Chrysler hoping to become the BMW or Mercedes

Interesting | December 24th, 2008 by 5

I was reading an article yesterday on AutoSavant.com about Chrysler’s CEO hinting in an interview with Automotive News that Chrysler could become the next BMW …

I was reading an article yesterday on AutoSavant.com about Chrysler’s CEO hinting in an interview with Automotive News that Chrysler could become the next BMW or Mercedes.

Mr. Jim Press stated: “If there’s one company in America that can build high-craftsmanship, innovative vehicles, it’s Chrysler.” Also Mr. Press said that in the event of Chrysler coming out successfully from this financial crisis, they will operate as a small boutique manufacturer producing high-performance, high-quality cars much like German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz do currently.

Apparently, Jim Press, co-president of Chrysler LLC, stated in an interview last week that should Chrysler survive, it would survive as a small boutique manufacturer producing high-performance, high-quality cars much like German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz do currently.

Now, he’s on a roll, maybe due to the holiday season, and he says that the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup will be a car that even Mercedes-Benz would build it…if they were in the truck business. No offense to Dodge Ram fans, but I don’t see it as a car that any BMW or Mercedes executive would drool over it.

I won’t get into the other details of his interview, but I do want to make sure that you know some facts before you draw your conclusion: Chrysler is ranked as one of the worse car manufacturers when it comes to quality work and reliability and for the past years, they haven’t done much in the R&D department either. Their car design and innovation has stalled, but it is worth mentioning the hybrid system that was built together with BMW, GM and Daimler.

So, in my opinion, Chrysler needs a major restructuring and new vision in order to be even considered in the same class as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It takes years to build a new brand, to earn the customer trust and respect, so…these are the perfect times for them to rethink their strategy.

Interesting article on AutoSavant and I encourage you to read their full analysis, but as always, feel free to share your opinion with us.

Tags:
  • Andys120

    Today’s Corvette C6 is proof that a World Class peformance car can be built in the USA that is price-competitive with the best Europe and Asia have to offer.

    I believe that if the industry is to survive it will move from mass market vehicles to producing niche vehicles like the C6, Wrangler and the Hummer
    and leave the mass market to the cutthroat competition from Europe and Asia. This is much the story of the British Auto industry following the nationalization of British Leyland in the 1970s.

    That said I doubt that Chrysler possesses the engineering talent and imagination to pull that off but don’t be surprised if we think of the remnants of Ford and GM in the same way we now think of Lotus, Jaguar, Land Rover and perhaps (if they did everything right) BMW and Mini.

  • Doug

    Haha… the Mercedes of hubris, maybe.

    Brendan didn’t quote that much, these statements really have to be out of context. There’s been ‘talk’ that in addition to reduction of models and capacity, there needs to be some mergers. His statements sound like he’s trying to position chrysler for this battle for survival, not for the market of the next decade.

  • Artmic

    Hmmm, It would be something to see, Chrysler, selling quality products, good looking products, fast products, fuel efficient products, things that are sexy, not SUV or big ass truck inspired crap…

  • stars9texashockey

    Desperate, random, haphazard comments from a company that is having dirt thrown on its coffin as we speak. Cerberus agree to fund this new direction Jim?

  • Brookside

    I think these are the last delusional mutterings from a member of the crew of a ship going down.

    Chrysler’s problems are many…besides the obvious one- teetering on the edge of bankruptcy… their talent pool (eg.- they lost Freeman Thomas who designed the Audi TT and the Chrysler 300 concept to go over to working under JMays at Ford), the lack of a clear profitable strategy, the shoddy workmanship, the ruinous labor contracts…it is systemic and only a clean slate- including mass firings at the top, can put their situation right.

    I wouldn’t bet on their success.

BMWBLOG

NEWSLETTER