1 May

Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 protection yesterday, clearing the way for a new round of financing and a deal with Fiat. Concessions from unions were already taken care of, so there is a lot of hope right now that Chrysler can emerge from a fast-track bankruptcy in a much stronger way with a widened and improved stable of vehicles. It’s hoped that the guy who turned Fiat around from GM-subsidized basket case to Chrysler suitor can do wonders here, too.

Chrysler and GM both suffer from a malaise that’s all too familiar to us Buffalonians – a distinct inability and refusal to adapt with the changing times. American automakers didn’t just fail because they were slow to recognize changes in buyers’ tastes, or because their strategy was short-sighted, or because they built cars that were, for the most part, far inferior to their Japanese or European counterparts.

They suffer from a mid-50s mindset.

Hopefully, these concessions, the influx of cash, and relief from debt will prompt GM and Chrysler to fundamentally restructure and re-tool. It’s hard to compete with a state-of-the-art Hyundai, BMW, or Toyota plant when you’re operating a 50s era plant under 50s era work rules.

All I know is that I want these cars in local dealer lots:

11 Responses to “Chrysler-Fiat”

  1. hank May 1, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    Anyone with half an eye could see that Bankruptcy was the only way for Chrysler.
    So why did the President condone the Chrysler Bailout money?—The taxpayers just got ass fucked for tens of billions of dollars.

    just as a hypothetical, say you loaned Chrysler 100,000 dollars.
    And they’ve paid off half the money. the GOVERNMENT steps in and tells you that of the 50K they still owe you, you’re gonna get 5000 bucks. Sign Here.

    Would you sign? Would anyone?

    But that didn’t stop the President from trash talking the private investors who refused to settle for peanuts.

    Between that and Gibby having to say “I’m here to explain to you what Vice President Biden MEANT TO SAY” yesterday, a full plate of Obama Change Fail.

  2. Terry May 1, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    Didn’t Obama himself drive a Chrysler 300? I thought with that imprimatur everybody would be out buying one…….

    BP–don’t you want to buy an Obama edition 300?

  3. Ward May 1, 2009 at 11:04 am #

    Chrysler experienced a brief transfusion of fresh technology when it was “merged with” (sold to) Daimler. (Think Crossfire.) Perhaps the same will come from the “merger” with Fiat.

    However, the current governmental intervention is remeniscent of the British Leyland fiasco of the 70s, when the government set up the merger of MG, Jag, Rover etc. in 1968 and pumped in cash, only to have things pretty much implode by 1975, followed by nationalization. (I think of the Top Gear boys being told to drive their Leyland products to the old BL factory, and arriving at an empty field.) I’m afraid that, in retrospect, the Bailout may be seen as the beginning of the end.

  4. frieda May 1, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    If Chrysler closes down, there is not that much left to sell. Very likely these lenders have insured their loans and are confident that their insurer will pay them when Chrysler goes into bankruptcy. And if the insurer is AIG , guess where that money , that these risk taking investors are anticipating, will come from? The Taxpayers. In addition it would be interesting to find out what percentage of investors paid less than 33% on the dollar.

  5. Paul May 1, 2009 at 1:59 pm #

    The Crossfire wasn’t the only Daimler technology. The 300 and Charger are built on the previous generation E class chasis, and the new yet to be released Jeep Cherokee will be based on the M class chasis.
    The problem with Chrysler is the Daimler collaboration was so hit and miss. For as good and cool the 300 was, the Sebring and Caliber were awful… and boring. In a sense Daimler should be ashamed of allowing cars such as the Caliber and Sebring to be produced under their watch.

  6. Colin May 1, 2009 at 2:06 pm #

    I’m not going to defend the way Chrysler (or Buffalo) does business, but I wonder why we automatically assume that a “mid-50s mindset” is inferior to a modern one. Things don’t necessarily get better or more humane, right?

  7. Ward May 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    I think the “mid-50s mindset” BP was referring to has to do with lack of nimble response to changing markets, as evidenced by the length of time required to design, produce and market new models. Also the fact that many of the new models are nowhere near the target of current demand (Paul, supra). Remember how godawfully dated the Caravan was before Chrysler put it out of its misery? Who out there votes for the K-Car as ever having been an answer to anything?

  8. Colin May 1, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    The Barenaked Ladies like the K-Car.

  9. Terry May 1, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    @ Colin—Funny, I was thinking the other day that my Dodge Aries station wagon (a K car essentially) was the best car I ever owned…thing just kept going with minimal repair

  10. Ward May 2, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    Here is a piece that cites Chrysler’s recent mistakes. Hopefully Fiat will be able to head off similar misses.

  11. BuffaloShark May 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    those are some ugly cars especially the rims on the red one and the interior shot

    the red one might not be too bad exterior wise if it got rid of those rims

Contribute To The Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: