Want A New Chrysler 200? It’s Dead, But There’s Surely No Shortage of Supply
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ U.S. dealers entered 2017 with more than six-months’ worth of Chrysler 200 supply, according to Automotive News.
That’s enough inventory for America’s latest discontinued midsize sedan, production of which ended eight weeks ago, to linger well into summer, assuming demand remains on an even keel.
Of course, demand for the Chrysler 200 has notÂ flatlined, but rather continues to shrink.Â This means 200s built in the fourth-quarter of 2016 â€” or earlier â€” may well be readily available at a Chrysler dealer near you, not just this summer, but even towardÂ the end of 2017.
You therefore have plenty of time to decide whether you want to take the plunge into a world of defunct nameplates. Based on recent results, it appears that more than 98 percent of midsize sedan buyers don’t.
As recently as the middle of 2015, sales of the Chrysler 200 appeared healthy. In May 2015, for instance, FCA reported its best-ever month of Chrysler 200 sales.
But by the end of 2015, and particularly in 2016, FCA withdrew some of the heavy incentivization it that had powered the 200 to such heights. With 200 sales cratering â€” first-quarter volume tumbled by nearly two-thirds in 2016, year-over-year â€” a plant shutdown in Sterling Heights, Michigan, turned into the official declaration that the 200, like its Dodge Dart corporate partner, would be sent to the scrap heap.
The 200’s already tarnished name, indelibly linked to its Sebring predecessor, was certainly not helped when FCA boss Sergio Marchionne threw his own employees under the bus, calling those responsible for its design “dummies.” Meanwhile, workers responsible for building the 200Â in Sterling Heights were tasked with maintaining moraleÂ for nearly a year after their boss had harshly criticized the product.
Combined with an easy-to-criticize nine-speed transmission, a reputation for poor reliability, dreadful Consumer Reports verdicts, and none of the built-in loyalty that helps to spur demand for segment leaders such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, FCA’s decision to kill off the automaker’s lone remaining midsize car stifled demand.
Third-quarter sales in 2016 were 44-percent lower than second-quarter volume. Fourth-quarter sales slid 35 percent from third-quarter levels.
Expect a further slowdown despite the high degree of excess supply.
As demand continues to drop, Cars.com and Autotrader.com list aroundÂ 14,000 Chrysler 200s in their inventories. 17 percent of 200s displayed at the former car shopping website are V6-engined; six-percentÂ are all-wheel-drive cars. Inventory is fairly evenly divided between 2016 and 2017 models.
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January 26, 2017 at 02:04AM