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Can Chrysler keep its mojo?

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LAS VEGAS -- Like a blinking neon sign, Chrysler Group has had moments when it was on, then off and then on again.

This time around, as competition in the U.S. market reaches cutthroat levels and threatens to engulf crosstown rivals General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., the American division of DaimlerChrysler AG is determined to accelerate past its boom-and-bust history.

But Chrysler will have to keep its momentum without the day-to-day presence of Dieter Zetsche, the man who led its latest turnaround. Zetsche, the former Chrysler CEO and current Mercedes chief, takes over as CEO of Stuttgart, Germany-based DaimlerChrysler on Jan. 1.

Zetsche came to Auburn Hills in November 2000 and did what some thought impossible: He gave Chrysler discipline without stamping out its flair and creativity. This week in Las Vegas, Zetsche said goodbye to several thousand Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers and offered a sneak peak at future cars and trucks that he believes can sustain Chrysler's comeback.

"While we're not where we need to be, I'm proud of the fact that we've come a long way," he told the dealers Wednesday at Mandalay Bay hotel and casino.

After ticking off the achievements made during his five-year run as Chrysler's chief executive, Zetsche told the dealers he is confident new Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda will pick up where he left off.

Now LaSorda, steeped in the manufacturing side of the business, has to make sure the revival doesn't stall.

Facing a tough and unforgiving environment in its home market, Chrysler will have to thrive by doing "more with less," building the images of its brands and keep the product-development machine cranking out hit vehicles.

"We believe product is the answer. Productivity and quality is really the torch that we want to carry into 2007," LaSorda said.

Chrysler executives said they are concerned that the company is being lumped in with GM and Ford as one troubled group. "I want to stop this tainted picture," Zetsche said. "Customers want to be associated with winners, not losers. It is hurting us."

Chrysler is starting to overcome a reputation for spotty quality that has hurt resale values, but it still has room to improve.

"Look at where Toyota is, that's where we want to be," said Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines.

Jon Myers, a Dodge dealer in Naples, Fla., said Chrysler will have to "flawlessly execute launches next year."

The new five-seat Dodge Caliber is among a record 10 products Chrysler will launch in 2006.

"They need to come to the market with the right price and a real out-of-the-box marketing" campaign, he said. "That's what I think is key."

Unlike bigger Detroit competitors GM and Ford, Chrysler has gained U.S. market share in the past two years and managed to make money in North America.

"It's a significant change," said Jesse Toprak, an analyst with Edmunds.com, an online shopping guide. "It's not earth-shattering, but considering what's happening with GM and Ford, (Chrysler's) going in the right direction."

Chrysler has enjoyed more hits this year than its American counterparts, with products like the popular Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. Those, the Dodge Magnum and Jeep Commander are selling with minimal discounts, Toprak said.

Chrysler's image is also hitting a positive note in the East, West and southern Florida markets.

"Those are critical markets that not only produce significant volume in sales but also are trend-setting markets," he said.


http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0.../C01-386265.htm
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Ha. A neon sign. What a good analogy. Seriously. Where are the good midsizers, DCX?
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Ha. A neon sign. What a good analogy. Seriously.

Where are the good midsizers, DCX?

[post="45133"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Just look to 2006 NAIAS. They will be there. The dealerships just got a preview a couple days ago. Chrysler Sebring sedan and retractable hardtop convertible, and a Dodge Avenger sedan.
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Where are the good midsizers, DCX?

[post="45133"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Ditto. They will truly be the gauge of how far Chrylser has come. Will they be content to leave the Cloud cars in their "rental car" funk, or will they invest some serious coin and make them world class?

The minivans are also key, but Chrysler has always dominated that segment. The new ones will be class leading, as they pretty much always have been.
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spy shots of the new sebring were HORRENDOUS they'd be better off rebadging galants...oooops they got rid of them Edited by regfootball
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Did someone say MOJO?

Posted Image





Oh Behave!

Posted Image
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if DCX is pinning their hopes on that seriously ugly Stratus replacement......WOA God help us, each one of us
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Posted Image

Unless you're some kind of master psychic......I don't see how you know what is under all of this camouflage, other than the overall shape.....which would hardly determine if something was going to be "HORRENDOUS".

I do know that it will have at least 250 HP, and even more in it's top model line.....which I'm guessing could reach 280 HP.
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Hmmm... The new Sebring looks like the Airflite concept of a few years back. Which equals "pretty cool." As for Chrysler Corp. loosing their moah-joah, I'd doubt it. The German leadership in charge I would beleve is pretty tight and would definitly take near extreme measures if market share started slipping.
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Ditto. They will truly be the gauge of how far Chrylser has come. Will they be content to leave the Cloud cars in their "rental car" funk, or will they invest some serious coin and make them world class?

The minivans are also key, but Chrysler has always dominated that segment. The new ones will be class leading, as they pretty much always have been.

[post="45448"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I think the Cloud cars, much like the W-bodies, need to be retired.
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Chrysler should do a production version of this:
Posted Image

based off the SL platform.
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Posted Image

Unless you're some kind of master psychic......I don't see how you know what is under all of this camouflage, other than the overall shape.....which would hardly determine if something was going to be "HORRENDOUS".

I do know that it will have at least 250 HP, and even more in it's top model line.....which I'm guessing could reach 280 HP.

[post="46134"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


a bit g35ish but its so chunky
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Indeed. These next cloud cars had better be great. Most of Chrysler's sales would theoretically be from the cars in this group. It all depends.
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A decade later that Bugatti rip-off makes me hornier than a toad! This is as close as Chrysler will ever get to having a concept car as cool as the Sixteen. :)
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A decade later that Bugatti rip-off makes me hornier than a toad!

This is as close as Chrysler will ever get to having a concept car as cool as the Sixteen. :)

Okay....first TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

Second, Chrysler discussed building this car. I was so excited about the prospect of driving a production Atlantic (as a fan of the Bugatti Type 57 and Talbot-Lago, both of which can be seen in this design). But Chrysler dropped the idea when they failed to get the 4.0L DOHC inline-eight to balance properly.
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I'm still trying to figure out how people can reect the design of a car from a spy shot as padded and covered as the ones we have seen... :huh:
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I'm still trying to figure out how people can reect the design of a car from a spy shot as padded and covered as the ones we have seen...  :huh:

[post="65230"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


if it looks 'Airflite', then great.
if it looks generic, rental car

Interesting note: Airflite & Challenger concepts share the same wheelbase (116"). Coincidence?
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That Atlantic makes me want to vomit.

[post="65215"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I'm exactly the opposite. The Atlantic is my favorite concept of all time. :)
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Interesting note: Airflite & Challenger concepts share the same wheelbase (116"). Coincidence?

[post="65448"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Maybe, maybe not, but Airflite was based on the RWD LX platform like Challenger. The new Sebring is off a different new (FWD/AWD) platform.
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