Chrysler to dump 3 slow-sellers [Archive] - Ford Inside News Community

: Chrysler to dump 3 slow-sellers


Octane
10-31-2007, 02:01 AM
http://www.detroitnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071030/AUTO01/710300398/1148
The board of Chrysler LLC is expected to decide today to kill at least three slow-selling models as part of a sweeping strategic realignment of the newly private automaker.

People close to Chrysler said the board, in its initial meeting under new Chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli, likely will approve plans to discontinue the Chrysler Pacifica crossover, the Dodge Magnum wagon and the PT Cruiser hatchback.

Sales of all three vehicles have tumbled sharply this year. While Chrysler's overall U.S. sales were down 3 percent through September, Pacifica sales have fallen by 30 percent, Magnum by 32 percent, and the PT Cruiser by 27 percent.
The company also may cut its Jeep Commander full-size SUV. Its sales are down 23 percent this year.

escapen
11-01-2007, 09:29 PM
Today they offcially dropped 4 models, the Chyrsler Crossfire (no surprise there), PT Cruiser, and Pacifica. Also the Dodge Magnum.

B.R.
11-01-2007, 10:09 PM
Its about time the Crossfire and Pacifica get discontinued. What took Chrysler so long?

2b2
11-01-2007, 10:30 PM
un-verified by me but DuSpinnst works in the Industry, so
Quote:
_ Originally Posted by DuSpinnst @ GMI (http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56200&page=5)
More news...

The Dakota is being axed, but only in theory. The truck will be replaced with a unit-truck based version (think of the Grand Cherokee only as a pick-up truck).

Basically these changes effect 2009 models.

The next set effect 2010. 2009 is the last year of the BOF Dakota, BOF Durango, Aspen, Commander and PT Cruiser. In 2010 the Dakota, Durango, and Grand Cherokee will all be "unit-truck" based. The Dakota probably will still be built in Warren, due to JNAP not having the capacity for all three models.

The Compass is saved for now ONLY because it sells decent in Europe.

JS (Avenger/Sebring) will be reskinned in 2010 or 2011 (basically a HEAVY MCE).

jsaylor
11-02-2007, 01:55 AM
I'm kinda surprised to see the PT Cruiser get dropped.....actually sold pretty well before it got old enough to draw social security. Perhaps the new powers that be at Chrysler think the market is drying up. Or perhaps there just wasn't enough money in the coffers to give th old girl another go-round. Either way I am still surprised.

SobeSVT
11-02-2007, 08:33 AM
I'm kinda surprised to see the PT Cruiser get dropped.....actually sold pretty well before it got old enough to draw social security. Perhaps the new powers that be at Chrysler think the market is drying up. Or perhaps there just wasn't enough money in the coffers to give th old girl another go-round. Either way I am still surprised.
They are only dropping the PT convertible.

Here's the rundown (as per Autoblog (http://www.autoblog.com/2007/11/01/chrysler-announces-new-job-cuts-cancels-pt-convertible-magnum/)):

Elimination of shifts at Belvidere, IL; Jefferson North (Detroit, MI) ; Toledo, OH; Brampton, Ontario; and Mack Avenue II (Detroit). The Detroit News reports these actions effectively eliminates approx. 4,000 hourly positions. Chrysler states that the new shift reductions, when combined with "other volume-related actions," will result in the elimination of a total 8,000 to 10,000 hourly positions.
1,000 salaried positions will be eliminated
37% of contractor positions will be eliminated (The Detroit News attaches a number of 1,100 to this)
Four models will be dropped from the lineup: Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible (the regular PT lives on), Dodge Magnum, Chrysler Pacifica, and Chrysler Crossfire


I am surprised they are still making the Crossfire.

megeebee
11-02-2007, 01:18 PM
Chrysler had planned to drop the Crossfire last year, but recanted. I was hoping, for the sake of human eyesight, that the Sebring might have been killed as well. But even a fleet sale is still a sale.

I rode in a collegues rented Sebring a few months ago. I thought the interior was one of the worst I'd ever seen. It made the 1999 Buick Century's look line an Audi.

jsaylor
11-02-2007, 04:01 PM
They are only dropping the PT convertible.

Here's the rundown (as per Autoblog (http://www.autoblog.com/2007/11/01/chrysler-announces-new-job-cuts-cancels-pt-convertible-magnum/)):

Elimination of shifts at Belvidere, IL; Jefferson North (Detroit, MI) ; Toledo, OH; Brampton, Ontario; and Mack Avenue II (Detroit). The Detroit News reports these actions effectively eliminates approx. 4,000 hourly positions. Chrysler states that the new shift reductions, when combined with "other volume-related actions," will result in the elimination of a total 8,000 to 10,000 hourly positions.
1,000 salaried positions will be eliminated
37% of contractor positions will be eliminated (The Detroit News attaches a number of 1,100 to this)
Four models will be dropped from the lineup: Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible (the regular PT lives on), Dodge Magnum, Chrysler Pacifica, and Chrysler Crossfire


I am surprised they are still making the Crossfire.

Thanks Sobe.

You know, the new owners at Chrysler may have missed an opportunity here. If the chassis design lent itself to such a change they could potentially have stretched the Crossfire and created a very nifty little 4-door 'fastback coupe'. This is a growing trend and such a stretched and revised Crossfire would have introduced the concept to the 3-Series market. Given a facelift that combined the best elements of the Crossfire and the 300 sedan, along with the obvious addition of a Hemi-powered SRT version, I don't think they could have possible missed.

Octane
11-03-2007, 07:56 PM
Im kinda surprised they are dropping the Dakota, but I guess if they replace it with a pickup truck version of the Grand Cherokee that might work.
I guess nowdays most people who buy a truck want a fullsize, but I still think you need a small truck in your lineup. Not every needs or even wants a fullsize, be it because of the cost or the gas milage. It would be shame if Chrysler followed Ford's lead and didnt make a small truck anymore. (Dont even get me started about how stupid it is on Ford's part to kill the Ranger and not replace it with anything)

2b2
11-03-2007, 08:31 PM
...I still think you need a small truck in your lineup. Not every needs or even wants a fullsize, be it because of the cost or the gas milage. It would be shame if Chrysler followed Ford's lead and didnt make a small truck anymore. (Dont even get me started about how stupid it is on Ford's part to kill the Ranger and not replace it with anything)


*ahem* (http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7946#post7946) (buried in an Oct22 ThunderThighs_are_falling_apart thread)
Come January, the world will see Ford's direction for less-than-full sized trucks, and it will be totally different than anyone imagined and it will be killer.


&...You know, the new owners at Chrysler may have missed an opportunity here. If the chassis design lent itself to such a change they could potentially have stretched the Crossfire and created a very nifty little 4-door 'fastback coupe'. This is a growing trend and such a stretched and revised Crossfire would have introduced the concept to the 3-Series market. Given a facelift that combined the best elements of the Crossfire and the 300 sedan, along with the obvious addition of a Hemi-powered SRT version, I don't think they could have possible missed.


I'm not sure a hemi would fit, JS, & the Crossfire was more old-MB than any other ChryslerGroup vehicle, iirc/no?

Imho everything either needs replacement or major upgrade/redo immediately or pretty darn soon;
could be best they draw up a new plan alltogether.

Octane
11-04-2007, 12:00 PM
*ahem* (http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7946#post7946) (buried in an Oct22 ThunderThighs_are_falling_apart thread)

Interesting. Back in '01 I had a '99 Ranger, then I went to a '99 F-150 and now that my F-150 is nearing 200,000 miles Im looking at my options.
Id really like to go back to a small truck, but the Ranger is done and the Tacoma and Colorado/Canyon have quality issues galore. Hopefully Ford will come out with a nice midsize. As outdated as the Ranger is, Ford is still selling about as many Rangers per month as GM is selling Colorados. I think that if Ford came out with a midsize truck that matched the Tacoma's horsepower and towing numbers, had decent styling and was built with quality that the Ranger could easily be #1 again.
I like my F-150, but I get a serious case of sticker shock on the new ones. Im looking at just getting a base model regular cab 4x2 V6 automatic F-150 and even those go for $25,000 new. Even ones that are 2-3 years old are going for $15,000-$17,000.
If Ford came out with a midsize that could be bought in a regular cab, 4x2 with XL trim for under $17,000 Id jump on that in a heartbeat.

B.R.
11-04-2007, 09:57 PM
Im kinda surprised they are dropping the Dakota, but I guess if they replace it with a pickup truck version of the Grand Cherokee that might work.

If it is true that they are dropping the Dakota, I wonder why they bothered to restyle the truck for '08.

escapen
11-05-2007, 03:26 PM
Chrysler Does Some Pruning, But Where Are the New Seedlings?
Date posted: 11-04-2007

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Chrysler's announcement last week that it is trimming its product line came as no surprise. Nor will future announcements about more models going away.

The remaining question is, what seedlings is Chrysler planting for its future model line?

Going Away
Chrysler announced last week that it is dropping from its product portfolio four slow-selling models. Going away in 2008 will be the Dodge Magnum and the Chrysler Crossfire, Pacifica and PT Cruiser convertible. These are the obvious models to clear away from among the overlapping models in Chrysler's line.

The Dodge Magnum was a bold move for Chrysler the revival of an American station wagon with a macho look. But after the first blush, the Magnum found limited appeal among the masses.

Chrysler missed the mark from Day One with the Pacifica. Among the first crossovers, the Pacifica came in overpriced, underpowered and cramped on interior space. Despite re-pricing and product changes, including a more powerful engine and a cheaper, five-passenger version, the Pacifica never recovered from its bad start.

The days have long been numbered for the retro-styled, now long-in-the-tooth PT Cruiser. While Chrysler only has announced the demise of the convertible version, the elimination of the standard-issue PT can't be far away.

The Crossfire, a head-turner on a solid Mercedes-Benz architecture, suffered an identity crisis. It wasn't really a sports car as it was pitched, so it failed to find much of an audience.

Additional Pruning
More pruning of the line is assured. Chrysler's dilemma has been that about 70 percent of its sales have been in trucks and SUVs, the highest percentage in the industry and way too high in this era of high gas prices. But last week's announcement of departing models won't rectify the issue, so there's more to be done to shift the balance.

In February, Chrysler announced the Delaware assembly plant that makes the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango would close. This leaves in question the future of the Durango and Aspen, which are scheduled to receive a two-mode hybrid powertrain shared with General Motors and BMW models in early 2008.

The future of the Dakota pickup truck is questionable. Sales have been down double digits this year in a segment slumping due to high gas prices.

The remainder of the aged PT Cruiser line is likely to go before long.

Rumors ran rampant in Detroit after last week's announcement that the Chrysler Sebring's future could be short-lived. Chrysler announced that the plant which makes the Sebring along with the Dodge Avenger (both redesigned just this year) drops to a single shift, hardly a profitable level of capacity utilization.

The ridiculous Jeep Commander a giant, squared-off sport-utility with a dangerous lack of rear visibility is a likely candidate. The car-based Jeeps could be on the chopping block, too.

Making Brand Identity Clearer
At his first meeting with the media, Jim Press, Chrysler's vice chairman in charge of sales and marketing, said the automaker's three brands will become more focused and distinctive in the future, with fewer overlapping models.

"We need to use the portfolio to our advantage to preserve the clarity of our brands and not blur them," he said.
With Chrysler losing the Crossfire and Pacifica and potentially the PT Cruiser and Aspen, it's left with only the aging 300 and the new Town & Country minivan. One wonders what reason it has to exist or what it will exist on.

Press insists as have many of those before him with a conspicuous lack of success the Chrysler brand can "go after an upscale luxury, higher-value-added and more sophisticated market."

Meanwhile, Press sees Dodge as "the volume leader with trucks and a full spectrum of vehicles."

Press suggested Jeep needed to get back to its trail-rated roots, from which the brand has strayed as it has introduced car-based crossover vehicles. He said Jeep should not use its brand name "to pass off a less-than-Jeep product" and compromise its "backwoods and off-road capability." He added, "If you want a crossover SUV that you won't take out of the garage because it's raining, that's not going to be a Jeep. It doesn't need to be. You've got Dodge for that."

And Then There Was...
So what does that leave?

The Jeep Wrangler has been Chrysler's most successful vehicle of late.

The jury remains out on Chrysler's new bread-and-butter minivans. Just introduced, sales of the 2008 Chrysler Town & Country were up in October; sales of the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan were down. The entire minivan segment has been down, in fact.

A newly designed Dodge Ram joins the line in 2008 as does the Dodge Challenger, albeit in a limited 5,000-unit run for the 2008 model year before the full run for 2009.

Chrysler also has the Dodge Journey crossover arriving next year. Even smaller than the Pacifica, it looks better suited to overseas markets, where it will be sold, than the U.S., which has been leaning toward crossovers the size of the Ford Edge and GM's Buick Enclave and the like.

Where Are the Seedlings?
If you tend an orchard, you trim the dead to make way for the new. Chrysler is clearing out the dead, but where are the seedlings which take as long as four years to sprout being planted for Chrysler's future?

Chrysler desperately needs more crossovers, possibly hybrids and definitely a small car below the Dodge Caliber, now that oil prices are approaching $100 a barrel.

Chrysler had counted on its Chinese partner Chery to help develop a small car for North America, but that project has stumbled. Now Chrysler is shopping for partners with existing platforms upon which Chrysler can position its own "top hats," as Chrysler Chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli describes it.

Coming on board only in September, former Toyota executive Jim Press said his new company is working on a new product plan. He is studying the current and proposed future product lines to come up "with not just a quick answer but a long-term strategic vision of what the company's product portfolio should be like in five, six, 10 and 12 years from now, and then where the current products fit in."

And thank you very much, but no Chrysler doesn't need a product guru la General Motors' Bob Lutz, insists Press. Chrysler engineering and design are strong in executing new models they are asked to produce, Press notes. What Press intends to do is personally direct the product planning and bring the customer's voice "as the driving force" behind new models.

Chrysler had better start driving as fast on the product development front as it is on the cost-cutting one or it will be left with nothing to sell.

jsaylor
11-05-2007, 11:56 PM
everything[/i] either needs replacement or major upgrade/redo immediately or pretty darn soon;
could be best they draw up a new plan alltogether.

A Hemi will physically fit in Crossfire, but wether or not that same scenario works on a production line is a concern. And I too had mulled over the problem that the Crossfire is largely a restyled Mercedes roadster built in Germany. I just see a lot of plans to cull losers from the Pnetastar lineup without a great deal of emphasis on bringing out potential new winners. A smaller, sportier sister car for a new 300 would do wonders for Mother Mopar whatever it was based on.