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The prescription
The prescription
CEO Bob Nardelli and co-presidents Tom LaSorda and Jim Press spent hours driving cars at Chrysler's Chelsea Proving Ground, shown here in a photo taken later. (Photo by: Allpar.com
At today's Chrysler there is an emphasis on working fast. Nardelli moved quickly to halt production of money-losing vehicles like the Dodge Magnum and Chrysler Pacifica, even though doing so meant factories ran out of work.

Along with co-presidents Jim Press and Tom LaSorda, Nardelli has spent hours at the test track ordering more than 400 changes to vehicles already in production. That's a process that can take months at other companies

There is a premium on not being bound by old practices. Chrysler was the first of the Detroit Three to pull back on leasing in the tight credit market. Cerberus is betting it can get the company back to the break-even point by fixing its operational problems and cutting costs.

Nardelli has taken a Recovery and Transformation Plan put together by Chrysler's previous management and amped it up by creating a war room and adding visual aids to identify and rank money-saving ideas.

Take material costs. Steel prices have risen steeply.

"This is the big chestnut," Nardelli says.

Nardelli's goal is to break even by 2009, though he adds, "If this thing keeps eroding under us, it will be challenging."

NEXT: Plastic surgery

Last updated August 07 2008: 7:40 AM ET
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