By on June 10, 2008

2004-dodge-durango.jpgBack when Cerberus bought Chrysler from Daimler, the new owner’s spinmeisters were highly animated. “We’re quicker than quick,” they proclaimed. “Our private equity owners don’t answer to The Street. We can make decisions– and get things done– fast.” The party line was designed to counter fears that Cerberus had bought-in simply strip-and-flip Chrysler. Uh-uh. They were going to restructure the ailing American automaker. Right now. And then… nothing. As Billy Preston said, nothing from nothing leaves nothing. 

There’s plenty of mystery and inconsistency surrounding Chrysler’s short-term future. Several suppliers tell us ChryCo’s changed payment terms from 45 to 60 days, and unilaterally lopped-off five percent from their bills. We know of one supplier that’s owed millions, that hasn’t been paid in months. This indicates a severe and entirely predictable cash crunch for a company whose CEO admitted (just four months after Cerberus’ purchase) that his employer was “operationally bankrupt.” 

But Chrysler’s paying other vendors the full amount owed, on time. And one of our Best and Brightest reports that Chrysler’s upped its seat orders for minivans, Dakotas, Journeys and some Jeeps.  At the same time, we hear rumors that Chrysler will file for Chapter 11 by August, to maintain the option of suing Daimler for selling them a bill of goods. And yet Chrysler’s trotting-out octogenarian legend Lee Iaccoca to rally the troops. Why bother with the warm fuzzies if the pink slips are at the printers?

But it’s what Chrysler HASN’T done that’s the real news. Two months after Jim Press left the top of Toyota to join the over-moneyed executives in Auburn Hills, the nets were all abuzz with model termination. Sure enough, Chrysler Pacifica, Crossfire, convertible PT Cruiser and Dodge Magnum were lopped off the dealer menu. Chrysler signaled that there was carnage more to come. Only… there wasn’t. Despite journalists’ helpful lists of DOA-mobiles– Jeep Commander, Dodge Durango, Jeep Compass, Dodge Nitro and so on– the models are still in production.

That’s as far as anyone knows. Sales of these vehicles are so far down the rat hole (e.g. Durango sales down 68.8 percent in May), their inventories are so large (e.g. there’s a 117-day supply of Jeep Commanders), that Chrysler could stop building them without much impact on, well, anything. With GM closing four truck plants and Ford slicing production as fast as it can, you’ve got to wonder why Chrysler– the “quick one”– doesn’t cut bait and fish. Where’s their “cut your way to prosperity” turnaround plan?

Chrysler can’t afford it. Lest we forget, GM and Ford are paying mega-billions to buyout their excess union workers. ChryCo’s private equity owners have deep pockets, but any large-scale effort to downsize their automotive holding would force them to borrow big bucks, miring Cerberus even deeper into their Chrysler quagmire. Clearly, sensibly, they don’t want to go there.

Besides, the REAL game is strip-and-flip. (Always has been.) Why commission wholesale structural changes when you’re going to break up the parts and sell them off? A lick of paint for curb appeal (i.e. a hybrid or something) and Bob’s your uncle. Alternatively, if Cerberus’ longer-term dreams of The Mother of All strip-and-flips have become a cash conflagrating nightmare, Chapter 11 protections will give Chrysler’s eventual owners the freedom to kill models, shutter factories and “modify” union contracts. Call it the “screw this, we’ll unload this thing as a fixer-upper” strategy.

Again, the signs coming from Chrysler are not clear on ANY of these points. Why would they be? Cerberus didn’t get to a size where it could afford to buy Chrysler (at a whacking great discount) by telegraphing their every move to the press or, for that matter, their own employees. We’ll just have to watch the signs– Company-wide summer break? ResCap going under?– to see if and when Cerberus says draws a line under this misguided misadventure.

In that sense, the real question here is whether or not Cerberus is at the point where they’d rather take a hit to their reputation than a hit to their finances. This makes Chrysler’s immediate future a contest between expediency (i.e. greed) and ego (i.e. hubris). While I don’t think that the fact that Chrysler is purposely mistreating some of its suppliers indicates that the company is preparing to pin the blame on the donkey, as some of our commentators have suggested, it does tell us that the end game is near.

There's no question in my mind that Chrysler is headed for dissolution. If Cerberus was going to “save” Chrysler they would be doing something, anything to that end. Never mind all the announcements about foreign partnerships. Black Tuesday has revealed that the time to act is now. (Well, three years ago.) Chrysler’s silence speaks volumes. It tells us the once-proud automaker’s final chapter is about to be written.

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50 Comments on “Chrysler Suicide Watch 34: End Game...”


  • avatar
    Geotpf

    Chysler never had anything to strip and flip. There’s nothing there, beyond the automaker itself. It doesn’t own any significant secondary units that could easily be broken off and sold.

    So that can’t be the plan. So what the heck is the plan? Beats me.

  • avatar
    seldomawake

    Bets on who’s going to get Jeep?

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    The only significant value Chrysler had was Jeep. But now with the SUVs tanking, it’s probably not worth much either, perhaps a small niche in somebody’s portfolio.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Chrysler never had anything to strip and flip. There’s nothing there, beyond the automaker itself. It doesn’t own any significant secondary units that could easily be broken off and sold.

    I agree, the pundits just about everywhere have argued that it is a strip and flip, but I also see nothing to strip and flip. They also wouldn’t have bothered making some of the hires that they did if that was the goal.

    Of course, it’s hard to evaluate their plan because only bits and pieces are available for viewing in the public record. I believe that their plan has been to basically outsource most of the production overseas, and turn Chrysler into a big marketing company, with the hope of holding steady in North America and expanding into Eastern Europe and Asia.

    But I think that they’ve blown it and probably did a half-asssed job with their due diligence. I doubt that they had the brainpower on staff who knew enough about cars to make such a plan work, and they probably grossly underestimated the amount of time that would be needed to get such a plan to work and the risk that they would be taking on with finding partners who could build the cars.

    This thing is going to crash and burn, and Chrysler Group will be parted out, but that will be a sign of failure and was never the plan. Cerberus is going to take a bath on this, and between this and GMAC, they may go down with the ship because they will have burned a lot of investors with these two deals.

  • avatar
    AKM

    Excellent op-ed. I was really looking forward to this, and agree with it.
    Unless Chrysler is cleverly hiding an ace up their sleeves, I don’t understand the “deer in the headlights” attitude it seems to have at the moment.

  • avatar
    pete

    To fully demonstrate their ADD, GM should close Hummer and buy Jeep.

    Its just obvious…

  • avatar
    virages

    I think that the appropriate caption to the image in the article would be “without a paddle”… because, that’s where they are at the moment.

  • avatar

    MOPAR and Jeep will be the first to go, both have strong followers for their goodies. Just about everything else will need the blanket of Chapter 11 to stay warm.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I’ve got to go along with the, “there’s nothing to strip and flip” argument. The best Chrysler had going for it were the truck lines and Jeep. Now that those are in the toilet whats left? A bunch of old factories staffed by expensive workers? Or a bunch of likely toxic land below said factories? Or a bunch of dealerships saddled with lots full of unsold inventory? Brand cachet? Without the specific financial data, its hard to tell if they have any potential for making a profit on that stuff, but I have seen Visteon/Ford struggling mightily to offload their no longer needed assets.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    How does MOPAR do long term if they stop making Chryslers. What will they do?

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    In that sense, the real question here is whether or not Cerberus is at the point where they’d rather take a hit to their reputation than a hit to their finances.

    I think Cerberus throws in the towel. They could just spin it as part of the entire credit / financial meltdown. And they may quietly try to pimp lobby Washington for help (“If it’s good enough for Bear/Stearns, it’s good enough for UAW members”).

    It’s an election year, and both Obama and McCain need Michigan…

  • avatar
    crackers

    Is it possible that Cerberus simply did not understand the NA auto industry when they bought Chrysler? Did they realize that virtually the entire portfolio of Chrysler products were uncompetitive? I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall of the executive conference room when they finally came to the realization of what they got themselves into.

  • avatar

    guyincognito:

    I’ve got to go along with the, “there’s nothing to strip and flip” argument. The best Chrysler had going for it were the truck lines and Jeep. Now that those are in the toilet whats left? A bunch of old factories staffed by expensive workers? Or a bunch of likely toxic land below said factories? Or a bunch of dealerships saddled with lots full of unsold inventory? Brand cachet?

    There’s nothing left NOW. I don’t think Cerberus had a clue what they were really buying (sweet F.A.). Perhaps they thought they’d tart it up a bit, THEN sell. Maybe they had some awesome plan (Wal-Marting the dealers). Whatever it was, it ain’t no more.

    Plan B: C11.

  • avatar
    TomAnderson

    Landcrusher: How does MOPAR do long term if they stop making Chryslers. What will they do?

    I can’t see all the Dusters, Chargers, ‘Cudas and what-have-you disappearing overnight. There’d still be a fanatical following/market just for performance and replacement parts, never mind apparel.

  • avatar
    faster_than_rabbit

    Is MOPAR-for-muscle-cars-alone really that profitable an enterprise? It seems like the kind of thing that would work better as a mom-and-pop.

  • avatar
    ronin

    I wouldn’t be so quick to assume Jeep is all that viable. Jeep sales have hit a wall, and they have a legacy of unreliability (although many have found theirs without problems).

    Even Wrangler 4-door sales seem to have slammed into a wall. Highway mileage of 19 is not helping them- acceleration is sub-par, and fuel efficiency is sub-par in the off-road vehicle market.

    Someone may still buy the Wrangler name & tooling, but the other models just drag it all down rightnow.

  • avatar
    Mike66Chryslers

    With respect to their muscle car performance and restoration parts anyhow, the MOPAR performance parts brand is almost worthless if not owned by Chrysler.

    MOPAR doesn’t offer much in the way of restoration parts. Most of the performance parts they sell are rebranded parts made by other suppliers. Why pay a higher price because it has the MOPAR logo on it instead?

    I can’t think of any truly unique parts they sell except for their finned cast aluminum valve covers. They’re nice, but those alone won’t keep an independent MOPAR afloat.

    Chrysler dealer parts departments don’t even like to sell MOPAR performance parts. If a customer returns a MOPAR part or they get sent the wrong one, they’re stuck with it in their inventory until someone else orders it and it gets shipped off to that dealer. This was told to me by the parts counter guy at my local dealer when I ordered a driveshaft yoke and they were sent the wrong one TWICE.

  • avatar

    June 2nd BusinessWeek ad, inside-cover:

    “Who took the wheels off your American Dream?
    …When did our beloved modern mode of transportation become a need instead of a want? We are still madly in love with our cars. But one visit to the gas pump and you know that love is being tested. We hear you.

    …We live in a car culture. Don’t apologize. Without our cars, we lose a measurable source of freedom, individuality and, yes, happiness.

    …Don’t garage your American Dream. Put your wheels back on. And drive.

    The New Chrysler — if you can dream it, we can built it.”

    Great landing (pep talk). Wrong airport (decade).

    I agree with the analysis, but if they are getting ready to shutter the place, why spend millions on this latest marketing campaign…and continue to roll out the new Challenger? Are they delusional? Is it customary not to inform the Marketing department that you’re working on the C11 papers?

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I think Indian and Chinese ownership as well as overseas production is inevitable. See Jaguar for details. The Chinese want a way in to the US market and domestic China models are not going to cut it. Ditto for Indian companies, the hill it too big to climb for their brands.

    So they buy Cry-sler for 2 or 3 billion dollars, move all the tooling over there in 15 months and start selling cars made with slave labor here, just like walmart. maybe walmart can sell the cars, because the chinese are not about to feed dealerships. Thousands of UAW workers are then tossed out of work, much like steelworkers, and IT workers. Welcome to the real world where no one cares.

  • avatar
    boofie59

    If Iacocca is involved, it must by time for another Chrysler TC by Maserati.

  • avatar
    dpeppers

    Coming from a Chrysler dealer (me). Viability would be the only reason to continue marketing and vehicle release schedules. I f they are trying to sell it, they have to have something to sell. The next guy may think he’s smarter than the last (the third owners of a golf course are usually the ppl that make the profit).

  • avatar
    Alex Rodriguez

    I will be the first one to point out how wrong TTAC was when their prediction of strip-and-flip doesn’t come to pass.

  • avatar
    wsn

    GS650G, who should care? And how?

    All these years, the U.S. took pride in being a free economy. Should the U.S. set up more trade barriers and have all state planned economy, a path that China is trying to get out of?

    If Chrysler is going under, fine, that’s not the end of the world. In case you don’t know, my company (since I own 400 shares) sold 16% more cars last month. Survival of the fittest, very American.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Imagine you own a big rental car company, lots of them, really. Imagine you get a chance to buy your biggest car supplier for a couple billion dollars cash money.

    Ok, you find out your supplier can’t make money in its current state, but with a little bankruptcy court intervention, you get a chance to dump the labor contracts, dump the dealer network, and buy a dozen or so factories and all their designs for a couple more billion dollars. You get rid of the plants you don’t need. You operate the rest on an efficient level.

    Can you make money by making in the rental business by making your own cars? Maybe that’s Cerberus’s game. Cerberus owns Alamo & National Car rental companies. They have other leasing operations as well. Maybe the game is to get out of retail, and manufacture cars for themselves and as a contract manufacturer to third parties.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    I can’t help but think whether Cerberus WANT to go into Chapter 11 (whilst using the suppliers as a scapegoat) and buy themselves some time while Robert Nardelli gets to work. Mr Nardelli has barely been in the job for a year and he came at a time where Chrysler was firmly up a certain creek without a certain instrument. Chapter 11 will give him the time and freedom to put his plan into motion.

    From what I heard Chrysler needs MAJOR investment (forget cashflow for a minute) for retooling and designing new cars. So even if it was sold off, the infrastructure is barely there.

    Every day which goes by, Chrysler sounds more and more like Rover in its final days. Rover couldn’t get the money together to finance new cars and had to revive the company with the Rover 75 and 25, which were good cars, but had old platforms. The factory was aging, too, and in desperate need of retooling and reorganisation. Eventually, suppliers stopped sending parts to them (my company included) and Rover shut down.

    Should Chrysler fail (and I hope it doesn’t) this is how I see it panning out.

    Mahindra and Mahindra will get Jeep as an alternative to Tata’s Land Rover and try to sell those cars to the Indian Military (if Hummer won’t work).

    The Chrysler and Dodge brand will go to a Chinese company and they’ll use those brands to rebadge their cars (once they are legal for sale in North America). Which funnily enough, is what happened to Rover!

    Cerberus will chalk this one down to a failed acquision, “Boot ’em” Bob will receive a big pay off, the remaining car companies will take up Chrysler’s share of the market and capitalism moves on….

  • avatar
    jolo

    Conslaw wrote:

    Ok, you find out your supplier can’t make money in its current state, but with a little bankruptcy court intervention, you get a chance to dump the labor contracts, dump the dealer network, and buy a dozen or so factories and all their designs for a couple more billion dollars. You get rid of the plants you don’t need. You operate the rest on an efficient level.

    Chapter 11 protection does not allow you to dump the labor contracts or get rid of the plants you don’t need. Look at Delphi. They did neither.

    People, you have got to stop thinking that chapter 11 is going to get rid of your union and plant problems. It just means the courts manage your problems for you.

  • avatar

    Landcrusher : How does MOPAR do long term if they stop making Chryslers. What will they do?

    MOPAR’s service parts organization is needed to help fix all the Chryslers still rolling in the world. Think Autolite. Then think Magna. Anyone?

    Year One, or some muscle car resto place, would love to have a large chunk of ’em. 426 create HEMIs for all!

  • avatar
    d996

    As bad as Chrysler is doing so is every other auto maker, supplier and in reality any business that depends upon the retail consumer. Yes Chrysler may be in a crappy position due to crappier cars and crappiest decisions they made but the whole economy is on tilt. I really think Cerberus is just in duck and cover mode, if they had any chance of selling any part they would have grabbed it. Nope Cerberus is just upside down like every new car buyer and hoping someone smashes into it so insurance can cover the damages.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Here’s the thing though. How much money is there today in making parts for American General cars?

    The day they stop making Chryslers, is pretty close to the day that MOPAR’s value peaks. Sure, it may go up and down over the years a bit, but where is the long term value? You would be better off buying a company with history making parts for other people’s cars than buying Mopar.

  • avatar
    msowers1

    Farago – best op-ed yet. Spot on logic.

    Chrysler is done because they deserve to be. The land and buildings will bring something at auction and someone will by the Jeep name for sales in China.

    This will help Ford and GM to a degree so lets get on with it

  • avatar
    NickR

    How does MOPAR do long term if they stop making Chryslers. What will they do?

    They could continue to continue to try selling hipo and some resto parts for classic mopars BUT the fact is there are many companies that do that already…and better. The only thing they do that others do not is make repro Hemi and Wedge blocks. However, there are aftermarket companies making ‘copies’ of small block Fords, small and big block Chevies, and even AMC. If there is a market, they will fill it.

    Mopar is worth something…but not much.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    jolo:
    Chapter 11 protection does not allow you to dump the labor contracts or get rid of the plants you don’t need. Look at Delphi. They did neither.

    People, you have got to stop thinking that chapter 11 is going to get rid of your union and plant problems. It just means the courts manage your problems for you.

    I think if you get a less dysfunctional different judge, you may get vastly different results. And given the Delphi example and current economic conditions, expect anyone buying Chrysler’s remains to demand appropriately brutal terms.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    sad!

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    Conslaw :
    June 10th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Imagine you own a big rental car company, lots of them, really. Imagine you get a chance to buy your biggest car supplier for a couple billion dollars cash money.

    Ok, you find out your supplier can’t make money in its current state, but with a little bankruptcy court intervention, you get a chance to dump the labor contracts, dump the dealer network, and buy a dozen or so factories and all their designs for a couple more billion dollars. You get rid of the plants you don’t need. You operate the rest on an efficient level.

    Can you make money by making in the rental business by making your own cars? Maybe that’s Cerberus’s game. Cerberus owns Alamo & National Car rental companies. They have other leasing operations as well. Maybe the game is to get out of retail, and manufacture cars for themselves and as a contract manufacturer to third parties.

    This would make perfect sense, except for one small problem-Cerberus sold Alamo and National to Enterprise at almost the exact same time that they bought Chrysler.

    So that’s not it either.

  • avatar
    Samir

    Every car Chrysler makes either needs a refresh (300, Charger) or is an also-ran (Calibre, Avenger, Sebring) with the exception of its mini-van and its Jeep line. So given a 4-yr development cycle, do you honestly expect Cerberus to leave the cash drain unplugged that long? Given the choice of Hubris or Cash preservation, private equity makes the decision in 0.68 seconds: Money every single time. Hubris is for losers.

    Some may argue hubris fueled the purchase decision, but I really think it had more to do with ignorance, both about Chrysler’s stature, and about the state of the American car market where Chrysler does most of its business. (But truth be told, the fact that Chrysler was heavily weighted in trucks, had stuffed all of its pipelines to the max, and that oil was surging was common knowledge to anyone who reads autoblog or TTAC daily).

    In any case, the purchase price of Chrysler, if you recall, was a nominal amount. I’ll wager Cerberus hasn’t sunk an additional penny into the automaker (if the interiors of the rentals are anything to judge by). So at this stage, the only exposure is the cost of acquisition, and someone’s pride.

  • avatar
    Rix

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see the dealer network rented out. Fiat or Chery or Tata would get a ready made network and the dealers would be stoked.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I don’t know if the plan was strip and flip, but all that is left to do is to part out the wreckage. Cerberus is going to loose big bucks on this one.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Okay, First, move the company to Texas. THEN declare bankruptcy.

    Much better chance of dumping the union in a right to work state right?

  • avatar
    jurisb

    there are 2 types of manufacturing- complex and simple. Complex is always about long term strategies and planning , because it takes input cycles, before anything can be yielded. Whenever US industrials deal with food processing, oil production or simple parts stamping- they succeed. When they have to assemble many parts together , they sooner or later fail. because they always want to make money by saving on R%D and product update,always the cheapest suppliers and questionable labourers. Sooner or later it leaves a mark on quality and reliability , that makes customers to flee away. Whether it is Failing Motorola, the whole truck industry, trains, forklifts,photo cameras, watches, or aviation- there are always common symptoms. Old platforms, which haven`t been replaced in order to save, tiny product range and diversity, and very long product cycles. Everywhere the same. While Chrysler may point out to labour unions, market startegy shifts, oil prices or multimedia prejudices, actually the cancer roots are always the same, it is actually the product, stupid. While Harley _Davidson drags the legend by adding one bike per decade, Bose -by one shelf system a decade, Boeing – one Civil aircraft per decade, they still try to find every possible way to sell , except product itself. Kodak is sinking? Well, Nikon isn`t. because probably large SLR cameras matter. Honda is succeeding in bikes? well, because that`s how you succeed by making more and more, better and better bikes, diversity plus quality. Every car company evolves by selling more, making more money, and investing that money again in higher level cars. Does Chrysler think to evolve by cutting? Well, if I am bleeding , I don`t declare that I am just downsizing, I call for doctor!If you can`t make it, fake it! So Chrysler will say we are okey, except that the whole model range will be mitsu or Tata clones in a decade. So here we go, Capitalists have forgotten one tiny detail, if you close local factories, and in best case move to China, you also close wallets of local people- of your potential customers. Who will by your XLR caddies that zig, if the fired people now work at sish-kebab bistro for 8 bucks an hour? Don`t spit in a well that you drink from! Of course , you could export them, but local taste in spanish Texas or Loisiana jazz club ain`t the same as high- quality spoiled europeans playing and shuffling songs on Audi Symphony series…. By the way you can always sell cereal by adding fancy cartoons or shampoos by adding more flowers to the picture. Ain`t work for cars.

  • avatar
    Mike66Chryslers

    By the way you can always sell cereal by adding fancy cartoons or shampoos by adding more flowers to the picture. Ain`t work for cars.

    Sometimes (occasionally) you CAN sell cars by adding fancy cartoons (Plymouth Roadrunner) and flowers (VW new Beetle).

    I would say the addage “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” would be the common automotive parallel of those marketing gimmicks though. It apparently worked for the auto industry for a long time, even though you can’t buy a car that is remotely like the ones that race. I’m mostly thinking of NASCAR. “Stock car” racing indeed.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Sometimes (occasionally) you CAN sell cars by adding fancy cartoons (Plymouth Roadrunner) and flowers (VW new Beetle).

    Or not…remember the Mod Tops Mopars from the late 60s?

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    John Horner :
    June 11th, 2008 at 12:24 am

    I don’t know if the plan was strip and flip, but all that is left to do is to part out the wreckage. Cerberus is going to loose big bucks on this one.

    Not really. The three headed dog got Chrysler for basically free. Provided they don’t invest additional money into it (which they won’t), they really can’t lose much.

    In fact, that might have been the plan. “It’s free-we’ll figure out what to do with it later.”

    Hard to really screw up free. Worst case scenerio (for Cereberus, at least) is that they lose nothing.

  • avatar
    Mike66Chryslers

    Sometimes (occasionally) you CAN sell cars by adding fancy cartoons (Plymouth Roadrunner) and flowers (VW new Beetle).

    Or not…remember the Mod Tops Mopars from the late 60s?

    Sadly, yes. Well, I wasn’t alive yet (the mod top was actually offered in 1969 and 1970) but I know of them and have seen a couple of them. There was a matching “mod interior” fabric available too.

    I don’t know what Chrysler was thinking with that one. Actually, IIRC Chrysler supplied cars for the “Mod Squad” TV show and maybe there was supposed to be some kind of ill-conceived tie-in.

  • avatar
    menno

    Geotpf, I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s hard to screw up free (especially when you don’t have to dump money into it later). I’d guess that any monies dumped into Chrysler are very minimal.

    Historically speaking, the company which might “logically” buy Jeep off of the 3-headed dog would be – Ford. Ford built World War II GP’s (“jeeps”) using the Willys pattern, under orders of the United States military.

    But Ford? Watch out. Every company which has “held” Jeep has perished. Willys-Overland? Gone in 1953. Kaiser? Gone in 1970. American Motors? Gone in 1987. Chrysler? going, going…

    Perhaps the Cereberus people aren’t as dumb as some of us surmise.

    Surely “somebody” (some dummy?) would be willing to buy up the Chrysler/Dodge and Jeep bits and pieces, dealer network, brand names and some of the factories.

    Most likely the folks with plenty of money (Chinese, Indians) and a desire to get into the United States auto market (Chinese, Indians).

    It’ll be interesting to see a bidding war on the remaining assets of Chrysler Corporation and Jeep.

    My official bid for Chrysler/Dodge and Jeep stands at $23 (the cash in my wallet right now). Cereberus can contact me via Robert Farago if they want to sell now. My bid ends at midnight tonight. Kind of like Cinderella’s carriage.

  • avatar
    ktulu858

    A lick of paint for curb appeal (i.e. a CHALLENGER or something) and Bob’s your uncle.

  • avatar

    I heard from a reliable source that Cerberus had retained Don Rumsfield to effect the same magic he already did in Iraq… His strategy is working once again, but the objective remains secret.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Mahindra and Mahindra will get Jeep as an alternative to Tata’s Land Rover and try to sell those cars to the Indian Military (if Hummer won’t work).

    I thought M & M already made Jeeps under license. Or used to. I don’t see that they need Jeep since they already know how to make them. Of course, maybe you just mean they need the name to compete with LR. In any case it shouldn’t be hard to compete with LR.

  • avatar
    menno

    Mitsubishi also have a license to manufacture Jeeps, and have done for decades. I believe they only sell WWII style (i.e. “real”) flat hood Jeeps, to the Japanese Defense Department (i.e. military) these days.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I’m pretty sure Mitsubishi stopped making CJ-3B style Jeeps in 1998, but Mahindra of India still cranks ’em out.

    Speaking of which, Mahindra and Tata are both reported to have been asked if they want to buy Hummer.

  • avatar
    jeepaholic

    chryslers truck lines will be down to necessary users…i.e contractors, farmers, fleets. people who trucks were invented for. I fore see the sprinter line picking up…well maybe, after all over 30k for a bare bones van, even if it gets in the high 20’s in the fuel economy dept. is hard to justify.

    word has it that Mahindra is going to attempt a purchase of jeep. How that will go over with the jeep faithfull will be a sight to see! However a true jeep fan will know that Mahindra exists because of jeep.

    a pairing of mahindra and jeep may work out for the better. they will be bringing their 30+ mpg 4×4’s and trucks over here next year. and they still make a version of the cj3b. so who better to buy-out jeep that…a former jeep subsidiary.

    if mahindra buys jeep i bet they will use the jeep name to market their pick-up (the appalachian) here. suppposedly the pik-up, as its called in the rest of the world… is a tough little truck. but their farm tractors arent well liked here. so maybe the name is what they need.


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