Thursday, April 30, 2009

What would Yogi Berra and Lee Iacocca say?

There used to be a saying here that when the auto industry caught a cold, Kenosha got pneumonia.

It's been a long time since the glory days when cars were actually built in Kenosha. Truth is, though, the days weren't all glorified. Periods of economic uncertainty were not uncommon.

But before we rush to quote Yogi Berra that it's just "deja vu all over again" please consider the one thing American Motors and Chrysler never did: sought bankruptcy protection.

The bankruptcy bombshell is no laughing matter. Lee Iacocca worked hard in his stint as Chrysler's CEO to avoid taking the dip. His government backed loan guarantees were satisfied and Chrysler became profitable.

That was then. This is now.

Yes, I know we're in an economic crisis but it's always easy for the folks running auto companies to blame someone or something else.

Frankly, Chrysler's products aren't much to write home about. I've owned several and have become increasingly displeased with build quality and performance and low resale values. This experience is repeated whenever I rent a Chysler made product.

In short, the designs are great but it's like putting a $400 suit on a terminally ill patient: looks great but that's about it.

This is unfortunate because I truly want to support the home team -- and have done so several times in the past.

My five year old Honda has been in the shop fewer times than my three year old Caravan. Enough said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As you know, the problem isn't with the workers -- it's the company and management that gives short attention to quality issues.