Just last year when the new CEO Bob Nardelli of the company announced that Chrysler was going to hualt the production of the PT Cruiser Convertible, Pacifica and Crossfire and the Dodge Magnum the thought that Chrysler was in trouble sprouted for some. It was obvious to many that the US Auto Industry had fattened in its gluttony and was expected to experience a number of “Jenny Craig” years. Now that Cerebrus has their hands on the dials it has been announced by Jim Press that Cerebrus is ready to turn back the dials on their automotive machine and reign in tighter control.
The name of the plan is Project Genesis and from that comes the New Day campaign. From the onset Chrysler will re-examine internal competition taking place between its three brands: Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler. As Jim Press put it, “Do we need 11 SUVs? Maybe we just need three or four?” The word is that Chrysler will cut their vehicle line-up nearly in half and remove a lot of the red tape that hinders decisions in the process.
Another move anticipated in the Project Genesis plan is to consolidate dealerships that are duplications of the Chrysler brand in the same market. They want Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler housed under the same roof and not spread out into their individual parts. This way when the line-up is reduced they will still have complete coverage for what buyers want, instead say having all their Jeep SUV’s across town from their Chrysler cars. How they are going to manage taking franchise’s away from owners and giving them to other dealers is going to be quite a hurdle, but that is their plan. For Chrysler it is all about the “New Day” that they are looking to begin.
Ofcourse the irony when comparing their new day to their old day is all the gas guzzling that existed in their “past” and all the bright concept hybrids in their future. Not to mention that we will all be animated in this new day. Filling the roads and production lines in the “New Day” commercial are Chryslers Concepts the Dodge Zeo, Chrysler EcoVoyager and the Jeep Renegade. All three concepts contain many hybrid and environmental features that are currently not present in the Chrysler line-up. All three point to a future that Chrysler has just begun to work toward, but are unlikely to see production just as they are.
Chrysler’s “New Day” and Project Genesis are just getting under way and are not expected to pay any immediate dividends. Nor are there any immediate results to take place until they can determine what models in the Chrysler line-up will stay and what will be eliminated. Let us hope they choose wisely.
If you were to be involved in making the choice of what stays and what goes amongst the Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler brands what cars would you put on the chopping block? And conversely what vehicles would you fight to save… if any?