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Chrysler 300's sales are as hot as its looks
David Kiley
USA TODAY

DETROIT — Full-size, four-door sedans are considered about as hip as leisure suits. But the new Chrysler 300 is surprising everyone, including Chrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche.

The car's bold and brassy styling, size and aggressive pricing are making it an option for both buyers looking at midsize family sedans and those considering luxury cars, a rarity in the auto industry.

"The early going has surpassed our wildest dreams. ... I would not recommend anyone try to plan for this kind of public reception to a new model," says Zetsche, who compares the early interest in the car with that of the Chrysler PT Cruiser, launched in 2000.

Chrysler sold more than 23,000 of the 300 sedans from when it went on sale in March through the end of May, 12,500 in May alone. Its predecessor, the 300M, managed just 17,000 sales in the first five months of last year.

About 2,500 of 300's sales have gone to rental fleets. But Chrysler is cutting those back now to keep up with the more profitable retail demand. It's also looking for ways to increase production.

Chrysler 300's sales are outpacing those of rivals such as Toyota Avalon, Pontiac Bonneville and Buick Park Avenue.

But it's difficult to know what 300's true competitors are, says Power Information Network auto analyst Tom Libby. And that may be its biggest strength.

"It has the size, scale, performance and features of a mid-luxury car, but it's priced like entry-luxury or even non-luxury, depending on the engine package. It doesn't quite match up directly with any competing model," Libby says.

The base model starts at $23,595, making it a competitor to V-6 Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys. But the priciest model, 300C with a V-8 Hemi engine at around $35,000, is a worthy Lexus and Cadillac beater. It also accounts for about half the 300s sold.

"Price, power and pizazz" are what led Florence State and her husband, John, to trade in a Cadillac DeVille for a 300C.

"A new DeVille was about $12,000 more, and this car just sparkled when I saw it," says State, 54, of Cleveland.

Interest in the 300, particularly among a younger audience than the larger sedans usually attract, was helped by buzz in the hip-hop world.

The 300 was featured in a video by the band G-Unit, and hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg went so far as to leave Zetsche a voice mail message about the car.

It also was featured in the season finale of TV show ER in which one of the doctors brags about his new 300C, then needs it to escape a road rage incident.

Full Article Here

 

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Yeah, its a nice cat, but too bad about the TSB about the alignment. 50% are being recalled or being taken back.
 

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Combine a great exterior and interior deisgn with a great Hemi powertrain and charge a reasonable price, and the thing sells well? Who would have thought?

Good for Chrysler, I say. It's nice to see an American sedan trumpeted positively by the press.
 

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Does GM even have anything on the drawing board as future
competition for the wildly popular 300C Hemi ?
 

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GM caught with its pants down again.....what else is new?? By the time they make something up the rage will have turned and be lead by someone else. I really wish, as a GM fan, that they would get their s**t together, its getting emabarrassing already.

I don't think Tech Service Bullitens's are recalls...GM has lots of TSB's on the cars I have owned, usually dealt with on normal warranty trips, sometimes they wouldn't even acknowledge them such as the 6 speed "booming" noise that was corrected by the aluminum driveshaft (I had to print off a copy myself and take it in before they agreed it existed and then got my 97 Formula WS6 fixed). Perhaps that is just GM, TSB's are to inform dealers of common problems and how to repair them. recalls are mandated by law, aren't they??

One TSB on a brand new vehicle is incredible, anyway. Look at the list for a GM product after a new introduction and it gets scary...they have a ong way to go.

I look at all the products GM has out there and they all seem underpowered....could you imagine a 340hp rear wheel drive Pontiac Grand Prix?

later
Tim
 

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Originally posted by TimR@Jun 26 2004, 05:43 PM
GM caught with its pants down again.....what else is new?? By the time they make something up the rage will have turned and be lead by someone else. I really wish, as a GM fan, that they would get their s**t together, its getting emabarrassing already.

I don't think Tech Service Bullitens's are recalls...GM has lots of TSB's on the cars I have owned, usually dealt with on normal warranty trips, sometimes they wouldn't even acknowledge them such as the 6 speed "booming" noise that was corrected by the aluminum driveshaft (I had to print off a copy myself and take it in before they agreed it existed and then got my 97 Formula WS6 fixed). Perhaps that is just GM, TSB's are to inform dealers of common problems and how to repair them. recalls are mandated by law, aren't they??

One TSB on a brand new vehicle is incredible, anyway. Look at the list for a GM product after a new introduction and it gets scary...they have a ong way to go.

I look at all the products GM has out there and they all seem underpowered....could you imagine a 340hp rear wheel drive Pontiac Grand Prix?

later
Tim
Being a GM employee, I hate to admit it, but Tim are right on many points, especialy when it related to GM styling, GM doesn't have a car or truck out there in the market right now that I can say it is different; beautiful; and fun to drive in one package, the SSR is different, you can call it beautiful, but it is under power, I know it will have more power next year, but it is over price, the same can be said for the XLR; the CTS-V; the GTO and the new C6, all the cars I just mentioned, they are limited production. I wish GM step away form the "love it or hate it" styling, I know, I know wait a few more years...........On another note, I think Chrysler Corp. has found a very good concept, and that is when Chrysler's parent company M-Benz retired some of their not so old technologies, they gave them to Chrysler, example is the SLK-320 to the CrossFire, platform; engine etc. and now the 300c with M-Benz S platform, with the HEMI engine, with a price in the mid $30,000.00, nice looking styling; fun driving; cost reasonable.
 

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Let me see, GM is just now getting a PT competiter out...so...by about...2012 we should have something to go against the 300/300C
:angry:
 

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and now the 300c with M-Benz S platform, with the HEMI engine, with a price in the mid $30,000.00, nice looking styling; fun driving; cost reasonable.
Err.... the 300 is not using a MB platform. It use the LX chassis that share some parts with the E-Class
 

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Originally posted by TimR@Jun 26 2004, 05:43 PM
could you imagine a 340hp rear wheel drive Pontiac Grand Prix?

The insiders are all saying that there will probably be a RWD Grand Prix (although probably renamed) by the end of this decade. However, the Impala will probably stay FWD for many years to come.
 

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Makes you wonder what the dodge counterpart is doing.

I wouldn't say GM has its pants down though, they still have the GTO and CTSV which are both better performers, and the GTO is actually cheaper with the Hemi powered 300.
 

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Meanwhile, Buick is still making cars that look like 1990's Chryslers, Buicks and Mercurys...including the upcoming Lacrosse.
 

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Originally posted by gerardo_zg@Jun 26 2004, 07:05 PM
and now the 300c with M-Benz S platform, with the HEMI engine, with a price in the mid $30,000.00, nice looking styling; fun driving; cost reasonable.
Err.... the 300 is not using a MB platform. It use the LX chassis that share some parts with the E-Class
I could be wrong, I thought I read some where that the 300C is using the E class platform, not the S class, but I could be wrong.
 

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Originally posted by gmmerc5+Jun 26 2004, 10:10 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (gmmerc5 @ Jun 26 2004, 10:10 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-gerardo_zg@Jun 26 2004, 07:05 PM
and now the 300c with M-Benz S platform, with the HEMI engine, with a price in the mid $30,000.00, nice looking styling; fun driving; cost reasonable.
Err.... the 300 is not using a MB platform. It use the LX chassis that share some parts with the E-Class
I could be wrong, I thought I read some where that the 300C is using the E class platform, not the S class, but I could be wrong. [/b][/quote]
From what I gathered, the LX cars are built off a previous generation Mercedes E-Class platform, with Auburn Hills adding its own flavor. Before Daimler-Benz took over, Chrysler had plans for a rwd platform to come off the LH cars. From what I understand, the Chrysler LH/LX rwd platform was scrapped in favor of implementing the Mercedes platform and Mercedes electrical system.
 

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Gm: trust me will not come up with anything soon. The most they will come up with is a more powerful CTS to compete. But, Caddy was never 'muscle car' or any of that junk that forced the U.S. government to focus on the MPG and how much gas they were burning in the 70s. See, the 300C is at a weird price. And, the 300 isn't anything to be impressed about. The standard 190 hp V-6 is a waste of time, and personally if you want a muscle-car, you need more power. And why do you care so much??? A HEMI engine isn't anything to drool about. It is only paving way for global warming and something of the sort in what happened in The Day After Tommorow.

TimR:
I look at all the products GM has out there and they all seem underpowered....could you imagine a 340hp rear wheel drive Pontiac Grand Prix?
You should go and see the movie. It will change your mind about 340 hp V-8 vehicles burning gas. The movie shows you the disasters that happen once you pollute the air.......something scary.
 

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I will most likely take heat for this, but the success of the 300 and the other Daimlerized Chryslers should serve as a strong wakup call to anybody in Dearborn and GM. The 300 is only a start and I get the strong feeling the Germans are not here to play games - like GM and Ford are doing. They not only want to win in this market, they want to decimate it and if GM and Ford want to grow instead of decline, they are going to have to become far more aggressive and less friendly to their friends in Auburn Hills. The lax attitude from Ford and GM bother me and I can see DCX taking more and more market share away from them. This isn't the same old, wimpy Chrysler of old. The Germans are hungry and they want to win. Combine that with the increasing strength of Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, and it becomes apparent that GM and Ford have become the old fogeys of the industry. They seem to be behind when new trends come out and then they have to play catchup.

I could be proven wrong in the future, but right now Wolfgang Bernhard and Dieter Zetsche are running circles around Bob Lutz. I get the feeling he is more hype than anything else, because his answers to hybrids, rwd V-8 sedans, and other items sound like the same old excuses from Detroit. I would like to be proven wrong, but right now, I have lost some respect for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I could be proven wrong in the future, but right now Wolfgang Bernhard and Dieter Zetsche are running circles around Bob Lutz
Nope, you're right.

Behold! The 2005 Lacrosse!

Buick's "all new" answer to the....Concorde?



 

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Originally posted by Ming@Jun 27 2004, 12:22 AM
I could be proven wrong in the future, but right now Wolfgang Bernhard and Dieter Zetsche are running circles around Bob Lutz
Nope, you're right.

Behold! The 2005 Lacrosse!

Buick's "all new" answer to the....Concorde?



I hate to make light of a serious situation, but that was pretty funny. Sometimes I just don't know about Robert Lutz. I'm beginning to suspect that he was part of the problem at the old Chrysler. They could have been far more aggressive in the 90s, but they held back too much. Maybe Eaton should take the blame, but I do have to question Lutz's product strategy back then and at GM. I thought GM would be tearing things up with Lutz, but it hasn't happened yet. Maybe in a few years..... (echo) maybe in a few years. Anybody hear an echo?

So, what do these two transferred Mercedes engineers (Wolfgang and Dieter) know that we don't? Lutz should be more in touch with the American public than them. <_<
 

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Everyone is catching up these days!!! I'm afraid that Lincoln will soon come and wipe away Chrysler and Caddy when they create the new Aviator, Convertible, Zephyr, and whatever stupid other stuff they've got in the making...

They seem to be behind when new trends come out and then they have to play catchup.
Correct. Everyone says that GM is always #1, but that is not true. Why did Caddy have a revitalization, then??

Ming, good joke. The LaCrosse is a step behind from competitors. But once again like I've expressed to you: the 300 and 300C are priced in the middle. I would've thought it would start in the 30s. But I see where Chrysler is going. Just what Caddy did, except smarter. Chrysler thinks that if they price a full-size vehicle at a low price, they will be able to get more sales. Definitely correct. And until GM recognizes pricing a Park Avenue that looks like a duck, and looks like what a $20K car would offer is horrible, their sales will continue to decrease....
 
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