Friday, September 7, 2007

Nardelli to detail action plan

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images North America

Renewed focus on customers tops list of initiatives to revamp carmaker.

Bill Vlasic / The Detroit News

Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli outlined the "five initiatives" at a corporate r

Bob Nardelli will roll out his vision for Chrysler LLC today in a speech that focuses on five "initiatives" to improve the newly independent automaker.

In his first major policy address since becoming chairman of Chrysler last month, Nardelli is scheduled to outline his action plan to members of the Automotive Press Association in Detroit.

The speech is expected to highlight key points shared recently with the top 300 executives in Chrysler's management team at a closed-door corporate retreat, according to people close to Chrysler.

Nardelli, a veteran General Electric executive and former CEO of Home Depot Inc., was a surprise choice as Chrysler's chairman by the automaker's new owner, the private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.

In an internal Chrysler e-mail and videotape obtained by The Detroit News, Nardelli and Chrysler President Tom LaSorda outlined "the five initiatives" needed to revamp the company's image and operations.

The four-minute videotape was filmed during the executive retreat held in Dearborn late last month.

In the tape, Nardelli and LaSorda laid out a plan with five points: "Customer First," "QualityPeriod," "Going Global," "Be Green" and "Powered by Great People."

Putting a renewed focus on customers topped the list, followed closely be a greater commitment on quality.

Expanding international operations is also a critical goal for Chrysler, which derives nearly 90 percent of its revenues from North American operations.

Nardelli is also emphasizing Chrysler's need to be more "green," or environmentally friendly, in its development of fuel-efficient products and manufacturing facilities.

Finally, Nardelli will hone in on personnel issues by challenging employees to be "great" as Chrysler moves forward as a private company after nine years as a division of the German automaker DaimlerChrysler AG.

In his videotaped message to employees, Nardelli made it clear that he expected the five principles to be adhered to throughout the organization.

"It's very important that we have fundamental alignment across our company," he said.

In his speech to automotive journalists, Nardelli is also expected to underscore the need for flawless execution of Chrysler's "recovery and transformation" plan.

"We're going to use the recovery and transformation plan as the means of how we focus on the execution going forward," Nardelli said in the videotape to employees.

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