Bailout Watch 358: ChryCo Co-Prez Press Reveals Bailout Strategy

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 358 chryco co prez press reveals bailout strategy

Former Toyota President and current Chrysler Co-Prez Jim Press has been out and about, playing pimp my press. In so doing, he’s revealed his employer’s strategy for scarfing another $3b in bailout bucks from its current (not to say only) financial backer (that’s you). The ailing American automaker must present its case to Congress on or around March 31. And here, via Ward’s Dealer Business, it is…

“Press says there are four points to the auto maker’s turnaround:

* Chrysler has invested in new product – the auto maker has eight new vehicles coming out in the next year and a half and 24 in the next 48 months.

* The company will continue to support its dealers “with record levels of incentives.”

* Credit is improving with the auto maker’s finance company.

* Fiat has some of the best platforms in Europe in terms of cost and performance.”

Now how much would you pay? Well don’t answer! Mr. Press is happy to share some of the philosophy underpinning his Congressional term paper.

“(Fiat has) great expertise (with their platforms) and distribution network in Europe and around the world – but not (in the U.S.),” Press says. “We have a great dealer body and a wonderful distribution network. Nobody will ever wonder how good the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealers are.”

Irony doesn’t get much better than that. Or does it?

““Fiat has made available all of their technology, from the entire company, except for Ferrari,” the Chrysler executive says. “Billions and billions and billions of dollars will be invested in the car market, and they can be produced at our plants in North America.”

Whose billions would that be? After spending GM’s money on a couple of platforms (don’t ask), Fiat is in the hole just like everyone else. So those billions and billions and billions (I make that three) will come from you and me. Whether we like it or not. But don’t panic!

“Our company is scrapping [sic],” Press tells Ward’s. “Getting Chrysler and Fiat together preserves jobs in America – in our environment and our economy today, that’s a pretty big statement. Not just for the manufacturer, but for our dealers. The dealers need the volume of products.

“We are going to sell our way out this, not ‘save’ our way out of this.”

Join the conversation
2 of 9 comments
  • FromBrazil FromBrazil on Jan 24, 2009

    @ Luther: Get your facts straight. For Croma yes. For everything else (including Corsa), no. You'd be riding a Fiat. Like, the Ford Ka. It's amazing the quantity of people who think they're driving an authentic Ford. I mean, even the instrument cluster looks like my lowly Fiat Palio's and not an older generation KA (and I should know as I've owned both. And even though I lost money, as I was financing both vehicles I preferred to keep the older Fiat (2006) rather then the KA (2008). since the KA proved to be a POS while the Fiat is showing every indication it'll be in the family for the long haul). @ the rest of you Consider ya selves lucky if you ever get to try a Fiat. Hopefully you won't have to travel to Europe or South America or pretty much the rest of the world to do so. If your lucky, you might just be able to get one from your local, friendly Chrysler shop. Cheers

  • HarveyBirdman HarveyBirdman on Jan 25, 2009

    Press had better hope that Congress grades on a way steeper curve than your average driver's license written exam, or else he's going to get a big fat F. Sloppy work, Press!

  • El Kevarino If you have an EV platform that supports dual motor AWD, then why choose FWD for the 2WD version?
  • Analoggrotto Try as they may and as they might but the future of Electric, the future of human reality is TESLA. Only the highest level of affluence, priviledge and wealth can earn one a place in the stars. In fact when you look at the night's sky do you notice that the stars are brighter? This is because of Supreme Wizard Elon Musk, who has brightened them with this awesome grace.
  • Dukeisduke Sixty-five miles of range added in ten minutes? Doesn't sound very impressive.Also, how are they going to build these in volume if GM is building Ultium packs by hand (which they have been, slowly)? Or are the packs coming from Korea?
  • Dave M. On one hand Honda tends to make a strong, competitive product that should give you years of excellent service. On the other hand it's built on the bones of a GM product, who has a tendency to underbake their products until right before cancellation. NUMMI worked out well for GM; I wonder if this will work out well for Honda....
  • RICHARD @mebgardner I have no issues with the way the car is configured. No offensive nannies.