Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

The Chrysler brand is going global, but not the way you'd think. While GM and Ford ramp-up operations under their corporate names around the world, Chrysler is pimping itself out. Dodge is already building trucks for Mitsubishi. Chrysler has a deal for Chery to provide a small car to Dodge in Mexico; they're also developing a small car with Chery for North America. Volkswagen's Canadian Chrysler-built minivan starts production later this year. Nissan wants Chrysler to build large trucks for them for the U.S. And now Reuters reports Nissan will make Versas to be sold as Chryslers in South America in 2009. Confused yet? Trust me– it's going to get worse (better?) as Cerberus does whatever it takes to keep Chrysler's head above water long enough to get what they can when they finally get down to the strip and flip part of the program.

Frank Williams
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  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Jan 12, 2008

    Folks, I think you're being a bit too alarmist on Chrysler. This company was already stripped by th Germans even before the three-headed dog got in the act. Within a period of five years Daimler took the most advanced and successful R&D center in the U.S. and stripped it. Both of authority and money. The 300C should have been released as a 2003. Due to Daimler's dictatorial directives it was not able to come out until 2005. The Dakota was slated to become the 'new' alternative to the S10 and Ranger. Chrysler had $850 million budgeted for it on the belief that pickup truck buyers wanted a larger and more substantial pickup. They were right... but Daimler disagreed. Chrysler wasn't able to capitalize on what turned out to be excellent market research. The 2nd Gen Neon was supposed to be a far more athletic vehicle with styling as unique as the first generation. Daimler shut it down in favor of a more 'mainstream' vehicle that could compete more directly with the Civic and Corolla. Dumb move. The Neon turned out to be a boring and pointless car. All of the brand equity that was in that name was shot within five years. The Germans made decisions with virtually no real knowledge of Chrysler's role in the North American or regard for the 'American' underlings'. They stripped the company of cash, delayed product development, ignored unhappy customers, and pretty much put Chrysler into the hole that they are now in. It may not have been their attention. But it was most certainly their responsiblility and their fault. I don't fault Cerebreus for going forward the way they are at all. Like Chrysler in the early 1980's, this company simply can't afford to invest in all the R&D it would take to make it the leader of the pack in all the segments where it sells. There's simply too many. Instead they're going to use other successful platforms out there, rebadge them, and perhaps tweak them a bit to have these vehicles better suit their customers preferences. So long as the platforms are good ones, it should give them better product than they have now. It should also allow them to focus on those vehicles where their skill sets are a good match (pickups, medium duty trucks, minivans) instead of ones where they simply don't have it at the moment (subcompact, compact and midsized cars).

  • Juniper Juniper on Jan 12, 2008

    Steven Lang I totally agree with you. Jurisb I don't know where you get your information but I think it is from the internet and MTV. The real world here in the US is quite different from your description.

  • CarShark CarShark on Jan 12, 2008

    I don't think jurisb gets it from MTV. I don't see many references to "Jesus of manufacturing" on The Hills or The Real World. What it shows is that there is a big schism in terms of how important people believe manufacturing is to America's economic future.

  • Jurisb Jurisb on Jan 13, 2008

    juniper , enlighten me! Steven Lang- I don`t believe your blaming the Daimler of stripping job. I have never ever experienced a Chrysler bringing out a quality product. Why should I believe it was in works and stalled by daimler? Steven, I dare not to believe!