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May 01, 2021

Would you still buy a Chrysler?

By Jason Buckland, Sympatico / MSN Finance

Mexico City, at least, has to be happy about this one.

The dominant story in yesterday’s headlines – of course – was Chrysler’s filing for bankruptcy protection and, while it gives Mexico a breather from constant reports the swine flu has turned its signature city into a bonafide ghost town, it also raises a key question for the auto maker going forward.

Would anyone actually buy a Chrysler at this point?

Barry Obama seemed pretty confident in the auto giant’s long-term success in his national address Wednesday night, but that hardly means much for the average customer puttying the idea of buying a car around in his hands. 

The only thing worse than Chrysler’s sales seems to be its line-up of cars which, aside from the 300 and, I guess, the Town & Country, doesn’t exactly offer a set of wheels anyone will be jealous they didn’t get their hands on first.

But, perhaps remarkably, Chrysler dealers aren’t worried.

The Star reports business was as usual (likely, as usually slow) at dealerships across the GTA just after news broke that the company’s U.S. division had filed for Chapter 11.

Customers apparently didn’t care – “It doesn’t bug me,” said one – and dealers were content to put on a happy face no matter what the outlook.

To be fair, the dealers don’t have reason to switch careers just yet. Not only are local plants expected to stay open, but salesmen have the crutch that all warranties from new cars will be backed by the government, whatever state Chrysler finds itself in.

“In an era of government co-ownership,” the Star writes, “no one should worry about sending documents over to Queen’s Park or out to Ottawa simply to get repairs done under warranties.”

So, that’s going in the auto maker’s favour. But, again, this brings us back to our original question.

Most of the cars that seem to come off Chrysler lots aren’t exactly Chryslers, at least in their traditional sense. Dodge appears to have a more successful line with more desirable vehicles, and Jeep owners would rather make love to an electrical socket than be caught driving anything else. Yet is the Jeep Fraternity enough to keep things going?

Would you consider buying a Chrysler?



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...