Behind the scenes at a Cerberus-owned Chrysler

With Cerberus Capital Management just about to wrap up its purchase of Chrysler Group, it's interesting to see what the private-equity firm has in store for the No. 3 U.S. automaker. This Detroit News article shows very clearly that Cerberus isn't about to sit back and wait for results. In fact, Cerberus consultant/Chrysler head Wolfgang Bernhard is already taking the bull by the horns and doing what he does best, pushing edgy design and controlling costs. A good example was the final review for the Chrysler Imperial. He walked into the room and simply stated, "That car will never see the light of day." And that was that. Bernhard knows what he likes and doesn't like, and he'll make decisions like that on the spot.

Many think it was a good decision, but it's important for Chrysler to decide in what direction it wants to go. Edgy is good, but only if it fits into a cohesive corporate image. The Imperial didn't, and apparently at least one other current product doesn't seem to fit any longer either. It is believed that the PT Cruiser will be dropped at the end of its product cycle. Instead of offering such nice-but-niche vehicles, the company will instead focus on their core products, like the 300 and Ram replacements.

It sometimes seems obvious to us enthusiasts, but the main focus should be on vehicles that people actually want to buy. That can get lost in the shuffle when a company is too focused on the enormous costs involved in developing new models and new platforms. So Cerberus will help Chrysler get a grip on the basics - purchasing, manufacturing, product development and sales and marketing. From there they can try to add some zip back into the lineup and recapture the public's attention with fun and desirable product.

Click the Read link to learn more about the ways Cerberus plans to get Chrysler back on track, including expansion into other world markets. It's a good read.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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