Monday, February 13, 2012

978 Chrysler. Again.

978 Chrysler. Again.


Years of rooting for teams like the Jets and Knicks and the Islanders can inoculate a fan against disappointment in losing.  You don’t abandon your guys just because they can’t get the ball near the end zone or into the net... or the puck into the goal.

And so it is with Chrysler, the “half” of America’s big two and a half domestic car makers.  What happens when you actually win one is not so easy to describe.  As in “What’s wrong with this picture?”

If Chrysler were a cat, it would be in its tenth or eleventh life.  And to come up with some actual winners in a given model year is, well, unheard of.  Now what do we do?  Buy one?  Perish forbid!

If you thought the outfit couldn’t sink lower than the K-car, that the post Iacocca era would be the cat’s final life, you were wrong.  Try as they did to wreck the brand, Daimler and then Cerberus couldn’t sink it.  Those expecting the sale to Fiat to be the knockout punch may be wrong.

Chrysler’s current successes resulted from a two step process.  Step one:  make cars that look angry and macho while everyone else was building cutsie and soccer mom.  Step two, years later:  make sure they work.  Making them work is not a new concept for this outfit.  They had that down from the beginning until maybe the late 1950s, then kind of forgot it, remembered it in the late 70s and then forgot it again.

So, now they’re building cars that seem worthy of buying.  But will they hold up?  We’re way past the time that the life expectancy of a car is under 100,000 miles.  And Fiat doesn’t exactly spring to mind when you think of longevity.

It’s also time for another change.  No one trusts car dealers.  Even the good ones (how do you tell?) are suspect.  Time to clean up that act.  Take the come-ons and the pitches and the phony discounts and the “I have to consult with the sales manager on that price”s, and the sale of unnecessary accessories or undercoatings or glass etching out of the process.  Fess up about “dealer invoice pricing.”  And stop glad handing us.  Chrysler -- or anyone else -- could lead the way on this one.


For a four year old look at Chrysler, click here.


--Speaking of the Knicks, it was probably just dumb luck, but signing Jeremy Lin, a year out of Harvard (Harvard?  Basketball?) was probably the smartest dumb luck they’re had in awhile.  With a couple of overripe superstars out of the lineup for various reasons, they’re playing benchman Lin, bringing the team back to team-ness and winning games.  He’s a relative shortie for the NBA, 6’3” and the first American born Taiwanese to make it into the bigs.

Have You Noticed?  The gas drilling industry is beginning to sound a lot like the tobacco  industry of 20 years ago as it denies fracking has anything to do with earthquakes or with water you can set afire and which kills you when you drink it -- flaming or not.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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More of this nonsense at Wessays Extras which is clickable on the right side of this page under the heading “My Blog List.”
© WJR 2012

Computer translation of shrapnel
尼克斯時, 簽約林書豪,今年哈佛(哈佛籃球嗎?)可能是最聰明的好運氣,他們在一段時間。一個爛熟的巨星情侶因各種原因陣容,他們玩benchman林,使球隊的團隊性和贏得比賽。他是NBA,6'3“和台灣第一個美國出生的大個子相對shortie。6’3” = 190.5 cm.

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