Thursday, April 22, 2004

Daimler Chrysler drops out of Mitsubishi

For those of you who don't know, Mercedes essentially runs Mitsubishi motors. According to press reports that time is over. What does this mean? It's really too early to say. It might mean a number of things. It could mean a new trend for European and American car companies to stop supporting ailing Japanese companies they own. A good example of this would be GM with Isuzu and Suzuki. Another example might be Ford with Mazda. The latter is highly unlikely because Ford is using Mazda's engineering know-how to create a FWD sedan platform for many future vehicles. GM though, would take a smaller loss than Daimler did with Mitsubishi, if it were to drop Suzuki or Isuzu.

This is a rebellion against Schrempp, the chairman of Daimler Chrysler. This man is the complete opposite of another European wunderkind, Carlos Ghosn. Ghosn has taken Nissan, and totally resurrected the company using Renaults' money. Schrempp has taken Chrysler and Mitsubishi, and run both poorly. Mitsubishi's are usually seen as the worst made Japanese cars, and the company has no real image in the marketplace. I like the Eclipse, and the Lancer EVO, but after they dropped the last generation Eclipse with turbo, as far as I was concerned, they dropped their best performer. They're a big company in LA, but outside of the LA foreign car buying public, Americans have little to no interest. Expect them to leave the US.

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