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
These cities have the world's most expensive beer The world's most expensive cities for beer range from European capitals to financial centers in Asia. These are the destinations where a pint will set you back the most. More
8 great convertibles for summer Slap on some sunscreen and hit the open road in one of these fun open-top cars. More
Corporate America celebrates gay marriage decision Big business took to Twitter to celebrate Friday's historic Supreme Court decision. More

Special Offer