Despite the pending sale of a controlling interest in the Chrysler group by DaimlerChrysler, powertrain analysts at CSM Worldwide expect the restructured Chrysler to remain highly competitive in the powertrain arena well into the next decade.


According to CSM, Chrysler has been aggressively procuring designs and outsourcing powertrain production from its global partners. The link that will be maintained with Daimler will be a key element of this strategy.


“Decisions regarding the long-term supply of Chrysler engines and transmissions have already been made,” said Eric Fedewa, vice president of global powertrain forecasts at CSM.


“Moving forward, Chrysler will increasingly outsource its powertrain programs, both design and assembly, to outside suppliers and strategic partners.”


As an example: of the engines Chrysler assembles, 42% are purchased designs, while almost 35% of its transmissions are purchased designs.


By 2013, according to CSM’s forecast, the company will increase design purchasing to 77% for engines and 68% for transmissions. This practice allows access to innovative technologies from suppliers, which is vital for product differentiation and maintaining a competitive edge.


Products from Chrysler’s powertrain strategy include the new line of four-cylinder engines developed in a joint venture with Hyundai and Mitsubishi, the high-tech Phoenix V6 coming in 2010 as a replacement for the current V6 line, and the two mode hybrid transmission co-developed with General Motors and BMW.