Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jim Press says Chrysler could be America's Benz, BMW



What American automaker best matches up with the uber-machines from the Germans? Lincoln... no, probably not. Cadillac? Getting warmer. How 'bout Chrysler, asks ChryCo. co-Prez Jim Press. After a quick review of Chrysler's current line-up, we're not really buying the comparison; but it's fun to dream, so we'll bite. The Sebring is roughly the size of the C-Class and 3 Series, but it's driving the wrong wheels to go head-to-head with BMW and Mercedes-Benz, so that would need a complete rework, to say the least.

The 300C is a very nice car with an appropriate engine up front, rear-wheel drive and a relatively attractive price compared to the Germans. That could work, but it's clear that Chrysler would need to pump lots more money into the car to keep it up to date with it's competition from Germany. Minivans don't equate very well to any Germanic rivals, especially since the R-Class from MB has been a major disappointment.

One possible area that Chrysler has over its supposed competition is trucks. The new '09 Ram may be a major step up from its predecessor, but we're not so sure we're ready to call it the Mercedes-Benz of pickups, which is pretty much how Press says he sees it. We're all for the idea of an American competitor for Mercedes and BMW, and we'd love to see the Pentastar emerge from its financial problems a leaner, more focused manufacturer. Still, we wonder if Chrysler should set its sights on cross-town rival Cadillac before jumping all the way to Germany.

1 comment:

Aaron Wyse said...

Chrysler for ages has been a leader in the auto industry. The short time that Diamler was at the helm, they help to refine the product in fit & finish; but were opposed to improvements in the quality of materials. Chrysler has always been one of the largest innovating manufacturers. I personally feel that with some determination and dedication of the employees that the products could be upgraded and refined to be direct competitors with M-B. Why convince ourselves that we should only set or sights as high as Caddilac. Many Chrysler owners already feel they have better than Caddilac.. to even consider marketing in that mindset would be slapping themselves in the face.
Shoot for the top ,if we do not succeed.. We'll still be nearer and more succesful. Shoot for the middle.. and at best be there.
May Chrysler listen and fight to be the major player, not just another competitor.