A design choice has resulted in a poor reception for the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' outspoken chief executive has said.
Sergio Marchionne told Automotive News that the vehicle, which received an extensive redesign with the 2015 model year, is "not up to snuff" because designers borrowed a design element from a Hyundai vehicle that caused a problem when passengers entered and exited the rear seats. Marchionne pointed to the slope of the roof.
"The Hyundai which we copied [presumably the Sonata] has the same problem," Marchionne said. "We didn't copy the car, we copied the entry point to the rear seat. Dummies. I acknowledge it. Some people from design left some of their private parts on the table after we came up with that determination. But I think we're learning from this process."
Despite the concern over the vehicle, Chrysler 200 sales increased 51.57% to 177,889 units to retail and fleet buyers during the 2015 calendar year. Sales had fallen to 117,363 in 2014 from 122,836 in 2013. That year, Chrysler sold more than 40% of its 200 cars to fleets, mostly in the rental segment. Commercial fleets added 2,023 200 cars that year.