Eduardo Barreiros and the Recovery of Spain

Eduardo Barreiros and the Recovery of Spain

by Hugh Thomas
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Hardcover

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Eduardo Barreiros and the Recovery of Spain 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
billh676 More than 1 year ago
The section on Chrysler was poorly researched. Thomas elected to interview Spanish executives whose primary interest was to cover their own backsides.Their accounts ranged from errors to lies and outright BS. Eduardo was in charge throughout. He listened too much to yes-men, foremost being Carranza and Baquero, who told him what they thought he wanted to hear. Eduardo made two fatal mistakes. His personal estimate for the Dodge Dart was 20,000/year, vs Chrysler's 5000/year. Chrysler chose to give Eduardo a free hand because of his past considerable success. The advisers were assigned at Eduardo's request, but they had no authority, and they were instructed to stay out of daily operations unless specifically requested. Their task was to assist in the implementation of proven US systems. Eduardo authorized the purchase of 20,000 sets of components, and later the plant manpower required. He compounded this error by launching full scale production instead of a gradually increasing rate to finally prove out new plant facilities, new tooling, new components from local suppliers (Chrysler had already built 2.5MM vehicles, so the quality of the body parts they supplied was already proven)and on-line training of totally inexperienced employees. I was one of the Chrysler engineers who recommended a gradual product launch, which was standard in the auto industry. Eduardo chose to reject this advice. The results were highly predictable - cars with missing parts, poor fits, water and air leaks, electrical problems, etc., etc.. The quality of these early units had a lasting impact on the Dart's image in the Spanish market. Sales were far below expectations. And the company was left with crushing inventory and labor costs that it had to carry for several years. A final kiss of death was applied later when it was announced that ownership of a Dart was proof of an annual income of at least one million pesetas. (Note: The Dart was a highly successful product elsewhere, and was manufactured in several plants around the world. It was in production for 16 years, with total production of almost four million units. In several markets it was rated number 1.) I spent three years as an adviser in Madrid, and consider myself to be a Hispanophile, as Thomas seems to be. But I could not sit idly aside and let these criticisms go unchallenged while some of my colleagues are probably no longer around to defend themselves. We did everything we could to help Barreiros become a successful company. I left Chrysler over thirty-five years ago, so owe them no employee loyalty. But I must honestly state that Chrysler's dealings with Barreiros were always honorable! For former Spanish executives to infer otherwise is malicious and despicable. Thomas should have recognized this bias in their statements. And he should have talked to some of the Chrysler employees involved!