The top brass of Chrysler unveiled their five year plan for removing the automaker from the swamp of fiscal uncertainty. At its Auburn Hills headquarters, Sergio Marchionne, the company's new chief executive, outlined how Chrysler will meet the challenges after losing 8 billion dollars last year and having to obtain a 15-billion dollar federal bailout to keep it from collapse.
Corporate executives have promised major changes in product and marketing strategies over the next five years with many changes and makeovers in the Dodge line-up and an aggressive new marketing push for the Toledo-made Jeep Brands.
Michael Manley, the CEO for Jeep brands told the group of reporters and auto writers that Jeep would undergo some changes, but that Jeep Wrangler would not lose its integrity of origin as a tough off-road vehicle that was created at the onset of World War Two almost 70 years ago. Manley did say that Jeep will see aggressive overseas marketing and a more focused marketing approach in the United States. The Jeep Wrangler will also go green as next year, a diesel-based hybrid model will go into production.
The Wrangler continues to be Chrysler's strongest performer as its sales are only off 2 percent for the year, while other Jeep models have seen sales plummet by nearly 50 percent and more from a year ago. As a result of sluggish sales, three newer Jeep models will be abandoned. They are the Compass, the Patriot and the Commander. There are no plans to market them beyond 2012.