Chrysler's Aggressive Letter-Writing Campaign is "Unable to Repurchase Your Confidence"

Chrysler has tapped the mammoth international law firm Jones Day as their bankruptcy counsel, a firm with annual revenues in the billions and armed to the teeth with 2,350 attorneys. Should make for some healthy legal fees.

But at least someone's earning money. J. Tangeman's May 13 letter to Chrysler dealers will result in the pathological deaths of almost 800 dealerships and the disappearance of 38,000 American jobs.

The letter is sad. Tangeman, Chrysler's national dealer placement manager, makes a lot of unequivocal statements, like:

  • "Chrysler is unable to repurchase your new vehicle inventory …"
  • "Chrysler is unable to repurchase your motor parts inventory …"
  • "Chrysler is unable to repurchase your Essential/Special tools …"

But in the first paragraph he's not so equivocal, explaining the reason for the letter like this:

  • "The unprecedented decline in the industry has had a significant impact upon sales."

What does that mean, unprecedented decline in the industry? Who or what does it reflect on? I ask because CEO Bob Nardelli's condescending letter to Chrysler's customers, dated April 30, hints at no such decline:

  • "Some may be wondering if purchasing a Chrysler vehicle now is a wise investment … Your local dealer would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about today's products, which have the highest quality rankings of any in our history."

Oh come on. Nevermind that six weeks from the date of that letter, "local dealer" will be an emphatically relative term; the deplorable thing is Bob's effort to shift the blame for Chrysler's bankruptcy away from his half-assed leadership and onto to some evil economic apparition.

Whose rankings is he using? Certainly not those of Consumer Reports; in February the magazine categorically flunked the entire Chrysler line.

Anyway, how pissed do you think GM and Chrysler were when they found out Ford was passing on a bailout? The Brotherhood of the 'Big 3' was broken; if Ford could do without, neither Chrysler nor GM could safely claim that their product lines weren't to blame, that they needed help because 'everyone' needed help.

Well not everyone needs help, but Chrysler's bottomless ineptitude is doing their best to make it so.

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