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The Big 3 and the domestic issues that will affect them

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    "1955-1975 / 1981-1983

    In 1955 Chrysler spun off the Imperial as its own separate marque in an attempt to compete directly with the Cadillac and Lincoln luxury marques offered by both Ford and General Motors. See the separate page Imperial (automobile) for information about Imperial model years 1955-1975 and 1981-1983. Although there were no Imperials produced between 1976 and 1978, the cars previously sold as an Imperial were sold as the Chrysler New Yorker Brougham during this time."
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,682
    why did the brilliant Big 3 throw out Mr.Deming and his quality schpeel, I wonder?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,369
    The same reason it took so long (until bleeding) to address quality - simple arrogance.

    "You can teah us anything, Demming! We're No. 1! How did you think we got there? Go sell your quality stuff to someone else!"

    Regards,
    OW
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    So Lincoln, if not fixed soon could end up like Chrysler, with no luxury car appeal. It's really a shame that Chrysler, couldn't restore it's luxury appeal like they had many decades ago. :(

    -Rocky
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,154
    Oh, I'd LOVE to have a sleek new Imperial or New Yorker Brougham!

    The Chrysler 300-C is close to what I'm looking for. I hope they build that Imperial concept. I know a "poor man's Phantom" would go over big in Philadelphia.

    Shoot, two years ago I visited a Chrysler dealership with my girlfriend to look at a 300. People were literally driving 300s off the lot by the dozen! You'd think the dealer was giving the cars away! Girlfriend didn't buy a 300 that night. She complained that she couldn't see out of the car with its slit-like windows. She bought a new LaCrosse three months later.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,910
    started going downhill in prestige back in the late 50's. They did it on purpose initially, to try and distance themselves from Imperial, so that luxury marque could fly on its own.

    Imperials had always been priced into Cadillac/Lincoln territory, but were sold under the Chrysler nameplate through 1954. While Chryslers were considered prestigious cars back then, they were still a rung below a Cadillac or Lincoln in the eyes of many buyers, and having the Chrysler name tacked on in front of Imperial dragged them down a bit, prestige-wise.

    As a result, in 1955, Imperial was spun off as a separate brand, although over the course of its history, it never could truly shake off its Chrysler roots. The 1955-56 models were on the same platform as the DeSotos and Chryslers, with a stretched wheelbase, a 300 grille, and gunsight taillights.

    The 1957 models were an all-new design, and on a different body from a Chrysler/DeSoto. They sold about 37,000 of them that year, and came close to passing Lincoln in sales, although Cadillac was still the luxury king back then, probably moving about 150-160,000 units.

    In 1960, while the rest of Chrysler went unit-body, the Imperial just got a heavy redesign of the 1957-59 design. It was still body-on-frame, but a lot of unibody techniques were applied to the body itself, stiffening it up, so the end result was an incredibly beefy, sturdy car. So sturdy, in fact, that these things were often banned from demolition derbies because they were so tough!

    Imperial milked the basic 1957 body through 1966. It was cleaned up considerably for 1964-66, being restyled by the same guy who did the '61 Continental, Elwood Engle. The only thing that really gave away its aging design was the wraparound windshield. However, the aging design must have hurt Imperial's prestige. And IIRC, in 1966, the much cheaper New Yorker went to a 440 engine standard, while the Imperial had to stick it out with a 413.

    The Imperial went unit-body for 1967, and while it was still substantially different from a Chrysler, it still bore too much of a family resemblance. And it still used the same engine as a New Yorker, which had to hurt prestige. Cadillac and Lincoln didn't share their engines with cheaper divisions back then, and that gave them an air of exlusivity.

    In 1969, Chrysler redesigned their big cars again, and the Imperial adopted the same "fuselage" look as the other cars. It lost a bit more prestige, but was still a handsome car with its clean lines, low silhouette, and hidden headlights. It was still longer overall than a Chrysler, but cars were getting so big in general by then that the difference wasn't all that noticeable.

    In 1974, Chrysler released another round of redesigned big cars, just in time for the first energy crisis. They were actually a bit lighter and supposedly smaller than the 1969-73 models, and had very open, airy greenhouses for the time. But they still had a heavy, hulking look to them, just screaming out the fact that they were going to guzzle. By this time, the Imperial was on the same 124" wheelbase as the Chrysler Newport and New Yorker. The 1969-73 Imperials had been on a longer 127" wheelbase. The 1974 Imperial had hidden headlights, and a slightly different rear treatment than a New Yorker, and a ritzier interior. It was a poor seller, though, and was cancelled after 1975.

    For 1976-78, Chrysler gave the New Yorker the same front-end as the 1974-75 Imperial, and offered a Brougham model that had an interior that could out-pimp any Cadillac or Lincoln out there at the time. It was probably considered more of a competitor to the Olds 98 or Buick Electra, but it would've been a worthy competitor to a Caddy or Lincoln of the time, as well.

    In 1979, Chrysler did a half-baked redesign for their big cars. They took what was basically the 1971-78 intermediate, punched out the wheelbase a bit, gave it crisper, more modern sheetmetal, and passed it off as a full-sized car. The New Yorker was positioned about at the same level as the 98 and Electra, maybe a bit higher, while a plush 5th Avenue edition was priced at around $12,000, which was pushing into Cadillac/Lincoln territory. These cars had hidden headlights, in the tradition of the '75-78 New Yorker and the '69-75 Imperials. The second fuel crisis, widely publicized news of Chrysler's impending demise, and more heavy, hulking styling that just screamed "guzzler" ensured a quick demise, after a moderately successful 1979 run. They were ditched after 1981.

    Now in 1981, Chrysler made one last attempt to stab at Cadillac/Lincoln territory, with the Imperial coupe. I think the first year it was priced at about $25,000, which was a ton of money back then, and production was to be limited to "just" 25,000. Alas, it was just a heavily modified Cordoba/Mirada, which itself was a heavily modified Aspen/Volare, and was plagued with fuel injection problems that made conversion to a 2-bbl carb very common. They sold about 7200 units for 1981, and sales went nowhere but down through 1983, when it was pulled, along with the Cordoba/Mirada.

    Chrysler tried yet another stab at reviving the Imperial around 1989. As if basing an Imperial on a Volare wasn't bad enough, this time it was based on the K-car! Needless to say, it was a flop. However, it also wasn't all that expensive to produce, as the same basic car was available as the Dynasty, New Yorker, and 5th Avenue, so they built it through around 1993. It was replaced, in a sense, by the 1994 Chrysler LHS.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,154
    Trying to turn a K-Car into an Imperial was like dressing Napoleon Dynamite in a pimp outfit.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,089
    Thanks for the summary about Imperials. I always enjoy your explanations.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    The current 300/Charger platform might make a decent Imperial. Of course, Chrysler would screw it up somehow. ;)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,910
    The current 300/Charger platform might make a decent Imperial. Of course, Chrysler would screw it up somehow.

    Actually, the 300 has brought a lot of prestige back to Chrysler, so it could serve well as the basis for an Imperial. That is, IF they don't screw it up like you said!

    Honestly, for Chrysler to return to the type of prestige that they had in the 40's, 50's, or even up to the mid-70's, they need to drop the Sebring, quit putting the Chrysler badge on trucks, and make a V-8 standard in the 300.

    One nice thing about having Plymouth around is that Chrysler could still keep some dignity about themselves. Cars like the 1958 Windsor, 1961 Newport, and to a lesser degree the 1975 Cordoba and 1977 LeBaron, took Chrysler downscale, but once Plymouth got the axe and stuff like the PT Cruiser, Voyager minivan, and the cheapened 2001 Sebring hit the market, Chrysler suddenly found themselves trying to fill the gap left by Plymouth, and that really moved them downmarket IMO.

    Not that there's anything wrong with the PT Cruiser. I just think it should be a Plymouth or, at best, a Dodge. And the Sebring convertible could just as easily be an Avenger convertible.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    "One nice thing about having Plymouth around is that Chrysler could still keep some dignity about themselves. Cars like the 1958 Windsor, 1961 Newport, and to a lesser degree the 1975 Cordoba and 1977 LeBaron, took Chrysler downscale, but once Plymouth got the axe and stuff like the PT Cruiser, Voyager minivan, and the cheapened 2001 Sebring hit the market, Chrysler suddenly found themselves trying to fill the gap left by Plymouth, and that really moved them downmarket IMO.

    Not that there's anything wrong with the PT Cruiser. I just think it should be a Plymouth or, at best, a Dodge. And the Sebring convertible could just as easily be an Avenger convertible."

    Absolutely correct. Killing Plymouth was a huge strategical blunder and they haven't recovered yet.

    When Daimler got into the act the idea was they were going to move Chrysler upscale. Once they decided to kill Plymouth that went right out the window.

    I'm pretty pessimistic about Chrysler's long term survival and that is a shame.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,154
    ...or was that decision made by the guys in Stuttgart?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,910
    Chrysler had been in the process of phasing out Plymouth anyway, and probably would have done it eventually, but after the Benz takeover, they decided to just move on it more quickly.

    I think most of the writing was on the wall by the early 90's, when Plymouth didn't get a version of the Intrepid/Concorde. And then a few years later, when the Stratus/Cirrus sedans came out, they half-heartedly added the Plymouth Breeze the following year, sticking it only with an undersized 2.0 or a 2.4, but no V-6 option as on the Dodges and Chryslers.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Yeah, Plymouth was slowly strangled.

    Dumb move and one you saw coming when there wasn't a Plymouth Intrepid.

    They'd have been better if they'd cut it clean earlier. The way it was handled was about as badly as it could be andthe result was all the Chrysler dealers wanting cheaper cars which watered down the Chrysler brand.

    I don't think there has been someone at the helm of Chrysler that really knew what he wanted to do since Iacocca - and he only had that one platform to work from!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,154
    ...I'd have had a Plymouth LH car and have called it the Fury. So many nice Chrysler cars should've been Plymouths, especially the PT Cruiser and the Sebring. Shoot, the PT Cruiser alone would've allowed for a spectacular comeback for Plymouth.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    DETROIT — In his first campaign stop in Michigan, Sen. Barack Obama criticized the Motor City for not doing enough to stem the nation's dependence on foreign oil and laid out a plan to help bring the auto industry "into the 21st century."

    Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate and senator from Illinois, also said his blueprint would provide up to $3 billion to Detroit auto companies and their suppliers to retool factories to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. Auto companies that would invest in such vehicles would also get help in paying for current and retired workers' health-care expenses, he said. Obama spoke to the Detroit Economic Club, but the CEOs of Ford, Chrysler and GM were not in attendance.

    His plan includes a 4-percent-per-year increase in fuel economy standards starting in 2009. By 2022, the fuel economy standard for cars and light trucks would be 40 mpg. The current federal standards are 27.5 mpg for cars and 24 mpg for trucks. Obama would also like fuel-efficiency standards for cars to be rewritten so that mileage requirements are set according to vehicle size, rather than a one-size-fits-all standard.

    Despite the tough talk, Obama's speech was interrupted 10 times for applause. But the Chicago Sun-Times noted that he is now being chauffeured to campaign stops in what they called "Secret Service gas guzzlers" instead of his flex-fuel Chevy Tahoe.

    What this means to you: Obama doesn't pull any punches in Motown, but his plan is similar to the one proposed by the Bush administration.

    What this means to me: He might earn my vote as he is offering REAL solutions with finacial assistance instead of lip service. :)

    -Rocky

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=120691
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Maybe they can use their yearly executive bonus funds to pay for the research instead. ;) I never did figure out how it is that American CEOs and executives get such wonderfully large bonuses as their companies shrink, lose money, lose market share, and lose customers.

    And yeah, executive pay is a domestic issue....there have been several reports on the subject, and I believe there is still some sort of Congressional investigation ongoing.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,369
    I believe the big oil and big auto companies drive a huge part of our economy with energy and transportation products.

    The international competition is driving changes...it just takes more time than everyone expects to see those changes.

    The asians have a better business model as far as I can see.

    Regards,
    OW
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Well, if you look at business in the USA in the last 2 decades you'll notice there's been a shift away from serving stakeholders (and sometimes even just shareholders) and toward serving itself..or at least upper management and the "major" stockholders primarily.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,369
    Agreed, this is a current statement which shows there is a better way to share equally leading to more success. I am not saying it is perfect but continued failure seems to lead to more greed, at least for the U.S. auto case:

    Shinya Naruse, auto analyst with Nomura Securities in Tokyo, said toppling GM in global vehicle production is just the latest in Toyota's victories because it has already beaten GM in profit, which is more important.

    "But it is a very visible step, and it's only a matter of time," he said. "It's difficult to give one explanation for Toyota's success but it's simply its ability to come up with attractive products that sell."


    Regards,
    OW
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Agreed, this is a current statement which shows there is a better way to share equally leading to more success. I am not saying it is perfect but continued failure seems to lead to more greed, at least for the U.S. auto case:

    Well, it makes sense if you look at how most executives are compensated here. Primarily they're contracted for x number of years and x number of dollars, flat. "Bonuses" are written in too, and so aren't really bonuses. To fire the guy, a company has to pay extra on TOP of the contracted money, so they're out the cash whether they keep him on or not. The only part of the compensation that's tied to performance are the stock options, and those are vulnerable to manipulation (hence encouraging our wonderful theoretical exec to manipulate).

    So in essence what we have is an employee who's pay is not tied to their job performance, and who will be paid the same amount whether or not they do a bad job or are even fired. Hence there isn't even an INCENTIVE to perform. Not too sure how they do it in other countries...anyone know?
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    What you don't think ARM is worth $28 mill for 4 months work as a new hire ? :P

    Not even A-ROD makes that kind of money. Well Oscar DeLahoya came close last Saturday $25 million as my home boy Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather Jr. from my hometown of Grand Rapids, Mi. laid the whippen stick on him. ;) Floyd, owns quite a few domestic vehicles. Mainly blinged out SUV's :shades:

    -Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I've always heard that Japanese Executives
    don't pay themselves more than 25% than the man underneath them. ;)

    -Rocky
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,910
    Dumb move and one you saw coming when there wasn't a Plymouth Intrepid

    I don't know if it was coincidence or not, but in 2002, Chrysler de-contented the Intrepid. And that was right around the time that the last Plymouth rolled off the assembly line. It was a white Neon, but I can't remember now if it was an '02 or an '03.

    I used to consider Dodge a step up from Ford or Chevy because, well, once upon a time it was! But as time went by, Dodge started getting more models that competed with Chevy, while Plymouth would simply do without. Even back in the 70's, Plymouth never got a Monte Carlo type of personal luxury coupe. That was left to Dodge, with the Charger S/E and, later, the Magnum and Mirada. But then, by the 70's, Chrysler was getting really bad about badge-engineering cars, so there really wasn't much difference between a Cordoba and a Charger S/E, whereas there was still plenty to differentiate a Cutlass Supreme, Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, and Regal.

    And some years, they really struggled to try to slap together some Plymouth models. For example, to make the 1980 Gran Fury, they basically took a Chrysler Newport, blacked out some parts of the grille, and slapped St. Regis taillights on it! I had an '89 Gran Fury, and the only way I knew to tell them apart from a Dodge Diplomat was to read the badging! Someone did point out to me though, that the Gran Fury used some blackout trim on the taillight assembly, while the Diplomat's was a lighter gray. And up front, it was just the opposite, with some parts of the Diplomat's grille blacked out, while it was just light gray on the Gran Fury.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,154
    Shoot, towards the end of the Dodge Diplomat's run, didn't they simply use a Chrysler Fifth Avenue front end and grille with a big chrome cross to make it a Dodge?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,369
    At $750,000 per game, you can bling anything you like!!

    Fire Rocket at Will!

    Regards,
    OW
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,910
    Shoot, towards the end of the Dodge Diplomat's run, didn't they simply use a Chrysler Fifth Avenue front end and grille with a big chrome cross to make it a Dodge?

    That was the Diplomat S/E, which was the luxury model of the Diplomat. It had a pretty nice cloth interior, and may have had a few other features like standard air conditioning. I think it came out for 1985 and was offered through the end in 1989. The regular Diplomats still kept the traditional front-end, where the grille tapered out under the headlights and housed the turn signals.
  • smalltownsmalltown Posts: 72
    One thing that no one has mentioned concerning domestic issues is the state of education. Just take a look at major engineering schools. Look at the faculty and the students, especially the graduate students. How many are native-born Americans? Those are some of the people we need in research and development for future vehicles. Those of you with younger kids, you need to push them to take math and science courses, and then get engineering and computer science degrees, including graduate degrees. Then they can get jobs directing R&D. That is one way to keep the American automotive industry a viable player in the long haul.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Well from what I understand their are special "grants" given to foreign students. It's kind of hard to be able to afford sending your child to a engineering school when it will set he/she/parents back six-figures while the foreign student has their education nearly paid for. :sick: Until you build up your resume you won't be able to afford that 9% interest loan at $25-35,000 a year. Well that's what most of em' make in Michigan. :sick:

    -Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070509/AUTO02/705090381/1148-

    Daniel, wrote a incredible article which I have to agree with him. :sick:

    -Rocky
This discussion has been closed.