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    Chrysler CEO Says 2012 will be "another critical year"


    William Maley

    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

    January 3, 2011

    2011 saw Chrysler rise up and build momentum and profits with models like the new Chrysler 300 and revised Jeep Wrangler.

    However, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is being cautious. In an email obtained by The Detroit News, Marchionne says 2012 will be another pivotal year.

    "Over the past 12 months, we successfully changed the conversation from Chrysler's survival to products and service that consumers expect and want from a great American automaker. What's past is prologue. The stage is set for another critical year in our drive to transform Chrysler."

    Marchionne said in the email that the progress Chrysler made in the past year proved the company is still viable.

    "Just two years ago, during the (Detroit auto show), many journalists wrote stories predicting our imminent demise. They underestimated the energy, the capabilities and the composure under crisis that sustain the people who comprise the soul of Chrysler. Now, the tone of coverage has shifted, focusing on our comeback story and on what matters most, our products. We didn't get caught up in the press clippings before, and we can't afford to bask in them now. We understand that there is a great deal of work ahead of us. Our effort to create a viable global car company is still a work in progress, with most of the paint still on the palette."

    Foremost in the Chrysler product introductions for 2012 will be the new Dodge Dart, which will play an important role in Chrysler's rebuilding efforts and give them a player in the small car class.

    But, Marchionne cautioned employees that serious challenges lie ahead in 2012.

    "As we begin 2012, uncertain global economic forces pose challenges to the entire industrial sector. And in a rapidly changing world, this year will inevitably bring other risks and opportunities not yet foreseeable. Let's remain open and flexible enough to continually rethink our response, while staying true to our values — a commitment to meritocracy and excellence, the search for and cherishing of change and most importantly, the clear acknowledgment that we are accountable for our choices."

    "I am proud to be with you in the reconstruction of a great Chrysler," Marchionne said. "You have shown tremendous courage in taking responsibility for the fate of Chrysler in your own hands. Your sense of purpose and passion has restored pride and credibility in our company. You are the authors of a remarkable story in 2011, and I look forward to continuing our journey and writing an exciting new chapter in 2012."

    Source: The Detroit News

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    Good speech, Sergio! Hopefully the Dart will hit the bull's eye, and the upcoming Jeep Liberty and Patriot replacements will not ruin the brand.

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    Marchionne is the kind of CEO every automaker should have. Considering the dire position Chrylser was in just a mere 3 years ago, their turnaround has been nothing short of a miracle. While I'm not entirely sold yet on what the future brings once more Fiat platforms and spread over to Chrysler, but considering what the Dart is shaping up to be, I can only imagine further improvements as time goes on. And not to take anything away from everyone else making things happen at Chrysler, because it's clear they're all striving to leave the last decade and the near death sentence ( Daimler ) behind for good.

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