In the news this morning: Chrysler is in bankruptcy.
I'm so glad I bought a new Chrysler last year.... obviously a brilliant decision!
I hope the bankruptcy reorganization is successful. Apparently Fiat is working on a deal to take over a partial ownership and inject some of its expertise in making more fuel-efficient cars. This could be a good thing. There is even talk of resurrecting the Alfa Romeo in the American market. I loved those cars when I was a kid; would love to see them rolling off the production lines here.
There will be tough choices to be made, and everyone involved is likely to lose out on something, from retirees to current factory workers, dealers, and salespersons, to equity holders and secured and unsecured creditors. I just hope they can work a deal that is acceptable to enough of the stakeholders to get through the Court system. I will be pretty distressed if my car company (along with my 10 year bumper to bumper warranty) vanishes.
I really like the Chrysler cars. They are distinctive, not just your same old boring sedans that are indistinguishable from each other until you see the logo. Can you tell a Honda from a Toyota at a distance? I thought not. But you know what a PT Cruiser looks like from across the parking lot, right?
And I do like my 300. It is fun to drive, comfortable to ride in, and pretty to look at. Gas mileage isn't the best, though. I sometimes miss my Toyota when I fill the tank. And it's not just Chrysler's large cars that were fuel-inefficient. The Sebring and PT Cruiser did not get substantially higher EPA mileage ratings than the 300, despite being substantially smaller. I'd love to see a Fiat / Chrysler merger - Fiat makes some nice-looking cars, too. Perhaps some smaller and more fuel efficient, but still stylish cars will be forthcoming.
Let's all hope for the best, both (selfishly) for my desires to keep my warranty and to continue seeing distinctive cars on the road and (more altruistically) because I hope that all the employees of Chrysler and its suppliers will not end up losing their jobs and pensions.
And if you get a chance to buy a new Chrysler at a good price, go for it, please. They're going to need the votes of confidence - and the dollars to finance their post-bankruptcy payment plan. Even if the reorganization plan is successful on paper and gets through the bankruptcy court, it won't work if people don't buy the cars.
For the record, my Chrysler runs well and seems (so far at least) to be well put-together. There are no rattles or loose panels or random noises. Just a smooth purring engine when I drive. I'd buy another Chrysler, down the road, if it's an option... I hope it will be an option...