Chrysler's Project Genesis: Trim models, consolidate dealers

Chrysler's previous consolidation strategy, dubbed "Project Alpha," was implemented in 2004 to trim and combine dealers. All told, Chrysler was able to cut its dealer network down from 4,000 to 3,600. Not nearly enough to get outlets on par with demand. So Chrysler's co-pres, Jim Press, announced today that Project Alpha is out and Project Genesis is on the way in.
According to Automotive News, as you read this, business teams are fanning out across the U.S. to negotiate with dealerships to either buy other outlets or sell their own in an effort to pair down Chrysler's bloated sales network. The plan is to get all three of the automaker's brands – Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep – under one roof, with the possibility of creating satellite dealerships and service-only facilities in outlying areas.

But if all of Chrysler's wares are in plain sight of the public, won't that confuse consumers with all the product overlap between brands? Yes. And that's why Chrysler is looking to nix models that are badge-engineered duplicates of other vehicles offered by the automaker. So in addition to killing off the PT Cruiser, Pacifica, Crossfire and Magnum, more models are about to be cut out of the line up. We'd mention a few suggestions here, but we're sure you can come up with some of your own.

However, it's not all about the cuts. Press went on to say that Chrysler would develop new models to compete in segments that the automaker previously hasn't pursued and that even though sales outlets are going to be consolidated, Chrysler doesn't have the ability to hand out massive checks to dealerships on the chopping block.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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