• Nov 29th 2006 at 8:35AM
  • 31
There have been rumblings of late in the halls of Stuttgart that the boys in Auburn Hills are an albatross around the neck of DCX. Dieter Zetsche and company are reportedly in it for the long haul and fighting the good fight for Chrysler, but investors cite thin patience while waiting for a profit. Rumors of potential suitors waiting in the wings abound, but it seems that the real problem would be salability due to large pension commitments. Some have gone as far as speculating that even if Chrysler were to be put on the block, nobody would buy them. Of course, some of this situation seems to have been brought on by feeble cross-pollination, far below what was bandied about at the time of the 1998 merger. Sure, Chrysler got the old E Class platform to go play with, and the first-gen SLK is holding up the Crossfire, but there hasn't been any technology transfer from the smaller Mercedes vehicles to help DCX build a small car that's killer, or from their world-class truck division. One wonders if Chrysler's actually in the worst shape of the big three, but hiding it well. Are we in for a replay of the early '80s?

[Source: Reuters via Automotive News - Sub. Required]


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  • 31 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago


      Even if Chrysler was put up for sale, who would buy it? However the Jeep brand has a lot of heritage and it may be attractice to some potential buyers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Smart a hit in the US - AH, AH, AH.

      Chrysler offered nothing valuable to Daimler over the last few years.

      I think this site had a brilliant report on DCX. Although I cannot find it now, but I remember the report highlighting some great points about the relationship.

      www.carnorama.com
      • 8 Years Ago


      Even if Chrysler was put up for sale, who would buy it? However the Jeep brand has a lot of heritage and it may be attractive to some potential buyers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      boy, I don't know where to start. there are so many that have obviously (not) been in the car business.

      -Chrysler doesn't need to "downsize". for those who forgot, they did this back in the early 80's. they sold off all the unecessary facilities. ancient history.

      -Chrysler minivans not "king of the road"? gee, they owned over sixty percent of the market for twenty years. what would you call that? who consistently sells the most? it's NOT Honda or Toyota.

      -Mercedes quality has always stunk, long before the merger with Chrysler. in European quality rankings, they are consistently at the bottom. nothing new here.

      -for those who have never been to Europe, there are lots of Jeeps and Chrysler minivans running around. the Chrysler and Jeep merger in 1987 was incredibly successful, and it brought quite a bit to the table where Chrysler and Mercedes merged. we taught them a lot about assembling cars in a cost efficient manner, too; Chrysler has consistently been the most efficient of the big three, although GM and Ford are catching up. for those who aren't aware, Germany has the highest wages in the auto industry, and their cost-to-build is the highest, too.

      -the Challenger will be a sales success, and so will the Camaro. if someone is predicting failure because of a low $30s price tag, they're wrong. if they are trying to compare the Camaro and Challenger to the GTO, it's not apples and apples. the GTO had styling issues (like lack of it), and this certainly doesn't remotely apply to the Camaro or Challenger.

      -give the Sebring a rest. how many of you have driven one? and the Camry is a looker?

      -the sales bank is a disaster. this is the first year they've really used it since 1979. it was a bad idea then; it's still a bad idea. normally, most Chrysler dealers are completely cleared out of the last year's models by mid-October. not this year. they need to have a "blow-out sale" (0%/72 months, buy everyone) like Ford did in the summer of '05. this will clear out everything, and NEVER do the sales bank again.

      -and I'll save the best for last. it's always good to know that "Dodge doesn't have strong owner loyalty, and will lose the most to the Tundra". well, thank you, Mr. Expert! I've had eight Dodge trucks since 1994 (and five before then), and have been nothing short of very happy with every one of them.

      you obviously live in a large city on the Eastern seabord. when you get to areas that have real trucks that work (this leaves out ALL half tons), you will find the truck of choice is the Dodge Cummins diesel. let me know when you see a little teeny half-ton Tundra pulling a ten horse trailer, thirty five foot fifth wheel, or backhoe, will you please?

      Mike
      • 8 Years Ago
      Recent reports talk about a GERMAN mercedes export executive Joe eberhardt as the asshat who is in some capacity responsible for them not curtailing production and now being faced with a glut of 2006 models.. lol the irony.

      Good to see some comments setting the record straight on the past few years with the chrysler group. what was it like 17 or 18 consecutive profitable quarters before this?

      • 8 Years Ago
      The Smart a hit? Yea, untill the fist one get punted into the next county by a Semi or F350 sized truck and DCX gets hit with a $600 million+ lawsuit for selling an "unsafe car for American roads".

      Think I'm kidding? Just wait an see.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I suspect that the Nitro's sales will be underwhelming, and the Challenger will be a flop. If that's all they got, Chrysler is in trouble.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Once again, the drive by automotive media and detractors who fear Chrysler's engineering prowess and innovativeness are closing the lid on the Division's coffin. They are from Mars.

      Here is my fearless prediction - 2007 will be a fine year for the ex-Pentatstar people and the Daimler folks will not even think seriously about selling it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      For whatever reasons that are beyond me, they made the 300C and then decided that 'that's that' and went with some sort of crazy look that probably had way more to do with business and cost than anything else. I would say the car is good from all sides except the front. Interiors are usually bad but at least the grill could be better. fix the grill (which won't happen) and you might have something.

      What is going on with American car companies? I think the only one doing well is Dodge (owned by who again? lol) and their car line up is pretty good. What the HELL is GM doing (especially with Cadillac... they can obviously do it with China with the SLS so just bring it over here)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Smart ... it will actually sell well as it did in Canada (about double what they planned). It is a real eye catcher and there a lot of copy cats coming out -- Toyota took notice, so they rarely miss a beat. Even if Smart sells well, they have had a darn hard time make a profit with it.

      Nitro -- apparently it is shaping up to do very well; not sure what will happen when the new Liberty comes out as it look similiar from the windshield back to the Nitro.

      Sebring, I was a bit disappointed, but it looks very good in person (Crossfire-like); the interior etc seems well done as well. So people who are going on and on about it are way over-reacting as it is a far better looking car then the Japanese counterparts -- just not up to the potential Chrysler can put into action. I still hope Canada gets the Avenger this round.

      As far as Chrysler being spun off -- dream on -- it will not happen. It is the same process that takes place when a stock market takes a dip and the silly people sell off only to watch as the market rebounds later. You do not sell during bad times, sheesh. Also, Mercedes is benefiting greately from Chrysler's know how in engine developement (less complicated, more reliable); so people are missing out how much Mercedes come back was tied to the Chrysler purchase.

      Last point, Chrysler has very very good management.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Chrysler has had a history of spectacular successes and spectacular failures in it's history. The "merger of equals" was bullshit, it was a short term profit for those at the top.

      Investors need to get real, time was when you invested for the long term, not the short. This business requires huge amounts of new product and cash to stay competitive and you may be betting the company on each new release. Pretending to think you'll make huge returns in this business as an investor? Forget it. There will be times you make plenty, other times you're going to be on the ropes. Reinvestment in product is the name of the game.

      Best thing for Chrysler? Sell off to an investor who knows the car business and the passion to see it happen. It'll make money.

      Smart? I think it will do well in major metro areas. Fuel prices will play a part in it's success or failure.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't get the problem really.

      Chrysler Group in more trouble than GM or Ford? I don't think so. In comparison Chryslers losses are almost non existent.

      Chrysler has also made a steady profit for a good long while except for the last six months or so.

      This temporary setback will soon be remedied by new models I'd bet. We don't know all that's in the pipeline.

      As for ownership,

      Why would Daimler want to part with Chrysler?

      Transferring technological support together with one generation old platform parts seem like a great way to make an extra buck on otherwise (in Mercedeses) outdated technology.

      Furthermore Daimler is just the right kind (read, stable) company to back up these typical Chrysler hickups.

      All Chrysler needs to do is to keep put new product on the market and stop building inventories like there was no tomorrow. Seems simple enough.

      No overseas automakers build inventories, why in the world do the big 2.5 still do this? All they do with this is hurting themselfs.
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