For Chrysler upscale is uphill

Oct. 5, 2009 at 5:10 PM   |   0 comments

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 5 (UPI) -- A Chrysler Group run at the U.S. luxury car market would be an uphill battle, several industry analysts said.

Chrysler's brand chief Peter Fong announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September that Chrysler was exploring a brand launch "a notch above Lincoln, a notch above Cadillac," The Detroit News reported Monday.

"I can understand why," said Tom Libby, president of the Society of Automotive Analysts.

"Luxury brands are more profitable," he said.

However, Libby said squeezing in a new luxury brand in a field with established names was "going to be an extremely difficult task."

Given the company's recent emergence from bankruptcy, "at this stage of their rehabilitation, I think that's real folly," said Joe Phillippi at AutoTrends Consulting Inc.

John Sousanis, director of information content at Ward's Information Products said Chrysler would struggle to market a luxury brand.

"They'd be faced with the problem of introducing a new luxury brand to a public that already has misgivings about the Chrysler brand name in general," he said.

Topics: Tom Libby
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