Chrysler: Keeping Detroit’s Ambulance Chasers in Business

Let's be clear for one second. All lawyers -- whether figuratively or actually -- do in fact chase ambulances. They fester in the open wounds of individuals and companies and could not live on their own if tossed out in the air to fend for themselves -- except those that give up their storied profession for a real job. But they do one thing well -- they take Chrysler's money. According to this Purchasing snippet , Chrysler is once again suing another supplier. Dave Hannon reports that, "Earlier this month, Chrysler sued German supplier Getrag Transmission saying Getrag had failed to secure a pledged debt financing necessary to build a plant in Tipton, Ind. In August Chrysler was also involved in a lawsuit with Dana Corp. over contract disputes. Earlier this year, Chrysler and supplier Plastech had a legal dispute over a price increase that threatened to shut down several plants." And the list goes on.

I did some digging on this particular project and found that the facility was supposed to cost $530m in total and support a new type of automatic transmission critical to compete against those fancy imports (i.e., a dual sequential gearbox). Randy, a Getrag Human Resource Director, told Inside Indiana News earlier this year "that the plant is on hold indefinitely while Chrysler and Getrag work out a supply agreement." Shouldn't that have been worked out before construction? My gut is that it was, but someone changed the rules in the middle of the game. Such is life in the domestic automotive world these days. And even though Chrysler teeters on the verge of bankruptcy, they can still afford to keep paying their attorneys to file suit against their supply base.

- Jason Busch

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