Chrysler Gets Project D-fensive

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
chrysler gets project d fensive

The last time we heard from Chrysler's Camcord-fighting "Project D" development team, we learned that Chrysler "star engineer" and Project D leader Mike Donoghue had bailed, amid rumors of an Acting Chief Innovation Officer ego-trip. To assure themselves as much as anyone else, Cerberus rolled out a little [s]hype[/s] information to the Detroit News on its midsize do-over. There's little talk of the actual cars themselves in the story, as most of the ink is spilled on the importance of the segment to Chrysler and how miserably its efforts have failed to capitalize on demand. "The problem is everyone is getting really, really good in that segment," says Todd Turner of consulting firm Car Concepts. "Chrysler's current entries are probably the weakest in the marketplace, not just in terms of sales, but in customer satisfaction." Ouch. But fear not, because Chrysler gets it... just don't ask for any specifics. Without revealing any details of the actual products which will make it to market (besides the fact that there will be sedan and crossover body styles… shocking!), Project D's new leader Mike Chernoby wants everyone to know that the new D-segment offering will totally rule. "We will manage the time line accordingly to always make sure we have a product that will satisfy the market place," says Chernoby. "You can take that to the bank." Sounds great, as long as Cerberus foots the overdraft charges.

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4 of 17 comments
  • Windswords Windswords on Apr 28, 2008

    "It can’t be any worse that a Sebring and should be something they could sell at bargain prices." Yes it could (or is to be exact). I don't know for sure but I suspect it does not meet US emissions regulations, and it sure as hell doesn't meet safety standards. At least the Sebring/Avenger scored pretty good on the IIHS crash tests - I believe on one test (rear impact?) they scored better than Malibu, Aura, G35, Altima, and Galant. And IIHS test standards are more stringent than those NHTSA uses.

  • Blowfish Blowfish on Apr 28, 2008

    The actual sales numbers were worse thean you stated - in 1993 sales of the Ram were about 100,000 units. They were roughly equal to the GMC division. When the new ram came out they went from ‘nowhere’ to 400,000 units If Chrsyler had not slapped the Cummins Diesel in the Ram, then it would have been a miracle to see 50,000 trucks sold. The old body was lacklustre n design. When the new bodystyle came it looked much better. Chrysler could have slapped the 4BT diesels in their bgger sedans too.

  • Motownr Motownr on Apr 29, 2008

    Anyone else still in disbelief that Chrysler hasn't offered up a shortened version of the LX for the midsize market? Let's see...a near luxury brand desperately trying to emulate the established brands and differentiate itself from relentless Asian FWD comptitors...what to do...what to do... It's not like the 3/5/7 Series playbook is all that hard to understand.

  • CarShark CarShark on Apr 29, 2008

    I don't know how much they can shorten LX (or LY by now, I guess). They have a long-wheelbase version of the 300 called the Walter P. Chrysler Executive Series, so they can change it 6 inches one way, at least. I think I'm right in saying that the current Sebring was supposed to ape the 300, in the same wa that the Avenger looks like a mini-Charger.