Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Chrysler's Road Ahead

I hear it all the time from car buffs, Chrysler fans, and those who lament the struggles of the American automakers.

It goes something like this: "Why is Chrysler cutting back here in the U.S. and looking to expand overseas?"

After I talk about the fact that Chrysler's growth prospects are better overseas than here, I usually get, "well, I don't care about overseas, I care about the U.S."

Well, if you are one of these people, I hate to tell you this, but there is more to come.

I say this because the Wall Street Journal today outlines an anticipated shake-up by Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli to expand the company's presence internationally. It's a smart move, even if you don't agree with it.

Chrysler's principal owner, Cerberus Capital, is looking to make Chrysler a global automaker, and not just a regional one -- as it competes with top rivals Ford Motor , Toyota Motors and General Motors .

Yes, I know that people will say, "Cerberus ain't into Chrysler for the long haul," but whether or not you buy that, it doesn't matter. If Cerberus can continue growing Chrysler's presence overseas it not only helps the bottom line, it makes a "regional automaker" more attractive as a global player should the private equity firm decide to sell somewhere down the road.

Like it or not, Chrysler is charging ahead.

Questions?  Comments?