Typical Asian rivals are no longer the benchmark.
The US family sedan market has always been fiercely competitive. And after years of financial issues, Chrysler has finally gotten back on its feet. So it was vital for its redesigned 200 to beat the current benchmark segment sedan: the Ford Fusion. We went head to head and decided that we were going to beat the Fusion on day one. We’re actually beating Ford at their own game," according to Chrysler brand president Al Gardner.
Just a few years ago, makes and models such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord were considered the segment’s standard bearers. Ford obviously changed that and Chrysler redirected its target accordingly. Gardner added that Chrysler engineers and designers dissected the Fusion with the goal of besting it feature for feature. And then they went a step further in regards to pricing. The new Chrysler 200 will start off at $21,700 while the Ford Fusion carries a base price of $21,970. So how does Ford feel about all this attention? "We’re flattered," stated Fusion chief engineer Todd Soderquiest.