In the absence of a parent company named Chrysler, the individual Chrysler brand is...what is it exactly? Is it Stellantis’ American luxury brand, like Cadillac and Lincoln? Is it a Buick-like near-luxury brand? I’m not sure I can really even nail down a historical brand proposition for Chrysler after the second world war. I’m not saying there haven’t been some good Chrysler branded cars, there definitely have been. I am saying that I can’t really articulate what they all had in common, other than being Chryslers. We remember the Cordoba for the goofy ads, but is there anything else? The good Imperials were Imperials, not Chrysler Imperials.
If you go to the Chrysler website and click on the “This is Chrysler” tab, you get a list of charities they’re involved with, awards and accolades they’ve won, a timeline of notable Chrysler innovations and some branded merch. It does say “American innovation is in our DNA” which is something!
The Pacifica and 300 are worth holding onto, for sure. But if you were building a car brand, I don’t know that you’d necessarily shoot for three variants of the same good minivan and an aging if serviceable sedan. But like the dealer that was quoted in Adam’s post, I can’t really see them doing away with the brand entirely.
More than any other established brand, they really are kind of a blank slate. What if they picked up the turbine car thread and made the Chrysler brand the advanced powertrains brand? Let them lead an EV push, really push some sci-fi styling. I could get excited about that.
So what would it take to get you excited about the Chrysler brand? Some re-badged Citroens? Some DSs? A friggin’ New Yorker? A 300 Hellcat? A Thunderbolt? Thunderbolt EV?