November 2007: Chrysler LLC announces several major changes to reduce corporate expenses, including eliminating thousands of employees, as well as slow-selling automotive products.
Car manufacturers make great efforts to develop their products. Market research, design, and manufacturing are only a few links in the complex chain of production. Unfortunately, one weak link can sometimes spell disaster for otherwise worthy vehicles.
The quality gap between domestic and imported branded cars has narrowed considerably in recent years. The former Big Three have turned out some spectacular vehicles lately, but because of those weak links, some have failed to catch on with consumers.
Many of the (unidentified) Chrysler vehicles will phase out over a period of several years. The following four cars were named to be discontinued after the 2008 model year:
One of the first and one of the best cross-over vehicles. Many advanced safety features standard. The top trim level can be ultra-luxurious. Mercedes suspension gives it more responsiveness than any SUV or minivan.
Not a cross-over, the Magnum is an alternative. It combines the concept of a 1950s Chevy Nomad, and a 1960s-1970s muscle car. Solid ride, with a V6 for the economy; or a 425 hp V8 for performance. It’s not a sports wagon; it’s a muscle wagon!
Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible
Inexpensive four-seat rag-top with a comfortable ride. Its retro styling took the industry by storm in 2001—it’s fun-looking and versatile. It’s not a sports car, wagon, minivan, or truck; it’s a stylish cruiser.
Literally, an American SLK Mercedes-Benz, from the former Chrysler-MB marriage. Fantastic styling and a quiet ride; also available in a convertible or top-of-the-line, SRT-6 trim level. Fantastic car for the money!
These are all unique vehicles, appealing to relatively small segments of the automotive market. They are niche vehicles, but not halo vehicles, which manufacturers produce for publicity’s sake. Nevertheless, they are perfect cars for the right buyers.
There are reasons to believe that these cars might attain collector status someday. They are available now, at your local Chrysler/Dodge dealership, but will disappear fast.