Originally Posted by khahn
Chrysler's problems were not the UAW, they began when Iaccoca (sp?) tagged Eaton as his replacement instead of Lutz (who he didn't like). Eaton then sold us (I'm a retired Chrysler worker) to Daimler. At that time we were in the hunt in terms of quality and styling. Daimler saw us as a cash cow, and to that end, they had us remove content and quality of our vehicles, close down styling, and stop future product development (at least in the car segment) while charging the same price. Eventually this causes problems as the word gets out that your product has poor quality. When that happened, Daimler sold us to Cerberus, who I believe thought they could play the same game as Daimler. They under estimated how badly the germans had hurt us and coupled with the down turn in the economy decided to bail. Chrysler can come back, but Fiat, management, and the workers have to be committed to it.
I've heard more than one Chrysler employee tell the same story. I remember in 1998, almost every Chrysler product was either brand new or about to be replaced except for the trucks and Viper. Chrysler had cash reserves for days.
Another thing I've been told is Daimler charged Chrysler for old technology that was forced on them, but never paid the Chrysler side for technology Daimler used. Daimler never shared their profits with the Chrysler side, but forced Chrysler to give up their profits. There were only a few cases where Chrysler won out. Daimler saw the light when Chrysler wanted to keep the Cummins contract instead of using Mercedes diesel engines.
It really is sad to see how Daimler sucked Chrysler dry. Iacoca and friends saved Chrysler, but Iacoca led to its ruin. I doubt Lutz would have sold Chrysler down the river like Eaton did.