Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

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Thread: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

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    Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars
    Bloomberg
    January 22, 2013
    by Craig Trudell & Mark Clothier

    Chrysler Group LLC’s pairing up with Fiat SpA (F) was supposed to transform its car lineup into one that Americans would covet, starting with the much-hyped Dodge Dart’s debut a year ago. So far, buyers aren’t budging.

    Taking on some of the most popular models on the road, the new Dodge is off to a slow start. Chrysler sold just one Dart for every five Civics that Honda Motor Co. retailed the last four months of 2012. General Motors Co. (GM)’s Chevrolet Cruze, the No. 4 compact car in the market, outsold the Dart almost 4-to-1 during that span.

    The Dart’s early letdown is a rare blemish in Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne’s turnaround, which includes a 33-month streak of rising U.S. sales and three years of market-share gains. The car’s underperformance illustrates an unresolved challenge that helped thrust the automaker into bankruptcy: convincing buyers it has more to offer than sport- utility vehicles, pickups, minivans and big sedans.

    “Fiat has the smaller-car expertise, they’re the European maker, and there were high expectations for that to work,” Joe Langley, an analyst for LMC Automotive, said in a telephone interview. “But Chrysler is playing in a space where they’re going to have to conquest buyers, and you have a lot of consumers that are going to stick to what they know and trust.”

    Chrysler’s sales gains are built on the familiar standbys -- Ram pickups, SUVs from the Jeep brand such as Grand Cherokee, and the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans.

    Full article at link.
    Last edited by ne_one; 01-23-2013 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Formatting: please refer to the guide at the top of the Submit a News Article forum.

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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    For the Marchionne fans out there, please tell me what he has done (other than interview well) that deserves the accolades?

    Keep in mind that the Jeep Grand Cherokee was developed pre-Marchionne, same with the 3.6 and I believe even the 9 speed was started before him. Redesigning interiors is extremely low dangling fruit - anyone could and would have done that. And Chrysler is making small profits (in comparison to Ford and GM) - not too hard in a recovering market and a cleaned up balance sheet from the bankruptcy. And also keep in mind that Fiat is in shambles. Fiat is an entry level maker with good fuel efficiency - the kind of car manufacturer that I would expect to do well in a bad economy. So again, what has he done that is so great (other than getting Chrysler for free)?

    Don't get me wrong, I want Chrysler to succeed! I just want someone to tell me what the great things are that he has done.
    Last edited by BlackGTP; 01-23-2013 at 10:41 AM.

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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    Is there anything wrong with the Dart, aside from the manual trans only intro?
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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    I still get a Neon vibe from the Dart and it's going to take years for Dodge to loose that stigma.

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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by F14CRAZY View Post
    Is there anything wrong with the Dart, aside from the manual trans only intro?
    Dart's current powertrains are among the worst in their segment for overall performance and refinement. The 2.0L Tigershark engine is lacking in low-end torque and feels sluggish, the 1.4T engine exhibits very nonlinear power delivery, and the dual clutch transmission's programming makes it very difficult to attain smoothness at low speeds.

    On the upside, an E85 flex-fuel version of 2.0L Tigershark engine is expected to debut in Dodge Dart later this year.
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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    Nonsense, he's perfect, duh!

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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by F14CRAZY View Post
    Is there anything wrong with the Dart, aside from the manual trans only intro?
    Yeah, no one is buying it

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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchev28 View Post
    Nonsense, he's perfect, duh!
    Almost perfect. Speaking to Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes last year, Marchionne stated that Chrysler can afford to "screw up" one car.

    From the interview:


    Steve Kroft: What's the biggest challenge facing Chrysler right now?

    Sergio Marchionne: That we're gonna slip on execution, we're gonna get something wrong. Big.

    Steve Kroft: Like what?

    Sergio Marchionne: We're gonna screw up on a car. It won't sell. It's possible.

    Steve Kroft: Can you afford that?

    Sergio Marchionne: One car, yes. Now I can afford a car. Twelve months ago, it would have been a-- it would have been a disaster. But now I can take the pain. One car.
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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    Until they stop fire saling the Avenger and 200 that car will never sell very well.

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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by roy219 View Post
    Almost perfect. Speaking to Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes last year, Marchionne stated that Chrysler can afford to "screw up" one car.

    From the interview:


    Steve Kroft: What's the biggest challenge facing Chrysler right now?

    Sergio Marchionne: That we're gonna slip on execution, we're gonna get something wrong. Big.

    Steve Kroft: Like what?

    Sergio Marchionne: We're gonna screw up on a car. It won't sell. It's possible.

    Steve Kroft: Can you afford that?

    Sergio Marchionne: One car, yes. Now I can afford a car. Twelve months ago, it would have been a-- it would have been a disaster. But now I can take the pain. One car.
    .... Oh brother.

    Imagine the poison ink and equity downgrades that would have poured from the media if Dan Ackerson or Allan Mulally had said something like this.

    I still don't understand the awe so many hold for this man. This time last year, he was under the gun (again) because Fiats were sitting on lots un loved. He and his marketing people are/ were rather arrogant at the time. Perhaps it's different now. Anyway, I do love that the Europeans have trouble figuring out the American middle market.

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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGTP View Post
    For the Marchionne fans out there, please tell me what he has done (other than interview well) that deserves the accolades?
    He has done a lot to improve quality and supplier relations. One example was cam shafts for the 3.6L were machined in Mexico. They had a large reject rate on these parts. He quickly had the company in-source the parts onsite to their engine plant in Trenton Michigan and quality improved.

    It will be a few years before we can actually see signifigant results as to what affect Sergio has on the company. From what I hear and see he has done a lot of good things within the company from a management standpoint.

    Quote Originally Posted by F14CRAZY View Post
    Is there anything wrong with the Dart, aside from the manual trans only intro?
    I sat in a mid level Dart. The rear seat headroom is terrible. You need to be 5ft tall to fit. Also I found the interior quality to still be lacking the competition. The interior looks good in pictures but not so much in person. Also to get the nice features and pretty stuff you need to tick a lot of boxes and they can add up.
    Last edited by MechEng; 01-23-2013 at 11:09 AM.

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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    I'll tell you what he's done, Sergio is grrrrrate at putting lipstick on outdated pigs.

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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by F14CRAZY View Post
    Is there anything wrong with the Dart, aside from the manual trans only intro?
    I know a group of High School kids from Huntand TN got burned up in one in Hazel Green AL, a few months back. It exploded on impact. I also think it is priced a bit high and it is a questionalble new car competing against established and well regarded Focus and Cruze...and yawn Civic/corolla.

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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    imagine a dealer trying to sell this car and the customer reads this from the CEO.

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    Re: Marchionne’s Dart Letdown Shows Chrysler Still Lacks Cars

    It's a friggin' Fiat.
    No one wants to be Fix It Again Tony's guinea pig.
    I got tired of waiting for GM to make a FWD convertible.

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