Our Turnaround Hope is to Sell a Huge Pick-up

Bad news on the front page of today’s Gazette. The local Dodge dealer might close. It is hardly a surprise after what I read in last night’s WSJ about the company’s strategic plan for a future recovery. It is stupendously out of touch with reality, since the story said their main hopes lie in a redesigned fullsize Dodge Ram pick-up. What!? You mean the 8-cylinder gas guzzler that saw sales plunge 29% this year? You mean the hopes for 201o rest in building a new version of a truck that dealers can’t get off their lots now?

It gets worse. The other ‘turnaround’ vehicle that Chrysler says it will help win back the legions of customers who have fled for Toyota, Nissan and Honda is the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Yes, Grand, as in eight-cylinders, less than 20 mpg, and another car that nobody wants. Why would a company that’s been taken over by a hedge fund, (aren’t these guys the ones who earn billions per year?) make such obviously bad decisions about which cars to build?

Earlier this year, Chrysler tried to paper over the lack of consumer interest problem stemming from $4 gas by giving away a card that enabled purchasers of their bad mileage vehicles to pay only $2.99 a gallon for a year. What a terrible idea. Encourage a big investment in a vehicle that costs too much to operate. And give them a card that makes the problem temporarily go away.

It’s sad that the former Cahillane Dodge might go down. But that’s what they said in Westfield when they stopped making buggy whips, too.