Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by valiant67, Feb 22, 2017.
That makes me sad. Would Moparian become Motorcraftian?
Probably so for minor issues that don't leave you stranded. If a car starts leaving me places, even if the warranty work to fix it is top notch, I'm not really happy.
It doesn't matter who Doug Betts was replaced with. If that person does not have the support of upper management, then their efforts will be futile. Everyone has to be rowing in the same direction in order to move forward, or else you're just splashing water. I'm sure there are tons of dedicated, quality employees at FCA who are more than capable of getting things moving in a positive direction...but that requires LEADERSHIP to keep it all together and to ensure buy-in and cooperation from all levels.
Clearly...that ain't happening under the current boss's watch. I just hope whoever replaces ol Sergio isn't "meet the new boss...same as the old boss."
Above all: it requires 'money in the firm's NOT only the owners' bank', especially if rainy days are here again (esp usa or more-global automotive slowdown/crisis again, soon.) That way everything from marketing to nhtsa to dealer-margins-on-warranty-work to supplier-rates to technician-training to 'massaging' the automotive 'press' to under-funded fca usa uaw pensions etc get to avoid say 80% of the 2008 ghastly-scenario again. And if the worst does not come to pass, all these 'margins' for each of these 'stakeholders' can be expanded further, as they clearly need to, if their respective incentives have to be better aligned to these slow, longer-term goals of QDR, service standards improvement etc.
imo the usa dealership + service + personnel quality issues are mostly NOT a 'moral' issue at either fca's or their end, but more though not only a financial one: fca has got to become profitable enough with no net debt asap, which is what it is doing, and has to at the same time expand the 'margins' for some/all of these members of their brands' 'value chain', which is also what it is indeed doing (now that it can finally afford to).
For eg., They've appointed hundreds of new usa dealers, despite the protest of some incumbant ones, SANTANDER (aka Chrysler Finance) is downrating or eliminating poor customer-service ones etc.
Fiat SpA, after a lengthy term of quiet evaluation, willfully picked-up a significant debt when pairing-up with Chrysler. Eyes were wide open.
Let's not complain about someone's debt load which was sought-after and achieved. Sergio Marchionne and his lieutenants combed-through the financials and put their imprimatur on the final decision.
If anything, it was a wanton search for the final state which we saw unfold. They were NOT shocked, nor were they AMAZED. They CALCULATED. They obtained.
All responsibility and Blame rests on their shoulders.
Shall we here NOT cry about it.
The transaction to acquire is the personification of willfulness .
Boo-hoo. How 'bout the Agnelli family cough-up some investment in the marques so they pass muster? Right. They never will.
Quality does comes from the top.
Marchionne is clearly not concerned with quality or customer service.
The only people who can change that are the Agnelli/Elkanns. But they seem to think that as long as the financials look good, nothing else matters.
These are the most myopic of executives......short-term thinkers who act "surprised" when things go wrong and the healthy margins go away.
If the debt and NAFTA market were a surprise to anyone, it is a sign that they are incompetent executives.
Minor or not, when I spend enough time at the dealer service department for recalls and warranty work to know the service writers on a first name basis, that's not a good thing.
I have no issues with how the dealer has handled it thus far, doesn't hurt that my brother is the GSM. My family has owned Mopars for the last 20+ years. I have faith they will take care of the situation.
I love that quote.
Nah, I'm still a diehard Mopar fan. They are still great cars, just more focus needs to be on initial quality at this point more than anything.
Friend of mine had bought a leftover 2014 Chrysler 300C for $10k off. Was a steal. Issues he had was a dash rattle that they fixed. The proximity sensors were flaky. Then one day it didn't start and needed a tow to the dealer. I don't remember what was wrong with it. Maybe defective battery. Then he started having problems with his UConeect. After several dealer visits and the second replacement unit still having issues (it always thought he was in Kansas) he called corporate. They saw the number of dealer visits and pretty much were immediately open to buying back the car. My friend also wanted the sales tax and other fees back. Because of that it took a number of calls to agree on the money returned. This all happened within six months of ownership. He was charged a $500 usage fee based on miles. Overall I personally was impressed that the process seemed relatively uncomplicated and fair.
Erik, now you're just projecting. There is no evidence that Marchionne is not concerned with quality. It would be fair to say that among that myriad concerns he needs to address that quality has been prioritized lower than some others. That does not mean that it's not a concern and it doesn't mean that it gets no attention. If that were the case, we would likely see wholesale failures far beyond the problems that are there today. Automobiles are complex products and FCA could and should do better and I hope will, once their capacity and financial challenges are met. Alternatively perhaps FCA will fail and all the doomsayers will finally be right. But we'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime I choose to be excited about the awesome products they are bringing to market like the Demon and the Pacifica Hybrid - unique vehicles indeed.
You see, there's the problem right there. They ARE beautiful cars and trucks. All of them...even the aging ones. They are on par with, or above anything else out there IMO. But what scares people about them? Quality or lack thereof.
It seems so small a thing...and something that is indeed fixable...with the proper attention. Having worked in quality, and to an extent I still do...I can't fathom why they don't seem to get it. The upside to a reputation for quality pays for itself ten times over, especially over the long term.
I offer two pints that supports my assertion that Marchionne does not care about quality:
1) When he took over Fiat, quality ratings dropped
2) When he took over Chrysler, quality ratings dropped
Both companies were never known for great quality, but neither were in the basement either, like they are now.
I have published a number of textbooks on quality management. (I didn't write them, I worked in the bindery.)
Seriously, I have a degree in manufacturing technology with a concentration in quality management. Unless there is a commitment from the top of the corporate ladder, life on the floor is going to be pretty frustrating. The current attitude today among executives seems to be "Deming was so 1980s, we've grown smarter than that." We don't know if Marchionne doesn't care about quality, maybe the corporate culture doesn't allow him to know there is a problem. That simply makes him unconcerned.
I posted this a few years ago, on another thread. Here's a reminder.
W. Edwards Deming offered 14 key principles for management to follow for significantly improving the effectiveness of a business or organization. Many of the principles are philosophical. Others are more programmatic. All are transformative in nature. The points were first presented in his book Out of the Crisis. Below is the condensation of the 14 Points for Management as they appeared in the book.
1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.
2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
6. Institute training on the job.
7. Institute leadership. The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.
9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.
10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
-Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.
-Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute leadership.
11. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
12. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective.
13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's job.
Source: Dr. Deming's 14 Points for Management (at https://www.deming.org/theman/theories/fourteenpoints )
I am trained in LEAN manufacturing and have participated in and led multiple events both in manufacturing and in the office.
It is a cultural change that is required by everyone in the company. Those that do not change, get moved out. That requires a big commitment from the top down.
Doug Betts is a good man and very qualified to lead a company so it can improve quality. His termination by Marchionne was the turning point for many. We could see the true face of the CEO. We later saw it again when he threw the Chrysler 200 design team under the bus.
and I would argue that it simply shows that he cares about other things more and given finite resources, choices are made. We are in agreement that we both feel quality needs to improve for the long term health of the company. I just don't think we can KNOW how much Sergio cares about quality....
Yes, so have I. But a still remember the peeling paint, cheap plastic parts flying off. I know, that was then.
What fascinates me is the differences in the designs of GM and Chryslers. If you look a the interior dimensions of the Impala and the Malibu, they are almost identical. I'm not sure why would anyone spend an extra $5Ks for a car, just because it's longer.
But I promise to never again criticize the 300's "short trunk". Despite that the Impala is three inches longer overall than the 300, the 300 has a wheelbase that is 9 inches longer than the Impala, explaining the 300's stubby-looking trunk, at least to some. I don't know, but I find that interesting and significant. It's the best value for a luxury sedan, in my opinion. I had one as a loaner recently and was impressed with the tightness, the smooth ride, and the quality of the interior. The only drawback, from my guess, is that the owner might need to buy Armorall by the case to use on the top of the black dash under the sun.
You have or had one, a 2015, I think. Still like it?
Agreed, terminating Betts was among the worst decisions made in the past 20 years at Chrysler. It doomed the Chrysler brands to sink to the same sh****y quality as Fiat.... and we are almost there now.
The Chrysler 200 car design was fine -- it was the jarring transmission problems that likely doomed it. It's not like Hyundai can't sell the cars with the same rear door design. Yet another nonsense excuse from a guy who seems to bash his own products way more than his competitors.
I have a 2013. I understand the 2015s are better with squeaks and rattles and buzzes.