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New Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s Letter to Employees

Posted in auto industry, Chrysler, Fiat, Foreign Cars, Newsworthy by Nathan Redden | June 10th, 2009 | 7 Responses |


Now that Fiat’s been given the go-ahead to make sweet merger love with Chrysler, it’s time to introduce the new captain of this ship. Take it away Mr. Marchionne.

“To the Men and Women of the New Chrysler…”

Today marks a new beginning for Chrysler and the North American automotive industry, as Chrysler Group LLC, a new company formed in alliance with Fiat Group, has completed its acquisition of substantially all of Chrysler LLC’s assets and will begin operations immediately.

It is my great privilege to greet you as your new chief executive officer and to join all of you in building a great future for the new Chrysler. Although we have many challenges yet to overcome, there is no doubt in my mind that we will get the job done. Chrysler will be back–strong and competitive and a rewarding place to work.

You have been through a great deal of hardship and uncertainty over the recent past and I want to start by recognizing your commitment to Chrysler and acknowledge the many sacrifices you have made to help get an American icon back on its feet. Because of your commitment, and the hard work of a range of interested parties, including President Obama and his Automotive Task Force, Chrysler is now a more focused and nimble company that will benefit greatly from its new global strategic alliance with Fiat. The new company moves forward with significant strategic advantages, including a healthy balance sheet, a competitive cost structure, a leaner and more efficient dealer network, sound supplier agreements and significantly improved product quality and operational efficiency.

For those reasons, today is a day for optimism. Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles will once again roll out of our plants, into our dealers’ showrooms, and soon thereafter onto America’s roads and highways. We have much to look forward to. But we must also not forget what we have learned. The past few years have offered several painful lessons on what it will take to survive in the modern-day automotive industry. The alliance is a bold first step to implement those lessons we’ve learned, but it is only a first step. Now we must prove we can make it work.

We are already moving in that direction. Over the next several months, we will begin the process of transferring Fiat’s technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-sized cars into Chrysler’s manufacturing facilities. This award-winning technology will be critical to helping Chrysler round out its product line and give the company a strategic advantage in many markets around the world. Work is already underway to develop new environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient, high-quality vehicles, including Chrysler’s electric-vehicle program. In the meantime, we will begin working together to find the most effective ways to combine our R&D and distribution networks so that we can begin to reap the many benefits this alliance will provide.

On the leadership side, we are very fortunate that Bob Kidder has agreed to serve as our board chairman. Bob is an experienced executive with a great track record of helping grow companies, and I’m looking forward to working with him. Several other Board seats will be filled in the coming weeks. We will keep you updated as appropriate.

As you know, Chrysler is now majority owned by the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA). Fiat will initially hold a 20 percent ownership stake in Chrysler, with the ability to increase its ownership stake an additional 15 percent over time by delivering on its commitments to the company. The U.S. and Canadian governments own the rest.

Combined, Chrysler and Fiat today rank as the world’s sixth largest automaker, giving us the scale to compete and win in nearly every market in the world. But while this scale is critical, events have proven that only size managed well will be effective. I ask each one of you to take on a leadership role and work with me to restore Chrysler to being a fully competitive and profitable company once again. Numbers are important in assessing performance, but more important in my mind is how we lead people and lead change..

Five years ago, I stepped into a very similar situation at Fiat. It was perceived by many as a failing, lethargic automaker that produced low-quality cars and was stymied by endless bureaucracies. But most of the people capable of remaking Fiat had been there all the time. Through hard work and tough choices, we have remade Fiat into a profitable company that produces some of the most popular, reliable and environmentally friendly cars in the world. We created a far more efficient company while investing heavily in our technologies and platforms. And, importantly, we created a culture where everyone is expected to lead.

We can and will accomplish the same results here. The people who will lead that charge are for the most part already at Chrysler. We plan to bring that same drive and commitment to innovation to Chrysler as we look to make it one of the driving forces again in our industry.

I am confident that we can get there together.

Thank you again for your commitment to Chrysler. I look forward to meeting and working with all of you in the months and years ahead.


Sergio Marchionne

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7 Responses

  1. Larry Robertson says:

    Welcome Mr. Sergio Marchionne:

    While I have only been in the auto industry for almost 14 years, I am fortunate to be in the fuel economy/emissions reduction business with partners with over 30 years of research, engineering, and innovations.

    If I were able to speak with you directly (I am part of the belvidere supplier network), I would congratulate you and ‘pitch’ you at the same time!

    We provide new innovative equipment capable of making your new challenges much easier. When your new line of vehicles are producing 40% lower emissions, and current sticker mileage ratings go up by more than 20%, all with less than five-hundred dollars per vehicle invested, value tends to rise. Here in the States, or within your other oversights, we believe we will add more Carbon Credits and Social Responsibility to your endeavors. With benefits like these combined with your ‘Can Do’ style, leadership resource management workload should make leadership much easier.


    Larry Robertson


  2. Larry Robertson says:

    Oh yes.

    Happy upcoming birthday to you!

  3. george flanigan says:

    I have a replacement for airbags. I contacted chrysler inovation 2 months ago but have not recieved a reply. This new machine can be installed on or in a car seat. It nevers allows the pressure passenger to exceed 7 times the pressure of gravity. This is a computer controlled system and can be easily proven to be fool proof. Would you have someone from safety engineering contact me. Lee Iaacoca proved that safety can sell cars in 1988. This is a very simple machine that you have seen in different configurations for years.How can I contact Jim Press or Sergio,Machionne? THE WORLDS SAFEST CARS will sell. The Japanese installed the first airbag in 1968.

  4. Jackie says:

    Hello Mr. Sergio Marchionne,

    I’m about to drive my daughter to Atlanta from Philadelphia, leaving her with a 2006 PT Cruiser. My problem is the air conditioner stopped working under warranty and Chrysler has a nationwide backorder on part # 5058274AD. I’m told it could take as many as six months before it becomes available. To make matters worse it just as difficult getting a after market part.

    I don’t understand how that can be. I need someone to help me get a part.

  5. William J, Wilson says:

    Mr. Marchionnes, I have just sent a letter to Chrysler’s Customer Center regarding my 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T. I want to copy you on this matter because I feel you would want to be appraised of my situation with this vehicle and the response I’ve gotten so far from Chrysler. I feel your assistance would make a difference. Clearly the quality of this great car needs to be addressed and the way problems are handled by your company if you wish to retain life long customers like myself. Please let me know how I may contact you in writting. Regards: William J. Wilson

  6. Jan Robertson says:

    Mr. Marchiononnes, I contacted your Customer Service Department regarding ourr 2002 Chrysler Concorde with 55,000 miles on it, excellent condition, and a rod bearng in the engine just went which will cost us betwwen $3,500 and $4,000.00 to fix. Your customer service department sent my information to your Maintenance Department and told me that Chrysler had a “good will policy” regarding car repairs. Your Maintence Department advised me that since the car was no longer under a service agreement it would not do anything for us even though our car has been serviced on time, driven in town and on trips, and with 55,000 miles on it it blew and rod and now is worthless. We were told when we purchased this car it would go to 100,000-150,000 miles. We have owned the Chrysler Cordoba, Fifth Avenue, New Yorker, and two Concordes. The only problem we have ever had with any of our other Chyrslers was the Chrysler Click in the Fifth Avenue.
    I do not want a response from Customer Service or any of your employees. I want a response from you directly. I plan on calling you or writing you a letter within the next week regarding this issue. If all we hear from Chrysler is “we can’t do anything” I can assure you I will take this to the Minneapolis Star Whistleblower, Minneapolis Channel 5 to make sure other potential buyers are aware of the poor treatment a loyal customer received from your company.

  7. frances riddle says:

    i have also had so much trouble with my 2005 dodge caravan that i had got because my family had got bigger when we adopted but with all the trouble we have had i am so scared to drive my kids around in it .we alway have trouble with the breaks we had a lot of work done on or around the moter that was over 2000.00 now of course it is the trasmission now already repired once for over 400.00 now back again not sure how much this is going to cost this is just a few times it has been in the shop also i have a clicking noise not cv joint many repair places have told me that and that they cant find anything wrong . there is nothing i can do because i owe more then what it is worth sad because i am a mother o four just trying to make ends meet and so tired of hearing from customer service there are no recalls and nothing that can be done.i just want something i am not scared to drive with my kids and so tired of spending all my money on repairs that i dont have.anything would help.
    thanks Frances.