Chrysler, under the aegis of Fiat since early this year, revealed its five-year plan during an all-day event at its Auburn Hills, Mich. headquarters on Nov. 4.
At the historic strategy unveiling for a company that has skirted death more than any other established automotive brand, chairman of the board Robert Kidder and new CEO Sergio Marchionne asserted that the problems that led to the company's bankruptcy can be solved.
"The board began with that perception in June this year," said Kidder. "Five months and several board meetings later, we are confident that Chrysler can emerge successful. Since June, the company has understood the challenge ahead, particularly given the economy and under-investment in the company."
Kidder reeled off components of Chrysler's plan, including leveraging its alliance with Fiat and (in a significant departure from the past) managing its supply chain to match customer demand and production. The company also will work to achieve better consumer satisfaction through its dealer network, and will grow Mopar, Chrysler's after-market business, he reported.
Marchionne, who led Fiat Group since 2005 prior to taking the Chrysler CEO post, said that Chrysler will achieve global economies of scale, with more focused brands and a new, high-performance culture.
Reports of Chrysler's demise are exaggerated, Marchionne declared. "Some of you have been surmising that we are burning through cash. It's not true. As of the end of September, we had $5.7 billion -- up $4 billion from where we started at the end of June," he said. "The new Chrysler is parsimonious."