New York 2008: Nardelli promises aspirational vehicles from Chrysler

We are just back from the kickoff keynote speech for the 2008 New York Auto Show and have to wonder where in the Big Apple we can score some of what Bob Nardelli is smoking. While his words sounded somewhat encouraging, they were about three months old for the most part and didn't sound terribly convincing to most ears. He outlined Chrysler's 4-point plan for the future, telling the assembled breakfast-seekers that enhancing the core, extending business, expanding the market, and executing flawlessly are the keys to Chrysler's future. OK, sure. That could apply to just about any enterprise. Using the company's global assets to reduce redundancies is obviously going to help, cutting non-profitable models and reducing the number of options and packages makes a lot of sense, too. His main focus was on product, pointing out that designing and building "aspirational" products was vital to getting people back into the Chrysler fold. We can understand how that leads to something like the Challenger, but the Journey doesn't seem like it meets that criteria as well. Maybe the briefly mentioned Grand Voyager and a Cherokee with a "special" roof will surprise us later today. We shouldn't be too hard on Nardelli and Chrysler, as the company is working on turning itself round. Unfortunately, this company's got a large turning radius.

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