Like every big car producer, Chrysler needs to look into the future urgently. How it should address societal changes, environmental issues and different consumer needs does not have an easy answer but some directions are more obvious.
Like most American big car producers, Chrysler has been focused on selling big cars, such as the 300C. It has not been focused on making radical changes that the world might need at the moment, usually related with reduction. Chrysler does not like to leave its comfort zone too much.
While congestions, pollution and greenhouse effects increase, Chrysler isn’t working on making very relevant changes to their upcoming vehicles. In 2012, Pete Grady, Vice-President of Chrysler Group LLC of Network Development & Fleet, when talking about future product strategy, was proud to remember everyone that Chrysler invented the minivan. That was a great deal, 30 years ago. At the moment, their most relevant change for future vehicles seems to be the introdution of new 8/9 speed transmissions. While “having more gears allows smaller […] engines to power larger vehicles or improves the efficiency of existing engines”, they do not represent a significant change. In fact, Michael Omotoso, Senior Manager of Global Powertrain Forecasting at LMC Automotive, states that Chrysler is “[…] doing basically the bare minimum to satisfy government regulations. Their strategy is to meet the standards with minimum investment”.
The world is still waiting to see Chrysler investing on serious alternative solutions.
Allpar.com. (2013). Upcoming Chryslers, Dodges, Rams, and Jeeps. Available: http://www.allpar.com/model/upcoming.html. Last accessed 8 Nov 2013.
Rex Roy. (2011). Gears Galore: How Many Speeds Is Too Many?. Available: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/industry/gears-galore-how-many-speeds-is-too-many. Last accessed 8 Nov 2013.
Shane McGlaun. (2012). Chrysler Readies Nine-Speed Auto Transmissions to Cut Fuel Consumption. Available: http://www.dailytech.com/Chrysler+Readies+NineSpeed+Auto+Transmissions+to+Cut+Fuel+Consumption/article25306.htm. Last accessed 8 Nov 2013.
Pete Grady. (2012). Chrysler’s Future Product Strategy and Resale Value Initiatives. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxHbhjOkrDk. Last accessed 8 Nov 2013. Comments: “Description: After several challenging years, Chrysler has regained its momentum and reinvigorated its future product pipeline. In this presentation, Pete Grady, VP, Network Development & Fleet for Chrysler Group LLC, will provide insight into the company’s future product strategy and resale value initiatives. From the C.A.R. Conference at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.”