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Read Case 4, “Troubled Carmaker Chrysler (A): Can Cerberus Be Its Holy Grail?”

As the industry and financial community watch to see how Chrysler-Cerberus’ unprecedented arrangement plays out, respective chairmen Thomas LaSorda and John Snow are anxious to tackle the turnaround and other immediate issues. By stabilizing the company in the months ahead, they can proceed toward achieving the objectives of the acquisition and returning the struggling company to a prominent position in the industry.

LaSorda and Snow have approached you with a leadership role in the new, independent Chrysler organization. Should you accept the appointment, your main responsibility will be to formulate a growth strategy to increase global market share while LaSorda executes the existing three-year restructuring plan to curtail costs and restore profitability.

You are scheduled to meet with Snow and LaSorda in 2 weeks to discuss the assignment. To facilitate your decision about joining Chrysler’s management team, you have outlined a plan to familiarize yourself with the company’s current situation and to determine if you believe that Cerberus’ objectives can be achieved. Your analysis includes the following steps:

  1. Review the Daimler-Chrysler merger and the factors which interfered with acquisition success.
  1. Identify key stakeholder groups who will play a critical role in turning around the company.
  1. Assess Chrysler’s current situation.
  1. Define the greatest environmental threats facing Chrysler.
  2. Define the greatest marketplace opportunities for Chrysler to pursue.
  3. Define the company’s greatest organizational strengths.
  4. Define the company’s greatest weaknesses.
  5. Optional: Assign your research team to solicit additional sources of information which can enhance the quality of your situation analysis.
  1. Review Cerberus’ business strategy and near-term expectations for the Chrysler group.

Based on your assessment, you should also explain why you are or are not willing to accept a leadership role at Chrysler and to present your recommendations to improve the company’s prospects for strategic success.

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