About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Oct 18: Hola!


Well, hello to you too. What a friendly looking car you are. Those unusual lights give you a happy face. Just the kind of character driven car, that would appeal to young and old alike. And to top it off, you are a BIG small car. Big on character. Big on power for your class. Big on space inside (a cab forward small car). Yes sir, Chrysler Corporation was on a roll with you. Sure to be a big success.

How big? Well, just look at this magazine cover from January, 1994........


Automobile of the Year. Hey, this isn't an award that they give away lightly, this is the real deal. Even my wife succumbed to its charms and leased a bright blue Highline. She loved it. I had a Camaro at the time, so a roomy, but economical and interesting second car fit the bill nicely.

Time to expand the line and bring on some sporting versions to capture even more of the youth and enthusiast market. Versions like this R/T coupe.......


Please don't laugh, but I had a client trade in a Corvette convertible for a dark green R/T with a manual. He wanted something simple, but with character and a little bit of power. I'm guessing this wasn't a normal occurrence. But enough people were interested in a little more power than a mild upgrade, so Chrysler's infamous SRT treatment was given to the second generation Neon, as the SRT4.......


The Neon line. Sold as a Plymouth and sold as a Dodge with absolutely no difference but the name. Identical in every way, just like sliced bread. How could it lose?

Easy. Taking a page from many new car models, that had been introduced over the previous hundred years, and not unusual for Chrysler, they brought the Neon to market not quite fully formed. Not ready for prime time, as they say. Put a few miles on your Neon and watch out. Those famous Chrysler quality gremlins rose up and attacked the Neon BIG time (there's that word "big" again, but in the wrong context).

The happy little Neon became a pariah. A standing car joke. How bad? Well, in a effort to resurrect this car, they changed the name.......


Sure, that will work. Isn't there an old saying, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear? Of course there is. Maybe this isn't quite what Chrysler was trying to do, but by calling a serial killer, a multiple disposal artist, it doesn't change what they are or what this car was. People saw thru the name change and the Neon/SX 2.0 was quietly lead away to its own death sentence.

Gone, but forgotten? Let's not rush things. What gained a reputation and not a good one in Canada and the US, was looked at differently south of the border, down Mexico way. So surprise, surprise, the chastised little Neon continues to be part of their Chrysler car line.........


And to top it off, in that country the Neon was so well thought of, that when they introduced a new one this year, they showed the old one in the same ad, just in case those Mexican citizens didn't remember their history or that car's.........


I guess the wall, that the rabid Donald Trump plans to build, should he ever gain the reigns of power, will keep not only the Mexicans on their side of it, but also this Neon. Ok, so you are asking yourself, how can Mexico support a car only sold in their country? Seems like a lot of time and money just for their smaller market. Well, not really, since their new Neon is really this Fiat.........



Just add that classic Dodge grille, the beloved Neon name and watch them fly(?) off the showroom floor. 

No matter what happens, its interesting to see the friendly little Neon continue to thrive in a market next door to the market that shunned it and cast it aside. So say, "Hola!", again to the new Neon. Welcome back, senor or senorita.

Until next time......



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