By on February 7, 2008

asset_upload_file177_2555.jpgAutomotive News [AN, sub] reports that Chrysler is stepping-up– as in scrapping and starting again– its plans to trim products and dealers. Much to Hyundai's delight, the new new plan is called Project Genesis. And in the beginning, there were three brands, 28 models and 3600 dealers. And lo, Chrysler decided to place all three brands (Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep) unto one dealership and, uh, "eliminate duplicate models on the same platform." Oh, and also "develop new ones in segments where it doesn't have current entries." To get the dealers on board (toss them overboard?) Chrysler is sending out its emissaries. "Business teams will descend [from on high] on those cities to help dealers arrange to buy or sell franchises to make the consolidation happen." And they means business. "Chrysler will then hold individual meetings with dealers and review whether they want to be a willing buyer or willing seller." On the other hand… "Project Genesis will not be a 'push program,' and there will be no deadlines or timetables. Nor will the company open the Cerberus bank account to dealers, Press said." So, how will Chrysler coerce dealers to buddy-up or die? Hell if I know.

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17 Comments on “Chrysler Launches Genesis...”


  • avatar
    jpc0067

    Well, sounds like Revelations more than Genesis. And the three-headed Hell hound was from Revelations, wasn’t it? Who’s betting these end-times for Chisler merely auger the Chinese product influx?

    Anyway, I’m done with Chrysler. I can’t be bothered to take my T&C to the dealer 15 miles away when a decent independent is down the road. I’m already seeing Chrysler dealer swapping and consolidation in my neck. Unfortunatly for me, the company that bought out one dealer I went to for service is also the one with the worst reputation for screwing everyone, all of the time. Doesn’t matter, though…it’s not like I was in the market for a Sebring/Avenger, or another minivan.

  • avatar
    seoultrain

    So if this is to be believed, and Chrysler will “eliminate duplicate models on the same platform,” that means it’ll have to make new platforms for every single one of the Chrysler brand’s cars save the PT Cruiser. Great, have fun developing “all-new” platforms for cars that won’t sell.

    jpc, totally agreed that this may be Chrysler’s armageddon. The Challenger and Ram are this company’s only hope.

  • avatar
    Cicero

    “Chrysler will then hold individual meetings with dealers and review whether they want to be a willing buyer or willing seller.”

    Will Don Corleone be representing Chrysler at those meetings?

  • avatar

    I don’t think Chrysler will have to coerce any of these dealers. If they only sell one brand and are seeing their sales fall i think they know they will die, so working with all three under one roof would make sense. Actually this whole plan makes sense. They are pretty much doing what has been recomended about on this page with reducing overlap competition from themselves and trimming dealers. I dont see why this is getting bad rap here.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Will Don Corleone be representing Chrysler at those meetings?

    I was thinking of another quote from a famous mobster:

    ‘You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word.’

  • avatar
    detlef

    “Project Genesis“? So does that make Nardelli Kahn?

  • avatar
    melllvar

    So does that make Nardelli Kahn?

    Business teams will descend [from on high] on those cities to help dealers arrange to buy or sell franchises to make the consolidation happen.

    “This has the effect of rendering the victim highly susceptible to suggestion. Later, as they grow… follows madness – and death!”

    I wonder if these Project Genesis teams will be driven to the dealerships in the Plymouth Reliant.

  • avatar
    motownr

    I’ve been a ‘participant’ (read: potential victim) in one of these Genesis meetings.

    The AH boys are very clear that they are going to make it impossible to survive without all three brands.

    Not sure they can do it, as Chrysler is now rivaling Ford as the best used car franchise money can buy, but that’s the message. Personally, I think that their goal is to target Dodge, as it KILLS the factory to have so many Dodge stores dualed with imports.

    Plus, the Dodge boys mimic their brand, and have this great habit of ignoring the factory, middle finger waving in the air.

    God, I envy them.

  • avatar
    CupcakeF

    Heres a business plan for Chrysler:

    1. Fire Mr. Home Depot
    2. Scrap all current designs and models
    3. Resurrect Plymouth
    4. Completely redesign the lineup, lessen the amount of re-badging. Keep some of the same names because NAME RECOGNITION COUNTS.
    5. Stop using cheap plastic parts
    6. Stop using cheap parts
    7. Stop using cheap highly important parts
    8. Hire some decent interior designers to fix the plastic problem and the other problems they have with interiors
    9. Make sure ALL the models, not just the Charger or Challenger, are “fun” to drive. (I know driving a Ram to and from work everyday isn’t fun, but make it less of a pain to sit behind a Cummins Diesel
    10. Shut down all plants until lineup is redisgned, dealers will run out of stock (maybe) but its not like the dealers have empty pockets. This is probably one of the most important. They need to let themselves DIE. That way, when they do announce the cars at the Detroit auto show, then everyone will be amazed (hopefully)

    It may be just a pipe dream of mine wanting to see Chrysler make a comeback. But I still hold to the fact that Chrysler made some of the best cars of all time. Who needs a Ferrari when you have Fury III?

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    CupcakeF :

    Here’s an even easier plan: If it’s not a Wrangler, stop building it. Invest the money you just save saved in Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda stock.

  • avatar
    MPLS

    The way the number of dealerships are being reduced in my neck of the woods is one Dodge dealer buying another Dodge dealer. That is, Dodge Dealer #1 but #2 and then shutters that location. Im surprised this does notviolate any antitrust lawas. It makes business sense becasue it kills the competition and increases the equity in said business.

    This whole Genesis plan is good business sense. Three brands at one dealership creats one, and only one dealership network. Killing of overlapping models? Its high time! There is no justification for Dodge Durangos and Chrysler Aspens to both exist. Now if they can only do something about those awful interiors and dreadful fuel economy numbers…..

  • avatar
    red dawg

    At the rate Chrysler is going (down the drain)i may need to rethink my assesment that Ford will be the first of the 2.8 in bankruptcy court as Chrysler management is doing it’s damndest to get there first !!!!!! I thought the idea of making Dodge truck only, Jeep SUV only and Chrysler car & mini-van only was a great idea. Just needs to be implimented is all. Having all 3 Chrysler brands in one location is also a great idea. That way customers can save gas and several trips to other locations.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Chrysler gets my vote as the first of the 2.8 to do a full face plant. Sales are down, lets kill models and kill dealerships. Brilliant. Why use pruning shears when we have big chain saws?

    How many of those dealers who get bought out are going to get the itch to open Chinese franchises over the next few years?

    I guess that the way Cerberus will do this is to simply kill off the weaker product in each overlapping segment. The trouble is, there isn’t a best in class product in their entire portfolio, so even the “strong” product is a weak product.

    There is no way this ends well, especially for the many employees of Chrysler and it’s dealer network.

  • avatar
    CupcakeF

    MPLS, I haven’t seen that sort of thing where I’m from. Then again, I’m in rural east Texas. In fact, I have seen an improvement in the closest Chrysler dealership (the only place my family would buy a car 6 years ago or so). All three Chrysler brands are sold there, and while half of the lot is “pre-owned” cars, mainly used Chrysler and GM products, he used to have an entire lot across the street dedicated to used car sales, which is now a fleet vehicle dealer (owned by the same guy). So one of two (or both) things are happening: he has been dramatically losing money selling Chrysler products and cut down the amount he gets from the factory. Or he is selling more new Chryslers than he is used cars and decided to expand into fleet sales.

    Either way, I haven’t seen the downsizing everyone talks about.

  • avatar
    seoultrain

    red dawg,

    Chrysler is definitely the only one of Detroit’s automakers that’s in real trouble. Ford has trouble in America, but do very well in Europe, and as soon as they bring those cars here, they’ll recover. And GM has been turning it around for the last year or so.

  • avatar
    Sammy Hagar

    Cool…how long until I see a naked little Spock in my neighbors Town and Country?

  • avatar
    stolzy

    I think it is a good idea to put verything under one roof and cut back on the number of models being make but it it would be a big mistake to close the small dealers if it wasn’t for them they would not be where they are today we need the small dealers around just like we need the small stores in a country town it seems like the bigger get bigger and they force out the little people and when that happens that cost us more because we got to travel a long ways to get something done or to buy something and the price of gas we do not travel as much also if the poor cannot pay for it at least they can make payments on the bill and that is plus .


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