• Jan 24th 2009 at 10:02AM
  • 38
Chrysler chieftan Bob Nardelli sent a letter to "all employees, dealers, suppliers and other stakeholders" to explain what's happening at the smallest of the Detroit trio. Everything done now falls under one of three umbrellas: enhancing the core, which is improving products, quality, and dealer and customer relations; extending the business with new products or by growing existing products into new areas; and expanding the market with global alliances to fill gaps in the product portfolio.

At the bottom line, Chrysler has lowered its fixed costs by more than $3.4 billion, and has also saved money by achieving the lowest warranty claim rate in the company's history over the past 12 months. Some of that savings - and the bridge loan - are being poured into product renewals: Chrysler plans 24 new vehicle launches from now to 2011, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger and Durango, and the Chrysler 300.

The push into technologies and segments will commence in part with Chrysler's ENVI electric vehicle program, the new Phoenix V6 engine, and the potential tie-up with Fiat. The Pentastar aims to have one electric car in production by 2010, four in production by 2013.

The Fiat tie-up would give the Italian company a 35% stake in Chrysler in return for Chrysler getting access to Fiat's small car platforms. The deal is still pending some serious due diligence, but no money would change hands, and Nardelli reassures his readers that none of the taxpayer money would go to Fiat. Nardelli also mentions that the union would also give Chrysler a jedi tutor in the area of restructuring, since Fiat only recently turned itself around. Follow the link for the rest of Nardelli's words.

[Source: The Scoop]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Improve 300C, still keep it cool, improve materials, add few MPGs, lots of chrome, standard big wheels, lots of free cabin tech.

      Charger, same thing, improve materials, maybe use some weight saving technology.

      Bring Fiat 500 to USA and sell it for 16K starting and up to 25K for more powerful versions.

      Good luck.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Having already had a chance to see the new 300, Charger and Grand Cherokee, I am confidant that they are a sure sign that Chrysler is moving their vehicles in the right direction. Not only are the outsides gorgeous, these three vehicles have the nicest interiors Chrysler has ever produced, even including the new Ram. Once Chrysler gets its small vehicle lineup figured out, things could really start to look up for the Pentastar.

        For now all I can say to those nay-sayers out there is to wait and see...
        • 6 Years Ago
        The 300 and the charger could immediately benefit from a fiat sourced diesel engine....actually, so could the minivans and SUVs.

        Why not? VW is the only other company to have diesel in almost every vehicle.

        I'm with the rest though on the 500 and random Alfa's....bring em...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I thought the Durango was dead.

      I would like to see the Chrysler Division offer the 300C, a facelifted/improved version of the Town & Country, and a production version of the 200C under their own name. I would like to see them offer the following Fiat products as "Fiat By Chrysler" products to fill in the lower portions of their product portfolio: the 500 city car, the Grande Punto subcompact 3-door/5-door, the Bravo compact 5-door, and the Linea compact sedan. Using the "Fiat" name on these products might attract curious buyers to Chrysler showrooms that might not otherwise consider Chrysler products. If Chrysler keeps it partnership with Nissan going, a rebadged version of the Bluebird Sylphy might make a nice compact sedan to badge under the "Chrysler Cirrus" name. All that needs to be done to the car to transform it into a Chrysler is replace the grille and badges on the exterior and add leather and some brightwork to the interior. I don't think the Fiat products will appeal to everyone, so it would be a good idea for Chrysler to have their own compact sedan to appeal to those people. I think a rebadged version of the Bluebird Sylphy would be a fast and relatively cost effective way to get this type of product into Chrysler showrooms.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Bravo is in reality NOT that small. The only way it's really smaller than the god-awful Sebring is that it doesn't have a useless 2-foot trunk tacked onto its ass. As far as the passenger compartment, wheelbase, etc. it's similarly sized to the Sebring, but its overall length is a little shorter because it's a hatchback instead of a pretend-sedan.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The current Bravo II is 170.7 inches long on a 102.3 inch wheelbase. I don't know what the interior volume is (which is how the U.S. government classifies vehicles by size), but I would safely say that its exterior dimensions are definitely compact class size. The current Sebring is 190.6 inches long on a 108.9 inch wheelbase and is classified as a midsize sedan in the U.S. Even if the car loses its 3-box sedan configuration in favor of a hatchback bodystyle, I don't think the exterior length measurement would shrink by almost 20 inches.
      • 6 Years Ago

      They need to replace the SebringAvenger. Kill off the Nitro and Aspen. Rename the next Liberty back to Cherokee. They could also build a new PT Cruiser on a Fiat platform.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Okay, I have been banging at the gates of Hades trying to figure out what is going on at Cerberus. Those three headed dogs are a tough lot.

      Cerberus wants to merge Chrysler Financial with GMAC, as a bank preferably, so they can tap into the federal money trough. Irregardless, Big Brother allowed the two would-be-banks most of the loot they asked for. Problem solved.

      Cerberus wants to ditch Chrysler big time and values it as "worthless". Not only that, but Daimler (the former owner) who still has 20% of the company is still looking for an exit strategy.

      First, Cerberus tried to off-load Chrysler onto GM in return for the other half of GMAC (which is really all they wanted in the first place.) Unfortunate timing and circumstances brought the negotiations to an abrupt close early.

      Then Cerberus tried to dump Chrysler on innumerable other entities (Hyundai = "No Sale"; Chinese manufacturers = "Can't cut the deal"; Tata = "Too busy trying to fix its sickly British cousins", Mahindra = "Only wants Jeep", Renault-Nissan = "Only interested in alliances at this time") So, the potential buyer list dwindles down to almost nothing.

      Finally, Cerberus gets a bite on the old rusty hook. Fiat says, "Let's talk." The deal looks simple if you read the newspaper version, but it's really quite unbelievable.

      The whole plan is contingent on Chrysler securing more free bailout loot. Free money has always been an attractive bling to the mob. Who wouldn't ante up $12 million for a $3 billion payday?

      If everything goes according to plan, Cerberus will relinquish 35% of its investment in Chrysler to Fiat. That gives Cerberus 45%, Fiat 35%, and Daimler 20% of the company. Chrysler would be defacto a foreign corporation again. "Merger of Equals, Part 2". The problem is that no one would actually have full control of the company. Not very well thought out here, although it does appear that Fiat is just circling like a vulture ready to pounce on Chrysler's corpse. Chrysler's days are indeed numbered.

      What really bothers me is that Cerberus is just "giving up" 35% of Chrysler!!! For what??? What does Cerberus get in return? Chrysler (uh-huh) gets new small car platforms from Fiat who is looking to expand their business in America. Chrysler's assets are damned nice but under-utilized.

      Sure, Fiat is saying that platform sharing, etc is what this alliance is all about...until they get their grubby little paws on the money and probably Chrysler's valuable assets. But in reality it's all about Fiat re-entering the US market and dumping the Chrysler-Dodge portfolio altogether. Jeep will probably survive the onslaught. Alfa will go to Ferrari and Maserati dealers.

      Okay, so, somebody please tell me what Cerberus is going to get out of this deal (other than just "out of this deal"). Something just ain't right about this deal. I smell a rat!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well Jamie, they "get out of the deal". I know that's not the answer you want to hear but Cerberus can't make money off of Chrysler right now. If the gas prices had not spiked and the credit markets froze it would not have been so bad and maybe they would see light at the end of the tunnel. But right now Chrysler doesn't have the resources to design the cars it needs to get out of this. Back in 1998 they could have weathered something like this with their cash fund (not to mention all their vehicles, cars as well as trucks were well received). I don't know about Chrysler Fianancial. I'm sure Cerberus would like to keep it but how do they do that and sell the rest of their stake? If they keep the 45% and FIAT gets Dumblers 20% then that would make sense. We'll just have to wait till this pans out.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If things go well, there may be huge cost savings for both. For Fiat / Alfa / Lancia would mean access to a high performance V6 engine Phoenix at an attractive price (4.5 million units per year in both groups mean really mass production).
      Moreover Alfa / Lancia cost problems for the more expensive platforms (Alfa 159/Lancia Thesis) would be solved. This means access to more platforms without the need for R & D or to pay millions to Cadillac (CTS) or Jaguar.
      Also becomes the first real possibility for an Alpha SUV (Alfa Kamal prototype which was cancelled due to costs). With Jeep platforms dream may come reality.
      Round business. A combination of large platforms (American-style) and big engines (American-style -although new Phoenix V6 with a turbo in Europe would be such a success!-) with the efficiency of the small (but powerful) engines in Europe and its smaller platforms.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "If things go well, there may be huge cost savings for both. For Fiat / Alfa / Lancia would mean access to a high performance V6 engine Phoenix at an attractive price (4.5 million units per year in both groups mean really mass production)."

        Fiat Group has own V6 project going on.. ..
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hopefuly they re-design the Dakota, They need to make it lighter and put in a updated engine then the old worn out 3.7 and 4.7, and not the 3.5. It does not get any better gas mileage in the Nitro then the Dakota with the 3.7. If they make it like 500 -750 pounds lighter and make it so it does not pull 7,800 lbs(not sure who pulls that much in a mid-size truck), make it to pull 3,500-4,000 lbs. Maybe put in a 3.0 DTS engine like Chevy and Ford are bringing out this year. I would buy the first on out.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's good to hear some good news from Chrysler for a change. Until now, every news story about them seems like they just were not trying.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Some of those 24 new vehicle launches better be small cars. And no, I don't count the Caliber as small.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The only reasons the 300 and Charger were successful were because they were LARGE AND SPACIOUS and looked good/menacing.

        I own a 300.

        If Cadillac was still producing large interior cars - rather than chasing Nurbergring German specifications, Chrysler wouldn't stand a chance at all.
        • 6 Years Ago
        from the post ...

        "The Fiat tie-up would give the Italian company a 35% stake in Chrysler in return for Chrylser getting access to Fiat's small car platforms."

        Yes, it does say Chrylser.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What really bothers me in all this is that they have ZERO new product launches coming within 12 months. That is a ridiculously long time for a full line manufacturer to go without releasing a single new product. Especially when their current lineup is as horrible as Chrysler's. Insane.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The current Delta based on the Bravo II platform is 178 inches long on a 106.3 inch wheelbase.
      Bravo platform utilize petrol 4L engine from 1.4 (78hp) to 1.8 turbo (200hp) and diesel engine 4L from 1.6 (105hp) to 1.9 biturbo (190hp) or 2.0 (170hp).
      There are rumors that the next stept of this platform (for the new Alfa 159 in 2010) well be also AWD with different multilink rear suspension, new engines (240hp petrol and 220hp diesel) and double cloutch trasmission.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Of course they have no warranty claims. They aren't selling any cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Big will,

        Chrysler sold 2 million vehicles worldwide in 2008 and 1,450,000+ in the USA. And yes they did have the lowest number of recalls of the 6 biggest automakers in the USA.
      • 6 Years Ago
      We are going to teach you how to build good car .
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm glad Chrysler is committed to fixing up its best current products, but what about its atrocious current products? I'd love to see the 200 become the next Sebring, and really, when it comes to replacing the Caliber, anything will do.
    • Load More Comments