Chrysler Idling All Manufacturing

18 Dec

Chrysler, which Daimler recently sold off to a private investment firm, is shuttering all its manufacturing plants starting Friday, and isn’t really clear on when, if ever, they might re-open. The press release says they will not re-open any sooner than January 19th.

This is astonishing, because although Dodge/Chrysler’s stable has been somewhat lackluster lately (especially the ultra-cheap Matchbox car interiors), this is the company that produces Jeeps, Dodge Charger/Challengers, and Chrysler 300s. The problem is, that’s all they’ve got. Nothing else is lighting the world on fire – especially the minivans.

Think about this. Volkswagen’s Routan minivan is a re-skinned Chrysler Town & Country. Even it pales in comparison to the state-of-the-art Honda Odyssey, but the Routan is miles ahead in terms of exterior but especially interior design & perceived quality than the Chrysler minivan that shares its DNA.


All I can say, it seems like it’s 1979 all over again – especially for the auto industry.

One Response to “Chrysler Idling All Manufacturing”

  1. hank December 18, 2008 at 9:27 am #

    Since there’s not a swingin’ dick in WNY that watches Fox News, last night on Special Report with Brit Hume, the reporter covering this story made another wild statement.

    Chrysler Finance may stop it’s practice of extending credit to dealers to stock its lots and showrooms. This practice has been the norm since the 1920’s and is called “Floor Plan”. You order the cars with the options you want, and they are delivered. The dealer pays interest on the car every day it sits on the lot until it is sold.

    In Metro Charlotte there are literally over 100 Auto Dealers, selling everything from Smart Cars to Mercedes Benz. Of all those dealers, only one—and one of the oldest, purchases all its cars in cash.

    Harrelson Ford in Charlotte owns every car on it’s lot. That’s why in 2003 at this dealer you could buy a brand new 1999 Taurus with full factory warranty and 2 miles on the clock. That one just didn’t sell and it sat on the back of the lot. Lou Harrelson wanted it sold, but since he wasn’t paying interest on it, he waited until he got the price he wanted.

    There are VERY few dealers of any marque in this country that has the cash to purchase their inventory outright. If Chrysler follows through on this, put a fork in their ass—they’re done.

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