Chrysler Kills the 300 This Year With Nothing to Replace It
Are you wondering what’s going on with Chrysler? Do you care? Over the years the brand has slowly withered, shedding one model after another. Today it’s down to two, the 300 sedans and the Pacifica minivan. And its CEO Christine Fuell, says it won’t be until 2025 before we see new life for Chrysler. So for the next two years, it needs to tread water with what it has.
Does it make sense to kill the Chrysler 300 this year?
Except it’s not doing that. Instead, it will shed another nameplate, the 300, at the end of this year. It seems like such an odd thing to do when you only have two models, to begin with. And the high-performance 2023 300C sold out in 12 hours. No misprint, one-half of one day.
Fuell recently told Autoblog that selling out so quickly shows “how really rabid people are about this really cool V8 sedan.” She then explained that by going all-in on electrification, having a V8 sedan creates a “dichotomy.” Honing and polishing that brand image is a good thing. We commend it for standing firm in its direction.
Why won’t Chrysler wait to kill the 300 until 2024?
But sister brands Ram and Jeep don’t see it that way, nor do many other automakers. So, yes, adhering to the electric frontier means you eventually have to shed your gas-powered models. But if your next and first new EV is not set to appear until 2025, what’s one more year? Especially when what is essentially an almost 20-year-old model is selling out in just 12 hours?
Our guess is that since there are no idle factories to configure for its Airflow EV production, Chrysler needs the 300/Challenger/Charger plant for the Dodge and Chrysler EV products. Running out the clock of another platform means if a drastic changeover must happen, you have to turn off the switch for the old before preparing for the new.
So while it makes odd sense, that is probably the issue. Ram trucks lucked out when they did the changeover in 2018 for the all-new 2019 Ram 1500. It built a brand new assembly plant for the 2019 truck. But it kept cranking out (and still does) the previous truck from its ancient truck plant in Warren, Michigan.
Ram needed a lower-priced truck to bridge its midsize truck gap. As development costs must have been amortized eight or nine years ago, it is like printing money. Sort of.
So Chrysler is down to one product?
Unfortunately, this is not the case with its future 2025 Chrysler Airflow. So, much like Ford is doing with the Mustang, it must cut things short for the fabled 300 sedans to make room for the new. So while it seems odd Chrysler would cut its numbers down to one, and a minivan at that, at least its dealers have other brands to sell.
But if Chrysler continues to be irrelevant for those not interested in an aging sedan or Pacifica minivan, it will be hard to suddenly become “it” again. For Chrysler’s sake, let’s hope its EV strategy works and doesn’t end up like Plymouth, Mercury, Pontiac, et al. Those brands became invisible, and each had far more models than Chrysler has over the last decade.