Chrysler Endures Compact, EV Turmoil

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

So much for the bailout leading to a compact/alt-energy über alles approach. The newly reconstituted Chrysler has lost its A/B segment (compact, city car) vehicle line chief and will be cutting nearly half of its Global Electric Motors (GEM) dealers. Of course, Chrysler’s A/B segment vehicle lines are empty at the moment, and aren’t likely to be filled with anything beyond cynical Fiat rebadges. Is that why Andreas Schell, who came to Chrysler with the Daimler merger, is leaving? Chrysler spokesfolks tell Automotive News [sub] only that they knew Schell “has left the company but didn’t know where he is heading.” Meanwhile, Chrysler is culling 64 of its 150 GEM dealers because “many of the rejected GEM dealers failed to sell more than a handful of GEM cars [er, Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, actually] in the past 12 to 24 months or longer… The debtors have determined that the GEM dealership agreements are neither necessary nor valuable to their estates and should be rejected.” Of course, perhaps the problem isn’t so much the dealers as the vehicles… but good luck getting a judge to rule that way. In any case, the one GEM dealer that the Freep spoke to was glad to see the GEMs go, saying they never sold regularly or particularly profitably.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Anonymous Anonymous on Jul 06, 2009

    GEM used to be awesome back when it took the market by storm and beat the pants off the traditional vendors such as Taylor-Dunn. But then it started growing and and growing and gaining features in the chase of the street-compatible transportation chimera. Eventually it just priced itself out.

  • Blowfish Blowfish on Jul 07, 2009 Wonder why these little cars were never imported into N America? They're like the KEI trucks.

  • Michal Michal on Jul 07, 2009

    Those beady little headlights and the front grills make it look like an angry spider.

  • Pb35 Pb35 on Jul 07, 2009

    My department has one of these to cart stuff around campus. It's not fun to drive in the least.