EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 17, 2013

Chrysler 300 makes luxury look bold

In gutsy promotions that make no apologies, Chrysler presents its big 300 sedan as America’s answer to softer, more tender luxury cars. Those would be imported luxury cars, of course, which pinpoints Chrysler’s cross hairs on some big names in lush autos. Think BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.

In fact, those are very big names in luxury cars. Making them targets makes Chrysler’s campaign seem like Don Quixote’s tilt at a windmill: fanciful and impossible to win. After all, those four big brands are the names that come to mind when most people think about luxury autos. The brand Chrysler doesn’t pop into the minds of nearly as many.

What’s more, at least two of those manufacturers, Audi and BMW, aren’t regarded as soft and wimpy, as Chrysler suggests. Their cars are widely considered just the opposite. People buy them because they emit an aura of power.

But the 300 has some big assets that make Chrysler’s bold boasting seem not so fanciful after all. The 300 is a smart, stylish car, loaded with attractive features and built with the attributes that grab drivers of large and commanding luxury cars. And for all that it offers, Chrysler lets the model go for a very alluring price.

That explains why Kevin Bihl at Bill DeLuca Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Haverhill, sees drivers leaving big-name luxury cars from Europe and Asia as trade-ins for a Chrysler 300.

“We get a lot of people who are trading in Lexuses, BMWs, Audis and Cadillacs and going into that vehicle,” said Bihl, who is internet sales manager for the DeLuca dealership group, which also includes Haverhill’s Bill DeLuca Chevrolet Buick GMC and Woodworth Chevrolet Cadillac in Andover.

Chrysler 300 buyers tend to fit the luxury-shopper profile squarely, he noted. They’re usually age 40 and up, when a person has accumulated some buying power.

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