By on May 2, 2009

We got a few “so what’s” a couple of wild-ass days ago when we whispered that Chrysler would be launching a new ad campaign using government funds earmarked for struggling parts suppliers. But setting aside the supplier screwing (yes, advertisers “supply” Chrysler, and with no production, why worry about components?), this means we will be treated to the launch of yet another New Chrysler. This will mark the second such dawning in just about a year. AdAge (via Automotive News [sub]) confirms the rumor, reporting that the responsible ad firm (BBDO, Detroit) also just happens to be Chrysler’s second-largest unsecured creditor ($58.1 million). And Judge Gonzalez still gets to decide whether the Mad Men will be paid out by the government’s “critical vendor” program. Anyway, the new campaign is being termed “educational,” with Chryco spokesfolks explaining “companies in this kind of situation need to communicate more rather than less.” Because sometimes having the President for a pitchman just isn’t enough.

About a year ago, Robert Farago greeted Chrysler’s last “New Day” with a healthy skepticism. “The ad is an excellent example of what Adolph Hitler called The Big Lie,” he wrote. “A falsehood so ‘colossal’ that no one would believe that someone ‘could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously’. To wit: if any single automaker ISN’T building the cars YOU want, it’s Chrysler.” Others awoke to the New Day with even more hard-earned cynicism. The newest run of “don’t worry, we’re reborn in Jesus” ads hit local TV stations starting tonight. And with them comes another opportunity to gaze upon your new investment and really bask in the pride of ownership. Side effects may include sudden anger, nausea, and fatigue.

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26 Comments on “Are You Ready For The New New Chrysler?...”


  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    This would be necessary and perhaps successful IF there was a new message to get out. There was such a message in 1980- “Hi, I’m Lee Iacocca, I took over this horribly run company but I know how to fix it and there are some great new products coming, so please hang in there with us.” It was successful.

    Problem is, the truthful 2009 version isn’t as compelling. “Hi, I’m Bob Nardelli, I got stuck in this morass of a company and have no freaking clue what to do about it, but it doesn’t matter because I’m outtahere. Yeah, we’re broke, but the President is giving us more so that we can build the great cars that you have already seen and rejected. I hope you reconsider, because we won’t have anything new. Ever. Anyhow, I wish I had something else to tell you, but I don’t. So pleeeeeeese buy our cars.”

    So, we will get a message of sunshine and lollipops and it will be a complete waste of (our) money.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Introducing the “New Chrysler”: It’s anything but profitable.

    Dodge: Grab taxpayers by the balls.

    Buon giorno! Itsa-da new Chrysler.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    …or as Mickey Kaus said, FIAT now stands for Fix It Again, Treasury.

  • avatar
    paris-dakar

    Instead of having Chrysler even attempt to compete in the retail market, they should just become ‘fleet only’ – mainly government fleets.

    The Feds could even come up with a ‘Welfare Car’ program – give the suckfish and deadbeats a free Sebring or Caliber. Think of it like the automotive equivalent of the FEMA Trailers during Katrina.

    Next Hurricaine, send down the Trailers of Sebrings and Avengers to replace the flooded-out Grand Ams and Kias.

    Anything is better than having the Feds try to bully and browbeat the average American into buying this crap.

  • avatar
    lutonmoore

    paris-dakar :
    May 2nd, 2009 at 5:01 pm
    Instead of having Chrysler even attempt to compete in the retail market, they should just become ‘fleet only’ – mainly government fleets.
    The Feds could even come up with a ‘Welfare Car’ program – give the suckfish and deadbeats a free Sebring or Caliber. Think of it like the automotive equivalent of the FEMA Trailers during Katrina.
    Next Hurricaine, send down the Trailers of Sebrings and Avengers to replace the flooded-out Grand Ams and Kias.
    Anything is better than having the Feds try to bully and browbeat the average American into buying this crap.

    Well you saved me a post. My feelings exactly.

  • avatar
    CopperCountry

    Money spent on Zomb-ler dealer ads in the Sunday paper is a waste of money … spending really big money on an ad campaign to ‘educate’ and ‘inform’ us is simply ludicrous.

    Remember the “people won’t buy cars from a bankrupt automaker” mantra? How about, “people won’t buy cars from a bankrupt automaker that is being propped up by Geitner and the Obama Administration to benefit the UAW”? Remember Rahm, 55 million people (~46%) didn’t vote for you. Do you think they want to squander what money they still have at their disposal on a Zomb-ler product because someone telepromted them to do so?

    That’s what I thought.

  • avatar
    troonbop

    “because someone telepromted them to do so?”

    Excellent point. Interesting to note that Rasmussen Reports indicates the messiah’s approval rating today stands at +1, the lowest to date and a drop of 27 points in one hundred days. Still, I’m sure the first one hundred days have been fun; TV appearances, blowing through trillions of dollars, and fancy running shoes for the first lady.

  • avatar
    Stu Sidoti

    @jpcavanaugh +1…I totally agree.

    Iaccoca didn’t start out with much product to work with…in fact he started with an abhorrent line of offerings. Anyone remember the Joe Garagiola commercials in 1981 in which he would pitch “ Hey we still got some great deals on the ’79s and were dealing!” …Yes, things were that bad they had two year old models sitting around in huge lots all over the countryside just begging to be bought. Today Chrysler may have 100+ day backlog on hand but back then they had 700+ days of backlog languishing around. Yet, with Iacocca and the leadership he brought in mostly from Ford, they turned it around and by 1993 they had a revitalized Jeep line, the first series of the cab-forward LX sedans, the new Ram, and the first Neon was only a year away with K-car quickly fading from dealership floors. I think many younger folks today simply are not aware of just how terrible Chrysler was then…I would say the 1981 Chrsyler lineup was waaaaaay worse than today’s lineup. Iacocca and Co. did an amazing turnaround but it took great leadership and vision…Inside the New New Chrysler, who or where is that leadership today? Maybe there’s some great leaders to be found from the ‘next’ Jeep Grand Cherokee program-the new Grand Cherokee looks like it is brimming with 4WD prowess and appears well-designed as well so while Chrysler may seem like toast, I still see some very firm proof of life in there somewhere, but again, who is going to take command and assume the mantle of leadership?
    Can anyone post that long-form early ’80’s TV ad we saw here a few weeks ago with Iacocca visibly demonstrating the kind of confident leadership that the New New Chrysler so desperately needs right now?

  • avatar
    50merc

    paris-dakar: “they should just become ‘fleet only’ – mainly government fleets.”

    Well, that’s a thought. The federal government buys a lot of cars. Moreover, it puts all sorts of restrictions on the money it drops on state and local governments, universities, non-profits, defense contractors, etc. So maybe Chrysler’s entire output could be absorbed by just requiring that any vehicle bought by a government or a recipient of public funds must buy only a Chrysler vehicle. That should keep the plants humming. Plus, profit margins would be boosted by 15-year model life and leaving off luxuries such as power windows and air conditioning. Oh sure, there’d be grumbling about having to drive the functional equivalent of a 1950 Checker cab. But it would be for the greater good!

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    So, for the moment what IS “the new Chrylser”? The Fiats won’t be here for at least a year.

    So the new Chrysler is what? Ram pickups and a few Jeeps? Keep the 300 and the Challenger and dump the rest?

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    Stu Sidoti…Here you go…

  • avatar
    Ryan

    So what is different? Instead of needing taxpayer assistance twice in 30 years now it’s twice every year? Great, glad my money is helping out such an undeserving piece of shit producing company. If I wanted to help Crapsler I would buy one of their lowest in class excuse of an automobile.

  • avatar
    George B

    So the new Chrysler is what? Ram pickups and a few Jeeps? Keep the 300 and the Challenger and dump the rest?

    No. The President said that New Chrysler will sell fuel efficient vehicles. I predict that they will run on government loans, tax incentives, and corn ethanol, consuming no gasoline as they sit on parking lots. With any luck the politically incorrect Ram, Jeeps, 300C, Charger, and Challenger get cast off as Baaaad Chrysler under a new name: Mopar Motors. Combine Mopar Motors with Nissan or Hyundai and you probably have a top 5 full line car manufacturer with enough CAFE headroom to put a Hemi in every Mopar.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Why all of the hate for the Prez?

    All he wants is a 300 Hybrid to replace that ‘jive’ Escape…

    I hope that he’s right, and that a few years from now a revitalized (Fiat) Chrysler is selling vehicles that people want (need) to buy, and it’s a self-sustaining industry that actually contributes its share to the resurgent economy.

    One can dream, right?

  • avatar
    don1967

    Can anyone post that long-form early ’80’s TV ad we saw here a few weeks ago with Iacocca visibly demonstrating the kind of confident leadership that the New New Chrysler so desperately needs right now?

    It is temporarily unavailable, while Chrysler tries to photoshop Nardelli’s face onto it.

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    Why all of the hate for the Prez?

    Nothing to do with him personally…. I just don’t like anybody who gets into my wallet without my permission and spends my money on stuff that I don’t want.

    If I’d wanted to give my money to Chrysler or GM, I’d have bought one of their cars….

    (Note – I did once rent a Sebring Convertible to drive around the wine country. I’d have preferred a Mustang convertible, but they were all taken. )

  • avatar
    Loser

    Anyone have a count as to how many times Chrysler has pitched itself as the “New Chrysler” since the early 80’s?

  • avatar
    BDB

    “Nothing to do with him personally…. I just don’t like anybody who gets into my wallet without my permission and spends my money on stuff that I don’t want.”

    I.e., you’re not in his political party and/or don’t agree with his policy goals.

    I remember Dodge advertised itself as “The New Dodge” in the 1990s. I guess The New New Dodge is next.

  • avatar
    pleiter

    WaPo has a full page add in Sunday’s paper from them, three vehicles shown, the middle one unfamiliar and somewhat interesting. Stars and the the fine print tell the story: all 3 are concept vehicles.

  • avatar
    T2

    Regarding that middle one. It can only be one car. If talk of them downsizing and hybridising the 300C in one shot is true.

    Then behold – The New Chrysler 300cc.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    “So, for the moment what IS ‘the new Chrylser’?”
    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!

    (Taken from “We Will Get Fooled Again”)

  • avatar
    Texasbill

    Stu Sidoti :
    May 2nd, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    @jpcavanaugh +1…I totally agree.

    Iaccoca didn’t start out with much product to work with…in fact he started with an abhorrent line of offerings. Anyone remember the Joe Garagiola commercials in 1981 in which he would pitch “ Hey we still got some great deals on the ’79s and were dealing!” …Yes, things were that bad they had two year old models sitting around in huge lots all over the countryside just begging to be bought.

    Unfortunately, I am one who not only remembers the “old” Chrysler from the late 70’s, I was stuck with one. My Stepmother was somehow convinced that a “Demo” (now called program car?) 1979 Plymouth Volare’ was the “perfect” car for a graduating high school senior to drive… in 1981. The car had 11,000 miles on it when purchased, and within a year it had already started to rust in spite of our application of “Polyglycoat” to prevent this.

    I had a fender-bender at less than 5 MPH that resulted in the rear view mirror falling off the windshield and other issues. That was enough for me and I gave up that car soon afterwards for very little toward a 82 Ford EXP 2-seater that I loved.

    That was the last time I had a Chryco product and have looked at their products only at the car show and never seriously for purchase. My parents forgot our earlier experience for some reason, and in the early 90’s purchased a New Yorker that did not make it to 50K miles without major work on the transmission and A/C. They moved on to a Honda and never looked back.

    I want to give all domestic car companies an opportunity to win my business. Unfortunately, after having almost 8 years with a Taurus I found my best purchase (in the price range I could afford) was a “program” Hyundai that was assembled in Alabama. This is the first “foreign” car I have ever owned, but at least some money was left in the economy of the US even if the profit went overseas. I root for (and have even owned stock in) our domestic companies, but I expect we will truly see a “Fiatsco” with this endeavor, and a similar effort with Government Motors as well.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The funniest thing about today’s full page ad is that it showed these three electric prototypes that Chrysler has been showing. Sounds great. Let’s get ready for the new, New and Improved Chrysler.

    In fact, I’m s-o-o-o-o excited about the new, New and Improved Chrysler that I’m going to wait to buy one of these electric cars and not buy anything until then.

    Well, not really. But that’s sort of the problem. They can tell us about all these new, New, NEW products coming, and we won’t want to buy what they’re selling now.

    We’ll wait.

    Point being, they’d better be careful with their messaging. My favorite tidbit in the monthly SAARs story was that 11,400 people bought Chrysler’s after the President told them to buy American. So that made me wonder, what would happen if the President told these people to jump off the Empire State Building?

  • avatar
    oldyak

    If we didn’t have an administration bought and paid for by the U.A.W.this situation would have resolved itself!
    Unfortunately I don’t see any way the U.A.W is going to get a good return on their investment,Chrysler and G.M will be shells of their former selves when this its all said and done.

  • avatar
    akear

    Chrysler does have a green vehicle, which of course is the pee-pod.

  • avatar
    npbheights

    Did they have any new ’79 Cordoba’s in ’81?

    Funny Song, interesting Chrysler video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X56K6irQ3DI

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