Cars that wrecked Chrysler

Chrysler was king of the hill with its 300 series just a few years ago. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

1 of 6
BACKNEXT
A strong start
A strong start
The 300C was a good, strong car. Unfortunately, only the eye-catching style carried into other products.
Chrysler's 1998 merger with Daimler-Benz bore promising fruit with the 2004 rebirth of the Hemi-powered Chrysler 300C.

With a dose of German engineering, Chrysler had seemingly rediscovered its founder's vision. Walter P. Chrysler had wanted his car company to offer investor class quality at working-man prices. With its Mercedes-based suspension and all-American Hemi engine under its boxy hood, the 300C performed with a power and alacrity that belied its relatively low cost.

In hindsight, the Dodge Magnum, introduced at the same time, should have provided a warning of bad things to come. The thuggish wagon was a big hit at first and it was, in most respects, every bit as good as the 300C.

But the interior lacked the 300C's stylishness. In fact, it lacked any apparent design at all. And the materials were rock hard and cheap feeling.

Chrysler LLC learned something with these two cars: Design sells. But what began as a selling point became, for Chrysler, a rickety crutch.

Under its new owners, Chrysler seems to be learning its lesson at last. But several models Chrysler has introduced over the last handful of years have eroded Americas trust and driven the company to the brink of bankruptcy.


NEXT: 2006 - Dodge Caliber
Last updated June 10 2009: 1:40 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
Find Your Next Car
More Galleries
Top-paying jobs Orthopedic surgeons take home a median $410,000 in salary and bonus annually. What other great careers from CNNMoney and PayScale.com's list of Best Jobs in America offer hefty paychecks? More
Fastest-growing jobs Demand for IT security consultants are projected to grow a solid 37% between 2012 and 2022. What other careers on CNNMoney and PayScale.com's list of America's best jobs will see big opportunities? More
Best Jobs in America CNNMoney/PayScale's top 100 careers with big growth, great pay and satisfying work. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2015 and/or its affiliates.