A process to better develop, build and market new products was unveiled last week by DaimlerChrysler’s troubled US Chrysler unit.

Under the new system fifty product innovation teams have been set up, each working hand in glove with the entire production cycle from drawing board to dealer showroom. The process addresses every aspect of the design, engineering and marketing of Chrysler vehicles.

Explained Jim Schroer, executive vice president of product development and quality: “You need a balanced input approach. If you let design have too large a voice then you run the risk of having great-looking vehicles but lose on the financial.”

Chrysler Group president and chief executive Dieter Zetsche also stressed the need for a balanced approach: “We want to ensure a balance between creativity and marketing.”

The new process would result in a greater "commonality" within the company – and possibly the sharing of vehicle platforms and components with Chrysler’s Mitsubishi unit. “We see a leading role for Mitsubishi in the small car segment," Zetsche said. Nor did he rule out the possibility of sharing components with Chrysler group sibling, Mercedes Benz.

Some modules of the new system are already in place although customers will not see the full benefits the 2004 model year at earliest.

News source: AdWeek.com