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Here PDL AE rant of the week www.autoextremist.com

Holding pattern.
DateWednesday, November 5, 2014 at 08:38AM

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Detroit. Searching for newsworthy items this week proved to be a futile pursuit, because in reality the industry is in a holding pattern now. Yes, we have the sales winners regularly crowing over their notable increases, the players who are keeping their powder dry through the transition while preparing for the breakout fight ahead, and the rest who are just trying to get through each day in better shape than the previous one.

What passes for news this week isn’t much. Toyota piling on record profits on top of record profits – including a whopping 23 percent increase in net income in their latest tally – has long ceased to be frightening and has transitioned into something like the looming thunderhead off in the distance that never goes away. We’re talking about a corporate monolith – I am retiring the “juggernaut” moniker – that could simply crush the U.S. industry if it wanted to.

Fortunately cooler heads prevail over in Toyota headquarters and they’re merely content to ride the wave of sanctioned currency manipulation - under the auspices of Japan, Inc. – to reap staggering profits from the U.S market. As I said this isn’t really news, it’s simply re-stating a grim fact that every other auto company in the world has to live with.

Let’s see, what else? Well, the All Knowing and All Powerful Sergio Marchionne is exercising his FCA stock options and manipulating his stake in the company to great effect and tremendous personal gain (he now owns 1 percent of FCA). Good for him, it’s something he’s excellent at and it seems to keep him occupied and distracted from the fact that it if it weren’t for having Jeeps and Ram trucks to sell, the whole enterprise would probably have done a pirouette into the grand abyss long ago.

Despite Marchionne’s predilection to dismiss all bad news and negative comments as irritating chatter that need not be listened to, it’s growing more obvious by the day that if it weren’t for the aforementioned super-heated sales of Jeeps and Ram trucks that FCA’s blatant inability to build products with even a modicum of quality would be front and center in the industry discussion right now.
 

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You know, I have never seen a single Chrysler 200 on the road.
Have you, your family, or friends visited a car rental agency recently? There should be plenty of Chrysler 200 there (both the previous generation model and the current one).

I personally prefer to rent General Motors vehicles (especially the new generation Impala, my favorite). But I'll consider selecting a 2015 Chrysler 200 for my next rental, just to evaluate it. Both 4-cylinder and V6 200 models are now E85 flex-fuel capable from what I understand.
 

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Have you, your family, or friends visited a car rental agency recently? There should be plenty of Chrysler 200 there (both the previous generation model and the current one).

I personally prefer to rent General Motors vehicles (especially the new generation Impala, my favorite). But I'll consider selecting a 2015 Chrysler 200 for my next rental, just to evaluate it. Both 4-cylinder and V6 200 models are now E85 flex-fuel capable from what I understand.
No, I do not rent as much as I used to
 

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I like the Chrysler 200. It's very popular here in the née York metro area.

It's all about the lease deal...

Honda and Toyota as well as Nissan have the best subsidized lease deals..

Chrysler is doing well with the 200 and it has a sharp lease deal as well.

Peters insights are always appreciated.
 

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The new Chrysler 200 is off to a slow start because the Avenger and 200 were such spectacular deals. Chrysler threw so many incentives at those dated Mitsu-platform cars that they cannibalized their own Dart.

Reminds me of when GM sold tons of those dated A-body Centurys and Cieras through the early to mid 90s, building volume and maintaining market share at the expense of ATPs and long term reputation.

For crying out loud, this is a '96!
 

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The new Chrysler 200 is off to a slow start because the Avenger and 200 were such spectacular deals. Chrysler threw so many incentives at those dated Mitsu-platform cars that they cannibalized their own Dart.

Reminds me of when GM sold tons of those dated A-body Centurys and Cieras through the early to mid 90s, building volume and maintaining market share at the expense of ATPs and long term reputation.

For crying out loud, this is a '96!
Compare that to a 96 Camry for the right perspective. Kinda dull meet duller.
 

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Compare that to a 96 Camry for the right perspective.
1996 Camry (last year for the XV10 generation) was so far ahead of the 1996 GM A-body sedans in sophistication and refinement that the former could practically be considered a luxury car by comparison.
 

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1996 Camry (last year for the XV10 generation) was so far ahead of the 1996 GM A-body sedans in sophistication and refinement that the former could practically be considered a luxury car by comparison.
The tables have now turned. There was a study I saw about the most difficult cars to hack into and it turns out the Accord because it employs the least advanced technology of cars in its class, closely followed by Camry.
 

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Have you, your family, or friends visited a car rental agency recently? There should be plenty of Chrysler 200 there (both the previous generation model and the current one).

I personally prefer to rent General Motors vehicles (especially the new generation Impala, my favorite). But I'll consider selecting a 2015 Chrysler 200 for my next rental, just to evaluate it. Both 4-cylinder and V6 200 models are now E85 flex-fuel capable from what I understand.
I had the pleasure of driving a V6 Chrysler 200 as a rental for a week. I liked it, a lot. The 9 speed transaxle is a bit strange with it's shifting at times but I much preferred it to the Fusions I've had as rentals (hybrid Titanium, Titanium and SE flavors). The interior of the 200 is really well thought out and the V6 had a lot of punch. Quiet ride overall with some nice handling too.

The only GM midsize cars I've driven were the older Impala. The Cruze is the GM car I seem to get most often, it's nice but you get spoiled with the midsize cars after a few times, all of them are close to what used to be considered luxury cars not that long ago.
 

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I had the pleasure of driving a V6 Chrysler 200 as a rental for a week. I liked it, a lot. The 9 speed transaxle is a bit strange with it's shifting at times but I much preferred it to the Fusions I've had as rentals (hybrid Titanium, Titanium and SE flavors). The interior of the 200 is really well thought out and the V6 had a lot of punch. Quiet ride overall with some nice handling too.
Thank you, tnmats! I appreciate your review of Chrysler 200. Most third party reviews I've read about the new 200 weren't too favorable, so it's good to get perspective from someone who has rented the new model.
 
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