Chrysler to dealers: Keep focus on sales
ORLANDO -- Chrysler Group executives promised Fiat dealers a spring preview of new products planned for their showrooms and heard Jeep retailers plead for more Wranglers and Grand Cherokees.
About 700 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat dealers attended the make meeting. Afterward, dealers said the only complaint voiced was getting enough of certain products.
"The biggest concern is the Wrangler. The factory can't keep up," said Bob Ralph, general manager of Ingram Park Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in San Antonio. "It's a pretty good problem to have."
Norman Walker, vice president of marketing for Sam Swope Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Louisville, Ky., said Chrysler executives told dealers to stay focused on sales.
"They said that their biggest fear is complacency," Walker said.
Don Lee, president of Lee Auto Malls, which includes two Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram stores in Maine, said dealers asked about the slow-selling Dodge Durango and were told that the large crossover would receive a marketing push this fall.
He said Tim Kuniskis, head of the Fiat brand in North America, told Fiat dealers to expect a preview this spring of the 10 new Fiat and Alfa Romeo nameplates headed to the United States by 2016.
Several dealers said that the lack of acrimony between Chrysler and its dealers was a welcome contrast to previous make meetings.
Said Bob Shuman, owner of Shuman Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Walled Lake, Mich.: "These guys bring a level of professionalism that is just refreshing."
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