Bailout fatigue? Not me. Every day I wake up wondering what new absurdity I’ll encounter in my quest to tell the truth about cars and those who make them. And just when I think it can’t get any more ridiculous—a Chrysler Fiat tie up, “strategic reviews” of dead brands, a back room bailout for an ex-Treasury Secretary’s new boss, viability plans spun out of thin air, product plans cut from the same cloth—it does. Here’s today’s hit of alternate reality: Chrysler wants—no, demands—that its suppliers cut their prices. WTF? Remind me again. Chrysler’s suppliers are making how much profit these days? I’m thinking… none. And how many cars can Chrysler build if its suppliers—make that one key supplier—can’t deliver parts? I’m thinking… none. Not that anyone’s buying Chrysler products, but blood from a stone? Aintgonnahappen.org.
And yet, there it is [via Automotive News]: “Chrysler LLC’s purchasing chief is demanding a new round of price cuts from suppliers as the automaker faces a Feb. 17 deadline to justify its federal bailout money. Scott Garberding has ordered price cuts from all suppliers effective April 1. Those would be in addition to annual price decreases required contractually of suppliers, according to a Jan. 26 Chrysler letter obtained by Automotive News.”
So Chrysler’s going to sacrifice its suppliers to get tax money to pay its suppliers to build cars no one’s buying. Fabulous! Literally.
“In his letter, Garberding offered suppliers a carrot in the form of a 90 percent share of any cost-reduction ideas they initiate. But such efforts require a long-term process of testing and evaluation.
The supplier executive said Chrysler’s mass layoffs have stripped much of the staff needed to run that program.”
You can’t make this shit up.