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Old 05-22-2010, 12:46 PM   #1
XDCX
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Default Chrysler to second-shift '11 GC in mid-July due to strong dealer orders

Chrysler's launch of the '11 GC generated a lot of favorable coverage and Marchionne's announcement that Chrysler would be adding a second-shift in mid-July and hiring 1,080 new workers was well timed. Here's a news report from Reuter's that provides a nice re-cap - click here

Frankly, it's one of the best P.R. moves I've seen Chrysler make under Marchionne's leadership.

I do think the statement that the second shift is in response to strong dealer orders is an example of "spin doctoring" the story but to the extent it plays well in the media, who can blame them.

Manley commented that initial dealer orders were running 30 - 40% higher than Chrysler expected. Hell, if that's the measure Chrysler's going to use to determine if they need a second shift they would have done that when the Pacifica and Crossfire were released.

The point I'm trying to make is in my opinion the number of dealer orders in the bank is meaningless for a vehicle that's not even on the lot yet. The smart dealers will have a number of orders in the bank with a variety of build combinations to ensure their allocation is built even if there's a last minute material restriction. If the '11 GC gets off to a slow start once it hits the showroom that order bank will disappear overnight.

To be clear, I hope the '11 GC launch is successful and I think it was smart for Chrysler to report a large bank of initial orders. I just wanted to point out the "spin-doctoring" and make reference to the fact the mainstream media seems to report only what they're told.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:19 PM   #2
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I do think the statement that the second shift is in response to strong dealer orders is an example of "spin doctoring" the story...
You are exactly correct. I can assure you that the 2nd shift was planned quite awhile back, long before the dealer banks even opened.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:24 AM   #3
CL Pgh
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I do think the statement that the second shift is in response to strong dealer orders is an example of "spin doctoring" the story...
Considering the past year of bad "spins" that's been tied to our tails... I'll take this one!!!
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:11 AM   #4
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You are exactly correct. I can assure you that the 2nd shift was planned quite awhile back, long before the dealer banks even opened.
Thanks for the confirmation.

Concerning the 1,080 new hires that will be starting at $14/hour, I wonder how Chrysler will determine what shift they're assigned to? I can't imagine they'd all be assigned to the second shift - it doesn't seem possible that Chrysler could run a shift with 1,080 new hires and match the quality of the first shift.

By contrast, I wonder if there are many plants that have mixed the $14/hour employees with full-wage UAW workers?

Regardless, more production is a good thing.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:24 AM   #5
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Considering the past year of bad "spins" that's been tied to our tails... I'll take this one!!!
That's exactly what I thought.

I still remember when Marchionne told the press about 8 months ago that Chrysler was in worse shape than he thought. Who wants to read that quote from their OEM?

There's definitely been a shift in Chrysler's media strategy and that's good news for the dealers. Chrysler's been generating a lot of good news lately and Marchionne's been very positive about Chrysler's future and their ability to issue an IPO next year.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:17 PM   #6
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I just wanted to point out the "spin-doctoring" and make reference to the fact the mainstream media seems to report only what they're told.
Am I the only one cynical enough to think that the press has changed some of their reporting now that the federal government has a personal stake in Chrysler and GM?
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:26 AM   #7
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Am I the only one cynical enough to think that the press has changed some of their reporting now that the federal government has a personal stake in Chrysler and GM?
I don't know, I think a lot of the press resented the bailouts and they've been more critical of GM and Chrysler as a result. As an example, look at all the favorable press Ford received because they were the only American OEM that didn't file bankruptcy.

In my opinion, the bigger issue is whether the government's equity position has changed their behavior. Some of the comments made by LaHood when Toyota was in the hot-seat crossed the line.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:43 AM   #8
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Default Chrysler's not taking any applications for $14/hour jobs

There were several news reports over the weekend clarifying that Chrysler's not taking any applications for the 1,080 jobs that pay $14/hour - they already have enough applicants.
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