Chrysler Learns Delphi's Number Games ?

Yesterday we talked about the numbers games that got bankrupt Delphi in hot water (and litigation) with the SEC. Today, we see that Chrysler is also up to some number games of its own. is reporting that unlike other manufacturers, Chrysler has been building cars its dealers don't need and can't sell, and piling up a 100,000 vehicle backlog of unsold vehicles (parked out back?) that it just forgot to count as unsold inventory.

Of course, doing that made their public numbers look a lot better than they really were. Some say that little-used accounting practice disguised Chrysler's overall market picture at a time when it was really bleaker than the industry thought.

Now, we learn that at the end of September Chrysler's reported inventory neared 529,000 vehicles. With that glut, which some dealers don't like having to live with, now may be a good time to bargain yourself into a good deal ... or not.

In its defense, Chrysler says it's a common practice but Ford's George Pipas reportedly scoffed at the notion, saying "Absolutely false." The American Honda and Nissan officials also are reported to have said the same thing. Meanwhile, Chrysler says its practice keeps the factories "humming" at a time when the third quarter loss was reported at a staggering $1.5 billion. At that rate the corporate giant could end up humming its way into a one man band in an empty auditorium and falling flat on its face to boot.

Now, rumor has it that Mercedes has shipped in executives under a program called "Project ReFocus" and whose aim is to cut costs and improve efficiency. As they said once before on the streets in Detroit, here come the Germans again!

It doesn't take a German rocket scientist to figure out that it's stupid to build 529,000 cars that aren't being sold. Apparently someone keeps replaying that line from the movie Field of Dreams... "if you build it they will come."

Fruit, like new cars, can't sit on the shelf too long or things can begin to go wrong. After all, fresh lemons can turn sour and rancid with too much age. Thank goodness we have a Lemon Law that's ready for the day when Chrysler ships all those cars out of its back "Field of Dreams."

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Known nationwide as a leading Lemon Law attorney, Ronald L. Burdge has represented literally thousands of consumers in "lemon" lawsuits and actively co-counsels and coaches other Consumer Law attorneys. From 2005 through 2018, attorney Ronald L. Burdge has been named as the only Lemon Law Ohio Super Lawyer by Law and Politics magazine and Thomson Reuters Corp., Professional Division. Burdge restricts his practice to Lemon Law and Consumer Law cases. The Ohio Super Lawyer results are published annually in the January issue of Cincinnati Magazine. Ronald L. Burdge was named Consumer Law Trial Lawyer of the Year 2004 by the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the nation's largest organization of consumer law private and government attorneys. "Your impact on the auto industry has been magnified many times over because of the trail you blazed for others," stated NACA's Executive Director, Will Ogburn. Burdge has represented thousands of consumers in Ohio, Kentucky and elsewhere since 1978 and is a frequent lecturer to national, state and local Bar Associations and Judicial organizations. Burdge is admitted to Ohio's state and federal courts, Kentucky's state courts, and Indiana's federal courts. Other court admissions are on a "pro hac" temporary, case by cases basis.