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Old 04-13-2010, 09:55 AM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
12,999 posts, read 17,189,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
You are viewing the world through Chrysler colored glasses. The Caliber is a terrible vehicle even though it has distinct looks. The interior is awful. The engines are poor. And is not selling well. Other compact vehicles will outsell the Caliber no matter what happens to fuel prices.
The engine is NOT the problem. It was co-developed by Mitsubishi and Hyundai in a joint venture after Daimler used Chrysler's $12B in cash reserves to purchase shares in those two automakers, and nobody complains about the engines in either Mitsubishi or Hyundai vehicles. The problem is the continuously-variable transmission, sourced by independent parts supplier Jatco, that the Caliber uses as an automatic. The Mitsubishi and Hyundai cars with this engine use conventional automatics, as do the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring, yet the engine gets 30+ highway miles per gallon in all of them -- Avenger and Sebring included -- but not the Caliber.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
If gas prices rise, sales of the Charger, Challenger, and 300C will fall. all three are thirsty and heavy. In V6 trim they are slow. The new Pentastar engine will help Chrysler.
Sales numbers don't matter anymore. Cash flow is all that matters. Chrysler's sales numbers have continued to drop, but the company is no longer burning cash, and CEO Sergio Marchionne said just a few weeks ago that they're on pace to break even in 2010. (Don't depend on traditional media outlets to inform anybody of this, however, because it doesn't fit anybody's agenda.) Anyway, it's possible that the redesigned full-size cars might not need to sell in as high of numbers in order to be profitable for the company. In fact, I'm almost certain they'll be more profitable per vehicle since Daimler is out of the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
The Avenger looks like a mini-Charger - but I think that's uncool. It was a cheap and unoriginal styling effort.
Chrysler had a platform for their mid-size cars, and were pretty far along in the redesigning process when Daimler told them to shoehorn the cars onto the Caliber's platform. The result is a pair of cars that look proportionally out of whack, with design features that didn't translate well to the shoehorning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
Too many small SUVs. There is no need for the Patriot, Libery, Compass, and Nitro.
The Patriot and Compass are compact SUVs. The Liberty and Nitro are mid-size SUVs. The Compass is the most dispensable of the four, as it doesn't fit into Jeep's product lineup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
The Jeep Commander is a complete dog.
It's been discontinued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
No good small cars. Nothing to compete with Civic, Corolla, Focus, etc.
Daimler saw no reason for Dodge to have a compact sedan, which is why the Neon was killed and replaced by the Caliber. By the way, the Neon and the PT Cruiser rotted on the vine after Daimler sent Chrysler's original small-car development team packing in 2001. Shrewd move, guys! Also, to start 2005, an edict was passed down from Germany telling Chrysler to cut 40% out of the cost of interior development, regardless of the outcome. This is precisely why Chrysler interiors are regarded as the worst in the business, and there is no other reason. It's no coincidence that the first Chrysler interior developed post-Daimler -- the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 -- is considered the best interior in the entire product lineup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
The new Grand Cherokee could be where things turn for Chrysler.
Could be? Will be. Production begins in three weeks.

ASIDE: There's a difference between Chrysler products and DaimlerChrysler products. Daimler mismanaged Chrysler badly, and the proof is in the market share. Chrysler's highest market share in their history came in 1996, two years before Daimler..."merged" with them. Chrysler's lowest market share in their history came in 2009, two years after Daimler left Chrysler for dead. Daimler never tried to "save" Chrysler (nor did anybody even have to), and anybody in the media who claims they did loses their credibility. The only thing Daimler tried to save was their own asses from being taken over themselves -- and Chrysler had the biggest treasure chest of them all (the $12B in cash reserves I alluded to earlier).

Daimler executives were nothing but a bunch of self-serving egomaniacs, and there isn't a single person I know who worked for them and enjoyed it. Morale at Chrysler is higher now than it was five years ago. That ought to tell you everything you need to know about what it was like to work for Daimler.

The cruelest irony of all is that Chrysler had $12B in cash reserves for a rainy day when Daimler barged in and wasted it all on shares in other automakers, and yet Chrysler only needed $9B in federal "bailout" money to stay afloat while the media has continuously trashed them for "not being prepared." Bull****! Chrysler had $12B of their own money taken away from them and wasted on other automakers! This is why I hope Chrysler sues Daimler into oblivion if they make through this ****storm in one piece. Sue 'em for $12B and poetic justice.

And if you still want to bash Chrysler for the situation they're in, then be sure to ridicule a woman after she's raped, because using Daimler logic, the ***** had it coming.

Last edited by Craziaskowboi; 04-13-2010 at 11:14 AM..
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,700,480 times
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Daimler or not - Chrysler Corp has been building crap vehicles for years.

The Liberty is not a mid-size. It is always classified as a small or compact SUV (CR or Edmunds). It competes with the RAV4 and CRV, not the Pilot and Highlander. The Liberty's V6 is another terrible engine. Low on power and poor fuel economy - a bad combination. The Liberty's best quality is good offroad performance.

The Nitro is for some reason classified as a mid-size by Edmunds but it is based on the Liberty. It's smaller inside than other mid-size SUVS like the Explorer. Once again it is underpowered and thirsty.

Killing the NEON was merciful.

I agree the new RAM is a huge step up. I am impressed with the interior and the coil spring rear suspension. They also toned down the big rig nose. If I were looking at a half ton, I'd look at the RAM.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:32 AM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
12,999 posts, read 17,189,033 times
Reputation: 14313
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
Daimler or not - Chrysler Corp has been building crap vehicles for years.
The odometer on my Dakota disagrees with you (214,024).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
The Liberty's V6 is another terrible engine.
That's why it's going to be replaced by the new Pentastar V-6's. Production of these engines began on March 15.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
Killing the NEON was merciful.
The Neon didn't need to be killed. It could have been refined mid-cycle the way other automakers do, had Daimler not laid off Chrysler's entire small-car development team in 2001.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
I agree the new RAM is a huge step up. I am impressed with the interior and the coil spring rear suspension. They also toned down the big rig nose. If I were looking at a half ton, I'd look at the RAM.
See what Chrysler designers and engineers can do when they're actually ALLOWED TO DO THEIR JOBS?
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:24 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 13,342,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
The odometer on my Dakota disagrees with you (214,024).



That's why it's going to be replaced by the new Pentastar V-6's. Production of these engines began on March 15.



The Neon didn't need to be killed. It could have been refined mid-cycle the way other automakers do, had Daimler not laid off Chrysler's entire small-car development team in 2001.



See what Chrysler designers and engineers can do when they're actually ALLOWED TO DO THEIR JOBS?
The odometer doesn't tell us anything about how much up keep its needed in that time. On top of that, drive train reliability doesn't automatically redeem a vehicle that is lacking in other areas.

It's nice to hear that Chrysler is finally placing a decent V6 in its line up but they are definitely late to the party. For instance, Nissan had a mass produced 280hp V6 prior to 2003.

The Neon just didn't compete. It was terrible to sit in and had bizarre cost cutting measures like removing power windows in only the rear seats. Add an ugly interior and unattractive exterior styling and you've got a winner. I've got a buddy with one and the only reason I let him drive is that he gets better mileage than my G35.

It's sad to hear about the inner workings of Chrysler during their partnership with Daimler but a sad story doesn't turn crap into gold.
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:27 PM
 
1,634 posts, read 3,339,655 times
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Lots of reasons/excuses about why Chysler is so bad...

Bottom line: the market has spoken.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:23 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
12,999 posts, read 17,189,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepcynic View Post
Lots of reasons/excuses about why Chysler is so bad...

Bottom line: the market has spoken.
No excuses. Just facts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sheaves
The original PL made money, hand over fist, for Chrysler. Costs were so low, that at the end of the first gen model production, including rebates and warranty costs (as most of the issues were corrected to an acceptable degree by this time), Chrysler was still making over $1,000 per car sold. This was one of the reasons there was an $8 to $12 billion (depending on whom you listen to) "war chest" for Daimler to plunder. Chrysler had the manufacturing and engineering process integration down and was pushing the envelope of what could be done, in the shortest amount of time, farther and faster than any other manufacturer in the world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sheaves
When Daimler people came across the pond, it became apparent that things were going to change—they were the "saviors" of Chrysler [which at the time was immensely profitable] with their "superior technical knowledge" and "superior marketing knowledge."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sheaves
a problem started to be noticed by the Chrysler people. Any time any American said "no," that person was gotten rid of shortly thereafter, regardless of position or experience. Discouragement accelerated and the top staff started leaving in droves. People that were instrumental in the development of the "fun" in the cars of Chrysler (guys like Neil Hanneman from Viper) had enough of the disrespect and browbeating from Daimler.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sheaves
Dieter Zetche and Wolfgang Bernhard ... tried to open up certain areas to the Americans to show what could be done by these Americans who were "so incapable of doing anything properly" (such as the ME Four12 which could run circles around the much pricier McLaren/Mercedes project of the same time), but this was inimical to the method of business favored by most of the Daimler people at Chrysler, as well as by the Supervisory Board in Germany. Both these excellent managers, Dieter and Wolfgang, were in "hot water" continuously with their supervisors due to their gradual understanding of and attempts to return to the Chrysler Way of doing business. Daimler management was a strict hierarchy, not to be trifled with under any circumstances.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sheaves
To truly understand the Chrysler preoccupation with personal responsibility, consider an experience I had with Bob Lutz.

There was a ride and drive review at Chelsea Proving Grounds in 1991 for prototypes of the BR (T300). Bob Lutz did not like how the lower control arm mounts of the front suspension showed below the cab, and wanted them changed to something that "looked cleaner." I said, "Under QIP provisions, no, because the angle of those LCAs are what allowed me to give the truck such a smooth ride offroad." Bob Lutz was caught in a bind. QIP said that the responsible engineer was the final arbiter, and Lutz was the leading promotor of the QIP process. He let it go, and that suspension got numerous awards from the magazines and reviewers.

Under the [Daimler] "Quality Gates," my comment would have immediately resulted in my being escorted off the grounds by Security. The two sets of rules were totally incompatible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sheaves
At the same time, Daimler was forcing a change to CATIA v5 onto Chrysler. Moving to v5 of CATIA may sound like a small change; in simple terms, v5 went back to v3 methods of generating data to design the vehicle, under Mercedes-developed operational rules—the manner of data organization, the manner of using the functions, etc. This is one of the problems the late Freightliner would painfully face later.

There was one catch—v3 had been out of the picture since 1990/1991 at Chrysler, and the people that knew how to use v3 did not exist any more—v3 was obsolete. There were not enough trained engineers within Chrysler, not within the Metro area, not within the US, not within the world, in the quantity needed. On top of this, the software was notoriously unstable and did not "co-operate" with version 4 data (Daimler was to soon find this out in a public blowup on the Airbus super airliner, the A380, through EADS, from which the Airbus program has still not recovered).

To use v5, you had to train all the people involved how to use the tools, including the people that trained others, all over again, including the inherent mistakes (not intentional ones, but I am sure that was also an issue, due to the overbearing attitude in mandating this software) that come from the learning curve of the tools you were expected to use. A group of people were brought in from the aerospace industry (Boeing, primarily) and dumped into the needed design positions, but these poor guys had no idea what they were getting into.

The net result was the programs (both C and D cars) failed miserably, due to the combination of CATIA v5, program management’s lack of direction, irreversable points and decisions, incompatible and incomplete understanding of requirements of the tools and program, and incompatible manufacturing parameters (Mitsu vs. Chrysler methods), and had to be completely restarted (for the design process—the development mule data was still valid, up to a point).

To be usable most 3D data had to be totally rebuilt —none of which helped the image of the Americans to the Germans. Fingers were pointed and as usual, the German fingers were longer, causing those that raised the most ruckus, the people in TCC that knew and told everyone in management it would not work, to be "absorbed" into the main IT group of DCX...a group of PC weenies that had no idea how to build a car. TCC (Technical Computing Center) was made of guys like me (design engineers) that had been later trained in the computer stuff — a support group that understood not only how to design a vehicle, but also how to explain the tools to the end user, provide training, and help out in small projects. TCC was, at best, a group of maybe 150 people, versus all of Vehicle Engineering of over 6,000 people. TCC simply did not have the staff to perform as a complete design group.

The redesign of the Stratus and Sebring (as well as the "new" Caliber, Compass, Patriot, etc.) was done on the fly and in a much shorter time than Daimler had allowed, but still, it was not enough time to redo everything that needed to be "fixed" on the cars. Chrysler guys knew it (the few that remained and stuck it out), Deiter knew it, and the DCX board was made aware of it. They would never gain the level of control that they wanted, so they gave what was left of Chrysler away—so they could say it was all someone else's problem.

The terms rape, pillage, and plunder really do describe the mess that caused probably the most noted destruction of a carline ever.
You want the "bottom line"? The bottom line is, Daimler royally ****ed Chrysler over. All the market has said is that they don't approve of DaimlerChrysler products.

(NOTE: Bob Sheaves was an engineer for Jeep and Dodge Trucks. He is currently the CEO of CatNet Solutions, Inc.)
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:30 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
12,999 posts, read 17,189,033 times
Reputation: 14313
Bob Sheaves also had this to say in an interview (http://www.modernmopars.com/blog/qa-cerberus-and-the-new-chrysler-corporation - broken link) from 2007, shortly after Daimler dumped Chrysler:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ModernMopars.com with Bob Sheaves
Q: Other than turning a profit, what should the primary focus be for the new company?
A: Profit is the primary reason for ANY business. But that is not the focus of vehicle engineering. In Chrysler’s case, the primary focus SHOULD be, in my opinion:

1. Focus on completing current R&D programs to industry topping levels (Challenger, Phoenix, and some other “stuff” not generally known.)
2. Focus on repairing the marketing damage done by Joe Eberhard.
3. Repair the styling damage done by [Daimler] interference.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:36 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 13,342,045 times
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Chrysler also made awful cars prior to the Daimler merger. I know for a fact that Daimler and Cerberus did Chrysler no good, but I also know that they made some iffy products prior to involvement with either of those two.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:49 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
12,999 posts, read 17,189,033 times
Reputation: 14313
Quote:
Originally Posted by iTsLiKeAnEgG View Post
Chrysler also made awful cars prior to the Daimler merger. I know for a fact that Daimler and Cerberus did Chrysler no good, but I also know that they made some iffy products prior to involvement with either of those two.
The "iffyness" went away once the engineers started getting their way instead of the bean-counters. For example, you'll never hear of head gasket problems on a 1997 or 1998 Dodge Neon, because the engineers finally got the head gaskets they wanted in the first place, but that the bean-counters said "no" to in 1995 and 1996.

This is why I say Chrysler succeeded in the 1990's in spite of then-CEO Robert Eaton: because Eaton always sided with the bean-counters first. Never mind that he was an outsider who wasn't even with Chrysler during the late Iacocca years, when the good stuff really began to happen behind the scenes.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:01 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 13,342,045 times
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It seems that you have a personal attachment to Chrysler but the fact of the matter shows that Chrysler has a repeat history (a long one) of poor leadership which in turn produces a poor company. We can place blame on Eaton, on Daimler, on Cerberus and anyone else along the way and it won't change the fact that for whatever reason, Chrysler has been producing some awful cars for a very long time (with the very occasional stroke of genius shining through). I agree that proper leadership is necessary to allow the engineers to design great products and stupid people don't become engineers, but making excuses (whatever they are) can make for an interesting story as to how they failed but it wont change the fact that they failed.
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