Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep may get own identities - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep may get own identities

Saw the following in the paper tonight:

Report: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep may get own identities
November 16, 2007

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Chrysler LLC is considering wide-ranging branding changes that would streamline its product offerings and eliminate as many as 1,000 dealers, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

A plan currently under discussion calls for Chrysler dealers to sell all of the automaker’s passenger cars under the Chrysler name. Dodge dealers would sell only pickup and commercial trucks, and Jeep dealers would sell only Jeep and sport-utility vehicles, three dealers familiar with the discussions told the Journal for its online edition.

One of the dealers said the proposal was just one of several being considered, and that the company hoped to have a decision in place by the end of the year, the Journal reported. The dealers asked not to be identified because the plan has not been released publicly.

The plan would allow Chrysler, which seeks to return to profitability by 2009, to drop some of its overlapping products. That in turn would eliminate underperforming dealerships carrying excess inventory and using incentives that cut into profitability.
Messages were left after hours Friday with Chrysler spokesmen.

Chrysler Chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli said in September that he planned to keep the automaker’s three brands but could drop some products as he leads the company through a restructuring. He wouldn’t say which vehicles might go.

“I think we have to right-size the revenue, and that means we have to make intelligent decisions about the products and the brands,” Nardelli said. “We can’t just have emotional attachments about some of the products and brands that are out there.”

Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP bought an 80.1 percent stake in Chrysler from its former corporate partner, Daimler AG, in August.





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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 05:24 AM
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hmmm, sounds like they are considering a permanent downsizing. john
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 09:55 AM
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So lemme get this straight, by this plan if I wanted to by a Dodge Charger, I'd go to the Chrysler dealership. If I wanted to buy a Dodge Durango or Chrysler Aspen, I'd go to the Jeep dealership.

This may be their plan, but it's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

My dealer is a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealer. They eliminate that from this one horse town and that leaves the Chevy and Ford dealers. I'm not driving to a different town for purchase or for service.... Sounds to me like the continuation of the Nardelli - Chrysler Suicide Mission.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 12:31 PM
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Sounds like there would be no Dodge Charger, it would be called a Chrysler Charger and the Durango and Aspen would be Jeep Durango and Jeep Aspen if they were still around after the changes. Obviously not an idea from a car guy.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 12:51 PM
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As the article said, its one of several ideas they're floating right now to return Chrysler to profitability. They do have several overlapping models (Aspen/Durango, Sebring/Avenger/Nitro/Compass) that aren't selling well for many reasons, mainly due to poor customer demand, bad introduction timing and bloated inventory. They do need to make some harsh and cutting decisions, just like Ford and GM did in the '80s and '90s. They've already started this process, but now they're talking deeper cuts, and those are starting to make the news.

Culling the dealer ranks would help them a lot. However, I would hope that in the process, they would send the remaining dealers through extensive customer service training at all levels (sales, service and management) and allow for the overhaul or rebuilding of older dealer facilities into a standardized model. That way they could achieve the level of service that today's customers demand. Had this been done during the DCX days it would have gone a long way toward improving the company's image and would have helped bolster sales, thus possibly preventing the drastic moves being proposed now and possibly making the "merger" work as intended.

I'd much rather see a smaller, leaner, more nimble company that offers products customers want than one that doesn't listen and keeps making unprofitable vehicles that dealers can't sell and people won't buy. I think the Chrysler is on the verge of doing this; we just have to wait and see what Nardelli and board decide. We also have to send them logical and rational ideas for what we want to see come out of the new Chrysler.

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 01:08 PM
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I definitely agree with retraining the dealers but instead I think they've opted to reduce the number of dealers so it doesn't matter how you treat your customers, you're the only one around. As far as vehicle duplication goes, GM and Ford still do it. Pretty much any factory building multiple vehicles are sharing platforms. Look at the 300C, Charger, Magnum and soon to be Challenger, all based on the same platform. It just depends on the styling. There's no reason you can't have a Caliber, Compass and Patriot, if they are styled right they would all sell. Also, Jeep having a Compass, Patriot, Liberty, Grand Cherokee, Commander and Wrangler is the perfect way to cover the SUV/AWD market provided they're good looking quality vehicles. In the old days Jeep had quite a few different segments covered. Just because you don't like one of them doesn't mean they shouldn't build it. Chrysler has a long long way to go especially in vehicle placement and marketing.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 01:15 PM
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I do not understand how having dealerships affects Chryslers profitability. There is no Chrysler owned dealership, they're all individually owned and pay money to Chrysler, Chrysler does not pay the dealerships. It's a dumb plan.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCommander
I do not understand how having dealerships affects Chryslers profitability. There is no Chrysler owned dealership, they're all individually owned and pay money to Chrysler, Chrysler does not pay the dealerships. It's a dumb plan.
The only benefit for Chrysler is reduced inventory and rebates to move the inventory. The benefit is for the dealers themselves, only the big survive.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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I think we are reading more into this than the article implied... I do not think they are intending to reduce any dealerships, I think they are just stating that their cars will be sold as Chrysler, Trucks as Dodge and Jeeps as Jeeps.

It soulds more like a renaming of products rather than an elimination of dealerships. IMHO





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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a49erFootballFan

The plan would allow Chrysler, which seeks to return to profitability by 2009, to drop some of its overlapping products. That in turn would eliminate underperforming dealerships carrying excess inventory and using incentives that cut into profitability.
Messages were left after hours Friday with Chrysler spokesmen.

Sounds like it here.
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