No sooner had the ink dried on my previous post lambasting GM's questionable decision to stake its future on more blubberly SUVs did Chrysler decide to do the same. For someone who's already said to himself that his next car will probably run on alternative fuel, I cannot fathom this decision at all. Chrysler has done pretty well lately on the strength of traditionally configured, ahem, automobiles like the Chrysler 300C, Dodge Magnum, and Dodge Charger. I think they are deriving the wrong conclusions from this success. Instead of thinking, "You know what, we need to provide more non-SUVs that appeal to consumers", they've gone down the path of "Yeah, these current vehicles are successful because of their huge engines, so let's stuff more of those into new SUVs."
Chrysler's sales pitch is that these new models are more fuel efficient compared to full-sized (-fat?) SUVs, of which it is only introducing one among (count 'em!) five various models. The problem, of course, is that their mileage is, in turn, not as good as that of sedans or station wagons. One hopes that Chrysler will have a good outcome here, but they're definitely not filling a demand for more frugal vehicles, no matter how they try to spin the matter. If even gas lubber extraordinare Bush Jr. calls for fuel conservation, why can't automakers wean themselves off SUVs?
Posted by Emmanuel |