California Autos Examiner

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Project D Turning Into "Nissan D Platform" for Chrysler?

Yesterday I had speculated that it made no sense for Chrysler to go it alone in the development of new products. Today's WSJ has an article which says that Chrysler may indeed be adapting the Nissan Altima's "Nissan D platform" for its Avenger/Sebring replacement. The article cautions that such experiments don't always work and cites the Saabaru 9-2x as one such example. I would use the Fiat 500/Ford Ka and Opel Corsa/Fiat Grande Punto as examples of co-developed cars that each take their own path.

I'm in Chrysler's corner on this one. If a compelling and unique design can be placed on top of Nissan's platform, I don't think most buyers are going to mind. Any Chrysler product cannot look like a tarted up Altima, however, because buyers will see right through any rebadging. Ideally you should be able to park the two vehicles next to each other and not be able to immediately spot that they are twins.

Another potential for avenue for Chrysler is to share development with manufacturers not current marketing in the U.S. For example, what if Chrysler shared products with France's PSA? This would allow Peugeot and Citroen to gain benefits of volume without having to setup shop or market its vehicles here in the U.S. In turn, this would give Chrysler unique products that wouldn't be easily identifiable as coming from a competitor. Another such partner could be Fiat and Chrysler may end up partnering with Fiat to build Alfa's here in the States.

No matter what, Chrysler would still develop trucks, SUVs and minivans on its own and continue to seek partnerships with manufacturers who don't want to risk large bets in the sector. Volkswagen's Routan and Nissan's future pickup are such examples of how Chrysler can market its truck expertise to others.

Chrysler, Nissan in Talks To Team Up on Key Cars -


Anonymous said...

Chrysler could do worse than just sticking it's logo on the Altima. Can it be any worse than the Sebring?

rwcmick said...

I think an Altima based sedan would be a good thing. I'd like to see somthing more creative than a Dodge badge on the Altima, but no matter what Chrysler has to fix these sedans.

70oldscutlass said...

I think this is a good thing! It can only help Chrysler's rep. regarding quality, but I agree with rwcmick I want to see something creative, not a Dodge badge on an Altima...

rwcmick said...

I think that Chrysler should be like George Clooney. He tried the marriage thing, it didn't work and now he's sampling around. Chrysler should do the same, a partnership w/ Nissan is good but it should also look to partner with other companies like Tata, Chery, Fiat or maybe PSA. I think it's a in a great position to offer companies manufacturing capacity/volume in exchange for access to platforms/technology.