Dieter Zetsche, president and chief executive officer of Chrysler Group, announced August 7 that a cornerstone of the company's product offensive in the next three years will be aimed directly at the passenger car market in North America. Speaking at the 2002 Management Briefing Seminars at the Grand Traverse Resort, Zetsche said that "two-thirds of the 21 new and refreshed vehicles that we will introduce (in model years 2003-5) will be car-based." Zetsche also outlined his company's overall strategy for the future, built around a vision to differ-entiate itself from the competition. Zetsche recently set a goal to add one million units a year to Chrysler Group's annual worldwide volume by the beginning of the next decade. Zetsche said that automakers have three ways to build a unique proposition: through operational efficiency, unparal-leled customer experience or product leadership. Chrysler Group, Zetsche said, will focus on product leadership, because it already has an established reputation for many supporting traits of that claim. Zetsche said that Chrysler Group will also seek to take advantage of the newly gained heritage that the merged DaimlerChrysler family now provides. Parts of that company -- notably Mercedes-Benz -- have a leading reputation for product innovation, Zetsche added. Several engines, transmissions, and even an ABS brake system derived from Mercedes products will find their way into Chrysler vehicles, while Chrysler technological contributions in areas such as emissions controls, occupant sensing technology and computer-aided engineering will be adapted company-wide.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials