The Pickups and SUVs Obama had wished culled
from the lineup in 2009 now drive sales, profitablity
|Marchionne pretending to listen to statist boneheads|
Obviously Obama could use anything that resembles an economic success story right about now, so he's been quick to build a Detroit "comeback" theme into the latest campaign spiel. But how ironic that while the President is busy co-opting others' success at Chrysler, Marchionne is rushing to distance the company from a foolhardy White House and (unpopular) bail-out's stigma. Although foreign owned, the new Chrysler is planning a IPO for 2012, and is now free -as Ford has been- to pursue market-based success as best they know how.
Not hard to see why FIAT/Chrysler would want nothing to do with sinking ship Obama/bailouts as far as marketing images go. But Sergio Marchionne is used to operating his company with one hand while dealing with meddlesome liberal politicians on the other, thus he managed the opportunity very well and had little problem putting Obama in the trick-bag two years ago while quietly doing what it took to actually make the acquisition work.
|More impressive on-the-spot guidance|
Back in 2009 when FIAT was the only viable savior of Chrysler, Obama was more focused on brazen opportunism, punishing Republicans, stealing things for the UAW, and driving a goofy green agenda than creating any viable business plan for Chrysler. Dear Leader insisted that FIAT bring a 40mpg minicar to US shores (they did, the FIAT 500, alas made in Mexico), electric cars, and such.
But Marchionne had to make it work on the bottom line, not just Cloud Nine: he let Obama have his victory/photo ops there, and most of that product was in the FIAT development pipeline anyway. The electric FIAT 500 goes on-sale in the US for 2012, and the regular 500 has already hit the new FIAT dealerships. The meeting of such performance objectives brought FIAT a progressively larger stake of Chrysler, in part leading to the pending takeover by the Italian company.
Not one to let a good crisis go to waste, Obama fully exploited the opportunity in 2009 to screw creditors out of their money (at the gain of the union) and more than a few Republicans out of their Chrysler dealerships. He then pushed the FIAT/Chrysler to drop large gas guzzlers and focus on economy cars, electrics, hybrids, unicorn-rainbow power, etc. But on the issue of culling eight and six-cylinder cars/trucks from the lineup, Marchionne stood firm... leading to today's healthy and profitable Chrysler.
How funny-strange it is then that Italian-Canadian Sergio Marchionne understands us -and what we like- better than our own president! He also knows that real American cars/trucks that people might actually want to buy -like the Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, and Ram Pickup- make twice the profit per unit as any FIAT 500s or Puntos re-engineered for the US market ever will... there's simply too much pressure on margins at the entry-level from the South Koreans and others.
|No telling where it may strike!|
In stark contrast to the expressed (and rebutted) Team Obama desires, Chrysler is not only doing extremely well with SUVs and trucks now, the future still includes a new Viper, more large Cummins diesels for pickups, even a new 6.4L Hemi V-8 bringing 450hp! Chrysler's Detroit Grand Cherokee plant is running at (3 shifts) full capacity, Toledo is expanding, and there are plans to export American-made SUV's to Europe, rebranded as FIATs and Alfa-Romeos... that means American jobs that wouldn't be there if they'd listened to Obama.
Over at Government Motors, the market has greeted the President's pet project -the Chevrolet Volt- with a collective yawn... they're selling less than 250/mo. Now Chevy dealers have been caught registering the cars and taking the $7500 Obama tax credit for themselves, while unloading the now "used" Volt on used car lots. When questioned, one of the dealers explained this was to due with "high demand"- a dubious claim.
Free-market Ford is now kicking butt, and they continue to take market share from GM... they're easily the healthiest of the Big Three on paper, and the product is just fantastic.
So as long as Barack Obama is trying bask in the glow of any Detroit renaissance, we need to hold his feet to the fire on the habitual dishonesty, mistakes, losses, cronyism, and corruption it took for him to get there, as well as the fact that the White House's harebrained product ideas had nothing to do with Chrysler's early return to profitability... rather, they had to resist and work around them.
|Hemi-powered Hurst/Dodge Challenger|
FIAT, controlling stake, Chrysler, profitable Chrysler, chrysler paid off loans early, obama xxx FIAT, controlling stake, Chrysler, profitable Chrysler, chrysler paid off loans early, obama xxx