Chrysler 300C: New Development Strategy

Several factors cause companies to start new product development such as changes in technology, consumer trends, and competitors.  Companies respond to these changes by setting some of their resources for new-product development, or making new products their research and development divisions.  DaimlerChrysler (DCX) is one such company that had new product development, since their Chrysler brand is plagued by quality control problems and a lack of unique products.  One of their products that DaimlerChrysler developed to strengthen their Chrysler brand was the 300C.

The first step in they did was having idea generation in developing their product.  They knew what they needed was to cut costs and give Chrysler a unique look and product and DCX already had an idea of what they needed to do.  DaimlerChrysler were already aware that their retro-styled cars such as the PT Cruiser and Crossfire were already a hit with buyers when they were first released.  Moreover, they knew that they could cut costs by making new Chryslers out of existing Mercedes parts and technology (platform), which can be exemplified by the Crossfire (made from an old SLK platform) and the Pacifica (an old M-Class platform).  In addition, DCX also realized that they needed to replace the 300M, a sedan based on an ageing Chrysler platform.

Based on these existing ideas, DaimlerChrysler develop a product concept to develop a new sedan that had a retro design, shares parts with Mercedes and would replace the ageing 300M.  In designing their concept, Chrysler decided to keep the “300” name because of its association with Chryslers, and it had styled to recall the influential Chrysler 300-series models between the 1950s and 1960s.  DaimlerChrysler also wanted their car to be powered by an updated HEMI engine, since Chryslers were once famous for their HEMI engines.  Additionally, they wanted it to be a sports sedan that competed with affordable premium models made by Saab, Toyota, Volvo, and Acura.  In short, DaimlerChrysler’s product concept was a retro styled premium 300-series sports sedan with an updated HEMI engine to compete with some premium brands.

The result of this concept was known as the Chrysler 300C, a retro styled car that had an all-new HEMI engine and developed from Mercedes parts and technology.  The 300C’s unique design consisted of new headlights, a large grille, a long hood, large wheels, chrome detailing, and other radical styling that paid homage to the past 300s and muscle cars of the past.  It is also powered by a new HEMI engine, which is used to make Chrysler distinct from other cars and appeal to buyers who wanted something different in their car.  Moreover, the new HEMI was made to appeal to the casual customer because of its Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which reduces the engine’s capacity when it is not fully used.  Most of all, Chrysler sourced most of their parts to develop the 300C from Mercedes E-Class components, such as the transmission, suspension, and drive configuration to cut product development time.  As a result, these decisions allowed DaimlerChrysler to develop a good product that has a bold design, a unique engine, and quality Mercedes parts and technology.

After developing the 300C, DaimlerChrysler decided to introduce their new model to the public.  The 300C was first introduced at the 2003 New York International Auto Show as a concept car before deciding to make it a production model.  Their representatives at the auto show received a very positive response from journalists and interested visitors about the 300C and DaimlerChrysler decided to make it a production version in the following year.  Moreover, Chrysler began to further commercialize the 300C by giving them to rappers, such as Snopp Dogg and 50 cent, for free so they can promote it by word-of-mouth.  Eventually the 300C’s popularity among rappers and other entertainers reached a point where it was placed their music videos, helping cement its place as a cool car.  In addition, journalists unknowingly promoted the 300C by pointing out that it is developed from E-Class parts and by giving it good reviews.  Therefore, its warm reception by the public, its popularity with entertainers and good reviews helped the 300C become a success for Chrysler.

DaimlerChrysler was able to successfully develop a new product that was well received in the car market.  They were able to do this by developing the right ideas for their car, refine their idea into a clear concept, develop a working product the concept and successfully market it to the public.  The result of DaimerChrysler’s product development was the 300C, a unique car that was well received and succeeded in its goal of improving Chrysler’s image.  In short, DaimlerChrysler is a good example on how a company successfully develops new product and meet its long-term goals.

Sources Cited

http://www.allpar.com/cars/300c-chrysler.html – The Chrysler 300C concept car – not 300N – details

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3012/is_4_183/ai_100627961Merger payoff: Chrysler products finally benefit from family technology – Cover Story: Crossfire/Pacifica – Company Profile

http://autozine.kyul.net/html/Chrysler2.htm – Chrysler 300

http://www.automobear.com/Chrysler300C-HunfightAtTheOKCorral.html – Chrysler 300C: Hunfight at the OK Corral

http://www.edmunds.com/news/column/carmudgeon/102644/article.html – 300C — Chrysler’s Escalade?

http://www.chrysler.com/300/?context=homepage&type=bottomImage – Chrysler – 300

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3012/is_2_180/ai_59966996300 + Hemi = Chrysler – Chrysler 300C convertible – Brief Article

http://www.autoweb.com.au/cms/A_102709/newsarticle.html – Chrysler Shows off First 300C Production Version at the Australian International Motor Show

http://www.allpar.com/cars/lx/300.html – The Chrysler 300 and 300C



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