It’s been a long time coming, but it finally happened. Someone has seen the light in a great brand and is trying to revive it. Since the sale of Chrysler to Daimler-Benz back in 98, we haven’t really seen much good come from this brand. Sure there was the Crossfire and PT, but what else has come from Chrysler. Sales and quality decline where some of the things, but ever since Daimler got its hands-on Chrysler, the brand has seemed to have lost its edge. With the almost release of the Chronos executive model, it seems that the once great brand was dumbed down to being just an upmarket average brand.
Now if you look back at the models which Chrysler almost built, it seems that Daimler really destroyed a soon to be luxury mark. Of course why would they want Chrysler to compete with Mercedes. But still, they could have let some of the glory cars into the brand. Like the Firepower, 300 Hemi Convertible and maybe have released two SUV’s during the early 00’s. But when you let a company like Daimler make your decisions, it seems like your just a supplier to Wal-Mart, not a division.
But now we have a saviour, well sort of saviour. And he comes from a Canadian/Italian background. Now why would this be good when your reviving a brand. Well you need to know where you come from, in order to know where your going. This is said because Chrysler originally hailed from across the river in Windsor, Ontario. Now that’s Walter P. Chrysler, not the brand. Dodge was the brand that hails from across the river. So why is knowing where your from good for a company to revive itself. Well if you don’t know what you’ve done in the past or where you hail from, then its hard to know what to watch out for when you try to repair the past. Knowing why Chrysler has failed in the past, is the #1 way you can unlock the perceptions consumers have about its product.
Know when you add that to being part of company who owns one of the best supercar manufactures as well as one of the best performance brands in the world, you have a mix of sport and luxury you need. This of course is needed to beef up the sport appeal of the Alfa/Dodge brand, and add some luxury appeal to the Lancia/Chrysler brand. Now we all know that Lancia and Ferrari are not best known for their luxury appeal, but they do have one thing that some luxury marks may what. Religion and Desire. Yes religion comes from the use of Lancia’s at the Vatican and we all know where desire comes into play with Ferrari.
With so much emphasis on power, features and comfort these days, it seems that every luxury mark is looking at creating its own niche to set it apart from the rest of the pack. Audi has a foothold in China, BMW has performance appeal and Mercedes has history on its side. Now how can you make Chrysler a player in this field. Well use the same formula that Cadillac and Lincoln are using. RWD, V8 power fun cars tied to large desirable SUV’s. Now add some Italian styling and European fuel economy, and you have the makings of the perfect luxury brand.
First change came in the way of dropping the old cars from the line-up. Removing the Aspen, PT, Sebring and Pacifica from its line-up is just the beginning. Replacing the Sebring with a newly renovated model will be the first change. Next we get an updated Town & Country and 300. After this is all done, we start looking at adding some smaller models from Lancia to the brand. And lastly, we redo the complete line-up for the 2014 model year. Why is this a good strategy. Well its not, it’s a horrible plan, unless you add a sports model to draw a younger crowd, a large SUV for the affluent type, and then throw in a crossover to keep the undecided from leaving your showroom. After this is all done, its time to add a halo model which will make your brand desirable to anyone. Lexus has the LFA, Mercedes has the SLS, and Audi has the R8. Now when the new Viper is released in a few years, Fiat may see that a tuxedo version may be a great fit for Chrysler.
Now if you have to stop and think about what the Chrysler is and what it was, then you may want to take a look at their new tag line. “Imported from Detroit” is the best line you could use, since your not appealing to the world to purchase your cars. Your appealing to your own, home, consumers. Its time for change, and maybe this time someone will do what Lee Iacocca once did, or what Walter P. Chrysler had a vision of when he walked out of General Motors doors.
It’s time for change. It’s time to look forward. It’s time for Detroit to rise once again.
March 10, 2011