Wednesday, March 17, 2010

And then there were two?

Phil Edmonston thinks Chrysler's days are numbered:

When it comes to predicting the future of the Detroit Three automakers, outspoken consumer car critic Phil Edmonston doesn't mince words:

Chrysler Group LLC "is doomed." General Motors, if it survives, will be ratcheted down to one brand -- probably Chevrolet, and Ford, "has a future, for the time being."

Edmonston's pessimistic outlook is included in his 2010 Lemon-Aid New Cars and Trucks guide, which has been a key reference for new vehicle buyers over the past four decades. A former NDP member of Parliament, Edmontson, 65, has been a thorn in the side of automakers -- domestic and foreign -- taking them to task and, in some cases, to court over substandard quality and mechanical defects.

As U.S. and Canadian automakers and dealers face bankruptcy and unprecedented downsizing, the task of buying a car has become more precarious than ever, said Edmontson.

"These are treacherous and challenging times," Edmonston said in a phone interview from his home in Panama. Especially if you're considering buying a vehicle from a GM or Chrysler dealer, he warned.

"Chrysler buyers face huge risk of becoming orphan buyers," Edmonston said. The Auburn Hills, Mich., automaker -- which received billions in U.S. and Canadian bailout funds -- has no hope of long-term survival despite its partnership with Italian auto giant Fiat SpA.

"Chrysler hitching its wagon (and minivans) to Fiat will be like two drunks propping each other up," he said. "Both of them have inherent quality problems, and Fiat cannot 'Fiatize' Chrysler because you're looking at different platforms, different cultures.

From the Vancouver Sun.

No comments: