Press to Rationalize Chrysler Product Line

I am finally winding down on one serious road trip across the UK and Germany.  I head back home tomorrow.  I have slept in 6 different hotels the past 9 evenings.  It’s been crazy to say the least… especially given the fact we also launched the new website design during this same time!  For the record, I don’t recommend this strategy to anyone.

I am looking forward to getting back on the saddle and writing more consistently, including finishing up our value stream mapping series.

Until then I wanted to share an interesting article I discovered over on Mark Graban’s blog.  The article discussed how James Press, former top Toyota exec now Chrysler boss, is beginning to make some changes.

At meetings with Chrysler’s dealers this week, Press revealed the beginnings of a plan to overhaul the troubled automaker’s lineup, trimming its 28 existing models to something in the neighborhood of 16 and adding new ones to fill existing gaps.

I really applaud Press for this. Mark questioned why it took a former Toyota man to figure this out. And it’s a fair question. But I think this type of problem (overlapping product lines) exists within many companies and may be one of the least appreciated strengths of Toyota.

I am especially impressed to see how Press is willing to sacrifice short term profits as they trim their product line.

“They will lose sales,” says John Wolkonowicz of Global Insight’s North American Auto Forecasting Group. “When they get rid of one model, they may only get back 20% of those buyers with their remaining cars.

Let’s see how this unfolds. Initially, I was not sure how to feel when hearing of Press leaving Toyota for the big bucks of Chysler. But I must confess… I’m pulling for him now. I really hope to see Chrysler turn things around. Time will tell.

Speak to you again soon back in the awesome USA!