Chrysler has been a mystery brand for years. It keeps pumping out 300 sedans like it was in 2004, which is when it first went into production as a 2005 model. It has seen updates like it got in 2010, and a bit more tech, but c’mon. And while Mercedes, Cerberus, Fiat, and now Stellantis, pumped them out, these overlords kept trimming back Chrysler models. And sticking the profits elsewhere.
How has Chrysler survived with just two models?
So now Chrysler is left with the 300 sedan and Pacifica minivan. The minivan debuted in January 2016. So it is in its seventh year and is seeing its numbers continue to shrink. In 2021, Stellantis saw under 75,000 sold. How do you maintain a brand, especially in these super-short news cycle days, with two old and withering products?
So it is with some skepticism that Stellantis announced today it would produce several new Chrysler models over the next couple of years. “Chrysler is one of the emotional pillars of the former FCA,” said Stellantis CEO Alex Tavares. “It’s important for us to give this brand a future and opportunity to rebound.”
It may be important, but to who? In the last two years, Chrysler was only able to find buyers for a bit over 16,000 300 sedans each year. Traditional buyers have moved on, and younger buyers? They couldn’t tell you what a Chrysler is.
Now Chrysler models “look really gorgeous”
“Chrysler will be relaunched,” Tavares said emphatically. That’s great! But how do you build up a brand everyone forgot? Maybe with compelling design? The new Chrysler models “look really gorgeous,” he said.
Captivating design is a great way to grab attention. Especially these days when new tech is usually spread industry-wide within a year. And future EVs will all have the same platform under the skin. Without different technology or paint that changes color based on your mood, design is all you’ve got.
So we’re incredibly pleased that the upcoming Chrysler products look really gorgeous. Otherwise, they won’t stand a chance. So what are these new models?
What are the new Chrysler models?
We already know about the Airflow EV. But the others? All Tavares would say is that these new Chryslers will be “lifestyle family cars.” So they’ll be actual cars, or is he using that term to describe crossovers? We don’t know.
So in some ways, we have more questions than we got answers. But that is the nature of the car business and CEOs. What they reveal is meant to tantalize, without really saying anything.
Good vehicle launches reveal completely new models. So the less you say, the more memorable the reveal. Though lately, as we have seen with the Hummer, Bronco, Silverado, and Mustang Mach-E, we know what they’ll look like sometimes years before their launch.
Let’s hope it sells, and sells well
Whatever Chrysler is developing, we hope it is as dynamic as anything out there. And we also hope that its dynamism brings in a good crosssection of the buyers in the US.
Because right now, only aging boomers know what a Chrysler was and is. The brand needs those buyers, but also younger ones to once again gain a foothold in the US market.