Chrysler turnaround depends on remaking car brands, turning heads

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Chrysler sold more than 118,000 Sebring sedans in 2001. Eight years later, the automaker barely sold 27,000 as its bankruptcy filing sent customers fleeing to the car's newer, better competitors.
Chrysler now has a turnaround plan that promises improved quality and a stream of new models. But it won't work unless Chrysler can get cars like the Sebring back on people's shopping lists. To do that, Chrysler is going back to the basics: Reinventing its car brands - Chrysler as a luxury line, Dodge as a quirky value brand - and reintroducing them with head-turning ads.
It's a tall order, but Chrysler insists it can be done.
"We've had troubles. Yeah. We saw death. But the whole world needs to realize we're serious about this plan," Dodge brand chief Ralph Gilles told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "We're no dummies. We know what a good car is and what a good car isn't."

Chrysler Concept Car:

Chrysler's truck brands, Jeep and Ram, have strong identities in buyers' minds. But its car brands are mushy, said Allen Adamson of the San Francisco-based branding firm Landor Associates. One of Chrysler's first actions under Fiat SpA, which took control of the automaker last year, was to split Ram truck from Dodge so Dodge could stand alone.
"What they need to do is quickly define what they want to stand for and then build on it," Adamson said.
Dodge will try to make a big splash with an ad during the Super Bowl next month. Chrysler Group LLC, which has yet to pay back $15.5 billion it borrowed from the federal government, is taking some heat for paying an estimated $5 million to air the ad. But the company says it's the best forum to explain Dodge's transformation.

posted by  nisarnadaf

Actually, Chrysler's future is far more dependent upon the Imperial Federal Government getting f*ck out of their way (along with all the other automakers, especially Government Motors) and letting them make cars.

If people don't think a vehicle is safe enough, fuel efficient enough, or environmentally friendly enough, they simply won't buy it and the manufacturer can either sink or swim. Simple. And it doesn't require a government mandate.

The government has never successfully operated a business of any kind unless you think providing poor service and losing money is successful. Just look at the USPS and Amtrak for examples.

posted by  vwhobo

I agree, for once.

It's much the same ovber here, although people will lead you to believe that the country was such a wonderful place when much of it was nationalised, I disagree. Look how much the railways have advanced! The staff are more customer focused, the trains are (reletively) clean, the trains are (mostly) on time and staff are (in some cases and mainly ones not in a Union) not at all militant.

posted by  Cliffy

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