Chrysler Execs Phone Your Home


Starting next week, Chrysler is going to get serious about quality.

That's when each of its top 300 executives will get on the phone and call a customer who recently bought a Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep vehicle and ask a simple question: "Having any problems?"

This won’t just be one call to one person, then a toss of the cell phone into the drawer, either. Those 300 executives are going to call one customer a day every day until Chrysler chairman and chief executive officer Bob Nardelli is satisfied that if his customers have troubles, their problems will be fixed. Nardelli, by the way, is going to make the calls, too.

"The aim is to get in touch with our customers because they are more than just numbers," said Doug Betts, vice president and chief customer officer for Chrysler, which means he's in charge of ensuring quality.

"When a person is happy with his or her car, they tend to tell five other people,” Betts said. “But when they’re unhappy, they tell 50 people — friends, relatives, neighbors and fellow workers. A positive experience obviously sells more cars. An unpleasant experience doesn't. If a person we call has a problem, it's up to us to make it right.

"The No. 1 influence in buying a car isn't having Consumer Reports recommend it, it's having a friend or family member recommend the car because they had a good experience with it. When you get favorable recommendations from family and friends, it doesn't take long to turn around the quality image." senior editor David Thomas was part of a roundtable with Chrysler president Jim Press at the Detroit auto show in January, and he asked Press point-blank about the company's low quality rankings by J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports.

Press answered that quality wasn't a major concern for the company, and that those ratings were based on perception and not reality.

Setting up a phone tree to address quality was Nardelli's idea, and it shows he's obviously concerned about quality — perceived, real or both.

By Jim Mateja | May 9, 2008 | Comments (14)



Wow that interior is horribly cheap and represents a lot that is wrong with Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep lately. I have had the unfortunate opportunity in the past to have both a Dodge Stratus, and a Chrysler Sebring as rental cars (more so the dodge). The stripper 4 cylinder Stratus I drove was a extremely unrefined, loud, crude, cheap and extremely plain car to drive. When I got the Sebring (with 4 miles on the odometer) as a rental, I had a choice between it, 2 brand new Dodge Stratus's (?), and a brand new Chevy Malibu LTZ. To my dismay, one of the rental employees had locked the keys inside the Malibu, so it was not able to be rented at the time (I did rent one some time later, and it is truely deserving of car of the year).

For some reason the Chrysler has a much, much nicer interior design than the Dodge, and it also had the 2.7L V6. Even though the interior is nicer looking, some of the pieces had sharp edges on them, so much so that I cut my finger on the dashboard....It also had leather seats, but no leather on the steering wheel which I thought was a bit strange. With the V6 and the nicer dash, the car really wasn't as bad as I was expecting due to my prior experience with the dodge. The v6 wasn't fast, but it made the car feel much more quiet and refined than the 4 cylinder stratus. And surprisingly, the car drove fairly nicely for a rental. The base stereo with Sirius sounded very good for a base stereo system with nice bass response and clarity. Kind of a neat and unexepected feature the chrysler had was LED overhead interior lighting, that lit up the interior very brightly at night when you unlocked the doors to get in.

Yet, the sebring is a seriously ugly and oddly proportioned car on the outside, and if I were shopping for a new car, it would not make the cut based on its looks and cheap interior. If Dodge cuts corners on what you can see and touch everyday, it makes me wonder where else they cut corners. Based on their reliablity in the past, I don't have to wonder too much......


I would have LOVED to have gotten one of these calls when I had my lemon Jeep!

So is that two posts in a row you found useful? Just kidding. Good feedback on your rental experiences and why you wouldn't buy one.

There was a fairly large leap from Stratus to current Avenger/Sebring, but they don't hold up to the competition I agree.


All those who are never going to buy a Chrysler again will not get those calls. They're the ones to whom the call should be made. Just about every NEW car is going to be just fine. They should make the calls to folks who bought a few years ago.


I'm a bit baffled by them calling the people that have bought a car. Of course they should make sure that they're happy, but shouldn't they be talking to people that won't buy their cars?

I bought a Dodge years ago and was treated badly by the dealer. I swore than that I would never buy a Chrysler car again. Since then, they haven't produced much that's interested me anyway.

Why aren't they finding out why potential customers won't buy from them?

Criticizing the critics is not going to accomplish anything. Especially when it's so ridiculous as accusing reviewers of inventing reliability or other quality defects, when looking at the inside of a Chrysler product for five seconds would clearly illustrate general junkiness, and further evaluation doesn't make things any better.

Press used to have the luxury of being at a company that made competitive and respected products, but he can't get away with that sort of arrogance at a company producing products as poor as Chrysler is.

Try telling this to these people who have been screwed over by Chrysler including myself:


My bud just rented an Avenger for the weekend. When I was riding with him, the first thing I asked is: WTH is with those C pillars' blcak triangle? To block the view further more?

Lets put it this way. Even if CEO calls every Chrysler/dodge/Jeep owner it not going to fix the issue. The investment into technology will fix many issues. They call, they write down "transmission problem". So what? Will they research into new materials and so on? Will they tune car to the perfection? Put it this way: The Chrysler product of today is the Yugo of the past.
The investments need to be made into Material tech, design tech, test tech, engine tech and so on. Instead, they give people gas cards. Something tells me they got 5 more years to survive.

happy gilmore

purchased a doge... viper. what a waste of my time & money. will NEVER, EVER think of purchasing a dodge again.

happy gilmore

purchased a doge... viper. what a waste of my time & money. will NEVER, EVER think of purchasing a dodge again.

Mike in Raleigh

Just took my 2006 Pacific in to the shop friday because of some ABS and traction failure.. 22k miles.

I hope the call me -- covered under warranty, but STILL!


Chrysler appeals to the lower class - big car that looks like lots of value but it falls apart SO fast.....

Its a gangsta type car basically.

Another dumbass CEO that is overpaid deciding to call customers !! No clue about what is going on.

I've told hundreds not to buy this junk brand.


With all due respect, I reckon this is the first time I've heard of these executive fellas actually doing something useful. Yes, marginally useful but something after all. Usually they're only focused on how many have to be fired each quarter to get their 6-figure bonus. Hey! Maybe they'll be too busy on the phone to work on that "Sorry, BOB. Nothing personal. It's just business, eh?" list.

In regard to Chrysler cars. Well. Decades ago they had quite a rep. I remember my Dad talking about Chrysler engineering in hushed tones; in awe actually. Then in the late 80's he bought one. Brand new off the lot. His first and only brand new car ever. I went over to see him that evening ... and told him, "Take it back tonight! Get your check if you can. Please." He wouldn't listen. Well. The really lousy paint job (it actually had ripples and runs running down the passenger side of the car) turned out to be the least of his worries. The trunk lid got repainted so many times the dealer finally had to jack up the spring. The turn signal stalk fell off and was glued back on by the dealer only slightly less often. I finally fixed it by drawing it up on my CAD station and reproducing it in aluminum in the shop. Not too many can claim to have a $1,000 turn signal lever but at least it worked, eh? One Winter morning Mom flipped on the rear window heater and seconds later the entire window disintegrated into small chunks on the rear deck. I think there was still glass rattling around on the speakers when Dad gave that car to the local junk yard.

Today, Dad's on his third used Camry and has not had a SINGLE repair issue with them; ever. Frankly, I think Camry's are a little cheap feeling inside but then I've been driving Accords since 1986 so I am a little biased. :)

I could tell you about one of my staff that bought their dream car (Jeep Grand whatever it was) brand new off the lot after saving up for 4-5 years. But then I would have to tell you about their horror story with it dying intermittently for no particular reason and the even worse bungling service folks who had no clue how to fix it. Finally, after 8 months (with only about 4 months of actual driving time) of towing it in and waiting for troubleshooting and replacement parts, service decided it was a ground lug behind the dash. So they removed the dash (dropping it on the shop floor in the process and cracking the window over the instruments), replaced a lug on a wire, reinstalled the dash and called my friend to come get her jeep. It was a Friday and she was halfway home before she noticed the crack in the window and was steaming about that when a mile or so farther, the jeep died in the middle of the interstate going about 70 MPH. I am not sure what happened to it after. I think they just had it towed to the junk yard that afternoon and ran. She showed up on Monday with a really nice, new F150 King something or other. I remember being jealous over all the cool leather. Honda guys, take note! :)

Everything here is real. Nothing was added. In fact I've probably forgotten some good stuff. Heck, even Spielberg can't make up stuff this good. What we need is a "Dilbert" or a "Doonesbury" for Detroit. There's no end to the material that's for sure.

All that to say, Chrysler may have been an engineering genius ... but leaving the bean counters and marketing guys in charge has turned out to be a disaster for the company as a whole. It's a shame really. I still like that Turbine car they had. In fact, I think I still have that model kit in a box downstairs in storage somewhere. Ah. The good old days. ;)

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