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Two reports highlight the effects Chrysler's cutbacks will have in Europe and North America. Paul Blaney looks at the impact in Europe, while Al Wrigley considers how things will shape up in the US
The view from North American ... Demands for substantial price cuts from parts suppliers, the unexplained "disappearance" of a very sizable bank of cash reserves, and continuing threats of cancellations of new product programmes have turned many components manufacturers, market analysts, financial advisers, and plain-citizens in the US and Canada against officials who control the fortunes of DC's Chrysler Group.
The mounting outrage expressed even by public officials, news media columnists and editors in North American toward Chrysler's bosses in Stuttgart actually seems to have dwarfed all of those personal and class-action law suits brought against DC in recent weeks by shareholders.
The common thread among all of the protesters is their memory of Chrylser as a thriving company with competent, enthusiastic leaders in most departments of its business. Now, most of those leaders are gone, because they either were part of a mass exodus of personnel that began shortly after Chrysler became a part of the German automaker in 1998, or they were let go in the months that followed that transaction.
Although only a little over two years have passed since DC chairman Juergen Schrempp hailed that deal as a "merger of equals," Chrysler's position in the marketplace seems to many people in North America to be an unimpeded downward spiral.
Further cost reductions
Although things could change for the better in the coming months, it is difficult to find anyone who believes that an improvement is in store. One reason for this is that Chrysler's plants, together with its outside parts suppliers, are regarded, by-and-large, as being among North America's lowest cost manufacturers, yet Schrempp and his lieutenants are now seeking 15% reductions …