• Jan 2nd 2007 at 7:58PM
  • 30
So what would you consider the biggest automotive flop of 2006? The Chrysler Sebring? McDonald's Hummer Happy Meals? Schumacher leaving F1 without a ring for every finger? Well, Automotive News thinks it was Chrysler's refusal to face the music and scale back production. Even when faced with a huge loss and plummeting demand for SUVs and trucks.

They remind us that Lee Iacocca had been cautioning Chrysler about creating a sales bank 25 years ago. Not only did they ignore the advice, but Chrysler's management team kept building as many of the vehicles as they could. In the process, the company racked up a $1.48 billion loss in the third quarter of 2006.

More info post jump.

[Source: Automotive News, sub req]

Sure the Chrysler 300 and its Dodge siblings did well and everybody seems to want a Hemi, but the company got cocky, according to Automotive News. Sales were up in 2005 thanks to those employee price plans that sent demand into the Stratusphere. But whereas GM and Ford reacted relatively quickly, Chrysler instead went balls to the wall, and kept building even during our most recent wave of gas price flares. Incentives just couldn't help this time.

Some execs have stepped down and after enough dealers complained, Joe Eberhardt, the global sales and marketing chief, left too. Dealers had a huge inventory and got peeved that Eberhardt wanted them to take even more while they were facing rising floorplan bills. Many dealers expect they'll still have '06 models on their lots for months to come.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      you all think you know how to do it better, yet none of you do...shut the F--- up until you can prove your diarreah is true. Drive the Sebring and tell me it's not a fine car. If it was as ugly as you all think it is, even loyalists wouldn't buy it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Chrysler is a mess. I cant see a thing there I would buy aside from the SRT8 Charger. There is nothing special about any of them.
      The truck sales have been 850,000 F150, 900,000 GM and 400,000 Ram. With 400,000 capacity for Tundra between its two plants, I see 2007 as:
      700,000 F150, 800,000 GM, and 250,000 for Ram. Chrysler cannot handle the Ram selling only 250,000. There is going to be a big mess brewing soon.
      • 8 Years Ago
      yeah sebring definitely.. up 16% last month with substantially less fleet sales..

      makes perfect sense... to a mongoloid.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not eveyone is a fan of the P T Cruiser but those who are can't get over the fact that DC is thinking of doing away with this hit, (They sold over 1 million in the first 5 years) I belong to a p t club that has over 5000 members world wide and this is just one of many clubs formed. Sales started falling when they changed the front and interior in 2006, (what did they expect after changing the retro look that made it so popular). The exec's at D C are not very bright. They did attemp to fix things by making a converable but Now they are actting just like Bush senior, not following throught when it counts and trying to fix it when it may be to late.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Will, you and others like you, are idiots; I'm pretty damn sure you never owned a Charger. And if you did, your still an idiot; only morons make assumptions with one case. Oh, one Charger out of 100,000 came out bad; boo hoo. If we are talking about quality and reliability problems, it's Toyota. Toyota made excelent quality products in the past, but that is not the case today.

      The Domestics have major problems today because of its reputations from the 80's. In the 80's they were crap, today they are fine quality vehicles.

      Oh, you say that the Sebring is boring and ulgy? But the Camry is even WORSE!!! The Camry sells because of its twenty years of being fine quality products, its reputation, even if they were boring, ugly cars, but as I said, they are no longer those fine quality, reliable automobiles.

      Today the domestics are forced to be innovative in order to take sales away from the Japanese. The Japanese are not innovative, they build some ugly boring cars (I'm talking about the non luxury vehicles, Lexus and Infinity are beautiful cars). Once the domestics attract buyers with innovation, they they have to proove their quality and reliability in order to keep stealing away sales from the Japanese.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think there is only room for ONE US Domestic Automaker, and that is CHEVROLET... D/C and Ford or so blassae' and haven't got a clue. Chevy owns the US market for domestics and always will. It is time GM took back it's company and revoke it's agreements with the UAW, which really makes US cars, which all suck, except Chevrolet. GM can start new, pay it's people what they are REALLY worth, and allow workers to contribute to Healthcare Costs, which MOST Americans with an HMO already do. Face it, Ford is crap, Daimler is out of sync, and Toyota and Honda make better cars right here in America. So with the fact out, let's let the NUMBER #1 Domestic maker sell it's products for less and become a world leader, The UAW cannot and will not help this business, and is a detriment to the fiscal viability of ANY company. Time to think about reality and let the lazy time clock punchers move onto the street... where they belong, so they can find their own way, and not fly high under the wings of a great american marquee - Chevrolet.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I generally like most Chrysler products, including the Compass (a little bit), so I hope things improve for them and they don't make a mistake of this magnitude ever again.

      Although I don't find the Sebring ugly, I'd not buy it over its competition. I expect that they will have an emergency refresh in the next two years.
      • 8 Years Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      the point here, Tim, is moving the metal, that's it.

      one simple question: if you stepped in right now to handle this, what would you do?

      just a simple answer, one that has nothing to do with "they shouldn't have done this', etc.

      just one simple answer.

      it's always very easy to be critical. I have one simple rule in my life; if I'm going to be critical about something, I ALWAYS make a better suggestion to solve the problem. if I don't have a better answer, I don't say anything.

      • 8 Years Ago

      hate to tell you, but the stake that "big bad daddy Daimler" had in Mitsubishi was a whopping 7%; not exactly what I would call a majority stake.

      Chrysler had a minority interest in Mitsubishi since 1971, when Chrysler began it's relationship with Mitsubishi with their first joint venture, the Dodge Colt. it continued into the 90's when Diamond Star Motors was formed to build the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eagle Talon, and Plymouth Laser.

      Chrysler at no time had any say so about Mitsubishi's own products when Mitsubishi began to market it's own cars in the US beginning in 1983.

      the "0-0-0%" disaster was entirely in the hands of Mitsubishi's American marketing arm, and that had nothing whatsover to do with DCX. Mitsubishi Motors Acceptance Corporation (MMAC), which made the questionable loans, is in no way connected with Chrysler Financial.

      some one has given you some dreadfully wrong information.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I think the Sebring is a good looking car . Just the other day my 03 accord with 20k on it broke down as usal . A lady pulled up in a new sebring and changed my tire and gave me a jump start , I tell you everyone in indiana is nice , Up close the sebring is hot , like a 4dr crossfire . My next car will be a used cavalier 02-04 , Gm really did its home work on this one .
      • 8 Years Ago
      Still the best US car company. No. 1 US car company in Japan - the significant quantity of Chrysler/ Dodges on Japanese roads speaks to this.
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