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The future of Chrysler

Discussion in 'Rumors and Speculation' started by Dave Z, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. aldo90731

    Level III Supporter

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    Again, as much as some get to see the "big picture" from the inside, others get to see the "big picture" from the outside.

    I get to work with automakers in both roles: sometimes doing internal proprietary work, and sometimes doing independent consulting work. When I do internal, proprietary work, I get to see lots of fun and exciting things that no one gets to see from the outside. I am genuinely humbled by the level of expertise and dedication I witness. When I do external consulting work, I get to see lots of amazing market relationships that automakers do not get to see from the inside, but are critical for the success of their work, and it is my job to show it to them, and help them include it in their plans.

    Too many times I have seen automakers work tirelessly and feverishly in a vacuum, only to see their efforts thwarted by external forces that had been there all along, but the automaker refused to acknowledge and include in its planning.

    Yes, automakers own the information on their internal production costs, and no one outside is privy to them, but those are not the only costs they need to worry about when they make decisions. Often I see automakers giving more credit to internal information because it is "theirs", and less credit to external information because it is someone else's. In my experience, success and failure walk a very fine line, and success lies in balancing the two: doing a complete, thorough internal job, while making sure that all that hard work will leverage existing consumer and market forces that can carry and multiply its impact.

    I appreciate you showing us those sketches and sharing those plans, because I need all the help I can get to keep believing. But I also need to point out how FCA's decisions fit the wider world and are taken from the outside; otherwise I wouldn't be doing anyone a favor.
     
    #661 aldo90731, Nov 25, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  2. redriderbob

    redriderbob Mopar Guru!
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    2014-chrysler-100-spy-photo-photo-462244-s-986x603.jpg

    Tell me about it...
     
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  3. humdrum

    humdrum Well-Known Member

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    No one seems to be factoring in what is actually happening. It is difficult to put out new product when factories are literally being rebuilt. One has to survive in the meanwhile when the renovations are going on. That involves selling existing products until the capacities are expanded. It also involves producing some new models (Giulia, just too bad it isn't a CDJR, maybe feelings and egos would feel better), while keeping existing stock rolling. Impatience is the nature of the beast. Willy nilly, spending and hastily putting untested products out, just to say you have new product is highly questionable and to my mind irresponsible.

    There are such things as production cycles. Look on the curve and see where you are and where you need to be.

    It's easy to sit at your computer and be negative, when you have no skin in the game.
     
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  4. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    That would all be nice if the competition was standing still. They aren’t. Old products sell on discounts. Old products lack the new tech many buyers want. Old products do poorly in advanced safety tests.
     
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  5. Erik Latranyi

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    Sorry, but the there has been no gap. The plant shuffle was done to prevent any impact to current product.

    With regard to hastily putting untested products out, they have done this starting with the Cherokee, continuing through the Giulia and now, I fear, the Pacifica.

    As Norm said, this is the gang that can't shoot straight. Every delay in real product is not for quality or "to get it right". How many times must you see the delays followed by flaws?

    This is why the Jeep Cherokee is not a sales leader Its styling was polarizing, its compromise in cargo room was too much and its quality was too dubious when you had competent products from Ford, Toyota and Honda out there. Cherokee is losing sales while Toyota is gaining sales with Rav4.

    Cherokee debuted in 2014, had a good year in 2015 and started declining in 2016. That is called a flash in the pan, not a success that you can build a manufacturing company on.

    I hope the Cherokee refresh helps sales, but if it only lasts one year, what is the point? You will not recoup the investment.

    We are told that Chrysler has products in the pipeline. We have heard all about the Journey replacement and the full-size CUV based on the CUSW Pacifica. Now, suddenly pops up this BOF full-size SUV based on the next generation Ram DT.

    If this replaces the full-size CUV based on the Pacifica, then the last 2 years of forecasting were thrown out the window again. That is why I do not get my hopes up that a 300 replacement is really going to happen. Yes, today and insider said it is green lit again. But tomorrow it might be based on the next generation Wrangler for all we know (that is sarcasm).

    This company flips and flops product plans. Anything not near production is vaporware to most of us and not believable.
     
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  6. Mallard

    Mallard Active Member

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    Personally, I like the idea of a full-size Chrysler SUV, but I think the brand would be better served by sticking to the CUSW and RU-based crossovers and leave the DT-based SUV to RAM.

    If RAM is to stand alone as a brand I feel they should be the place to shop if you want a "mainstream" vehicle for towing and hauling. If you want luxury you step up to the Wagoneer/GW.

    This also limits the cost and risk of developing the Wag/Grand Wag stablemate because much of the RAM 1500 engineering would carry over; most likely including interior components and some sheet metal. This amount of carry over also means the engineering teams won't be stretched thin with multiple unique vehicles launching concurrently, and potentially a fast execution.
     
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  7. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic
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    Please...for the love of all that’s holy and good...not this again...:p
     
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  8. CudaPete

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    Heh...Heh and I'll expand upon it.

    My "fantasy" line-up would be...
    • Chrysler 300 N, a 4-door high-end hot rod
    • Chrysler Pacifica, a very nice mini-van as is
    • Chrysler CMX, a 2-seat shortend wheel base derivative of the Challenger
    • Chrysler Town & Country, a much re-fined Wrangler varient for the urban jungle. Basically, everything Norm did not want in a Wrangler in a Wrangler with a different wrapping. LOL!:rolleyes:
    OK, Flame on!
     
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  9. 77 Monaco Brougham

    77 Monaco Brougham Active Member

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    WAIT!......
    What about anything in the compact and mid-size segments?

    There ought to be at least a token presence in these segments....If only to keep the dealer network from any further grumbling and moaning.
    A good place to start would be to modify the Tipo into something that could pass as a successor to the PT Cruiser. For the sake of discussion, I'll call it the "CT Cruiser".....something that could be a natural rival and competitor to the Subaru Impreza / Forester.

    As for anything in the way of a sedan.....it's all been said already. I doubt there's ANYTHING left to say!
     
  10. CudaPete

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    No, in this case the thought is to focus on high margin vehicles rather than high volume.

    To take it one step further, to increase the exclusivity factor, the 300 N and CMX would be delivered from the factory painted white. There would be 2 or 3 neutral (gray, tan, or black) interior colors, and 2 or 3 wheel/tire packages. Then the cars would be wrapped at the dealer level upon delivery in the customer's choice of color or colors. The customer would be able to select the wrap of their choice using a computer simulation of what the final car will look like. You want 4 different color doors...no problem. 2-tone...no problem. Now you have a semi-bespoke automobile from the factory that is different than anyone elses. How different is up to the customer. Of course custom wraps with special graphics can be provided at additional cost.

    For a volume vehicle, look to Dodge to offer a no frills version of the Charger.

    The idea is to take Chrysler up-scale as a niche player, but to do so economically from the manufacturing perspective to keep high quality and good margins.
     
  11. Don W

    Don W Active Member

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    I appreciate what the brand is to make new vehicles and to try and take some market share. But, in my eyes I unfortunately don't think it will work. All of these different vehicles and what not (5) by 2022, doesn't really sound that good of a idea. I love the insiders work on here telling us about this, and I do give them credit because they put up with a bunch of crap everyday on here. But personally, I just want a simple production of cars and fan favorites. I like the grand wagoneer and the jeep truck, that should do well. But chrysler SUVS and really anything from Chrysler except for the 300 and the pacifica is not good. The 200 was that bad. Also, FIAT, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati should just separate from the brand. These are absolute money pits but people claim EPA for these production cars. Sales are not good with these cars even Maserati. There's really nothing special about it. Idk who would want a FIAT in the first place unless you actually like it. For me, stick with the big 3 dodge models, not a failing journey or a caravan. Just give the people durango, charger, and challenger. Then give us RAM and jeep but don't go and make every Jeep model the exact same. Cause then what happens is people buy the lowest one and then you don't make much profit. Focus mostly on RAM (not just because I'm a truck guy) but because trucks are the future! SUVs are too but a new fully loaded Pilot and other SUVS is almost $50,000!!! I can get a near loaded big horn for that price plus I get a bed and decent fuel economy and ultimate confidence in the winter. That's just my thoughts if I was in charge. Long stretch but ya know.
     
  12. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Clever idea — using a wrap instead of painting. I'd like to see a lot more color variety but I understand the reason why all cars end up black, white, silver, red, and gray. If a wrap would let me have a different color, I'm all for it. ... especially if they can do something for the interior.

    As for “not enough testing starting with the Cherokee,” perhaps you mean “starting with the 1957s” or “starting with the Volare” or “starting with the Neon”?
     
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  13. mopar22

    mopar22 Well-Known Member

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    A wrap would end up making a lot of people mad at an added cost with no benefit. They’re not dying at all and don’t last long at all with daily uses
     
  14. humdrum

    humdrum Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me that keeping your eye on the ball and focusing at the task at hand (renovations), followed by full focus on new product is the correct way to proceed. Looking at the competition can cause a loss of focus for the task at hand. We need to remember that the renovations to the plants, perhaps temporarily setting back progress on new product, also affords the opportunity to do all the behind the scenes work that goes into designing and testing potential new product. In the end, it allows for a possibility of extended growth in the near future.

    Growth, is never a straight line over time. We know that.
     
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  15. humdrum

    humdrum Well-Known Member

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    With production of over 200,000 Cherokees in the production run, the investment has been, well, recouped, if not exceeded.

    It needs to be remembered that the Cherokee is different than a run of the mill CUV, and by it's definition of off-road capability, making it different. Not everyone sees it as meeting their needs and that makes it different, and it meets a different standard. It caters to a different crowd demographic. Perhaps, that is a better, more correct comparison.
     
  16. aldo90731

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    If you look at all the high-margin, low-volume producers, they are all, without exception, constantly looking for ways to sell more, not less. Even if it involves introducing lower priced models.

    The inherent weakness in a high-margin/low volume strategy is: what happens in an economic downturn? If you choose to produce fewer units at a higher margin and the market contracts, that leaves you with even fewer units among which to spread your costs. And an economic contraction is normally accompanied by a general drop in prices, too, hitting you with a double whammy, and leaving you highly exposed.

    Sorry, but for all the talk about “margins” we keep hearing from FCA, the ongoing Fiat strategy we see here in North America, by which FIAT = LOW PRICE x LOW VOLUME makes ZERO (cero, zéro, null, 0) business sense. This tells me someone high up ought to have his head examined.
     
    #676 aldo90731, Nov 26, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  17. humdrum

    humdrum Well-Known Member

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    It's a gamble, isn't it?

    Who can predict the future? You go with your best prediction (guess?) based on past performance. Who could have predicted the results of the last election? Who could predict that NAFTA would be re-visited? With de-regulation, how long of a boom/bust cycle are we in for?

    You make decisions prior to elections, and invest money, and then things change. You've committed, and your strategy still has a chance for success, with the possibility of a big payoff.

    It is a gamble, isn't it?
     
    #677 humdrum, Nov 26, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  18. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if serious...o_O
    The beauty of the Wrangler is that it is one of the last purpose built off road vehicles available. That construction doesn’t lend itself to a "softer" version with its body on frame, solid axles, and rolling brick shape. All those attributes earn the Wrangler dismall ratings as an on road vehicle. A Chrysler version would be a disaster.
     
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  19. CudaPete

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    How many Wranglers actualy go off road?? That is the idea, to make the Chrysler an "on-road" version. New sheet metal, refined interior, Select-Trac type transfer case allowing AWD on dry pavement, softer suspension, and street tires. BOF construction easily allows this.
     
  20. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic
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    They would be better off taking Renegade, Compass, or Cherokee and making a Chrysler version...which they are with K8. Wrangler’s platform and architecture are unique...and not well-suited to anything other than similar types of vehicles...such as JT or any other Wrangler variants that may come down the pipe.

    It would be interesting to see a unique, highly customizable vehicle (like Wrangler is), but built on a soft-roader platform/architecture so it would appeal to a wider range of customers/consumers without having to perform all the modifications that you’d have to do to Wrangler’s platform/architecture that would also most likely be cost prohibitive.

    And if the pandora’s box is opened that involves dumbing down the off-road ability of a Wrangler or its platform/architecture...how long would it be before the argument is made internally that all Wranglers could use that same platform/architecture...because “not many people take them off road anyway”? I think that might end up being a very slippery slope that even Wrangler would have a hard time getting back up.
     
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