• Dec 19, 2006
Tom LaSordaChrysler CEO Tom LaSorda has found someone to fill departed sales and marketing chief Joe Eberhardt's role, and he found him by looking in the mirror. LaSorda, in addition to his responsibilities as the automaker's chief executive, has taken on the head sales and marketing role as well.

This comes in the wake of a $1.5B 3rd-quarter loss for Chrysler and a dealer revolt spurred by the glut of 2006 product sitting on dealer lots all over the place. These were the factors that forced Eberhardt to the exit, and LaSorda's mission is to fix the problem by dramatically and quickly reducing the excess inventory, cutting per-vehicle costs by $1,000, and reconciling with a dealer network that had lost faith in the corporate leadership.

Last week, we reported on word that Chrysler could extend its annual holiday shutdown by two to four weeks to help keep 2007 model inventory under control. Heavy incentives are being leveraged to get rid of lingering '06 models as quickly as possible. Once they're gone and the focus is put squarely back on the new 2007s, we can expect to see Chrysler dial back the incentives. Going forward, the automaker will shift to a system where they only build vehicles that dealers specifically order rather than overbuilding, which is what landed them in this mess to begin with.

The pressure's squarely on LaSorda and his deputies to get the ship righted, and with rumors swirling about Dr. Z's thoughts of bringing Wolfgang Bernhard back into the fold at Chrysler, there's very little room for error.

[Source: Detroit News]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      LaSorda gone by this time next year? If not gone from the company, he will be demoted or shipped out somehwere else.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Let's see . . . Chrysler sales are tanking. Marketing message not on-target. Brand image murky. CEO a manufacturing expert. The best idea: put the CEO in-charge of sales and marketing instead of bringing in a top-notch player.

      Jesus, these guys don't get it.

      • 8 Years Ago
      well Ivan, you can see and imagine this around 2015-2025, children of buyers who buyed Honda, Lexus and BMW in the past doesn't want to drive the same cars because it's their parents or grand-parents car maybe switching for a Hyundai or Saab http://www.autoblog.com/2006/05/29/comment-corner-saab-more-gen-y-than-bmw-mercedes-benz/ (sort of back to GM).

      However on the other hand, a future oligopoly of Honda and Toyota is a bit scary....

      Andy, got a point. The twisting irony is in the UK, an used large Chrysler 300C diesel sells for more then new http://www.autobloggreen.com/2006/12/18/used-chrysler-300-diesel-sells-for-more-than-new-in-uk/ having a diesel version of a 300C in North America will probably help.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Actually, this just seems to be paving the way for Bernherd to come back. Maybe we'll see the Teutonic tag-team by this summer.
      • 8 Years Ago
      LaSorda is an clueless effing moron, Eberhard was used as the fall guy.

      The sales bank debacle illustrates vividly how much out of touch and incompetent the Big 3 (onetime big 3), better still, the Biggest Losers, are with the demands of the public, and even their own dealers.

      ANd there is no end in sight, since if any of these clowns recovers, it will be at the expense of the two other clowns.

      If you expect the Honda and BMW and Lexus shoppers to come back to domestic showrooms, ever, you really are clueless and are not following the decades long flight of demanding, serious consumers, from the domestics.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pssst. I'll let you in on my secret. But don't tell anyone: you have to build as many cars as will sell, but no more than that. Also, it helps if people actually want to buy the car: so build cars that people are willing to buy.

      This was MBA101 by captain obvious. Looks like all those high ranking executives need a refresher.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think the Dodge commercials have been the most entertaining of all the TV car spots on air. The problem is product. The Chrysler Group is dependent on big cars and trucks to make up its sales at a time when the consumer wants a small, gas sippers. That is why the Caliber has done well in North America and Europe. When a manufacturer needs to sell four hundred thousand large V-8 sedans, there's going to be a problem.