As had been discussed some time ago, the Dodge Avenger may be eating up the sales of the Dodge Dart. The IIHS top safety pick Avenger is being killed off for MY 2015 “to reduce overlapping products in dealer showroom” according to a source within the depths of the Pentastar. Additionally, the Chrysler 200S will not be showing up as a convertible for 2015. Only 5% of the previous year’s 122,420 200S models were convertibles. Add in the cost of re-engineering a car that doesn’t sell well so that it has a convertible top and is still as rigid as the sedan version, and the prospects are slim.
This begs the vital question: why were even that many folk buying the successor to the rather bland Sebring in light of other more interesting products from this automaker? I’ll make a bit of conjecture here, but hear me out, the current 200S isn’t exactly a car that any kid has on their bedroom wall. While it’s not a convertible Geo Metro, it’s not nearly as good as the current 200S. What does this mean for the manufacturer? Most of the sales will be those of fleets. When renting a convertible in and around the warmer parts of the US, it makes no difference if one is sitting in stop and go traffic in a V6 Mustang with an auto ‘box or a 200S convertible, so based on that back of the envelope logic, most of these sales likely came from the Nationals, Dollars, and Budgets of the world. Let’s hope that the next convertible out of Fiat/Chrysler has more defining features, even if they are just aesthetic like those of the ill-fated Plymouth Prowler.
-By: Sawyer Sutton