Chrysler's LaSorda Defends K-Mart Strategy

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
chryslers lasorda defends k mart strategy

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Chrysler LLC will aggressively pursue partnerships with other auto makers to expand its global reach–" Hang on; "expand its global reach?" Don't you mean get something into Chrysler's American showrooms that customers will actually buy so we (Cerberus) can finally sell someone this turkey? No? OK. Carry on. "and its president dismissed the idea that joint ventures may damage the value of Chrysler's own brand." Well exactly! How could rebadging/reengineering someone else's product possibly hurt Chrysler's brand? (What brand, you say?) Especially when ChryCo Co-Prez Tom LaSorda promises "every joint venture will either produce an entirely new vehicle not already in Chrysler's lineup or it will be limited to a slightly modified car or truck made or designed by the partner but that doesn't compete with an existing Chrysler model in the same market." What's more, LaSorda says everyone should be doing it! "Partner early and partner often, because more strategic alliances and joint ventures are on the way. And the best time to partner with a company entering your market is before they enter." So let's see… Chrysler's cutting or trying to cut deals with VW, Nissan, Fiat, Great Wall, Chery, Mahindra and one Russian carmaker to be named (or not) later. Is there anyone "The New Chrysler" won't [s]sleep with[/s] talk to?

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  • Windswords Windswords on Aug 14, 2008

    jerry weber: "You can now see why Mercedes is gone from Chrysler. Zetsche in his last term running chrysler thought he could put some mercedes star dust in chrysler bones and get the prices up so that profits would follow. It may have been a flawed plan but it was the only way chrysler could have survived." If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you. Zetsche is a buffoon of the first order (class of Wagonner et. al.). He just happens to be head of a storied marque and does not get the same scrutiny. Also the GC "unibody" flap is another failure of the media to report accurately. It's the Durango that is going to share a platform with the next GC, which has ALWAYS been unibody and has NEVER been based on an existing "car". There may be some potential for another unrelated vehicle to be produced at Jefferson North, because with the 1.8 billion that "strip-n-flip" Cerberus is about to invest it will be one of the last Chrysler factories to go to flex manufacturing. Blunozer, The 300/Charger is not a rebadge of the old E class, if it were, you could swap parts between them. You will find the steering columns switch quite well and - well, that's it. Even the tranny, which is based off of a Mecedes design won't swap, the bellhousing is different. The Caliber/Compass/Patriot and the Sebring/Avenger are so altered from the original Mitsubishi platform (another one of Dumbler's/Zetsche's great ideas) that parts don't swap between them either. eastaboga, Yes, the 300/Charger replacement will be entirely their own. Why pay a surcharge on Mercedes parts that you still have to adapt to your application when you can develop your own for less money? Dumbler still owns a percentage of Chrysler, so you might see their electronics used. Another possiblity is axles from the new Chrysler rwd axle plant could end up in Mercedes units built in Alabama.

  • Davey49 Davey49 on Aug 14, 2008

    Chrysler did well selling the Colt, an unknown subcompact from an unknown manufacturer (Mitsubishi) back in the 1970s. Maybe the Chery car we'll do just as well. Chrysler has always had new designs and new cars. They've come out with 15 new models in the past 5 years. How much more do you want them to do? "Enthusiasts" just have a hate-on for Chrysler products so when they introduce new models it's automatically the worst car ever made and "absolute crap" A lot of people making comments about fuel mileage and SUVs seemed to have missed the Jeep Patriot and Compass which are not only fuel efficient 23 city 28 highway for the 5 spd 2wd and 21 city 24 highway for a 4wd CVT it's also inexpensive $17065 for the Patriot.

  • Blowfish Blowfish on Aug 14, 2008

    The Lada was built by drunken Russian “workers” and “ham-fisted robots” and transfer machines, with much of the machinery, technology and design dating from the mid-1960’s (the car is a brand-new 1967 Fiat 124 built with rear drum brakes, a SOHC engine based on an old OHV Fiat design, and hot-rolled very thick, very heavy steel). The thing of note? They were not all that bad! But overall, the Lada did the job required, did it fairly reliably and - ESPECIALLY NOTEWORTHY - subsequently proved to be a better car than cars I bought when I moved back to the US. Afterall they have better pride/workmanship while workng drunk than UAW folks working sober. That really say how F up it this country now!

  • Ryan Ryan on Aug 15, 2008

    Shut up and go away Chrysler...