Chrysler's Slow Motion Management

Stocks:  (GM)(F)(DCX)

Chrysler has announced that it will try to cut its cost-per-vehicle-manufactured by $1,000 through methods that include outsourcing parts production to companies outside the US. The company also said that it wants to take advantage of the growing market in countries like China to improve worldwide sales.

It is little wonder that Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda may not keep his job. He may have been out of the room nearly two years ago when the lesson on dropping margins and falling market share in North America was being given to US car executives. He was also apparently absent for the segment on making up for lost sales in the US by selling more cars in China.

No matter. Mr. LaSorda has now placed Chrysler behind GM and Ford on the timeline for streamlining operations and building business abroad. As he exits the company, which is likely, he can be thankful for the fact that Chysler’s parent, Daimler, has the size and scope to keep it in the game.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at [email protected]. He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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