When it was "fashionable" for USA car companies to partner with non-USA
car companies to fill particular model gaps in their lineups, GM got 10%
of Isuzu (for the Light Utility Vehicle "LUV" truck to counter the Mazda
and Mitsu small trucks of Ford and Chrysler, respectively), Ford got 10%
of Mazda, and Chrysler got 10% of Mitsu. Don't forget the long-time
European partner of Chrysler, The Rootes Group (which contributed the
Plymouth Cricket sedan!
GM's agreement to sell the LUV trucks ended in the earlier 1980s when
Isuzu established their own CAR and truck distribution network. Ford's
involvement with Mazda is still operational as they have partnered with
several late-model vehicles. Chrysler's involvement with Mitsu has
seemed to end with the current mid-size platforms, vehicle-wise, but
will continue for many years due to replacement parts issues for these
vehicles. GM's still involved with Isuzu via the DuraMax diesels.
I know that Mitsu was a design partner in the new engines and also the
platform the Sebring/Avenger is on, but that probably does not explain
the styling of the Sebring (compared to the LH-era Chrysler products,
the current Sebring is like taking the Forward Look 1955 Chrysler
products and replacing them with the prior 1954 models--still functional
and reasonably stylish, but not nearly as spiffy). The people I see
driving the current Sebring sedans are people that would look good in
the 1954 (and prior) Chryslers, rather than young families or
utility-minded singles. Obviously, the styling was "Mercedes-ized",
make that "Old Mercedes" as opposed to the swooopy newer art deco
I somewhat suspect that Cerberus didn't fully realize that Daimler was
selling them a lineup of vehicles that had few stars. Mercedes and all
of their "stellar" engineering and cache has seemed to leave Cerberus
with many lack-luster cars and a new line of great trucks. The new 300
looks good, but has that blocky "non-aero-friendly" shape. The Calibre
is also too square in shape (I wonder how many really bought it for the
tailgate boombox???) and a poor replacement for the Neon. Nitro???
why, other than to put enough product and volume into the plant to make
it economically viable?
When Chrysler did the LH cars and subsequent vehicles, after the "round"
Ram truck, they had good vehicles that came to market quicker than the
normal industry time (3 years rather than 4-5) and sold well and MADE
MONEY. The plants were running full steam three shifts while GM plants
were being idled, or closed, or sold. Chrylser union employees got
something like $10K EACH for their profit sharing bonus during that
time. The "Golden Years" of Chrysler V2.0 when Chrysler put enough
money into the bank that Kerkorian got jealous and wanted some in the
form of greater dividends.
Still, though, these were some of Chrysler's best years for product and
profits in their entire corporate history. Kind of like when Walter P.
let another building owner build what they thought was the tallest
building in New York . . . until he and his building maintenance people
snuck into the upper part of The Chrysler Building and released the
upper spire to make The Chrysler Building the tallest building . . .
just as they had obviously planned to do all along.
I found the "press release" quite interesting! Congrats for your
innovative efforts! In reality, IF Chrysler could do what is mentioned,
with some upgrades for the newer safety standards and emissions, they
would AGAIN have a winning group of vehicles! Perhaps, they could make
the prior Eagle Vision into the Plymouth Fury it should have been? LOTS
In reality, if Chrysler could recreate the chemistry they had during
those LH-era times, ld be a winning combination today! A winning
combination that could also be "loaned" to GM. The "answers" to the
immediate future lie in the Chrysler Corporation of the 1990s!!!!!