I was in the doctors office a week ago and there was the usual assortment of months old magazines for my entertainment. I picked up a December 2011 TIME magazine and came across a curious story about Chrysler’s revival. Like most Americans I was aware of the auto industry bailouts that occurred a couple of years ago. But also like most Americans I hadn’t really taken the time to learn the details. Having spent a lot of time this last year profiling cars for GM and Chrysler, I have improved my knowledge on the subject of cars inside and out. I knew that both companies had paid off their bailout loans, and both were rising from the dead and working hard to let the World know about their advances through social media. But the Time article gave me deeper insight as to how the turn around really came about at Chrysler specifically. It’s because, as any of the 11,000 workers in the Auburn Hills, Michigan Headquarters of Chrysler group will tell you, “We have Sergio”. Sergio Marchionne that is. The boss of Chrysler, Fiat and Fiat Industrial.
Marchionne’s vision, business leadership and analytical ability has pulled Chrysler out of a very deep well and along with it hundreds of thousands of American families who rely on the auto industry for their livelihood. But he didn’t do it quietly or with a gentle hand the Time article points out.
“He has ticked off North American and European labor leaders, not to mention global bankers, by reminding them that today’s crises can’t be solved with traditional approaches. Which is what he also told the Obama Administration. In the depths of the financial crises in 2009, he, (Marichonne), muscled the White House auto task force into handing over everything but the keys to the White House limousine before he would take the wheel of Chrysler.”
But Marchionne wasn’t the only one with conditions in the bailout negotiations. President Obama required that Chrysler promise to create a car with a combined 40 MPG average. Not only did Chrysler pay back their bailout loans, (6 years early), but they have also made good on their promise with the introduction of the 2013 Dodge Dart, the first entry into the sub-compact category for Dodge in over 7 years. I got a chance to take a look at the race inspired car on Social Media Day at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.
All the fancy talk about stitching, the spoiler, and the rear infuser goes right over my head, but what I do understand is money. The Dodge Dart keeps money in your pocket with a suggested price of only $15995. But the good money news doesn’t stop there, because the other Obama bailout condition for Chrysler was that their 40 MPG car be made and produced in the US, bringing jobs and money to communities in need. Once again the Dodge Dart has come through in flying colors. The engine is produced in Ohio and the body is made right here in Illinois in a town called Belvidere. There are 1800 jobs in that plant that were born from the creation of the Dodge Dart. But you can’t forget, as my Twitter friend @ThatGuyCanada tweeted me today:
My other Twitter friend @CookJet93 said it best:
That’s exactly what Chrysler and Dodge hope you will do by buying a new 2013 Dodge Dart, support America.
Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV , Wearetherealdeal.com , YoungChicagonista ,ChicagoMomsBlog , and ChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter , TOUT and LinkedIn.