Jerry York: Chrysler Can't Make It; Jeep to M&M?

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
jerry york chrysler cant make it jeep to m m

Jerry York doubts Chrysler will make it on its own. According to Reuters, the former Chrysler CFO and GM Board member reckons "Chrysler as a stand-alone company is not viable." York doesn't believe Chrysler will last another five to ten years as an independent automaker. Flashing back to comments he made last November, York also said he thought Cerberus would "go as far as they could in terms of fixing [Chrysler] up, but then ultimately recognize that the company would have to be merged with a foreign producer." Although Chrysler has yet to announce the ten plus models it will slice from its lineup, York thinks Jeep will emerge from the bloodletting with just the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. Coincidentally (or not), India's Economic Times reports Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is "reportedly in talks with Chrysler [to buy] its iconic Jeep brand." M&M would neither confirm nor deny the rumor, but the company began life as a Jeep licensee. And vice-chairman Anand Mahindra stated, "This is a great time to use Indian chutzpah, the strong PE ratio and rupee to buy American manufacturing assets." It's only a matter of time– and not much of it– before Cerberus begins its long-awaited strip 'n flip.

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  • Martin Albright Martin Albright on Feb 11, 2008

    Two points: First, this could be Mahindra's "foot in the door" to the US market which would give them a leg up on the Chinese who AFAIK are still searching for a way to break into the US auto market. Second, this wouldn't be the first confluence of Jeep and Mahindra. I believe Mahindra made flat-fendered Jeeps under license for decades in India after WWII (and as far as I know they may still do so.) Google "Mahindra Jeep" and you'll see what I'm talking about.

  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Feb 11, 2008

    If this happens, it will be interesting to see how domestic fans can still try to pull off the spin that a made in the US Indian owned Jeep company is good for the US but a made in the US Japanese owned Toyota is bad.

  • TriShield TriShield on Feb 11, 2008

    I doubt Cerberus will break Jeep from Chrysler. It's the only brand that has value and would leave them stuck with two brands with nearly zero value. Jeep is a niche brand, any automaker that owns it should know that. It can't sell cars, it can't sell car-based things with any credibility or without tarnishing it's brand image. Jeep needs to be a pure 4x4 brand and doing that is where it flourishes.

  • Geeber Geeber on Feb 11, 2008
    jurisb: Warning! Any car company with common sense, don`t buy anything that deals with USA plus car manufacturing. Have you got any positive merger or purchase of any American company that would have yelded anything but cancer to the buyer? Warning! Fools are destined to repeat history, not learn from it…. I know it must be hard to accept, but the history of VW, Renault and now Daimler in the U.S. shows that the problem was with the EUROPEAN company. Chrysler was HEALTHY when Daimler bought it, and VW started with a clean sheet of paper when it opened its Westmoreland County, Pa., plant in 1978. AMC was sick when Renault bought a controlling interest, but Renault proceeded to run the company into the ground during a boom market for new vehicles. European companies don't know how to run plants outside of Europe all that well, they badly botch the merging of corporate cultures and they have a very limited understanding of the American mass market.