Chrysler Pull Out Of UK Car Market
Chrysler have decided to stop selling cars here in the UK with immediate effect as existing Chrysler vehicles join the Dodge Grand Caravan, Acura TL, Jaguar XK, and Nissan Cube on the scrapheap of one-loved products consigned to history.
They are in good company along with such great products (once!) as the iPod Classic, the Walkman, Betamax and VHS Tapes (and recorders), Cadbury's Dream, Space Dust, Jacob's Trio and Floppy Discs; but UK 'scrapheaped' they have been.
Sales have been down in the UK, with no sign of a reversal, for the past two years with a drop of 21% in 2014 and 24.5% in 2013, which has left the Fiat parent group little choice than to open the proverbial trapdoor to oblivion for the US brand.
It's no big surprise as sales of the Chrysler 300C and Grand Voyager had already been suspended, and it leaves the Ypsilon as the only Chrysler model on sale in the UK - and that will cease in 2017 following an order-only scheme until then. (This also means that Lancia will only be available in Italy now as they sell rebadged Chryslers, and their European campaign is now defunct too!)
For current owners there will be an initial panic, but Chrysler have promised that all warranties will be valid and, until 2017, there will still be Chrysler dealerships around; and after that aftersales operations will continue at Jeep network dealerships. Parts are shared with Fiat models these days, with the Ypsilon in particular benefitting from this, so that won't be a problem either.
For many car lovers, it will be seen as yet another part of their childhood going down the pan, but when it's your time to go, it's time to go - and Chrysler have faced the problem of falling sales head on, and after a few years of trying to make a go of it have faced up to economic reality, and the challenges posed by so many pretenders to the throne that Chrysler once sat in.
And for that, at least, they should be applauded.