Chrysler Thinking Fast and Making Moves

Smart marketing along with lean operations keeps profits flowing

The idea was a trademark Chrysler brainstorm. Since Japanese automakers were raising their prices in the U.S., why not fill the gap they were leaving with a domestic subcompact that would sell for less than $6,000? Practically overnight, the No. 3 automaker put together a bargain intended to give U.S. car buyers a pleasant form of sticker shock. The automaker slashed the price of its front-wheel-drive Plymouth Horizon and Dodge Omni by $710 and tossed in options worth $684 for free. Chrysler calculated that it could still make a profit, partly because it had long since paid off the costs of...

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