The time has come to say goodbye to two cars that have somewhat reshaped the industry in recent years. These are two totally different vehicles from design and dimensions to positioning and sales results.

What do they have in common? Both are destined to become true automotive icons. Here is a quick summary of how the Honda from Japan and the Chrysler 300 from the US changed the automotive industry forever.

Two opposites

The Chrysler 300 is a huge saloon powered by big petrol engines. It is the classic large saloon for North American motorists. At 5.044 mm or 198.6 inches long, this Chrysler is part of the executive saloon segment, against the likes of the defunct Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon, among many others.

Chrysler 300 in numbers (global sales) - graphic

On the other hand, the Honda e is a B-Hatch or electric supermini designed for the taste of motorists in Japan and Europe. It is designed with iconic shapes and a retro design in both the exterior and interior. The Honda e is the brand's first mass-market electric model, or at least that was its goal.

A lifesaver

The American saloon gave Chrysler an international touch and allowed it to look outside North America. In fact, the first generation of the 300 (available between 2004 and 2010) used many elements of the Mercedes E-Class W211. Chrysler at that time was part of the DaimlerChrysler group. In 2011, the brand introduced a change, officially known as the second generation, but it was more of a severe update.

Chrysler 300 importance - graphic

The arrival of Fiat in the Chrysler group was an opportunity to expand the presence of the Chrysler 300 globally. In 2011, Lancia decided to rebadge the 300 and sell it in Europe as the Lancia Thema. The operation failed, as the brand sold just 6,000 units between 2011 and 2014. In total, as Chrysler and as Lancia, the 300 sold about 1.4 million units in almost 20 years. The 300 was never a best-selling car, but in the end it was a lifesaver for Chrysler.

As iconic as it was unpopular

Honda's impact is not about its sales volume, but the visibility it has given the Japanese company in the world of electric vehicles. Although its specifications never reached industry standards, the Honda e caught the public's attention due to its design and the fact that it put Honda in the electric car market.

Honda e global sales - graphic

The little Honda e never wanted to shake up the world of electric vehicles. It has always had a high price and a low range. A major limitation in the first phase of the electrification era.

The results are quite clear: Honda sold only 12,500 units of this iconic hatchback between 2020 and November 2023. The European volume accounted for more than 80 per cent of the total, and in any case Honda has decided to stop marketing it. The Honda e:NY1 will be its indirect successor.

The author of the article, Felipe Munoz, is Automotive Industry Specialist at JATO Dynamics.