot of confidence in your product. Rapidly declining Warranty claims all while Toyotas are soaring.. etc etc etc
 

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Back when I was doing a review for the Dodge Dart I was sitting in the lobby overhearing a salesman trying to finalize a sale on a 200 but the woman was very hesitant about the quality and reliability of chrysler vehicles, and she cited her sister's toyota as bulletproof. So just curious, how to you sell a vehicle in terms of quality/reliability?
There are no bulletproof Toyota's that I know of. However, there is a very bullet proof (kinda) Chrysler product. And it's still (depends on what you mean) is being produced.

 

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There are no bulletproof Toyota's that I know of. However, there is a very bullet proof (kinda) Chrysler product. And it's still (depends on what you mean) is being produced.

Interesting answer. Works for me.


I remember a friend that worked at a Honda dealership telling me.....

one of the most difficult jobs.....was explaining to certain owners.....that Hondas did indeed break down and their large repair shop.....had a use.
 

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I hate to say it, I was one of these people. I knew Chrysler products were just fine in terms of reliability (At least the one I was looking at) but I would mention the reliability problems with their products because I wanted to negotiate a lower price. I know that's not necessarily fair, but I need as much money in my pocket as I can get.

While it's hard to change someones mind about the quality of a product (Most people who drive Toyota's are insistent that they have the most bulletproof cars on the planet, even a friend of mine who has a Corolla but it's constantly in the shop.) It's possible to give them information and open their eyes a bit.

New Chrysler products are at the top of their class in terms of quality. JD power has named quite a few Dodge and Jeep products as leading their segment in quality. They have competitive warranties, and the only automaker to fully outright beat Chrysler in terms of warranties is Hyundai. Not to mention lower warranty claims, and praises from the media (Motortrend, Insideline) about the re-newed quality found in Chrysler products.

If the customer claims that Consumer Reports marks Chrysler and it's subsidies as some of the lowest performing domestic automakers, you can can counter by saying. " CR only polls it's subscribers, and lumps complete engine failure as the same as the alternator died" (Something which happened in my Toyota which left me stranded)

And if they are one of those "CR said it, so it's must be completely true." people, the Chrysler 200 has the best mark for reliability in their new magazine. That red circle with a dot in the middle. Actually most of Chrysler products have the two best marks for reliability. The half red circle and completely red circle.
 

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in the 200? The engine was on the Wards Top 10 Engines list two years in a row, Chrysler offers a 5/100 powertrain warranty - 40,000 more miles than Toyota. Offer an extended LIFETIME warranty... you don't do that unless you have a lot of confidence in your product. Rapidly declining Warranty claims all while Toyotas are soaring.. etc etc etc
agree with the above statement. and would also remind them that Toyota isnt that bulletproof. Remind them that one of the largest recalls in automotive history was by Toyoyta......way back in 2010......
 

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I hope they have addressed poor body integrity . My last 2 minivans , a 2004 and 2007 started to rust out in less than 5 years. All the van owners know what I'm talking about with rusting along the front hood edge. An area where it's not even subjected to really harsh conditions . My 97 Voyager lasted much better than the newer vans..
 

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I know what you mean by the hood thing. Thankfully our '01, '04 and '07 never had any rust on the hood.

Our '07 had some rust starting in the seams on the inside of the tail gate and front doors though.

My Caliber has issues on the lower sill pinch welds from the paint chipping off I'm sure, and a spot in the rear tailgate door jamb area by the hinge
 

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I hope they have addressed poor body integrity . My last 2 minivans , a 2004 and 2007 started to rust out in less than 5 years. All the van owners know what I'm talking about with rusting along the front hood edge. An area where it's not even subjected to really harsh conditions . My 97 Voyager lasted much better than the newer vans..
It's an older issue than that. My 1992 Daytona rusted there, became Swiss cheese and I had to resort to being extorted $300 for a hood from a guy in NJ.
 

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My 1976 Camaro hood rusted out on the original owner within the one year warranty - they'd never primed it at the factory, or so the dealer said. They took the car back for two months and returned it with a new hood. By the time I got the car, the hood had rusted through. Unlike the original owner, I simply searched for the same color Camaro with a non-rusty hood and put it on.

And yes, I loved that Camaro for its ride, handling, and luxurious interior, and hated it for breaking down constantly and blowing huge plumes of smoke every time it cold-started. (Side note - I believe I owned it 1985-1987.)
 

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I hope they have addressed poor body integrity . My last 2 minivans , a 2004 and 2007 started to rust out in less than 5 years. All the van owners know what I'm talking about with rusting along the front hood edge. An area where it's not even subjected to really harsh conditions . My 97 Voyager lasted much better than the newer vans..
Wasn't it the 3rd gen vans that had the front strut rot issues? (Just curious)
 

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Wasn't it the 3rd gen vans that had the front strut rot issues? (Just curious)
Yes. Actually described as strut tower rust/rot. My 2000 T&C Ltd never had this issue - guess it's because little to no salt is used during the winter where we live.
 

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Wasn't it the 3rd gen vans that had the front strut rot issues? (Just curious)
Yes they did have that issue, though I never saw that on our 96 even though they don't plow around here they just salt until the snow dissappears.
 

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Neither our '97 or '99 had it either, but we only had them for 2 or 3 years each.

/offtopic
 

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The body "rust" issues have been around for quite a while. A friend had a '77 Cordoba that mysteriously developed rust perforations just above the passenger side roof rail, about an inch above, on smooth sheet metal . . . inside out. We traded for a '76 Cordoba a year or so later. No evidence of the roof issues, BUT where the outer skin was bent over the main structure of the deck lid, on one side of the license plate, rust was forming there . . . NO seal sealer applied over that place, just paint which was obviously not that thick or temperature variations caused enough "itching" to create bare metal in that small area. Too bad, it was a 360 HO 4bbl car! Other research revealed the seam sealer application to be variable on Chrysler products, unlike it always being there on GMs back then. Where it was applied on Chrysler products, NO rust, though. Possibly some cost-cutting issues back then . . . or even in more recent times?

As for the sales pitch, IF the salesperson really knows their products, they can usually overcome many buyer's comments about quality and such. This includes, but is not limited to, any awards (mentioned above) particular Chrysler products have received from noted industry sources. Many customers will quote Consumers Research "as gospel", but it's really NOT. As noted, their "reliability charts" can be highly problematic, once you see the pattern of their questions and how they're constructed. Even in the later 1960s, they considered mis-aimed headlights as "a defect", just like a water leak in the floorboard. Reality, to me, is that many "defects" are really quality assembly issues, many of which might be caught by an effective dealer's pre-delivery inspection activities . . . what we used to call "Make Ready". But rather than fix many things in that procedure, some dealers (and manufacturers advocate) waiting until the customer complains before anything is done. Still, though, when failures happen 300 miles after delivery, it's not good for anybody.

I've observed that Toyota seems to have something of a "cult following". It seems that loyal Toyota owners will put up with things which would "cook" GM or Ford of Chrysler (especially!) . . . and still purchase Toyotas in the future, no matter what. Kind of like a secret society they seek to belong to, at any cost. In many cases, Toyota vehicles have MORE recommended factory maintenance than other brands, but few people seem to shop on this orientation. BUT the key thing you can tell a potential non-Toyota purchaser is "That large service department at _______ Toyota? If you drive by, it'll probably be pretty much full all of the time, by observation. Those cars in there are NOT all in there for 30 minute oil changes. Just doing oil changes and tire rotations will NOT pay for that shop being there. Those cars are in there for other mechanical work. Yet all Toyota owners will talk about how bulletproof their cars are? They allegedly "don't break", but Toyotas have historically had many of the same durability issues which other manufacturers have had, over the years, possibly just not the same things, but reasons for the vehicles to need service nonetheless." And you can probably say the same things about Hondas, too.

BUT, you might take a non-attack orientation . . . Toyotas and Hondas are great cars. They have many redeeming features for their customers, but they might not be "for everybody". Compare the interior room of our 200 to a Honda Accord, for example. The luggage compartment room. The type of materials. How the steering wheel "angle" is, compared to what's comfortable to you. The "Right Car For You" is "a matter of feel", both in comfort and useability and in the many tactile responses to your touch when you use the various controls. Not to forget the responsive and comfortable ride of Chrysler products of all types. NOTE: to use this sales approach, which can be a more credible sales approach than a simple attack approach, the salesperson HAS to have more knowledge of the competition's vehicles than just what HIS manufacturer gives them in sales training--period. One reason every sales person should attend ALL corporate ride/drive comparison events--period. OR seek out competitive vehicles from Enterprise (or similar) for weekend rental of their own. Once you know the competition, you can then figure out how to best sell against them.

In 2004, Dollar/Thrifty was using some transitional vehicles as their Chrysler-based fleet vehicles still hadn't arrived. For that year's Mopar Nationals, I ended up with a Honda Accord DX 4-dr sedan. The car had 25K miles on it, but didn't look like it did. Paint was still slick, with some car wash brush marks. The interior was still tight and clean. I didn't realize it had that many miles on it until the next day. I could see why people loved these cars, BUT the whole car seemed dated. The nicely-done interior reminded me of the office cubicles from the middle 1970s, with burlap covering the panels, sort of decor. There was ONLY room for 4 people--period. Not quite a good family car of sorts. The trunk appeared to be decent-sized, but my carry-on bag changed that perception. End result, the physical characteristics of the car looked good, but if you tried to make it a "typical American vacation car" for 3-4 family members (of normal size), it would fail. But for an empty-nester couple or a single city dweller, it would be fine. Not the most stylish vehicle, either, looking rather dated at the time.

Fuel economy was great, but it had poor power below 3000rpm, which the lower low gear ratio in the automatic transmission was there to cover. With the cruise punched at 60mph on the Interstate, any small grade or even using the "+" button on the cruise to increase speed to 62mph for an easy passing maneuver, the trans would kick out of OD into 3rd. 60mph was 2000rpm in OD. I would not have noticed that if I hadn't seen the tach needle move, the trans was smooth and the engine was quiet. BUT, with the new 8-speeds displaying similar behaviour, that's not really something you can mention any more. When everybody had 4-speed (incl OD) automatics, though, it was more important. This lack of low rpm power was something which CAR AND DRIVER never seemed to mention in their Honda road tests, either!

Still, though, if those Toyotas and Hondas were "cars that didn't break", then their service waiting areas would not be FULL many days of the week, on a regular basis. This might be one reason so many have put in more upscale appointments to their facilities, to make you more comfortable as you wait in a more upscale atmosphere.

For potential purchasers, one of my recommendations has been to find a car rental company which can gurantee you a car like you're looking at to purchase. This can be problematic in many cases, though, unless it might be Enterprise. National generally has Chrysler and GM products in their fleet, but also some Toyotas and Nissans. Dollar/Thrifty has historically had Chrysler products, with some Fords, too. Hertz has generally been Ford-heavy. So checking to make sure you can get what you're looking for is key, plus knowing where you might find it. And it can vary with rental location, too. Living with a vehicle for a weekend can give you LOTS of information to use to sell Chrysler products with! It might take a while to look at all of the competition, but it can be worth it. Otherwise, make sure you get to any ride/drive event you can!

Hope this might help,
CBODY67
 

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Rust issues have solutions in good preventative maintenance too - on our 96 Voyager when I bought it showed early signs of strut tower corrosion - they got soaked with oil and rust check and extra under car oiling attention for years - when I junked it 8 years later they were no worse than the day we bought it - and it was a winter only vehicle for several years - and there is lots of salt up here. Same on my Intrepid - early signs of rust in the rear passenger door when I bought it - rust treated with a no drip oil every year and a some extra Rust check applications by me - it has not progressed. Hoods are bad for stone chips - on the vans I have tended to put a stone deflector on them and that has helped for sure. I drove the Daytona two years as a daily driver when I first bought it in 1986 - and for most of those two years was an hour commute on some of the worst highways in Ontario (400 and 401) - it picked up many stone chips in that time - I made a simple bra for just the hood which helped - but if you see it at a show take a close look and you can see all the touch up spots on it - and no rust at all. The intrepid also been a commuter on the 401 for years in the winter - every year once or twice I touch up numerous stone chips on it - hood and even on the roof a few good ones (fenders are plastic :)). If the rust gets a start you have to clean it well or spot blast it and use a good prep primer.
 

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Personally, I believe in what I'm selling enough to OWN it, and I tell them about my 2009 Ram 1500 Laramie 4x4 Crea Cab with the Hemi and 69,780 miles on it with ZERO problems, ZERO recalls, and the best truck gas mileage on the road, and my 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 Hemi, and the 4 Rams I owned prviously, and the 3 Grand Cherokees I owned previously. I show them my 100% Customer Satisfaction, and then DRIVE the vehicle and let them drive a Toyota and compare the LACK of Toyota quality and comfort.

Toyota has the best advertising agents in the world, but they only build an AVERAGE vehicle, and have paid millions in fines for unreported problems, lying about gas mileage, and covering up repair issues.
 

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well, i'm in canada and the 200/avenger are the top selling mid sized car here. that tends to speak for itself. if not, the long list of features on a car like that (even as an entry level car) dwarves the toyota or honda offerings.

i also like to let the customer know that looking at other brands is a good thing, as we have nothing to hide and know we can stand right next to the accords and camry's in the world.

you have to find the driving force behind each customer. if its all quality; show the even gaps, the soft touch surfaces, led lights, noise insulation, and then lead into two other related things... the safety rating (200 gets top safety pick plus, the toyota camry recenty failed the minor offset) and the price. i hate to base a sale on price, but when you get more for less, hard to argue it.

basically, there is no right or wrong answer because each customer is different. the right answer is what makes them agree with you that its a great car and is happy to purchase it. could be cupholders.. who knows!
 
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