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Chrysler Coming Back To Kokomo! (Possibly)

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  • #16
    I know many are skeptical of Chrysler cars because of the Daimler cost-cutting years where the cars were truly cheap and had many concerns. I can assure you that the new cars coming out of Auburn Hills are going to get Chrysler noticed again. All the new cars we are launching (the whole line-up) are night and day (quality, fit and finish, gas mileage, etc) from the previous cars. For example Consumer Reports just recommended the new Grand Cherokee and did not recommend the Toyota 4Runner. The scrappy Chrysler of the early 90's is back! Chrysler will be one of the true success stories of this economic downturn. The morale at Chrysler is also much better than it has been in a long time.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
      A lot of people did.....until they drove them. They soon found it was nowhere near as refined as a Maserati, and hence, not worth the asking price. While Chrysler as we know it has come a long way since then, one hopes the Maserati version of the new SUV is more than just real wood and a leather interior.

      Craig
      I could see upscale Maserati trim and interior on a Jeep chassis as a win-win, we'll see.
      JDP Maryland

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      • #18
        Originally posted by JDP View Post
        With public opinion about the bailouts now positive thanks to GM
        What? Where is that public opinion?? Maybe it's a regional thing, because around here most are still pissed about that nonsense. Only place I see anyone happy about any of these stupid plans is CNN or some other no-longer-credible channel.
        Proud NON-CASO

        I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

        If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

        GOD BLESS AMERICA

        Ephesians 6:10-17
        Romans 15:13
        Deuteronomy 31:6
        Proverbs 28:1

        Illegitimi non carborundum

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        • #19
          Originally posted by JDP View Post
          I could see upscale Maserati trim and interior on a Jeep chassis as a win-win, we'll see.
          Now what about the engine? It will have to have the Maserati V-8 to make it a true Maserati. Then I will consider it a 'Maserati, not just a badge-engineered Jeep.

          Craig

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          • #20
            Yeah, the Daimler Years were an exercise in how to make all sorts of wrong decisions. My personal fav--Prowler, Crossfire and other design and power train choicss aside for the moment--was the deliberate decision to kill the old Cherokee/Wagoneer/Laredo/whatever Jeep with the 4.0 litre 6 and replace it with the all new Jeep Libery with the 3.7. Sure, the old inline 6 was outdated, but the engine was tough as nails, and the automatic was also indestructible, a far cry from some other Chrysler automatics of recent years. The most amazing factoid that Daimler overlooked was that that boxy style was really quite good at stuffing in things, and hauling them around, and best of all, was an incredible money spinner for Chrysler/Jeep. Since it had long been amortized, I have heard mentioned that each one rolling off a showroom floor in average trim was worth about $8K in net profit at least, and they could sell quite a few of them each year, essentially dependable free money.

            Oh, the old Maserati is not like the current Maserati, just like FIAT has gone through a sea change as well. Just as the TC was a horror, remember the Maserati-powered Citroen SM? (or S&M for the owners)

            One good thing that might come out of the FIAT/Chrysler joint effort, would be some of those clean, velvet smooth, super tough and economical diesels that the Italians now excel at, in Jeeps.
            Last edited by Jim B PEI; 11-25-2010, 01:50 PM.

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            • #21
              I just learned earlier this month that my former boss and friend that still sold "Chryslers" just up and walked away from 30 years of work recently. I sold for his father when his family owned the dealership in the 1980's. His Dad kept the business alive through the crisis years of 1979-81, and the family is well known and respected in the community. I did business there because it is close to my wife's workplace, and we were treated a little special.

              Morale may be up at the plants, but I'd lay money it's not so at the dealerships. Those guys had to justify, defend and repair the crap Daimler pushed on them. Then, if they were able to keep their franchise through the inexcusable political nighmare of the past two years, did they really win anything? These guys are the face of "Chrysler", and they have to be exhausted.

              Many of the friends and former customers I'm aware of have left the "Chrysler" fold. Yes, the crap Daimler produced was horrible. The final retail damage done to the brand is yet to be fully calculated. Juergen, Dieter, and the rest of the incompetent leadership that ruined the true shining star of the American Auto Industry and inside ten years turned it into a helpless ward of the state and powerless political pawn should become textbook examples of how to destroy brand loyalty.

              I will never go into a Chrysler dealership again. Chances are they will never again produce anything so revolutionary it's exclusive again. So, I'm not worried about a "gotta have" situation. All their stuff is now "I can live without" anyway. Sergio's Maserati SUV angle reminds me so much of the hype around the Daimler 300C. I guess it's a European thing.

              I cant speak for my brother, cousins, father and in-laws, but I can guarantee you I am finished with Chrysler. And I wouldn't bet on my cousin who dumped his Sebring with the lifetime warranty after the third engine ever coming back either.

              I got sick of replacing window motors, door latches, wiring harnesses, HVAC controllers, etc. etc. in a two and a half year old van. And, I knew I was in for a rough ride when the service manager left a note on the warranty ticket saying "final warranty repair" when the door latch failed at 35,700 miles and our warranty expired at 36,000, and verbally told my wife "when the next item fails, we will be charging you". I did the next 10 repairs myself with parts bought at junkyards or on eBay. This was a terrible way to end a relationship with a manufacturer and dealership I'd had a 35 year relationship with. My only conclusion was they had so much junk in the field, they couldn't afford to help anyone.

              I know my circle is only a few in a sea of millions, but if our experiences are the norm, Sergio is starting from a huge hole. And whatever comes from all of this, it won't be the Chrysler I used to do business with.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
                What? Where is that public opinion?? Maybe it's a regional thing, because around here most are still pissed about that nonsense. Only place I see anyone happy about any of these stupid plans is CNN or some other no-longer-credible channel.

                Latest public opinion poll by Rassmuson. a majority now approve of the bailout. Polling was just after the GM IPO and been improving a bit every month. Of course it is a bit regional, probably a lot higher in Mi. for example. BTW, Rassmuson is a conservitive pollster, and the trend is clear. Once GM starting showing signs of health, many scepitics are hoping the Big 3 will survive and not cheering for failure.
                JDP Maryland

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Jim B PEI View Post
                  Oh, the old Maserati is not like the current Maserati, just like FIAT has gone through a sea change as well. Just as the TC was a horror, remember the Maserati-powered Citroen SM? (or S&M for the owners)

                  One good thing that might come out of the FIAT/Chrysler joint effort, would be some of those clean, velvet smooth, super tough and economical diesels that the Italians now excel at, in Jeeps.
                  Comparing the TC with anything from Italy is not a correct assessment. The only thing 'Masearati' about the TC was the Tridents within the outline of a Pentastar. Only the cachet of the 'Maserati' name and similar interior materials it had going for it. The Citroen SM was actually powered by a 2.7/3.0 Maseati V6, which was reliable enough if taken care of, like most European engines of the day. It was a lot more powerful than Citroen's own four cylinder engine at the time.

                  Craig

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by JDP View Post
                    Latest public opinion poll by Rassmuson. a majority now approve of the bailout. Polling was just after the GM IPO and been improving a bit every month. Of course it is a bit regional, probably a lot higher in Mi. for example. BTW, Rassmuson is a conservitive pollster, and the trend is clear. Once GM starting showing signs of health, many scepitics are hoping the Big 3 will survive and not cheering for failure.
                    In other words, the end justifies the means, right?

                    Our Community Organizer in Chief and Associate, of course, were in Kokomo this week. Since it is only an hour north of Indianapolis, it was a big deal in the Indianapolis area. Tons of photo ops; people all over Kokomo swooning over the bailout and the Chief Architect thereof.

                    I read all the words, which were actually fairly balanced: Indianapolis Star business writer Ted Evanoff did a commendable, accurate, job reporting the visit.

                    And when I was done reading, I couldn't help but think: So many of our country's citizens have become economic drug addicts; just one more "fix," regardless of the long-term cost to our culture and future generations, and everything will be OK...until they need another fix, of course, due to a growing government dependency they cannot, or will not, shake.

                    Kurtruk here on the forum has this line in his signature: Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong, attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

                    Robbing Corporate Bond Holders of their legitimate equity and robbing future generations of their earnings by making financial obligations on their behalf when they cannot defend themselves is, I submit, immoral. BP
                    Last edited by BobPalma; 11-25-2010, 04:28 PM.
                    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                    Ayn Rand:
                    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
                      Comparing the TC with anything from Italy is not a correct assessment. The only thing 'Masearati' about the TC was the Tridents within the outline of a Pentastar. Only the cachet of the 'Maserati' name and similar interior materials it had going for it. Craig
                      I don't see it that way. Chrysler owned 5% of Maserati at that time.
                      The TC was constructed on a modified Daytona chassis with some unique parts. The bodies and car assembly were done utilizing three locations in Italy. One engine was a straight US Chrysler engine. The engine referred to as a Maserati engine wasn't, but it was made up of parts from USA, England, Germany and Japan.
                      I believe that two things that hurt the TC, besides build quality, was the price ($33k-$37K) and the timing. By the time that the TC finally came out, it looked like the then current LeBaron and cost twice as much.
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                      • #26
                        I was in the business when the TC was offered. As with the Imperial, selling dealers had to buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of tooling and have minimum facility requirements to sell them. We would send our prospects to a friendly larger selling dealer, in hopes we would be able to split any deal. In my memory, none of those deals were closed.

                        One person I dealt with ended up buying a fully loaded LeBaron Convertible. There was not enough differentiation between the top of the line LeBaron Convertible and the TC to make the TC worth the premium. That, along with the dealer restrictions, killed the TC.

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                        • #27
                          As far as the recent "visit" to Kokomo, all the bailout means is that the current workers are employed by Italy's Fiat under UAW contract instead of some Asian firm outside the UAW building transmissions for the Toyota, Subaru and Honda plants that are now located an hour or two away from Kokomo in Indiana and Kentucky. Had the bailout not occured, the Kokomo facilities would have no doubt been picked up by an Asian firm to supply those plants. Kokomo's crown jewel, it's aluminum casting plant, would not have sit idle for long. The brand spanking new Chrysler LLC/Getrag plant that was never opened ten or so miles south of Kokomo at US31 and SR28 will no doubt serve as some supplier to the Asian held factories, once enough time has passed that the UAW stands no chance of organizing whoever moves in there.

                          If Kokomo employees keep their UAW mindset, the bailout will only buy them a temporary reprieve. Economic forces will crush their current arrangement, and the plants will end up in the hands of those who would have ended up with them anyway. In the last UAW contract negotiation, Kokomo Fiat employees soundly rejected any further concessions to keep their employer solvent. I want to help my neighbors, but I refuse to do so if they refuse to help themselves,

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by 556063 View Post
                            As far as the recent "visit" to Kokomo, all the bailout means is that the current workers are employed by Italy's Fiat under UAW contract instead of some Asian firm outside the UAW building transmissions for the Toyota, Subaru and Honda plants that are now located an hour or two away from Kokomo in Indiana and Kentucky. Had the bailout not occured, the Kokomo facilities would have no doubt been picked up by an Asian firm to supply those plants. Kokomo's crown jewel, it's aluminum casting plant, would not have sit idle for long. The brand spanking new Chrysler LLC/Getrag plant that was never opened ten or so miles south of Kokomo at US31 and SR28 will no doubt serve as some supplier to the Asian held factories, once enough time has passed that the UAW stands no chance of organizing whoever moves in there.

                            If Kokomo employees keep their UAW mindset, the bailout will only buy them a temporary reprieve. Economic forces will crush their current arrangement, and the plants will end up in the hands of those who would have ended up with them anyway. In the last UAW contract negotiation, Kokomo Fiat employees soundly rejected any further concessions to keep their employer solvent. I want to help my neighbors, but I refuse to do so if they refuse to help themselves,
                            The UAW at least needs to give in to more realistic hourly wages for new hires, even if they protect workers accustomed to the bigger packages won in the gravy years. If new workers can be found for say $20.00 a hour, so be it. Back in the 60's, I worked at a union shop making bumpers for Studebaker and others, and made big money for basically, unskilled labor, but it was a different time and without the competition we have today.
                            JDP Maryland

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by studegary View Post
                              I don't see it that way. Chrysler owned 5% of Maserati at that time.
                              The TC was constructed on a modified Daytona chassis with some unique parts. The bodies and car assembly were done utilizing three locations in Italy.
                              Even though the body was made there, I still don't see it as an 'Italian' car. It was designed in the US by Chrysler's own stylists, and farmed out in Italy to gain a 'Maserati' label.

                              This reminds me of a welder I know who was called to do a job where a major part of the work on steel pipe was already fabricated by the customer's own staff who didn't have a welding ticket (and were paid much less). He was asked to perform three small welds, just to get his certification on paper.

                              Craig

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
                                This reminds me of a welder I know who was called to do a job where a major part of the work on steel pipe was already fabricated by the customer's own staff who didn't have a welding ticket (and were paid much less). He was asked to perform three small welds, just to get his certification on paper.

                                Craig
                                That sounds pretty dangerous, Craig. I hope he wasn't attesting to the weld quality of the parts he had not welded! Yipes! BP
                                We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                                Ayn Rand:
                                "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                                G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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