Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Chrysler Death Watch

What will happen to the Chrysler car company as their sales decline?

Chrysler is no longer a publicly held company and therefore does not have to release its profit and market performance figures the way Ford and GM must. So it's hard to know how things are going over at Chrysler, but I'd guess it's worse than at Ford/GM. After all Chrysler was bleeding cash when Daimler-Benz owned it. The Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 models are popular cars, but the rest of the line up is bland and mediocre. Sure, the new Challenger will be a hit in the pony car segment, until everybody who wants one has one, then sales will slump. The Dodge trucks, like all trucks, are not selling. But there might be a bright spot there: Nissan plans to sell a restyled version of the Dodge Ram as a Nissan Titan. Selling the Jeep division would bring in some needed cash. But who would buy Jeep? Tata would have wanted Jeep, but they just bought LandRover/Jaguar from Ford. Perhaps China's largest car company SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) will step in to buy Jeep when Chrysler goes under.

I think that when Chrysler does lock the factory gates, Ford and GM stock will jump in price as punters look elsewhere for American-made. Which is something to consider, with Ford at $4.98 and GM at $11.55!


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