In the larger view, this is part of the ongoing consolidation of our North American business and achieving a right-sized operational footprint to match market realities.
Design moves to HQ
Chrysler was one of the first to open a design center in California, the US hotspot when it comes down to automotive culture and design trends, and is now one of the first to close it again. The Pacifica Advance Design Center, where Chrysler's Pacifica, 300 sedan and the Dodge Challenger were sketched first, will be consolidated into the Auburn Hills headquarters. Chrysler stated that twenty employees are affected by the move and they will be 'worked with'.
Chrysler said: “These changes set the stage for Chrysler's future global growth efforts, which also include our intent to establish global expertise in design, engineering and sourcing through centers of excellence. These actions will help the Company meet its long-term globalization goals.”
Chrysler continued: “Increasingly, we are leveraging resources worldwide, forming new joint ventures and alliances and consolidating operations in order to better achieve global balance. These moves are designed to help Chrysler become a more globally focused manufacturer, with design, engineering, sourcing and a local presence to serve local customers.”
Chrysler is still very eager to cut costs where it can, slashing into their car line-up recently and now the Californian design center is Nardelli's latest victim. Whether the Cali designers are happy to move to cold and windy Detroit might not be so straight forward, so Chrysler might just lose out on some of their design talent.