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Old 11-02-2008, 01:04 AM   #1
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Camaro vs. Challenger, Who Stays, Who Goes? GM Chrysler Merger Mashup...

The possibility of a GM-Chrysler merger has sent every pundit from Detroit to Washington, D.C., off into his own little dream world to draft a fantasy lineup for the new automaker. While the mainstream press spends its time contemplating the benefits of the money-pinching Malibu over the soporific Sebring, we'll focus on what the enthusiast wants to know—an answer to the question of what'll happen to both companies' high horsepower and heavy-on-the-fun offerings.

By Ray Wert
Published on: October 31, 2008

The Popular Mechanics

http://www.popularmechanics.com/auto...s/4289703.html


Challenger vs. Camaro

Both automakers have their own freshly reborn muscle car. In Chrysler's case, it's just hitting showroom lots now: the Dodge Challenger. In GM's case, it's Chevy Camaro, because of a winter-production start time. Both have a lot of history, but like the rest of these difficult choices a merger would mandate-only one can survive.

This is tricky. With the muscle car wars just reigniting, it behooves GM to keep the rivalry alive-even if it means one automaker producing both the Dodge Challenger and its rival, the Chevy Camaro. But that's just in the short term.

In the long term, the Camaro will have the advantage due to its Zeta platform. This chassis is newer and there are already pre-existing plans to use it in almost every brand in the General's stable. The Challenger, on the other hand, based on the same LC/LX platform as the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 300C, is looking a bit long in the tooth. Don't expect the Dodge to produce it longer than 2011-under a merged flag.

Corvette vs. Viper
Probably the biggest question most enthusiasts have is what will happen to the merged automakers' halo supercars? Well, in this game there can be only one. Sorry snake fans, the news that Chrysler's been shopping around the Viper sports car brand wouldn't change with a merger between GM and the Pentastar brand. The Viper is dead, or at the very least, it will no longer be owned by Chrysler-even in a post-merger fantasy world.

That leaves us with the Corvette. Although GM may have recently paused engineering work on the next-gen Corvette, it hasn't stopped plans to eke every out every possible tweak on the current platform. That'll help the company to stretch out the current car until at least 2011. We can hope that an increase in sales from other, more pedestrian new products coming on line in the next two model years will help give the now-merged automaker the cash it needs to revive the C7 program.


Hemi V8 vs. Small Block LS V8
Despite the fervent wishes of Mopar-mad fanboys, do not expect to see the next generation of V8s from a merged "General Mopar" sporting Hemispherical cylinder heads. "Hemi" is a great name with a great tradition going back to the 1960s in Chrysler products, but GM has too much invested in the LS V8 program.

We've talked to a few insiders who say there's always the possibility of swapping in new heads on the LS line, but without substantial tweaks to tooling, dies and engineering this hybrid small block would be nothing more than a marketing gimmick.

SRT vs. SS
Each automaker comes to the table with its own up-charged sport models and badges. Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology (SRT) began as "Team Viper," developing the first Dodge Viper. Later, it merged with "Team Prowler" over at the now defunct Plymouth brand to become Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) and in 2004, was renamed SRT.

Chevy's hot brand has offered the Super Sport (SS) option package on Chevy vehicle lines since 1961. First, it was just as an appearance package for the Impala. But later, in 1966, it became a legendary high-performance package spawning fire-breathing Camaros, Chevelles and, yes, even El Caminos. Like it or not, SS is a brand name. And despite the rather large objects that will soon be hurled at me from Chrysler's Auburn Hills, Mich., tech center-so is SRT.

In the near term, expect the SRT brand name to continue-if only on the Challenger as a rival to the Camaro SS. But don't expect the August Street Racing and Track team at Chrysler to spend more than a few model years out on the streets before being folded into working on the next versions of the Cobalt, Camaro and HHR Super Sport. That is, if there's even anyone left on that team by 2011.


Jeep vs. Hummer
"There's only one" has been the marketing cry of the Jeep brand for half a decade. Expect it to continue. GM's currently shopping Hummer to anyone with the cash to buy it, and there's no reason to believe a post-merger world would be any different. GM needs the money from the sale more than it needs a double scoop of off-road-capable brands.

Although most of these decisions have gone to the General, in this case, it makes more sense to keep the Jeep brand. The rock-crawling friendly Wrangler has the marketing strength and a rock-hard loyal user base many times the size of the Hummer's newbie groupies. Expect Jeep to take the place of Gov. Schwarzenegger's favorite civilian-spec paramilitary vehicle in the new General's lineup.


The Future Could Be Bright
If there's one thing that's clear, no decision will be easy for a merger between two automakers with such huge fan bases. However, given the current economic climate, I'd rather have one strong automaker with a hearty lineup of enthusiast offerings than two weak ones, wheezing their way through the paces
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:34 AM   #2
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Good read, but thankfully it looks like the merger won't fly.
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:05 AM   #3
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Good read, but thankfully it looks like the merger won't fly.
thankfully?
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:08 AM   #4
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I hope the merger does'nt happen either, as it means another strong hit to our economy and almost certainly will lead to reduced market share by American companies. Mergers cost an awful lot of people (American's) their jobs, and if it ends up being the only way to save any part of Chrysler then that is one thing but I think we will all be better off if they find a way to make it and remain independent.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:53 AM   #5
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You know, as much as I LOVE the Camaro, I dont want to see the Challenger go. After I purchase a Camaro, I am seriously thinking to purchase a new Challenger. That looks awsome and plus, I dont want to only see Mustang as our main competition. We gotta show how great Camaro is with our Mopar friends.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:09 AM   #6
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I hope the merger does'nt happen either, as it means another strong hit to our economy and almost certainly will lead to reduced market share by American companies. Mergers cost an awful lot of people (American's) their jobs, and if it ends up being the only way to save any part of Chrysler then that is one thing but I think we will all be better off if they find a way to make it and remain independent.

is it better that Nissan/Renault owns chrysler?
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:18 AM   #7
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is it better that Nissan/Renault owns chrysler?
No, I hope that does'nt happen either. Guess I am just hoping they can find a way to stay around independently. But I know in today's climate that may not happen. It is just sad to see a big piece of history and American heritage be lost. I think that if GM owned it a lot of die hard Mopar fans would move on rather than buy a rebadged GM and it would mean more loss of market share to foreign competitors.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:25 AM   #8
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is it better that Nissan/Renault owns chrysler?
Head,

I'd say yes. They flurished under Daimler, being owned by another European/Asian company might inject some much needed income into Chrysler.

If Nissan/Renault get Chrysler, Chrysler then gets new market share in Europe and the asian countries, a market it wouldn't get under GM.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:41 AM   #9
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thankfully?
Yeah, thankfully. You know how many jobs would be lost as a result of the product discontinuations? Also, the presence of the Challenger is good because it offers the Camaro competition, which is good for us consumers. The Challenger and the Mustang are the reasons why the Camaro 2SS costs 33k instead of 40k.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:42 AM   #10
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No, I hope that does'nt happen either. Guess I am just hoping they can find a way to stay around independently. But I know in today's climate that may not happen. It is just sad to see a big piece of history and American heritage be lost. I think that if GM owned it a lot of die hard Mopar fans would move on rather than buy a rebadged GM and it would mean more loss of market share to foreign competitors.
Here is how it stands, GM merges with chrysler, Nissan/Renault buys Chrysler or option c chrysler goes bye bye.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:52 AM   #11
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Head,

I'd say yes. They flurished under Daimler, being owned by another European/Asian company might inject some much needed income into Chrysler.

If Nissan/Renault get Chrysler, Chrysler then gets new market share in Europe and the asian countries, a market it wouldn't get under GM.
i guess thats why Mercedes wanted to sell them so quick.

also Nissan and Renault arent going to start selling more chryslers overseas

I think you arent giving GM enough credit considering its international sales are keeping its NA operations alive.
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:25 PM   #12
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The following are my predictions.

The Camaro and Challenger will stay for the remainder of their production cycles. For their second cycles, they will probably share a platform.

The Corvette and Viper brands will both stay. The Viper will be a limited production 10-cylinder, as usual. Like the Camaro-Challenger answer, they will probably be consolidated to share a platform. This platform will also include the XLR.

Both engine platforms wills survive in name, but the LS-series has already influenced the Hemi so extensively that they can be merged into the LS-series. Slight modifications in the Ram engine will allow them to maintain the Hemi name. I highly doubt that the Hemi will be very different from any LS-series engine after a merger.

Both SRT and SS cars will survive. Chrysler brands and GM brands both represent large parts of the market. As a result, we can't expect one to completely disappear. They both have their own factories and their own customers. As a result, GM could keep both programs alive because the demand will be there. SRT buyers won't buy SS cars. Think of SRT like the V platform from Cadillac or the GXP platform from Pontiac. Each company has its own performance tier, so Chrysler brands should maintain their own performance brands.

Jeep will survive. Hummer could become a sub-set of Jeep. Jeep has a long heritage dating back to the GP ("Jeep") during the First World War. The Hummer brand is important to the current US military as it represents a beefier version of the original GP. Hummer and Jeep are so compatible that they would easily be able to combine. Hummer brands would still be sold on a more limited production basis, and Jeeps would also be reduced to compensate for the terrible SUV market. With their distinctive design components and SUV expertise, we could very well see the Jeep brand make its way into other SUVs made by GM. I wouldn't be surprised to see Jeep components on future Suburbans.
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:09 PM   #13
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Great comments everyone.

As a folow-up, here's who owns Chrysler right now, it's not really American owned now:

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. is one of the world's leading private investment firms. Cerberus specializes in providing both financial resources and operational expertise to help transform undervalued companies into industry leaders for long-term success and value creation.

Cerberus is headquartered in New York City with affiliate and/or advisory offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Baarn, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, Osaka and Taipei.

Cerberus holds controlling or significant minority interests in companies around the world. In aggregate, these companies currently generate over $100 billion in annual revenues.
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Old 11-02-2008, 02:11 PM   #14
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The following are my predictions.


Both engine platforms wills survive in name, but the LS-series has already influenced the Hemi so extensively that they can be merged into the LS-series. Slight modifications in the Ram engine will allow them to maintain the Hemi name. I highly doubt that the Hemi will be very different from any LS-series engine after a merger.

.
Not to argue, but I don't see the "HEMI" name surviving if there were to be a merger. The HEMI motor is named such because the combustion chamber was originally hemisphericle in shape as compared to a wedge shape in most engines. Chrysler was not the first to use a hemi head, it's been around since 1903. Chrysler just made the name popular when they used in the 70's muscle cars and copywrited the name during that decade. Although it is not a true hemispherical chamber in todays rendition, it is heavier as it needs more room to accomadate the valve arrangement, and costs more to produce. It would not contribute to the LS engine in my opinion.

GM has managed to get plenty of power out of the LS heads and will continue to improve them. And with todays modern intake systems, the "HEMI" will become nothing more than a name of an overweight antique.
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:49 PM   #15
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Not to argue, but I don't see the "HEMI" name surviving if there were to be a merger. The HEMI motor is named such because the combustion chamber was originally hemisphericle in shape as compared to a wedge shape in most engines. Chrysler was not the first to use a hemi head, it's been around since 1903. Chrysler just made the name popular when they used in the 70's muscle cars and copywrited the name during that decade. Although it is not a true hemispherical chamber in todays rendition, it is heavier as it needs more room to accomadate the valve arrangement, and costs more to produce. It would not contribute to the LS engine in my opinion.

GM has managed to get plenty of power out of the LS heads and will continue to improve them. And with todays modern intake systems, the "HEMI" will become nothing more than a name of an overweight antique.
I would go so far as to argue that the Hemi is merely a name right now. I think that the LS-series will add to the Hemis, not the other way around.

Basically, Chrysler will benefit more from a GM takeover than GM would benefit in the short term and Chrysler will be able to improve its products with better components from GM. We'll be seeing a lot of GM products put into Chrysler bodies. I think that the biggest factor that keeps Chrysler afloat is the names that it owns. When you've got a company with so many name brands with strong loyalty, it's really easy to overlook management problems or quality issues that were pretty significant before the Cerberus. I don't want to say that Chrysler is a bad brand, but many of its products really don't belong on a pedestal.

In fewer words, I think that GM could benefit from selling Chrysler names, like Jeep brands, with GM components. As long as those brands maintain a certain level of independence, Chrysler customers will continue to buy their products from GM.
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Old 11-02-2008, 04:01 PM   #16
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all hemi is a brand name it means nothing........
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:31 PM   #17
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i guess thats why Mercedes wanted to sell them so quick.

also Nissan and Renault arent going to start selling more chryslers overseas

I think you arent giving GM enough credit considering its international sales are keeping its NA operations alive.

No thats my point, GM is doing extremely well overseas right now, its not a good idea to split its Market Share with a new product line.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:06 PM   #18
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Challenger vs. Camaro

Challenger will last until the end of the platform cycle

Corvette vs. Viper

Both could continue. Let the Corvette continue as the bargin, and make the Viper a bit more upscale, say $125k or so. Give it a nice interior, heat and sound insulation, and performance that will still bite you in the ass if you're not careful. The Corvette has too much history to do this.

Hemi V8 vs. Small Block LS V8

Chevy Small Block

SRT vs. SS

SS will last as long as there are Chevy's. SRT will last as long as there are Chryslers and Dodges.

Jeep vs. Hummer

Jeep. Hummers were cool in the mid 90's when they were the best off-roaders you could buy. They lost their cool factor when people stoped taking them off road and began installing 2000W sound systems and DVD screens in the back of every headrest.
Replaced their comments with mine
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