Mercedes, Not US, To Bail Out Chrysler

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In a huge surprise, Chrysler has decided to decline US government help and instead accept help from Mercedes, which still owns 20% of Chrysler. Under the plan, Chrysler will introduce competitive platforms starting in June
2009, with a total of three new platforms available by December 2009.
The V6 versions of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger will be replaced by front drive models with better fuel mileage and more interior room. The Hemi powered rear drive 300 and Charger will be retained to fill their proper role as specialty models built mostly for status rather than for wide market appeal.
In the midsize segment, the current Mitsubishi sourced Sebring and Avenger, awkwardly styled in the theme of a brick set on edge, will be replaced by lower, sleeker, and more aerodynamic models. In the compact segement, the PT Cruiser will be retained since it has proven appeal as a styling curiousity. The Dodge Caliber, also curiously styled but without a retro look to work in its favor, will be replaced by a conventionally styled small car which will have wider appeal.
Mercedes announcement that these changes can be accomplished in a six to twelve month time period and at a cost of a mere $1.6 billion initially baffled industry observers. "I wondered how Chrysler could produce three new lines of roomy and economical front drive cars - cars that are right for America - so quickly and for so little money" said Joseph Camel of the Brand Research Institute.
But then came the surprising answer. The solution to fixing Chrysler's current unsaleable car lineup is merely to replace the current cars with the cars they replaced: 2004 Concorde/Intrepid, the 2007 Sebring/Stratus, and the 2002 Neon.
"This is an investment in the future" said Mercedes spokesman Heinreich Tungensheek. "By spending this money, we expect the value of our 20% stake in Chrysler will eventually rise to zero!"
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Comments4u wrote:
Oh this should be good. C4U has been unusually quiet lately... <snip>

OR to put a finer point on it, to revert to the lineup BEFORE F***ING DAIMLER SCREWED UP CHRYSLER THE FIRST TIME!! The car-knowledgeable who read this will realize that the vehicles he mentioned are ALL pre-Daimler designs.
I don't care who you are, that there's funny.
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Interestingly, it was the Chrysler people who talked the Daimler people out of buying into Nissan (and let Renault snap it up instead). The Chrysler people said, Hey, we've worked with Mitsubishi in the past, they're good, buy into them instead.
So instead of Nissan platforms, we get Mitsubishi platforms for fwd Chryslers. Daimler bought into Mitsubishi, and found they were covering up warranty problems (Mitsu gave Daimler MitsubishiFuso trucks in compensation, which they still own). Can't blame the Daimler folks for having it in for the Chrysler people after that~
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wrote:
Strange "facts" you're using here Lloyd.

I don't know who talked Schrempp out of buying Nissan (you're talking like you were a mouse in the corner during the meetings). Nissan was on the brink. There was nothing to "snap up". Taking on Nissan was taking on a huge risk. Oh, yea, Ghosen did well, but would Schrempp have?
Chrysler already had money in Mitsubishi. They didn't put more into Mitsubishi as an alternative to buying Nissan. When Mitsubishi got into trouble, and Schrempp wanted to invest more, the Mercedes board stopped him.
You say Chrysler people had confidence in Mitsubishi, but the actions they've taken over the years don't show that. Their involvement with Mitsubishi was usually to fill a need on a temporary basis.
When Chevy and Ford started selling the Vega and Pinto, Chrysler sourced the Colt and then the Arrow from Mitsubishi. But then when they were able to build their own small car, the Omni/Horizon, they cut out Mitsubishi in that size class. But even smaller cars had become popular, so they, again unable to build one, sourced a smaller Colt from Mitsubishi, one down in the Ford Fiesta/Toyota Starlet class.
When they needed a larger 4 cylinder in the early 80s, they bought Mitsubishi engines, but only until they could expand the 2.2 into the 2.5. When that happened, the Mitsubishi 2.6 was gone. When gas stayed cheap and they needed a V6 in 87, they bought the Mitsubishi V6. But only until they could develop their own V6.
Chrysler bought small trucks from Mitsubishi, but again, only until they could build their own. Interestingly, Mitsubishi now buys the Dakota from Chrysler to sell under their name.
With the Neon, Chrysler made a decision yet again to build their own small car rather than buy something from Mitsubishi to sell. And so after having had a lot of Mitsubishi products in the showroom for years, they were down to a couple of specialty coupes, with the rest of their product range populated by their own products.
Then under Mercedes, it was decided all the midsizes, not just the coupes, would be bought from Mitsubishi. The standard small car went away, replaced by the Cruiser and Caliber, and Mercedes didn't even bother to plan for a normal small car at all.
And what's this fixation with wagons? The Caliber as a Neon replacement? The Magnum as an Intrepid replacement? (Remember there was initally to be no Charger.)
I don't see that Mercedes missed anything by failing to "snap up" a decimated Nissan. After all, they took a healthy company, Chrysler, and ran it into the dirt. And the actions over the years indicate a consistent effort by Chrysler people not to rely on Mitsubishi.
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And didn't Renault already have cooperation with and/or shareholding in Nissan?
BTW, aren't you kidding yourself that it was Mercedes that spoiled a healthy Chrysler? Chrysler was a vehicle (pun intended) for Merc to have large sales in the US (and to give the German executives an excuse to pay themselves ridiculously high American wages). Hardly motives to wreck Chrysler.
Blame the foreigners....
DAS
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On Thu, 4 Dec 2008 10:43:57 -0000, "Dori A Schmetterling"

Don't think so, but I could be wrong.

I didn't say they intended to ruin Chrysler. I'm only observing they did.

They were in charge. You'd perhaps like to blame, oh, Lynn Townsend or someone like that?
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On Dec 4, 8:57pm, edward ohare

As Motor Trend points out this month, blame Iacocca for putting Eaton up as his successor instead of Lutz. Also I'd say blame Eaton for being the worst negotiator since the Indians sold Manhattan. Blame Americans who dumped their DC stock, instead of holding onto it and using it to influence the new company.
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wrote:

So.... Motor Trend is using the same logic as Rush Limbaugh now? (Who blames the Democratic **minority** in congress 1998-2006, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter for our current economic woes?)
Despite the admiration I have for him generally, Iacocca didn't do well the last few years. Hanging onto the K platform for one more encore as an imitation big car (Dynasty/New Yorker) was a terrible mistake.
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edward ohare wrote:

Ed - All you have to do to understand the collapse of the mortgage/banking industry is trace the history of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) - started - yes - with Carter, strengthened by Clinton, and then the lack of oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (you've no-doubt seen the youtube video of those embarrassing hearings ("lynchings", etc.), and know of Franklin Raines (Obama campaign financial adviser), taking 90 million - $90,000,000.00 - dollars in personal bonuses by cooking Fannie Mae's books at critical times to trigger said bonuses while he was its CEO?).
Chrysler's situation aside (you injected the wider politics into your post), it is dishonest to deny that very real history and how it was more than a butterfly wing flutter that triggered what we are seeing.
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wrote:

I maintain that the proximate cause of the current financial housing related problems are:
1) Interest rates that were kep too low 2) Excess money available due to Fed budget deficits
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edward ohare wrote:

They all were a factor. I think there are idiots that think rules about finances are arbitrary and aren't real - and a lot of those idiots are in our government. As the saying goes, reality is a bitch. We shall see in the not-too-distant future if any lessons have been learned. My fear is that the answer to that is 'no'.
I agree with Rush L. about almost everything. One thing I have always disagreed with him on is that there's no need to worry about the deficit - he's always maintained that it doesn't mean anything. (well that, and I also drink filtered tap water)
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wrote:

I'm sorry to hear that.
Please consider that many of Rush's views are single solutions to single problems that don't consider the other effects of the solution.

I had a conversation with a former co worker about Rush's proposal that Repubs should vote in Dem primaries and vote for Clinton. After a few exchanges, I said "Well people who do that must be convinced their guy, McCain, is going to lose the general election, so getting Clinton as President would in their view be the lesser of two evils".
Answer was "Oh, no, McCain's going to win". So I said "If that's true then Repubs voting in the Dem primariy doesn't matter. So why do it?". .
Well, he had no answer to that. But he went away convinced I was wrong without being able to say why.

What? Those chemicals in unfiltered water don't hurt you! <G>
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edward ohare wrote:

The filter is to primarily remove chorine (municipal water). Swimming pool water doesn't appeal to me, and probably isn't too healthy.
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I doubt the concentration of chlorine reaches swimming pool levels, and I doubt that any water authority in the US (& any developed country) would permit the circulation of water that is harmful to health.
Not liking the taste of one's local water is another matter. That, in my opinion, is the only reason for filtering at home or drinking still bottled water.
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

You'd be surprised - do a chemical strip test on tap water in a municipal supply in a house close to the treatment facility's outlet. It tells you something when you can walk by a bathroom where water is being run and smell the chlorine.
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Try Philadelphia tap water, a.k.a Schuylkill Punch. The chlorine may not quite be up to swimming pool levels, but it still burns when it goes down.
--
It's times like these which make me glad my bank is Dial-a-Mattress

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edward ohare wrote:

How about the Iraq "war" (invasion really).
I don't think it gets enough blame in the press for this current economic meltdown.
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Yea, I never did convince my self described radical conservative friend that wars aren't good for the economy. He frequently said wars are good for the economy.
Course, his answer to any economic woe was that "we have the most guns".

Many people are so sick of Bush they don't even want to bother blaming him. They just want him gone. Note that his "regret" over the poor intelligence that lead to the war in Iraq was a ho hum event. Yet you'd think that Bush coming close to admitting error would be big news and people would just love to poke at him over it. Yet it was nothing.
I wonder if he's going to pardon himself before he leaves.
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edward ohare wrote:

There has been actual and records of weapons found more recently, including that of yellow cake. But you're right - no one wants to hear about it.
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Bill Putney wrote:

Bill.
Those that are still pounding the WMD drum (and by extention are Bush / Cheney appologists) have got it wrong again.
Everyone knows (now) that the US and UN and IEAE knew that Iraq had tons of yellow cake, which had been in storage since before the 1991 gulf war. Which makes the trumped-up charge that Iraq was trying to obtain *more* of it all the more strange (and which ignited the Plame / Wilson situation and a crime for which nobody in the Bush administration has ever been charged with. Please explain how Richard Armitage knew about Plame's identity, and why he wasn't charged with treason for revealing it to Bob Novak).
Regarding the yellow cake, read this:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25546334 /
------------------ updated 6:57 p.m. ET, Sat., July. 5, 2008
The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.
The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy.
Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said. ------------------
This 550-tone stockpile of yellow cake was never mentioned during Bush's leadup to the invasion in March 2003, nor was it ever mentioned during the 5+ years of occupation.
I've been looking for web-sources that might explain where the yellow cake came from (was it mined inside Iraq? Did it come from Niger during the 1980's?) but can't find any info about this.
All accounts say that during the UN/US-imposed sanctions, that the IAEA had control over the yellowcake. If the US wanted to do a deal and remove that yellow cake back in the late 1990's or early 2000's then it was well within it's power to do so, and using more conventional (cheaper, safer) transport routes - without invading Iraq.
But all in all, this revelation that the US had flown 550 tons of yellow cake out of Iraq this summer didn't get much press, the Bush white house was strangely silent about it, and it all goes to show that the invasion of Iraq was a charade of mis-information and lies on many fronts.
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