Two years ago last week, Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne laid out a plan for the beleaguered automaker. He unveiled a road map packed with ambition and creative ways to fix Chrysler's many problems.
Marchionne projected that Chrysler would substantially increase global sales and erase red ink.
And now, two years later? Check and check.
Last month Chrysler Group -- helped by new models and global sales that were up 24 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier -- said it had swung to a quarterly net profit of $212 million and is on track to post its first annual net profit since 2005.
Chrysler has more cash than it did a year ago. It has a new four-year labor agreement with the UAW. And it is using Fiat platforms, engines and other technology to cut costs and improve its vehicles -- just the way Marchionne envisioned on Nov. 4, 2009.
The product is selling well, led in October by Jeep. And Jeep vaulted to the top spot for a domestic brand in Consumer Reports magazine's 2011 auto reliability survey.
Marchionne has hit all of his marks and is ahead of schedule in what is shaping up as a remarkable turnaround.
There is still work to do if Chrysler Group is to hit Marchionne's original goal to more than double its global sales to 2.8 million units in 2014. The product has to deliver on promises to turn the Chrysler, Dodge and Ram brands, which have had waning success in the past, into real contenders.
It's also time for Marchionne, 59, to reduce greatly his unwieldy number of direct reports -- about 50 as CEO of Fiat and Chrysler -- to nurture a new generation of leaders.
Two years ago, the plan was described as bold and heroic.
Two years later, it is both.