What does a successful American automaker do after getting purchased by a prestigious German brand, losing market share at a rapid pace, being sold to an investment firm, entering a financial crisis, getting berated by Congress for producing unwanted vehicles, and barely winning the financial aid needed to make it through the end of year? You become the American equivalent of that prestigious German automaker, of course.
According to Jim Press, that's exactly what Chrysler will do if it weathers its current financial woes. Press told Automotive News that Chrysler "is going to be a smaller, more focused company. We could be the Mercedes or BMW of America."
"If Mercedes-Benz built a pickup truck, that's what it would be," he said, referring to the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram pickup truck. The new truck is a sign of the company's new direction.
"If there's one company in America that can build high-craftsmanship, innovative vehicles, it's Chrysler," Press continued. Chrysler, he says, will make premium vehicles from the ground up, whereas GM and Ford "are making basic cars and 'gingerbreading' them up to premium."
Press cites the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee as an example of the quality cars Chrysler will build. He said it had the most rigid body and best suspension of any vehicle he has seen. Chrysler's next generation of vehicles will demonstrate "what America could become if we could buy the time."
Source: Automotive News