Blog: Dave LeggettWhat's best for a car firm, car guys or accountants?

Dave Leggett | 9 August 2007

I guess there must be a sense of embarking on a journey into the unknown over at newly independent Chrysler Group.

Now that the Cerberus deal has finally been done the new guys in control have made some moves. After the softly-softly talk of recent months, is private equity Cerberus going to revert to type and get the axe out? 

Robert Nardelli as new CEO is certainly a controversial appointment and while Tom LaSorda is still hanging in there, he’ll be playing second fiddle to Nardelli. Will Nardelli be able to use his experience in other industries to good effect in expanding Chrysler’s business, while also ‘containing’ costs?

It could be an inspired choice to avoid another ‘car guy’ at the helm (like Ford has also done with Mulally).

Car guys are at the root of some of the problems facing Detroit, the argument goes. When it comes to hard-nosed business decisions, they duck them. And they get emotional over the product and brands.

The private equity finance-driven people are much less influenced by such things and dispassionately do what’s right for the business, some say.

It’s a balancing act though. You need some people who understand what is a complex industry, the brands, the products and what they mean to the customers.

It will certainly be interesting to see how things unfold at ‘New Chrysler’ and how the private equity experiment pans out.

US: Demoted Chrysler CEO's days numbered - analyst


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