Chrysler May Add “S” Models, But Don’t Get Too Excited

2011 Chrysler 300

I’ll begin with a quote from an Automotive News story that sums up Chrysler better than I ever could:

With just four models and an average customer age of 62, Chrysler brand has the Chrysler Group’s thinnest lineup, lowest volume and oldest buyers.

That’s not good news for a brand that’s looking to expand into new markets and pump up sales numbers. Certainly any strategy aimed at reviving Chrysler will need to include a plan to add models and bring younger buyers into showrooms.

Could an edgy, youth-oriented “S” brand be the answer? Sure it could. It’s just too bad Chrysler is going at it all wrong.

Think of what the letter “S” means to Audi. The S4 sedan. The S6 sedan. The S5 cabriolet. The TT-S coupe. In Audi’s case, the “S” translates to heart-pumping performance with looks that set its cars apart from the rest of the world.

Chrysler 300SIn Chrysler’s case, the “S” will probably just mean a brighter interior color.

Likely beginning with the refreshed 200 sedan and the revised 300, Chrysler says its “S” versions will appeal to those who want something a little more “edgy.” More edgy than what? A 1997 Toyota Avalon?

Exterior chrome will be blacked out, interior wood will be replaced with carbon fiber, and the traditional beige interior colors will now be offered in brighter red hues. The glaring omissions are modifications to the cars’ driving characteristics, which leads us to believe that in Chrysler’s world, “edgy” doesn’t translate to fast.

Appealing to younger buyers is important, but doing so with an “S” for style isn’t going to be enough. There needs to be some “S”peed in the equation too, because young buyers are “S”avvy enough to know when they’re being duped.

If you want an edgy product from Chrysler, you might be better off scouring DealFinder for a pre-owned, pimped-out 300.

Would an “S” version of the Chrysler 200 or 300 make you any more interested in buying a Chrysler vehicle?

-tgriffith

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