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PT Cruiser: Nobody's Baby

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Old 15 May 2007, 02:45 am
skylight's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,319
Default PT Cruiser: Nobody's Baby

Commentary by Jerry Flint at Forbes:

Imagine an auto company is building a car that is truly unique. Nothing else on the market looks like it, and this unique model comes to stand for the company's design prowess.

Not only does the car have an eye-catching look, it also sells relatively well, despite comparatively weak marketing support and missed opportunities at expanding the model range.

Imagine, too, that this car is small, the shortest car the company builds in North America, in a day when short is good. Even Consumer Reports likes this vehicle and graces one version with a "Recommended" rating, making it one of the few models in the automaker's product portfolio that passes muster with that magazine.

One more thing: This little car delivers decent fuel economy--all the models have four-cylinder motors--just at a time that consumers are worrying about the price of gasoline.

If you were the head of the car company with such a vehicle, what would you do with it?

I assume that if you had a modicum of business sense, you would say you should keep this car in your lineup and make sure that it remains up-to-date with the most modern engines and transmissions and with engineering improvements to give it the best possible fuel economy. My guess is that every few years you would also be in favor of updating the design--not a radical change, but enough to keep the appearance fresh and interesting, similar to what BMW has done with its Mini.

If your response were similar to what I said above, you would pass Business 101. But that is not Chrysler's strategy for the PT Cruiser, the car I have been describing.

... ...

Personally, I think Chrysler could have sold more PTs if it had pushed harder. The company never introduced an all-wheel-drive version, although the former chief executive of Chrysler said one would be coming.

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The PT had been such a success that General Motors created a rival, the Chevrolet HHR.

... ...

I sure hope that Cerberus Capital takes a hard look at current management's plans for the PT. It is not too late to save it, and a revitalized PT could play an important role in revitalizing Chrysler.

It is tough when you're nobody's baby.

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Old 15 May 2007, 02:39 pm
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 6,787
Default Re: PT Cruiser: Nobody's Baby

"It is not too late to save it, and a revitalized PT could play an important role in revitalizing Chrysler.+

very good saying !!
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