"They Are Basically Making the Wrong Product at the Wrong Time. They Have Too Many Dealers, Too Many Plants and Too Many People."
Just-auto [sub] reports that Morgan Stanley's head of automotive research doesn't have anything very nice to say about Chrysler's immediate prospects. But, surprisingly enough, Adam Jonas faced the delegates of an Automotive News European conference and told them that Cerberus will make an obscene amount of money [paraphrasing] when they break up the company and sell its parts. "I am actually bullish on the longer-term outlook for Chrysler. They have what a lot of people want. There is brand – particularly Jeep – and technology, design capability and US-based, dollar-based capacity that can hit the market relatively quickly." Say what? Oh, hang on. Morgan Stanley. That would be the company whose "Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) department… excels in domestic and international transactions including acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, joint ventures, corporate restructurings, recapitalizations, spin-offs, exchange offers, leveraged buyouts and takeover defenses as well as shareholder relations."
morbo, Captain Neek: As a fellow Xer, I'm with you guys. Verbal: Excellent survival strategy!
GenX--too young to enjoy pensions and abundant Vice President jobs of the Boomers (both of which have been eliminated), yet too old to truly capitilize of the impending online social networking boom which will, yet again, revolutionize society (and will be thoroughly under the control of the millenials). Bummer.
Why blame this on the Baby Boomers...Chrysler has been run poorly since the late 1950s, when it rushed Virgil Exner's sleek tailfinned models into production for the 1957 model year to grab styling leadership. At that point, the oldest Baby Boomer was 10 years old. Those 1957 cars weren't ready for production, but management pushed them out the door anyway, and when they rusted and fell apart within 12-18 months, Chrysler's market share began nose-diving. After 1959 Chrysler's styling became bizarre (and that's being charitable). Chrysler never recovered from the 1957 fiasco. The corporation once claimed about 20 percent of the market, but it never reached that number again after 1957. Plymouth had been the number-three seller for decades until 1954 (when it was knocked out of third place by Buick), and it regained that position in 1957. But it lost it in 1961, and only regained it in 1971 and 1974. Chrysler's strong position in the medium-price market also declined after 1957. Chrysler made many dumb decisions over the years...it never gave Plymouth a dedicated dealer network; it allowed Dodge to compete directly with Plymouth, instead of staying focused on the medium-price market; it downgraded the Chrysler marque and robbed it of the prestige it enjoyed at least through the late 1960s. Chrysler has been declining for years...but instead of a continuous downhill slide, it has been more like a roller coaster. This downhill ride may be the final one....
It's not generational, it is more economic. Think about it, what capitalism (the investment bankers and the people with capital) can do for us is what we all enjoy having. Bigger homes, nicer cars, health care, plenty of food, and a 40 hour work week. Granted some have more than others, but I don't think any of us would trade what we have for a comfy spot in the former USSR, or in Europe or Japan for that matter. So let the guys at Morgan Stanley etal do their thing, of course they are aren't perfect, but then anyone of you can always get your shit together and work there if you have a better idea.