Chrysler: Quality Leader By 2012?

Michael Karesh
by Michael Karesh
chrysler quality leader by 2012

“There is no other area in the field of human communications that is as rife with disinformation as the story on Chrysler quality,” then Chrysler President Bob Lutz once famously said. Some things never change. According to today’s Detroit News, Chrysler is claiming that they will be a (though not “the”) quality leader by the end of 2012. They (and many other auto makers) have made similar claims before. Sometimes they achieve these goals. More often they don’t. Chrysler’s chances?

Chrysler claims it’s increasing its odds of success by making what appear to be substantial changes to its organization and culture. A new senior VP of quality has been hired away from Nissan (begging the question, since when are they a quality leader?). The quality organization has been enlarged from 200 to 1,700 people. The new quality staff has been organized into cross-functional teams focused on the quick execution of needed changes. Perhaps the biggest change of all: Chrysler now claims that they will tackle problems rather than pretending they don’t exist or ignoring them and hoping they’ll go away. Which they now largely have.

Still unknown: whether these people really have the pull to get their requested changes executed. Large organizations are chock full of special teams charged with getting something done, but without the pull to actually get it done. Is this one of those?

Chrysler claims that engineering changes have already had a substantial impact on existing products. Supposedly, while 75 percent of defects were design-related last year, with the remaining 25 percent occurring during assembly, the ratio is now 50-50. If we assume that the number of assembly defects has not changed, this implies that the total number of defects has already been cut in half. Too good to be true? Are these just rough, shoot-from-the-hip numbers? Perhaps, but if the head of quality is dishing out rough numbers… that’s not the most promising sign.

Michael Karesh owns and operates TrueDelta. If Chrysler’s quality does improve, it will show up first in True Delta’s quarterly-updated Reliability Survey.

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  • MrIcky I would like to compare the answers here against the answers in the recent civil forfeiture article- but I won't because research is hard. It's true though that currently a ticket has no punitive value on those with means and maybe an outsized punitive value on those without. That's not communism, that's just the way it is. Speeding tickets are too arbitrary anyway though: officer discretion, speed trap towns, excessively low speed zones in areas to increase ticket revenue instead of safety, etc. I could clearly see a case where expensive cars are selectively enforced over cheap cars because you only have so much time in a day to up the revenue. It's a gray rainy crap morning and I'm sure the government will do it wrong.
  • 28-Cars-Later Feels a bit high but then again... forget it Jake, its Clown World.In 2021 someone in Sewickley had an MY01 soft top in a manual with 54K otc which I am fairly certain was a 996 and not a Boxster - $20K. I already had my C70 at the shop being reborn and could have done the $20K but it would have been tight and just didn't make sense. Still...
  • SCE to AUX Q: Should Speeding Fines Be Based on Income?A: Yes. Rich people (the guy with $1 more than you) should pay less, because giving his income to the government means he has to lay off a worker at his business.Laws are for poor people./s
  • SCE to AUX "Volvo has suggested it’s capable of yielding 275 miles of range"Every non-US car's range estimate is based on WLTP - worth mentioning.EPA range never 'backs up' WLTP; it's always about 15% lower - so figure maybe 234 miles. Not great, except as a commuter.As for the interior - it's obviously a Model 3 clone, but the screen is substantially smaller. Incidentally, I suspect Tesla made the Model 3/Y interior so minimalist to save money - not just to be different. When you're trying to become profitable on EVs, every dollar counts.
  • SCE to AUX "there haven’t been a lot of good examples hitting the market recently. Most models are aimed at the affluent, resulting in 9,000-pound behemoths with six-figure price tags"I hope you were joking, because that is blatantly false.