Posted by: David Kiley on September 12, 2008
Chrysler vice chairman Jim Press predicted Chrysler’s situation would stabilize in 2010, when it will introduce seven vehicles. Gone, he said, will be the overlapping nameplates Chrysler now develops for its three brands.
Press cited the example of Chrysler’s twin minivans, the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. In the future, the two products could be separated in the marketplace. One minivan might be built as a vehicle for younger consumers, while the other could retain traditional minivan attributes. He did not say which vehicle Chrysler might eliminate.
Chrysler is also trying to figure out what to do about its mid-sized sedans, Sebring and Avenger. Don’t blame Press for these cars, as he wasn’t there when they were developed.
You could blame vice chairman Tom Lasorda, who was COO and then CEO when they were being developed. But my vote would be to blame the Germans who cut the heck out of the budget, especially 40% of the budget on interiors. How bad are they?
J.D. Power only releases the top three vehicles in each category of its Initial Quality Study, which measures complaints in the first 90 days of ownership. Neither JDP, nor Chrysler released the cars’ scores. But one auto manufacturer talking about its own quality, flashed a ranking of mid-sized sedans on in its powerpoint presentation.
Of all mid-sized sedans—-Camry, Accord, Fusion, Mazda6, Hyundai Sonata, Subaru Legacy, Mitsubishi Galant, Chevy Malibu, etc…..
Avenger and Sebring reported 171 and 183 problems per 100 cars respectively. That compares with say the 14th ranked car, Mazda6, which scored 128. The Legacy was the car ranked behind the Chrysler’s at 131. That means the Chryslers lag the next best mid-sized cars by over 40 points!!!!!! Ouch. Thanks Dieter.