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Chrysler: “integrity, meritocracy, and accountability”

by David Zatz on

Sergio Marchionne referred to Chrysler’s values as “integrity, meritocracy, and accountability” in a letter describing the recent financial results to employees:

Recently, a well-known athlete told an interviewer that his team was playing with “humble confidence.” The player went on to explain that while his team believed in its ability to contend for a championship, it would not forget the hard work and tremendous effort that it took to reach a competitive level.

I thought about “humble confidence” in the context of informing you that our preliminary second-quarter results, released today, show that your continued, determined efforts are putting us on a solid foundation to compete with the best. We reported a second-quarter profit of $436 million, an improvement from the $181 million Adjusted Net Income posted in the same quarter last year when we fully repaid our government loans. For the first half of 2012, net income came in at $909 million.

We posted a Modified Operating Profit of $755 million in the second quarter, up 49 percent from the same quarter last year. We increased our cash on hand by $800 million in the second quarter, which strengthened our cash position to $12.1 billion, helping to assure our ability to continue developing our brands with best-in-class products for an increasingly demanding customer base.

Our net revenue in the quarter grew by 23 percent to $16.8 billion, driven largely by a 20 percent increase year-over-year in worldwide vehicle sales to 582,000 units. This strong performance is directly related to the overhaul of our product portfolio which continues to receive a sound cadence of accolades from third-party organizations and the media.

first 2013 Dodge Dart

During the first half of 2012, our portfolio became more balanced with our car mix increasing on a year-over-year basis, showing that our car offerings are becoming more competitive. We are building on this trend, as the all-new Dodge Dart began arriving at dealerships during the second quarter. I spent time on the shop floor of the Belvidere Assembly Plant when we celebrated the manufacturing launch of the Dart, and I was impressed by the incredible level of commitment displayed by the men and women who work there. They are an example of the pride, passion and culture of doing things well that has spread throughout our company. This goes a long way to explaining why the North American car industry is coming back with a roar.

During Q2, we also showed for the first time a significantly refreshed 2013 Ram 1500, with sizable improvements to fuel economy, and the all-new 2013 SRT Viper, marking Chrysler’s return to the high-performance sports car market. When they become available to the public later this year, they will play important roles in the comeback story we are authoring.

Our accomplishments, made in the face of near-universal skepticism, imbue us with confidence going forward. Living through a near-death experience has revealed the depth of courage that exists within our house. We have learned that we can accomplish great things when we marshal all of our talent and commitment to work for a common goal.

But staying humble is just as necessary to sustain our success. History teaches that it is easy to develop bad habits during good times. This is no time to cut corners, no time to become undisciplined in our execution, no time to forget how difficult it was to claw our way back to viability. We cannot afford to abandon the values of integrity, meritocracy and accountability that have sustained us thus far.

I want to thank you for the tremendous determination and commitment that have helped transform our group in only three years. Let’s continue to work, with humble confidence, to earn our success every day.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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