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Autofield Blog

Chrysler Comes Back


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8. November 2010

"A year ago, Chrysler Group laid out clear and concise five year financial goals and after three consecutive quarters of better than forecasted results, we are not only living up to our commitments but we are also exceeding our 2010 financial objectives.

“Chrysler’s financial success is dependent upon the vehicles we design, build and sell. In a mere 16 months, the company is delivering 16 all-new or refreshed products led by the critically acclaimed all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and including the Fiat 500, signaling the return of the Fiat brand to the U.S. and Canada. We are committed to ensuring that every new vehicle this company launches has the same high quality and technological advances as the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Our 2010 accomplishments are just the beginning of building Chrysler Group into a vibrant and competitive auto maker.”

That’s Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler Group, on the fact that Chrysler has reported a $239-million operating profit in the 3rd quarter and that the company is adjusting its guidance upward to an anticipated full-year operating profit of $0.7-billion.

Chrysler Group LLC 2010 – 2014 Business Plan Meeting, Auburn Hills (Mich.), Nov. 4, 2009.A couple of points. Last year when Marchionne and the rest of his executive staff held a day-long session during which they laid out their plans going forward, there were more that a few skeptics, ourselves included. Seemed like a big challenge.

And it seems as though this is a challenge that they’re taking on without blinking.

Second, this may be led by Marchionne, but having had the opportunity to spend some time with Chrysler people from various functions within that organization last week, I came away convinced that these are people who are on a mission to succeed: They’ve managed to retain their positions, they’ve seen some of their colleagues go, and they know the consequences of not performing up to par.

They know there will be no more bailouts. And they’re not planning on bailing, but on rebuilding the company into something that doesn’t leak cash.

Designers. Engineers. Manufacturing professionals.* Marketeers. Managers. They’re all getting after it.

Here’s hoping they succeed beyond their already-bullish dreams.

*Interesting fact in the reported numbers: the World Class Manufacturing program they’ve initiated is ahead of schedule, and through September, a cost savings of >$0.2-billion.

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