Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"60 Minutes" with Sergio Marchionne: Resurrecting Chrysler

Everyone loves a good comeback.

The recent "60 Minutes" segment, "Resurrecting Chrysler," chronicles the ultimate automaker comeback story. From Chrysler's decline, to its purchase by FIAT, loan payback, and now its profit and brand revival leading into its promising future.

The piece is also an in-depth look into the man widely credited with Chrysler's re-invention: FIAT CEO Sergio Marchioone. "60 Minutes" looks at Marchionne from both a personal and professional viewpoint.

General Manager, Ed Buck, from Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Grand Rapids, MI was praticularly impressed by Marchionne's unorthodox management skills, choosing to work on the same floor as his engineers, rather than in a removed 'higher' office.

"What a great interview! You can see why Mr. Marchionne is such an effective and successful leader," Ed commented. "In his words, 'I can build a car with just the guys on this floor, and that's all I care about". He might not be much of a "late night guy' as he said, but he is one incredible business man."

Marchionne achieved the company's dramatic turnaround by investing in the modernization of Chrysler's factories, upgrading 16 of the existing models, and integrating Chrysler and FIAT's operations.

"It's been a long, rocky road, but the fear is gone," Marchionne told CBS's "60 Minutes."

For Marchionne, the pairing of FIAT and Chrysler strengthened both companies by allowing each to offer a more complete product line. As the video surmises, Chrysler has its strengths in Jeeps, minivans and light trucks, while FIAT's assets lay in small-car technology, and fuel-efficient engines: the exact ingredients that were missing from Chrysler's industrial-recipe.

The first true testament to this perfect pairing will be the 2013 Dodge Dart, based on FIAT's Alfa Romeo Giulietta, but re-engineered and built right here in the United States.

The Dart is not only a crucial representation of the company's new strengths, but an important potential lifeline for the automaker, making its presence felt in the compact sedan category, something Chrysler has been missing for more than a decade. And with 40 mpg and a starting price tag of $16,000, the Dart is a new kid on the block to be reckoned with.
"With Marchionne's incredible focus on product-quality, Chrysler will continue to succeed; I can't wait to drive the new Dart this June," Buck said after viewing the clip.


 
Leave us a comment on what you think of Marchionne and the Chrysler resurgence!


 

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