Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Chrysler: At Last, A Car Maker Doing The Right Thing

2007 Chrysler Pacifica

Finally, at long last, someone in Detroit has seen the light. That someone is Chrysler president Jim Press, and what he's about to do is something executives in Detroit should have been doing for decades: Stop building cars/trucks/SUV's that don't sell.

Various reports say Press and Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli are preparing to drop production of vehicles that are either slow sellers or are too similar to other models in the company's line-up. Among those likely to be axed: The Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Magnum, and PT Cruiser convertible.

I think this a smart move. For too long one of the biggest problems in Detroit has been the reluctance/inability to move quickly and stop building dogs. Because of the time and investment that goes in to the launch of each new car or truck, automakers often hang on to models too long. It's as if they are hoping that a little more marketing and a few more months on the showroom floor will turn duds into studs.

Look, the Pacifica has never worked. It was too heavy and too off the mark when the German parents at DaimlerChrysler signed off on it. The Magnum is an aggressive looking wagon that hasn't sold with buyers looking for crossover utility vehicle's, not wagons. And the cruiser convertible is cute...but not a "must-have" convertible.

Who knows if Press and Nardelli will replace the cars they're cutting with winners we want to drive. But at least they aren't following the same old routine in Detroit.

Questions?  Comments?

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