Saturday

Chrysler Drops Magnum, PT Droptop, Pacifica & Crossfire Models


A week ago we predicted Chrysler would drop some of its models that overlapped each other's target buyers and introduce some new ones. Well, Cerberus, the new owners of Chrysler, announced the elimination of four models from the Chrysler lineup, but they didn't touch the duplication target at all.

The Chrysler Sebring and the Dodge Avenger? "Oh, let's just keep them both."

The Jeep Commander vs the Grand Cherokee? "Gosh, they both look pretty."

The Chrysler Aspen or the Dodge Durango? "The Aspen hasn't been around long enough yet and the Durango is such a good money-loser for us we don't want to give it up yet."

Soon to be gone, though, are the Dodge Magnum (Dodge's macho), the cheap-to-build-and-easy-to-sell Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible, the Celine Dione promoted Pacifica and the cool looking Crossfire. What are they thinking up there in the Detroit tower?

Given the 50,000+ 2007 Magnums that were recalled because the ABS brake control module software could lock up the rear brakes at times, that one probably shouldn't be a big surprise. And the 2006 Pacifica and PT Cruiser were both subject to recalls too. But we thought the bugs had been worked out of all these model lines by now.

Figures. Just when they start building them right, they decide to stop building them at all.

Also soon to be gone are 8,500 to 10,000 hourly jobs by the end of 2008, in an expense cutting move, along with 1,000 salary workers and a projected 37% of its outside contract workers. Looks like Cerberus Management is very serious about cutting costs, indeed.

In a move to jazz up its model line, Dodge is adding a Challenger coupe and the Dodge Journey "crossover" model. On top of that are new plans to build two new hybrid Suv's, the Chrysler Aspen and the Dodge Durango. With all that body weight, it's hard to imagine the Durango as a hybrid, frankly, but it's an admirably target. The two new hybrids will make the Chrysler brand a little "greener" while the Challenger ought to make the Dodge brand a little sexier too.

All in all, a smart move for Cerberus. If they build the new models right, too, then all the better. But if not, then call us. When your Durango dodges reliability, when you want to shove that Aspen up Chrysler's tailpipe, when the Journey won't let you journey, and when the Challenger challanges your patience, contact us. If you've got a lemon, we'll get rid of it.