The 1995 model year looms large for Chrysler, and most especially for Chrysler's Cirrus, the newest member of the family.
After the success of the large LH cars and the small Neon with their "cab forward" design, Chrysler's Cirrus will be the first of three mid-size "cab-forward" products.Cirrus will enter the marketplace in the fall. The Dodge Stratus will follow during the winter and finally, later next year will come the Plymouth version, which has yet to be named.
Chrysler President Robert Lutz says the company's record profits are only being limited by the short supply of some products, a problem he is working on and expects to overcome. What bothers Lutz most are the problems that don't actually exist and, therefore, are problems that can't be fixed.
For example, Lutz cites the recent reports of customer satisfaction surveys that showed Chrysler customers saying they were less happy with their purchases than customer of a number of other manufacturers, including American manufacturers.
The quality question these days, Lutz says, is a matter of a few percentage points and, with rare exception, there are no bad cars anymore and the ranking of such close numbers distorts the overall picture.
Lutz says Chrysler's bottom line has never been better, and he fully expects it will continue to improve.
What else does Lutz see in the future?
Lutz says as long as the government is reasonable about clean air and fuel economy, the industry will prosper. What about electric vehicles? Lutz smiles and says they would be no problem if they could be sold the way toy cars are sold - batteries not included.
Lutz says battery technology still has a long way to go before an electric vehicle will be able to compete with an internal combustion engine. Lutz recommends natural gas as the alternative fuel of the future.