Could Chrysler Become a Luxury Automaker?

The Cadillac of minivans?

Cadillac, Lincoln and…. Chrysler?

Asking if Chrysler could ever become America’s third luxury automaker might just be met with hearty laughter; Some people might even say that GM’s Chevrolet produces more luxurious cars than Chrysler. As things stand right now, Chrysler just isn’t in the same league of luxury as its fellow top-of-the-line domestic brands.

That may change, however, now that FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne pulls the strings in Auburn Hills. In a move I hope is a harbinger of things to come, Chrysler will now offer leather and rear DVD entertainment systems as standard on all 2012 Chrysler Town & Country vans.

Granted, a minivan isn’t the most luxurious vehicle in the world, but Chrysler could really set itself apart from the competition by making luxurious comforts standard fare. This move has Marchionne written all over it and could be a bold statement regarding his vision for Chrysler’s future. I wonder what would happen to sales of the Chrysler 200 and 300 if luxury features found in Cadillacs and Lincolns came standard and, more importantly, less expensive. It would be a small but easy way to begin moving the Chrysler brand up the ladder and away from stablemate Dodge and competitors Ford and Chevy. It may not ever reach the levels of Cadillac, but I could see Chrysler giving Buick a good run for its money. Someday. Maybe.

I know I’m just basing all this off one bit of news about a minivan, but, looking back through the vast annals of minivan history that I keep stored in my head, there is not a single one that has ever come standard with leather and a rear-seat DVD system. There goes Chrysler, breaking new minivan ground once again! It’s a move that, I hope, bodes well for Chrysler’s future.

Could Chrysler evolve into a luxury automaker?

-tgriffith

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1 Comment

  1. If Sergio thinks that tacking on a lot of expensive junk turns something into a luxury vehicle, he’s going to get a jolting wake up. Perhaps that’s one reason why Fiat is such an pedestrian and lackluster vehicle manufacturer.

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