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Chrysler set to challenge Japanese market

Trevor Creed admits the cabins, in particular, are nowhere near as good as they need to be to challenge the Japanese.

He is happy with the way the latest arrivals look; from the compact Dodge Nitro to the brutal Chrysler 300C and the all-new Journey family crossover just displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show but admits they are lacklustre inside.

Creed made quality design a priority for Chrysler last year, but is still forced to defend the cars in showrooms today because of a system that was too slow and too outdated to deliver what shoppers expect in their cars.

“Previously, everything sort of fell backwards. We're trying to recover from that,” he says.

Creed has even formed a special design team to make the changes, though the group has been operating since the end of last year and even the Journey is not up to Japanese standards.

“They have done their first interior for a next-generation product and been very, very successful,” Creed says.

But he is still asking for patience on the improvements.

“It will be two years before you see the full fruits, in terms of major products,” Creed says.

So expect improvements, but not in a rush. And why?

“The cost pressure in the US is just enormous (and) we don't charge the prices (there) that we charge in the rest of the world,” he says.

That means cars built to a price point in America must face up to tougher rivals when they head overseas.

That is tough to overcome, but Creed says it is happening.