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That German guy with the mustache

November 20, 2007

I still think it looks better as moustache.

So today I was browsing the Wall Street Journal. Wait, let me stop here. I don’t want to mislead anyone. So today someone linked me directly to an article at the WSJ website (that’s better), which has since become the first WSJ I have ever read in its entirety. More on that later, but first, a snippet from the article in question:

Such a scenario would allow Chrysler to drop some of its overlapping products that essentially compete with one another, such as the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring, which are both midsize sedans but marketed under different names. Fewer products could also mean a reduction in dealers, which would weed out poor-performing dealerships that have excess inventory and resort to incentives that hurt profitability.

Really? In an American auto market that’s been struggling for years (probably ever since “The Fast and the Furious” made everyone want a Honda), is this really the first time this kind of thing has been proposed? I guess considering the state of the American auto market, this really isn’t that surprising. But that brings up some kind of circular logic in which the American auto market is too stupid to realize that it’s stupid, like a retarded kid who can’t understand why everyone else doesn’t want to barter using jelly beans instead of dollars, he is not entirely self-aware of his affliction. This is going nowhere so I digress.

Since I was intellectually able to grasp the concepts of economics and production, I’ve always assumed that having a Dodge/Chrysler version of what was basically the same car was to allow for subtle tweaks in styling, color, or accessories. It thusly occurred to me some years ago as I was fiddling with a new car customization VW website that you could pretty much choose all those things now. And that was at least 5 or 6 years ago. You can pick taillights, sporty body kits, spoilers, paint, tires, wheels, etc. I know that for Civics, you can choose to get a pointlessly huge spoiler with a pointless LED strip or you can just get the enormous spoiler as is (decidedly huge because of the millions of people requiring serious downforce as they powerslide their way to work, no doubt). If anyone remembers the mid-90s Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager, the lights on the tailgate were pretty much the only differentiating factor. I guess it made sense 10 or 15 years ago, but this practice has been worthless for probably the past 7 years and companies are just now catching on. Obviously that’s only part of the American automaker’s problem, but it’s a good and pretty easy solution.

Now, the fruits of my patience in reading the entire article:

Meantime, Chrysler executives have also now decided to kill the entire PT Cruiser line after the 2009 model year, according to a dealer who was told of the decision this past week. The move further expands the auto maker’s push to eliminate slower-selling models. Chrysler, in announcing the expanded restructuring this month, said that it was dropping the PT Cruiser convertible, Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Crossfire and Dodge Magnum.


These things were supposed to look like the old gangster cars of the early 20th century, but they are just horrible. If it’s not a Hudson, you don’t look like a gangster, you look like an idiot. I’m also glad they’re killing off the Crossfire. If I recall correctly, it’s about a $40k sports car with significantly less horsepower than a Pontiac G6 and no back seat. Awesome! It’s worth noting that “The Office” has ripped on both the Sebring and the PT Cruiser quite extensively. I doubt it’s had any real affect on the sales of those vehicles, but it shows us the general public opinion of such “everyman” vehicles.

Not that any of this has any real effect on me. I’m still saving for my Smart Car. After that, one of those electric lawnmowers that you have to plug into an outlet via extension cord (yes, these seriously exist).

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2007 4:00 pm

    I always assumed the PT Cruiser in the Office was product placement.

    Also, my parents have an electric weed whacker and edger, so the obvious next step is the lawnmower.

  2. Lizzie permalink
    November 25, 2007 2:42 am


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