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Chrysler 200

Pricing In The Automotive World Is All Wrong

Chrysler 200

The Chrysler 200 at the New England International Auto Show

This weekend the New England International Auto Show came to Boston, which if you haven’t attended, make a note of it for next year because it’s great for the entire family and well worth the experience. Auto shows give the consumer access to cars from an array of different brands so they can compare them in terms of price, comfort, and options in real time and in person instead of comparing them online. As a student of business and marketing, and also being financially aware, I took notes on the prices of some of the cars and their brands. Needless to say I was stunned at the findings.

When it comes to buying a Hi-Definition television, you’re already aware of the fact that you’ll be spending more when you look at bigger screens. With furniture, you know that leather seats will cost more than other materials. You also know that if you want a powerful gaming computer or laptop, you’ll be spending top dollar as opposed to the typical laptop that comes with standard specifications and options. So then why can’t the auto industry be like the rest of the product related markets?

High quality brands sell, that’s just fact. People are going to buy cars from Mercedes Benz, Audi, and BMW before others. So why is a fully loaded Chrysler 200 the same price as Mercedes Benz CLA or well equipped Audi A3? We can argue that some consumers have certain preferences and tastes, but to buy a car that’s priced as a luxury car that really isn’t will undercut sales for these companies in the long run. I’m sorry, but Chrysler and Buick are just not going to compete with the Germans, they can’t. The sales figures are overwhelmingly pointing to consumers choosing foreign cars over domestics, but still American brands continue to fight an uphill battle.

While there are companies like Chrysler and Buick who are trying to be something they’re not, Infiniti and Lexus are paving their own path that separate themselves from the Mercedes Benz’s of the world and continue to march to the beat of their own drum. While their prices are in the range of Audi and BMW, their cars don’t resemble what’s coming out of Germany.

In the hatchback market, Volkswagen continues to thrive off their Golf and GTI line, but consumers have other choices that are more affordable and practical. A fully equipped GTI will set you back close to $32,000, while a fully loaded Kia Forte Hatchback is priced at $25,000. Most consumers will buy based off horsepower and performance, but when it comes to legroom and comfort, the Forte gets the point.

The last observation from the car show is GM’s brands competing against each other, which is something Buick is trying to end by introducing cars made by the German automaker Opel. Chevrolet always seems to take a model from Buick or had taken similar concepts from other GM’s subsidiaries and sold them cheaper, undercutting Buick’s, Pontiac’s, GMC’s and Saturn’s sales. Cadillac is moving in their own direction, and by moving headquarters to New York they’ve separated themselves from Detroit and GM.

In the final analysis, all the car companies are manufacturing top quality cars for every type of consumer. Unfortunately because of that, most car brands are all competing for the same market instead of dominating a market that they’re good at and can sell many cars without much competition.

Marketing Matters: Could the Chrysler 200 Be Marketed Better?

Being a car enthusiast, I’m always researching vehicles that might be worth my money when it’s time to look for a new car. While there is already one manufacturer that I’m loyal to, I won’t let that limit my choices to better options if they should present themselves. The Chrysler 200 is a sedan that should get much more attention than it has, but because the US automaker takes the luxurious approach, they’re missing out on a major consumer group that would definitely consider the 200 if it was marketed to them correctly.

Knowing the 200’s history, it was a shock to find out that Chrysler has a V6 engine version of the sedan that is priced close to $30,000. This V6 engine supplies a whopping 295 horsepower, which is uncommon considering the class that the 200 is in among it’s competitors. The Volkswagen Jetta GLI has 210 horsepower, is in the same price range, and isn’t even remotely close to competing with the 200 when it comes to power.

It’s this angle that Chrysler hasn’t exploited. Yes we know the 200 has class and styling, yes it offers the newest technology to it’s buyer, but nothing is ever said about it’s power, not even subtly. The millennial generation are the buyers of the future, and what do the young guns want in a car? Speed and power, luxury, and relative affordability. Chrysler can offer that, but they’re taking the wrong approach when it comes to marketing the 200. As a millennial who wants that in a car, my future car buying decisions have been altered thanks to further research into what Chrysler has to offer.

The brand new look of the 200 is appealing; it has a European and futuristic look while also maintaining the tradition of Chrysler, which is to be an American auto manufacturer. A company that is trying to portray itself as being caught up with the times must not market as if they’re Lincoln or Cadillac and appeal to the younger generations. No one in their mid 20’s knows that a Chrysler has this power, instead they look to Dodge and their Charger for a powerful four door sedan.

If fuel economy is what the consumer wants, the lower trims offer mpg’s of 23 in the city and 36 on the highway while having a four cylinder engine that supplies 184 horsepower.

Chrysler must look at their marketing strategies for the 200 from all angles. A 295 horsepower car is not going to be passed up by an adult in their mid 20’s or 30’s. From the commercials I see class and the promoting of a luxury vehicle that offers comforts much cheaper than the luxurious car brands. By covering all angles, Chrysler will reach all age groups and consumer audiences that are in the market for a car such as the 200. Finding out about a 295 horsepower car around $30,000 was an eye opener, and it will have the same affect for others who learn of the secret power underneath the hood of a Chrysler 200.

Marketing for the New 2015 Jeep Renegade: How to Attract Buyers

It is no secret that Jeep and Chrysler are owned by the Italian car manufacturer Fiat, who has slowly changed the face of the two proud American car makers. Fiat has pushed their own models in marketing and advertising as the 500 and 500L are a new concept to the United States as smaller, European style vehicles that aren’t known to post strong sales figures in America. Yesterday, Jeep unveiled their new Renegade, which will be the newest model and crossover the car manufacturer has released. However, being small and based off the Fiat 500L, what is the company’s marketing strategy for this vehicle?

Unlike all the other models such as the Wrangler, Cherokee, Liberty, Patriot, and Compass, the Renegade doesn’t appear to be the traditional Jeep that can tackle different types of terrain that mother nature throws at it. To go along with tradition, Jeep owners want an SUV that is dependable, can go through snow and dirt, and is built like a truck. The Renegade on the other hand, is based off of small Italian cars that are primarily used in the city, which then raises questions about the fuel economy it gets, as other Jeep models aren’t the most fuel efficient in the city on the market today.

With the Renegade making it’s debut at the Geneva Motor Show, we’ll get a better understanding about the vehicle itself, it’s benefits, fuel economy, type of engine, and more importantly, the price.

From the limited pictures that have been released the backdrop is the woods or areas that aren’t the city or suburbs. But could Jeep tailor to a broader customer base, and how could they achieve this? Seeing that the Renegade is small, it’s likely that it will get decent gas mileage and is easier to navigate in the city, making this vehicle perfect for all conditions. This Jeep is perfect for the adult who works and or lives in the city, the badge that it carries on the front and back of the car is from an automaker who’s known to build the best vehicles for winter, and it should have the carrying capacity that rivals other crossovers.

With this vehicle in particular, it should be marketed in a city environment as well, not just in the outdoor setting that only refers to the owners who take their Jeep on camping trips. This is a great opportunity for the manufacturer to subtly change their image with the Renegade by making it city friendly, especially with it’s size. Because Fiat already holds this reputation with their 500 and 500L, the same can be done with this very small Jeep when it hits the showrooms across America.

This crossover may also appeal to the younger generation as it’s sporty and shouldn’t be too expensive.

With any company or product, making even the smallest of changes can be risky, and for a car manufacturer such as Jeep, this is a new look. Priority number one is to market this vehicle to those who prefer smaller crossovers and vehicles that can navigate through city streets. The Renegade could definitely be a hit with younger drivers, especially since they’re the ones who will be future consumers and car drivers.

Jeep is moving in the right direction and it will be exciting to see the reception the Renegade gets from the public. Fiat’s influence is certainly visible, but let’s see if that’s what the American consumer wants.