• May 18th 2007 at 4:12PM
  • 34
There aren't that many people in the world who have a stronger emotional connection to Chrysler Corp. than Lee Iacocca, father of the minivan and savior for Chrysler during the early '80s. In an article featured in BusinessWeek, Iacocca reveals his feelings and thoughts about Daimler AG's sale of Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Managment, a private equity firm.
In no uncertain terms, Iacocca comes right out and says, "Daimler screwed Chrysler royally." He argues that Chrysler was healthy, even powerful, before the merger, and has been left half dead by Daimler, which retreats back across the Atlantic to Germany as we speak (our eloquent prose, not his). Nevertheless, Chrysler's ex-CEO is optimistic about his old employer's fate, and makes a case for Cerberus being exactly the right kind of private equity firm to buy Chrysler.

Thanks for the tip, Alison!

[Source: BusinessWeek]

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It doesn't appear that Cerberus has plans to strip and flip the automaker to make a quick buck, and its management just may free current Chrysler CEO, Tom LaSorda, from the short leash which Daimler had tied him. Admittedly, we've been tough on good old Tom since the sale, indicating we though it was likely that Wolfgang Bernhard may eventually take his place. After reading Iacocca's words, however, it might be the case we now see a side of LaSorda that was stifled by his German bosses, and perhaps he is the leader to restore Chrysler to its former glory. There are many challenges ahead, however, so we'll keep Wolfgang's office warming present handy, just in case.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Lets just welcome Chrysler back to our Continent and get it back to where it was..and still should be!
      • 8 Years Ago
      So, when is Ghosn going to start "exploratory" talks with Chrysler? How's that for an 800 lb gorilla?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The LY platform is simply put an updated version of the LX one. So yes, it will probably have Daimler stuff in it.

      When it comes to Chrysler interiors, yes they are crappy. I hope they have a plan to fix that so that the insides finally will match the outsides. The mechanics and exteriors of the LX cars are great.

      Did anyone say; the Japanease? Talk about crappy interiors.

      I thought about going for a Toyota a while back but I quickly changed my mind after sitting in one for about thirty seconds. Cheap, thin, recycled plastic all around.

      Sure, mechanicly they hold up very well but I want a little more out of my cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Chrysler is responsible for their mess, not MBZ. It's a classic case of American car companies relying on retro to sell to the masses"

      Right, and I suppose that Chrysler just handed Benz their entire cash reserve because Mercedes knew how to manage it better? How about all the cost cutting that has gone on since the "merger of equals", and how Mercedes forced the delay of the LX cars because Chrysler was forced to use Benz components? It's about time those scumbags go back home to Germany and rot in their own mess, that THEY created.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The people saying that Chrysler was responsible for their own troubles and not Daimler, seem to forget that the people making decisions at Chrysler were brought in by Daimler.

      About the last two true Chrysler people I can remember were Tom Gale and Tom Stalkamp and they left several years ago. I'm not sure how long Trevor Creed has been there.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Having worked in the North American automotive car industry I have say that Lee should get stuffed. His remarks are idiotic.

      If Chrysler were the only car maker in North America suffering then Lee would be right. BUT GM and Ford are suffering as well. The problem in North America is that the people have spoken with their dollars and bought Japanese.

      What I am guessing is that Daimler wanted to update, change, whatever and the American management said NO. Just like now how the big three are saying NO to higher fuel economy standards.

      Let's face the facts the big three management and the UAW management are idiots and keep thinking, "put head in sand until everything is like it was."

      I am guessing in a decade there will only be one American car maker left, and that company will probably be GM.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I get the impression that Mecedes did'nt want to dillute their brand indentity by sharing with Chrysler which I believe made for bad corperate synergy.Mercedes investors seemed kind of grossed out(to use a technical term)by their association with Chrysler.
      • 8 Years Ago
      but the man is right!!, albeit for the e-class (old gen) derived platform which underpinns the 300/magnum, i really dont see what daimler did with/for chrystler.
      ps,if i worked my but off for a company, and another one just uses them like a prostitute, i would be pretty upset 2
      • 8 Years Ago
      Iacocca for President is all I can say.

      He got Chrysler back on it's feet, maybe he could do the same for the United States of America!
      • 8 Years Ago

      Far from being out of touch, Lee is still a "car guy" He knows the business, knows the connections, knows the bankers and been through good and bad times in the business and he knows how to turn things around. Yes, even now. This guy was writing history in this business before most of you were an itch in your parents pants.
      • 8 Years Ago
      He's living in the past. Chrysler, famed for its engineering, fell behind and got some neat stuff from Daimler. That connection's gone. See Chrysler slip slowly beneath the waves...after the wrecking crew from Cerberus sells off the good bits and writes off the rest.
      • 8 Years Ago
      We can all be thankful Daimler Benz didn't do what its rival, BMW did with Rover in 2000 when it divested itself from Rover Group by breaking it up. BMW broke up that company before washing their hands of it by keeping the profitable Mini, and selling off Range Rover to Ford. The MG and Rover car line that was left was sold to a group of 'investors' for a paltry 10 pounds, and left to stagger on for 5 years until declaring Insolvency in May, 2005. Remember, Daimler could have easily kept the lucrative Dodge Ram commercial line and renamed them all Freightliner or Sterling, and sold off Jeep division! Just be thankful that did not happen, though we may have to see if Daimler will keep supplying the full size vans to the 'new' Chrysler.

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