Chrysler ME 4-12 not to go into production!

  • Thread starter pimp racer
  • 13 comments
  • 3,714 views
WOW this kinda sucks. I bet it would have been a bit suscessful! (SP?)

Thursday, January 6, 2005

DaimlerChrysler puts brakes on concept car

Chrysler sports vehicle costs too much to mass produce while the firm is rebuilding, official says.

By Brett Clanton / The Detroit News

After a year of study, DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group decided this week not to build the Chrysler ME Four-Twelve sports car, a concept vehicle billed as the fastest street car in the world.

The Auburn Hills automaker unveiled the sleek super car in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show last year as a "production prototype" and said it would build the 850-horsepower rocket in low numbers if it made financial sense.

Chrysler killed the project after an internal study completed Monday showed that building and marketing the car would cost "hundreds of millions of dollars" at a time when the company is still rebuilding, said spokesman Jason Vines.

Named for its mid-engine design, four turbo chargers and 12-cylinder engine, its top speed is 248 mph.

"We're proud of the excitement it generated around the world," Vines said. "But we could not make a legitimate business case for it."

Chrysler may also have less need for the hot sports car than it did a year ago. Last year at this time Chrysler was just completing a three-year restructuring, profits were down and new models such as the Chrysler 300 sedan had not yet hit the market. The ME Four-Twelve seemed the perfect distraction from the company's woes.

Today, however, Chrysler is entering this month's Detroit auto show from a position of strength, ending 2004 with a 3.7 percent increase in sales and a 13 percent U.S. market share, up from 12.8 percent the year before, according to Autodata Corp.

Yet many consumers still give Chrysler poor marks for the quality, reliability and durability of its cars and trucks. Investing money in those areas is smarter than building a super car, even if the model could add prestige to the Chrysler name, said David Hofer, chief executive of Above All, a marketing and brand communications firm in Birmingham.

"Branding is only as good as the promise you live up to," he said.

The ME Four-Twelve was a pet project of former Chrysler Chief Operating Officer Wolfgang Bernhard, who takes charge of Germany's Volkswagen brand next month. At the Detroit auto show last year, Bernhard said that in an auto market crowded with a dizzying variety of choices, vehicles like the ME Four-Twelve are needed to get customers' attention. Chrysler will unveil another high-end sports car concept at the Detroit auto show this month. The Chrysler Firepower is a rear-wheel-drive coupe based on the Dodge Viper with a 425-horsepower engine and an estimated top speed of 185 mph.

Credit - http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0501/06/C06-51812.htm
 
That was inevitable. If the Viper (when it first came out) cost over $100 million to make, there is no way a company that's trying to restructure(???) be able to afford such a massive project like the ME...

EDIT: BTW, restructuring a company is usually very expensive.
 

Ev0

4,680
They are citing marketing costs as a potential problem? Why the hell would they spend hundreds of millions on marketing a car that would have probably sold less than 1,000 units? Let motoring journalists review it, make appearances at auto shows, and that's about it.
 
Ev0
They are citing marketing costs as a potential problem? Why the hell would they spend hundreds of millions on marketing a car that would have probably sold less than 1,000 units? Let motoring journalists review it, make appearances at auto shows, and that's about it.

That's a possibility, but they probably thought even that would be too much of a risk. For example, each auto show display by a major manufacturer costs at least $1-5 million USD. :ill:
 

Ev0

4,680
MrktMkr1986
That's a possibility, but they probably thought even that would be too much of a risk. For example, each auto show display by a major manufacturer costs at least $1-5 million USD. :ill:
Keep in mind that $1-5 million for an entire manufacturer's lineup, which is something Chrysler obviously already spends.
 
Ev0
Why the hell would they spend hundreds of millions on marketing a car that would have probably sold less than 1,000 units?
They stated that it would be hundreds of millions to "build and market the car" around the world. Not just for the marketing. That would be silly, but with building it involved, it could be an expensive venture.

Hilg
 

Dave A

TreVoR fan for life
Premium
28,883
United Kingdom
Cuddington, Cheshire
JDA1982
Hahaha, no disrespect to Chrysler, but after all that talk of the car 100% going into production and now this.
 
None of you actually thought that this thing even had a remote chance of being produced, did you?

Herr Schrempp in Stuttgart would have never allowed a lowly Chrysler to upstage Mercedes-Benz.
 
Firebird
None of you actually thought that this thing even had a remote chance of being produced, did you?

I didn't...

Firebird
Herr Schrempp in Stuttgart would have never allowed a lowly Chrysler to upstage Mercedes-Benz.

An example of this would be the Chrysler Crossfire. It uses the OLD SLK chassis and OLD SLK engines.
 
I kinda figured it wasn't going to go into production. I mean, look at it. Chrysler has that new "Firepower"(not sure) vehicle coming out....hopefully cause it looks nice. It's featured in Feb 05 issue of Car and Driver btw.