Daimlerchrysler Selling Chrysler Ag at a Bargain Price

By: Lisa Ziegler

Investors that are planning to purchase Chrysler are advised to become a marketing savvy and to prepare $7 billion as payment. It is true that the Chrysler deal looks better on paper due to the bargain that the buyer is getting.

The price tag of the Chrysler Group range from $5 billion to $7 billion which is rather far from the $36 billion valuation of the original merger---and just like what most analysts observed with the present price that DCX is selling Chrysler it is more of trying to pay its buyer so that it can once and for all get rid of its loss-making American arm without considering making a profit.

The new owner would also have to market its way out of one of the great automaker inventory gluts of all time comprising of surplus of steel that pushed Chrysler to the brink last year. Plus there are also other issues that new buyer would have to deal with like branding and positioning issues.

Chrysler---American arm of Daimler and manufacturer of top-of-the-line --- has not been able to clearly define and differentiate its brand trio something that experts question at last week's New York Auto Show. They said that Chrysler has failed to do this. Vic Doolan, non-executive chairman of consultant Courland Automotive Practice said that the carmaker was overlapping Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep models that instead of them competing with other brands ended up competing with each other instead. Doolan also recommends for the automaker to build its global presence to reach fats-growing emerging markets such as China.

John Morel, director-product and market planning at American Suzuki Motors Corp. has also given Chrysler some advice. He said that before spending a great deal on marketing Chrysler needs to differentiate its brands since the company has too many similar products such as Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen.

Mr. Morel has observed that Chrysler has stretched its Jeep brand too far saying that the Commander is already hurting the sales of the Grand Cherokee while the Jeep Compass is competing with the Dodge Caliber which is not good.

Auto consultant Gordon Wangers has also given his own observation saying that Jeep's crown jewel, the Grand Cherokee is being ignored by Chrysler. He also pointed out that the Dodge Ram needs also to be redone so it can effectively compete again as a key player in the full-size-pickup segment. The last time that the model has gotten a makeover was in the year 2001. And at present it is considered to be the oldest in Detroit.

Last week at DaimlerChrysler's annual meeting, Chairman Dieter Zetsche has confirmed the company's worst-kept secret: the automaker is in discussion with undisclosed parties to sell Chrysler.

From the time that Chairman Zetsche has announced that Chrysler is for sale reports on its possible buyers have been flooding the net and just recently the number of contenders have lowered down to two New York financial outfits namely the Blackstone Group and the private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, and the Canadian auto supplier Magna International Corporation. And just last week Kirk Kerkorian has also offered a $4.5 billion bid for Chrysler.

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