- Nov 15th 2009 at 8:46AM
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche dishes out advice for Chrysler
It's said that certain cultures don't handle the concept of irony well. You know, irony – where the intended answer is the opposite of the actual answer. Case in point: Back when cab forward cars were all the rage and the once mighty Plymouth brand was put out to pasture, Chrysler looked as if it had a fighting chance at remaining solidly within the Big 3. The Dodge Ram was a gauntlet thrown, the V10 Viper had sports car fans atwitter and the Dodge Intrepid really was a smart, good looking car.
Chrysler, meet Daimler, your new "equal." And by equal we mean Daimler gets the all the profits and you get cast off, last-generation Mercedes platforms on which to underpin your new cars. In the case of the 300C/Charger/Magnum, this particular strategy worked, for a couple of years at least. In the case of the Crossfire, not even a little bit. And then under Daimler's watch – and specifically under the eyes of Dieter Zetsche, a.k.a. Dr. Z – Chrysler was piledriven through the mat. Have you driven a Dodge Journey lately?
Here's the irony – Dr. Z is handing out unsolicited advice to Fiat's Sergio Marchionne vis-a-vis Chrysler – and we just can't help but laugh. Zetsche claims, "I continue to be emotional about this company and am crossing my fingers for the very best future." And while we're 51% sure he's being sincere, where was that emotion when he green lit the Jeep Compass? Or the Chrysler Sebring? Or the Dodge Caliber? All cars that led directly to the bankruptcy of Chrysler. We could go on, but you get the idea. Our advice to Sergio? Do the opposite of whatever Zetsche is telling you.
[Source: USA Today | Source photo by TORSTEN SILZ/AFP/Getty Images]