Here in the U.S., we call it lying
'Chrysler was a chess pawn' (Nov. 6) really drives home a strong point concerning the integrity of automobile manufacturers.
How can we expect the car-buying public to have any trust in automobile dealers when Juergen Schrempp, the chairman of Daimler-Benz - one of the most prestigious companies - admits that he misled Chrysler officials and stockholders concerning Daimler's intent for Chrysler if they agreed to the merger?
Here in the United States, we call that lying, and if the chairman of Daimler does it, what message does that send to the customer?
Chrysler Corp. stockholders, employees and dealers should be outraged!
Surveys indicate that one of the least respected professions to be in is 'car salesman.' I guess we can now add 'automobile company executive' to that list.
ROBERT C. RASSA
Granada Hills, Calif.
The writer is director of systems supportability for Raytheon Electronic Systems in El Segundo, Calif.
Chrysler change surprised no one
I am writing in regard to your Nov. 14 Web site article titled, 'Reports: Holden out, Zetsche in at Chrysler.'
Besides the naming of the replacement, is any of this really surprising to anyone? I couldn't believe my eyes when I read '... indications in recent weeks that Holden's grip ... was slipping.'
Hello! He hasn't had a 'grip' since the inception of this takeover/merger when the executives sold out the rest of Chrysler Corp. Daimler has only been keeping him around as a pawn on the Chrysler side of the business.
From the beginning, all those who did not make million-dollar profits from this sellout (those employees on the lines and in the engineering communities, etc.) knew that Daimler was not looking for a 'friendly merger.' And, unfortunately, Robert Eaton and his cronies knew this as well.
KAREN M. HENNING
Schrempp failed CEO's top test
The No. 1 responsibility of a chief executive is to assure that all levels of a corporation internally tell the truth to each other.
Juergen Schrempp of DaimlerChrysler has failed that test.
DaimlerChrysler really is pronounced DIME-lur (no audible Chrysler desired).
JAMES C. WALKER
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Less controversy, not less action
I must take issue with Keith Crain's Nov. 13 column, 'It's a time for action,' in which he chides the automobile industry for what he claims is a lack of initiative on a number of critical issues.
To the contrary, for the two years that the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has existed, we've been busy with rulemaking, legislation and voluntary programs on everything from Tier 2 emissions to advanced airbags.
And despite Crain's assertions, the auto industry has seized the initiative on safety and environmental issues by developing a new generation of crash-test dummies; funding biomechanical research at Wayne State University; promoting tax incentives for consumer purchases of advanced-technology vehicles; working for low-sulfur and clean diesel fuels; and funding emergency-room centers to gather more real-world crash data.
We're also working on developing driver distraction guidelines, launching a special program to evaluate airbag performance and working on implementing new safety legislation.
Crain might be confusing less action with less controversy. The approach of the new alliance is to be cooperative, rather than confrontational. Sure, such a vision might result in fewer sensational headlines, but it ultimately means cleaner and safer cars. We think it's worth the trade-off.
JOSEPHINE S. COOPER
President and CEO
Alliance of Automobile
Define it, and understand it
I'm writing in reply to David Fussell's Oct. 23 letter about warranty companies. I know what is involved on both sides in trying to get a claim authorized or adjusted.
A lot of the confusion lies in the definition. A warranty is provided by the maker of a car, a microwave, etc. A service contract is sold to a customer; it is what the warranty company insures or administrates. The service contract is an agreement between the seller of the contract and the customer.
Warranty companies have to deal with inflated labor times and parts prices, false statements to get extra revenue on a claim and a general lack of cooperation. Both parties seem to forget that the goal is to serve the customer in a timely manner.
I am a believer in service contracts. They do work if they are used in the manner for which they are intended.