Chrysler Will Refresh Five Models by 2011

Huge hurry-up drill probably in Chrysler’s future, says Fiat CEO Marchionne

By Brendan Moore

09.25.2009

Chrysler logo smallThe future is looming larger at Chrysler, and it’s not looking so rosy in the near-term as the company is very short on new product. Since the lead times on new product are long concerning new vehicles, redesigns of current vehicles are the order of the day.

But even a redesign takes some time. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne wants some different-looking product by 2011, which will require tremendous focus and quite a few late nights between now and then. Considering we’re effectively at the end of 2009 now, that is a considerably accelerated timeline compared to the usual time allocated for a redesign.

Marchionne wants new sheet metal on the following models by 2011:

Dodge Caliber
Jeep Patriot
Jeep Compass
Chrysler Town & Country
Dodge Caravan

He also wants a redesign to be in progress on the PT Cruiser simultaneously, but will settle for a later launch date for the redesign on that vehicle.

If the plan is to be successful, Chrysler will have to rehire workers and schedule overtime, both of which will require approval from the board during Chrysler’s current financial crisis. Marchionne is expected to get that approval fairly easily.

A tougher task looms for Marchionne concerning the five-year plan he will submit to the presidential auto task force, which will encompass the redesigns and the new (Fiat) platforms for new vehicles Chrysler plans to introduce after 2011. The U.S. government, through it’s ownership stake in Chrysler, now gets a vote on whatever Chrysler does.

The new cars will almost certainly be based on the C-EVO platform Fiat has developed in-house. The platform should yield both a compact, and, a midsize sedan that will be a bit smaller than the Japanese big guns in the segment, the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry.

Additionally, there are some other issues dogging Chrysler’s hurry-up drill for redesigned and new product. A Wall Street Journal article published yesterday stated that some of Chrysler’s suppliers are wary of doing business with the new Chrysler, since Chrysler will not commit to minimum volumes for the components it wishes to order. Without those commitments, the suppliers are concerned about making money on Chrysler’s business.

COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

Share This Post On

7 Comments

  1. Dump the Jeep Compass. That will cut down on the workload.

  2. yeah no reasin to keep the Compass around

  3. Yeah, good luck with that.

  4. How about RWD Chrysler 200? Quasi-midsizer from FIAT’s compact platform will be not good enough to compete. Opel Insignia amd Ford Mondeo are real midsize cars and good ones. How FIAT competes without midsize cars in Europe?

  5. We can wonder if Fiat, as a stop-gap measure, might use some of the GM platforms they inherited after their divorce with GM like the Epsilon platform, used currently by the current Fiat Croma?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_Croma#Second_generation_.282005-present.29 and there was also the Premium platform who could be a good candidate for a future Dodge and/or Chrysler model?

  6. When are they going to redo the 300?

  7. Har Dee Har Har

    Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The sooner Chrysler goes away as a separate decision-making company and transforms into only a division of Fiat, the better.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.