Chrysler Fleet Sales Mask Market Share Collapse
As GM and Ford entered '07, they swore on a stack of Kelly blue books that they were getting out of the business of churning out hundreds of thousands of crap cars for rental fleets and other bulk buyers. Every month, the domestics blamed their lowered market share and declining sales on this brave decision to turn their backs on churn and burn. Meanwhile, Chrysler did anything and everything to move the damn metal. Prior to the Daimler divorce, the automaker practiced epic channel stuffing (a.k.a. sending cars to dealers and abandoned airfields). And now it can be revealed that Chrysler is picking-up its Motown competitors' fleet slack on a similar scale. Last month, Chrysler told the world its sales had fallen by just 2.1 percent– a victory of sorts in a U.S. market that declined by around three percent. Yes but– CNN reports that Chrysler sent its dealers an internal memo revealing that retail sales fell by 16.5 percent. "In early October, when Chrysler reported its September sales results, U.S. sales chief Darryl Jackson noted that fleet sales were trending down more than 20% and that the decline was 'in line with our plan to reduce daily rental fleet during the second half of the year.'" Well, so much for that, then. In related news, we hear that Ford's honoring its pledge to cut back on fleet sales by giving the job to Mazda, accounting for the lion's share of their Japanese "partner's" reported growth.
Cerberus is in big trouble. I can't think of anything they own that isn't bleeding money. I guess the Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills will finally be turned into a shopping mall.
The current state of Chrysler is proof that the big brains behind the investment banks and buy out firms aren't half as smart as they think they. I am surrounded by car enthusiasts, and I can't think of single one that saw anything but disaster in this merger. Now Chrysler is reduced to selling mediocre cars to fleets in the hopes of staying afloat. Had they been left alone, I am confident that could at least have been competitive. Now they are their death throes...the bankers are rich, the German businessmen are safe, the America bosses will get their golden chutes. Everyone else? SHAFTED.
I recently went to a dealer to look at a Magnum. I was interested in the R/T, with R package. The dealer (who was up to his keister in various trucks and Sebrings) looked and could find two within 150 miles, both of which were fire engine red ! I wanted a big wagon but didn't want to pay the E class/A6/535xi 60K tag. The Magnum was right in size and price, quasi german, and the Hemi was a big selling point. I was told that I could order one, and I'd see it some time after the new year. The lease prices were not very good, as I was told "they really don't want to lease cars...they don't want them back", which I found an interesting quote. Since the leases were not competitive, no sale. I also had qualms buying a car built by workers who knew they were to be unemployed shortly. The new MDX in my driveway is really neat...drives almost like the X5, plush like the Q7, built like a Honda. Just imagine if they had updated and improved the Magnum, and made an effort to sell them !