Suppliers Opt Out Of Chrysler's Product Revolution

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Any hippie will tell you what Chrysler is finding out as it tries to kick-start its product development to life: karma’s a bitch. In the pre-bailout era, Old ChryCo held the dubious distinction of having the worst supplier relations in Detroit. Now, for some odd reason, suppliers aren’t wanting to shoulder the cost of developing components for new Chrysler vehicles. The Wall Street Journal reports Chrysler isn’t making any production volume promises for future products (an ominous sign in its own right), which means cash-strapped suppliers aren’t rushing in to spend their money developing parts. “Why would we want to tie ourselves to Chrysler when GM and Ford are a known factor?” asks one interior-component supplier. “We’re already financially strapped so we have to be more choosey in where we will spend our money.” Meanwhile, this supplier recalcitrance is making it hard for Chrysler to plan anything.

Chrysler’s board of directors is waiting on Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to present future product plans for the US market, but with no help forthcoming from suppliers, well…

It is unclear whether the board will be able to approve the five-year product plan at this point, however, because Mr. Marchionne’s management team is still trying to work out many of the details of how Chrysler would build the vehicles

Recent estimates show that as much as 60 percent of all auto R&D could be done by suppliers by 2012. Chrysler’s going to have to fix this problem at some point, and until it does its BoD will be waiting impatiently.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Mark MacInnis Mark MacInnis on Sep 30, 2009

    "....Mr. Marchionne’s management team is still trying to work out many of the details of how Chrysler would build the vehicles" I can help him with that: With very poor build quality, that's how they'll build them. ;^)

  • Superbadd75 Superbadd75 on Sep 30, 2009
    How much better would GM (and Ford?) be if Chrysler had been allowed to go away? How much better would Ford be if Chrysler and GM had both been allowed to go away? How many American jobs might Toyota, Honda, and the other imports have provided had they been forced to take up the slack that GM and Chrysler left?
  • Windswords Windswords on Sep 30, 2009

    It's a shame, since BD (before Dumbler), Chrysler was number 1 in supplier relations thanks to people like Thomas Stallkammp and programs like SCORE and Extended Enterprise. Geo. Levecque. I you want to know what its like at Chrysler's assembly plants you can visit them virtually here: The plants in the list still operating are: Toledo, Ohio Jeep plants Sterling Heights Assembly and Stamping plants Conner Avenue Assembly Plant, Detroit Belvidere Assembly Plant, Illinois Jefferson North, Detroit Warren, Michigan Windsor, Ontario Bramelea, Ontario

  • Dolorean23 Dolorean23 on Sep 30, 2009

    I gotta wonder though if the suppliers aren't realizing that Fiat is the new dog to feed; IOW, Chrysler is going to be importing its parts and assembling them here like Toyota, Nissan, and BMW do.