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Old 06 May 2003, 09:16 am
Dalite Dalite is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Brunswick, Georgia, USA.
Posts: 518
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Interesting concept. I wanted the turbo from the time it was announced. However, the price, and trade in value of my '02 TE held me back in buying it as soon as it came out.[V]

Nearly a year later (April '03 - Dealers started taking Orders for the Turbo in June 2002), the dealerships started carrying turbos in 5 speed models, and there were rebates. Rebates actually started a few months before, but I had lost interest when my local dealer delayed ordering for months, and was claiming the 5 speed wasn't out yet, as recently as a month before I purchased one in April 2003.[:I]

All the models I saw had cloth seats, no seat height adjustment, and no frills, ecept for the standard ABS Brakes and Traction Control. Most came with the baseline RBQ radio with CD. It would seem that Chrysler had already learned the score by the first quarter of 2003 and was making a large number of GTs in near base configuration.

They had already dropped the rear sway bar, 2nd horn, folding - heated outside rearview mirrors, illumination for rear window switches, foot rest on left of pedals; all of these deletions from the 2002 build level in an apparent attempt to cut cost and still sell for more money. Apparently DC's Marketing Dept. is infested with very slow learners.

With that in mind, I am extremely interested in what other deletions that they can make and still produce a car that can make it past the test drive without safety concerns, and one that will make the 12 month 12k mile warranty benchmark in one piece.

I can envision that ABS and Traction control will fall by the wayside, cheaper cloth covered seats; maybe even viny covered, baseline 15" steel wheels and tires, no power outlets; other than cigar lighter outlet, the re-emergence of the non-air-conditioned models, fixed-non-remote outside mirror(driver's side only), no vanity mirror in the overhead visors; no overhead console, single interior dome light, no tach, no center floor console, AM/FM radio only with no Dash Speakers or Rear Speakers..... (Well, maybe a Tach)..

I have complete confidence that DC will find other ways to cheapen the production, and destroy the well thought out interior comfort level of design and all that made the PT Cruiser the success it was. Maybe this is a good omen. If DC can kill all future sales of the PT Cruiser, our investments may have some future value again. As it is, they seem to loose nearly $1k per month in depreciation for the first 12 to 18 months.

If anyone remembers what happened with the Jeep CJ series when they went with the plastic interior (courtesy of Renault) and square headlights; only to be forced to rethink the headlight issue because of customer rejection of the deviation from the proven design that made the Jeep what it was... Maybe DC will learn from it's mistakes.

However, if we, the PT Cruiser owners, the ones that have kept the love affair alive, keep giving DC a free pass on the deletion of the sway bar and 2nd horn; both potential safety issues, they will continue to try to find the market's breaking point. They will continue to see what all they can delete and still have price increases.

Only time will tell. [xx(]
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