Underscores Quality Gains, $7.5 Billion Powertrain Investment
- No-Cost Plan is
Transferable to Subsequent Owners
Michigan, USA, July 08, 2002
DaimlerChrysler Corporation today announced it will provide an
industry-leading seven year/70,000-mile limited powertrain warranty on its
Chrysler, Jeep ® and Dodge brand vehicles in the U.S.
The warranty, which is
fully transferable to subsequent owners at no extra cost, will be provided
free of charge on all new Chrysler Group vehicles purchased or leased on
or after July 9, 2002. Components covered by the "7/70 Powertrain
Warranty" include engines, transmissions/transaxles, transfer cases and
coverage becomes effective following the standard bumper-to-bumper
coverage of three years or 36,000 miles on all other components, and
extends to seven years or 70,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The 7/70 Powertrain
Warranty covers all vehicle lines except select commercial fleet vehicles.
Remaining 2002 models also will be covered by the new warranty.
"Simply stated, our
overall quality levels have improved substantially while warranty costs
have dropped 20 percent in the latest model year, and have been cut in
half since 1996," said Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler Group President and Chief
Executive Officer. "Our entire management group has a mindset of making
quality the top priority, and this program is yet another milestone in our
'disciplined pizzazz' approach.
"Going forward, no one
is better positioned to keep this priority in sharp focus as we combine
American innovation and design with German quality and technology," added
Zetsche. "This new warranty also enables us to break from the pack when it
comes to customer peace-of-mind.
Chrysler Group has
invested more than $7.5 billion in new, state-of-the-art powertrains
during the last several years. This includes a new line of multi-valve
passenger car engines, as well as a new family of SUV and truck engines --
the 3.7-liter V6, 4.7-liter V8 and class-leading 5.7-liter HEMI® Magnum
engine, to debut this fall on the all-new 2003 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickup
"We have been
investing heavily in developing new engines and transmissions, and that is
at the very core of what is now one of the most comprehensive warranties
in the industry," said Richard Schaum, Executive Vice President of Product
Development and Quality. "But we are moving ahead even further by
leveraging the expertise and know-how of Mercedes-Benz, which has an
unequaled reputation when it comes to powertrains."
One example, Schaum
noted, is the Mercedes-Benz W5A580 five-speed automatic transmission, to
be built at the company's Indiana Transmission Assembly Plant starting in
2004 for use in selected Chrysler Group vehicles. DaimlerChrysler
announced this program in late 2000 as one of the first component-sharing
programs of the 1998 merger between the former Chrysler Corporation and
programs such as this, along with our new product development processes
announced last summer, enable us to offer a range of vehicles that can
compete with any company when it comes to quality, reliability, durability
and performance," said Schaum.
Merger Benefits, Quality Gains
begin running a multi-media communications campaign starting July 9, which
will highlight the customer benefits of the 1998 merger between Chrysler
and Daimler-Benz. The campaign, which focuses on the combination of
American and German strengths, will begin with cross-brand radio
advertisements, followed by a major print ad on July 12. Television ads
for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge will begin airing July 15.
"Our new 7/70
transferable warranty is tangible proof that the merger is paying strong
dividends in the marketplace," said Jim Schroer, Executive Vice President
- Global Sales & Marketing. "Our improved quality and pride-in-product
will be the central themes as we communicate this new
realignment of responsibilities within the Marketing Organization, where
we created Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brand teams to strengthen the ties
between product planning and marketing goals, sets the stage for us to
have three aspirational vehicle brands, that all share one thing in
common: great quality and reliability."
Schroer also noted
that the 7/70 Powertrain Warranty should positively affect resale and
lease residual values across all three brands.
"Our research on
ownership patterns and customer preferences shows that customers also want
high resale value," said Schroer. "Having the ability to transfer the
warranty to any subsequent owner, free of charge, will be another big
customer benefit. This plan underscores both the strong consumer value and
the high confidence we have in our products."