Chrysler has been known to dig itself out of dire financial straits with timely products. Lee Iacocca did it with the K-cars and the first Caravan in the 1980s and Bob Lutz did it with the Dodge Viper in the early 1990s. Now Jim Press says he can do it one more time.
Press, who celebrated (to use the term loosely) the one year anniversary of his leaving Toyota for Chrysler, promised an onslaught of seven new products in 2010. Chrysler’s product procurement chief John Campi put the number at nine, although the difference probably amounts to whether one counts variants as separate models.
Either way, the news comes as a pleasant surprise. Most industry experts consider Chrysler to be in the worst product position of the three American automakers, particularly in terms of fuel efficient small cars. Not so, Press said. He recently showed dealers three electric vehicles that he said were in “post-prototype” stage. He attributed the perceived gap between Chrysler and its competitors to the fact that his company was devoting its limited resources to product development, not in his words, to a “PR stunt.”
Source: Detroit Free Press