A Canadian Chrysler employee has claimed US management has unfairly copped all the blame for the company's problems and that the Germans should have exerted more influence sooner.

The employee, who works for the Windsor, Ontario, minivan plant and is a member of a local affiliate of the Canadian Auto Workers union, contacted just-auto.com to voice his concerns.

"Obviously this management team did a great job for the five or so years [of] profits for Chrysler before Daimler bought us out to be an equal partner, but now we all know the truth of that idea." he said.

"So now we have a problem. Profits are gone so it#;s all the US management's fault.

If the Germans are as smart as they seem to think they are, why didn#;t they see this coming six months ago and start cutting costs then?

"An example of mismanagement is now very obvious in my plant. They had us working six days a week right up to two weeks ago [but now they have] scaled back our hours to four days a week because there are 106 days#; [worth of unsold] minivans out there.

"Juergen Schrempp should only blame himself for this miscalculation and not Jim Holden alone."

The employee says he is beginning to think that the merger was a bad idea, adding that those involved should have known that the US and Germans would never agree to work together and that now the whole company is paying for the clash of cultures.

He added: "As a Canadian employee, though, I hope that the currency imbalance that is in our favour for making the Germans money will make the top management think only about laying off or closing plants in the US, if it has to come to that.

"I hope this is only a growing pain for our company but the selling of autos cannot keep [going] at the pace it has been for the last five-plus years and the big guys should have known that.

"We do have great products and I personally can see the quality improvements every vehicle changeover. The new five year/100000km (60,000 mile) warranty is the best item the company could add to compete with foreign cars.

He also said that he understood that DC had only made this warranty available in Canada and not in the US as yet. Introducing such a warranty might win additional market share and force GM and Ford to follow suit.

The employee also queried Daimler-Benz's decision to acquire Chrysler. He noted that it has been known for years that there is excess production capacity of 15 to 20% in the auto industry but this is less obvious in times of buoyant sales.

When the sales graphs dip, the issue re-surfaces, threatening other companies as well as Chrysler.

"I wonder why [Daimler-Benz] did not see these facts and invested in a mass producer for a high price at the top of the [sales] cycle, the employee said.

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