Ouch, That’s Gotta Hertz: Chrysler Nixes 200 Convertible

Ouch, That’s Gotta Hertz: Chrysler Nixes 200 Convertible

Image Above: 2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan

In what may be devastating news to the Sunbelt rental-car industry, Chrysler will not offer a convertible version of its all-new 2015 200 sedan. According to a report in Edmunds.com, the costs of reengineering Chrysler’s Dart-based 200 to create a sufficiently rigid convertible would be too high. “We decided we’d be putting our best foot forward by concentrating all of our available resources into the sedan versus dividing them between the sedan and a convertible,” a Chrysler spokesperson said.

Production of the 200 convertible ended last year, and we have already reported that Dodge has canceled the Avenger, sister car to the 200, leaving the Journey crossover as Dodge’s only mid-size model. That’s not worrisome to Chrysler spokesman Rick Deneau, who said that more than 90 percent of Chrysler dealers also sell Dodges, and the slim-down strategy will help reduce the amount of product overlap in the Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep showrooms.

Rental-car companies, of course, loved the 200 on account of its large, four-seat interior and generous trunk (at least when the top is raised). Few others may care, however, as the outgoing 200 convertible, which offered two softtop designs and one retractable hardtop, constituted less than five percent of 200 volume in 2013, including fleet sales. Due to lack of demand, no other mid-size convertible model is offered among the 200’s competitive set.

Instrumented Test: 2013 Chrysler 200 Convertible V-6
Official Photos and Info: 2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan
First Drive: 2013 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Convertible

On the other hand, this probably comes as good news to fleet-sales directors at Chevy and Ford, who are poised to sell that many more Camaro and Mustang ragtops to the rental crowd. The only hope left for Chrysler loyalists who want a convertible now rests on the SRT-branded replacement for the Challenger, which may or may not be offered as a convertible this time.

About Steve Siler