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Turning Chrysler Into Toyota

By cutting models and dealerships, Chrysler aims to be a leaner, more productive, and more profitable business

When private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management put Robert Nardelli in charge at Chrysler LLC, the promise was that business as usual would be a thing of the past (, 8/6/07).

Nardelli's right-hand man, former Toyota Motor (TM) executive James Press, is making that happen, mainly by trying to emulate the efficiencies of his former employer. At meetings with Chrysler's dealers this week, Press revealed the beginnings of a plan to overhaul the troubled automaker's lineup, trimming its 28 existing models to something in the neighborhood of 16 and adding new ones to fill existing gaps.