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Chrysler Taking Its Cues From Hyundai

U.S. makers hopes to emulate Korean carmaker’s turnaround.

by on Nov.15, 2010

Can Chrysler pull off the turnaround Hyundai has achieved? The maker hopes to begin in 2011.

For years, U.S. automakers – as well as many of their import rivals – have aimed to emulate the success of the industry’s global sales leader, Toyota.  But as Chrysler struggles to rebuild, in the wake of last year’s bankruptcy, it is targeting a very different manufacturer’s formula for success: Hyundai.

In recent years, the Korean carmaker has shown it possible to reverse a reputation for poor quality while transforming itself from a bargain basement retailer into one offering great value for the money.  It has been steadily gaining not just sales and market share, but increased consideration by those who, just a few years ago, wouldn’t have even dreamed of walking into a Hyundai showroom.

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“Frankly, our strategy is based on what Hyundai did,” Chrysler marketing manager Bruce Velisek told during a weekend preview of the new Dodge and Chrysler line-up.

With the launch of its 2011 models, the start of what Chrysler claims will be a complete revamping of its line-up under the guidance of Italian partner Fiat, the U.S. maker faces many of the same problems as Hyundai did.