Chrysler Finally Makes A Car The Star, In Ads For New 200

Jun 6 2014, 10:32am CDT | by

Fiat Chrysler is pivoting further in a new marketing direction as it launches TV advertisements on Saturday for the completely overhauled new version of its Chrysler 200 sedan.

The biggest change is that for the first time since the company emerged from bankruptcy, the car is the real star of a Chrysler-brand commercial.

Gone in the new spots is four years of emphasis on the brand’s gritty Detroit roots as actual Chrysler vehicles, understandably, played second fiddle. It was only a makeshift 200 that first bore the badge when the nameplate was introduced in the Eminem commercial during the Super Bowl in 2011, a re-skinned Sebring that deliberately lurked in the shadows of the iconic “Born of Fire” ad.

The new “Born Makers” ads are “the first signal of — I don’t want to call it the ‘new Chrysler brand’ — but the first step of what you’ll see happening with the brand and our products over the next five years,” Marissa Hunter, global director of brand advertising for Chrysler Group, told me. “It shows the kind of innovation and technology that we’re very committed to, with the promise of more to come.”

Indeed, this time around, early reviewers confirm that the new 200 is a winner — what amounts to a completely new entry that finally makes Chrysler a worthy competitor in the U.S. small-car market. Or, as Chrysler itself claims in the new 60-second spot, the new 200 is “a car with swagger. Intelligence. Soul. A car that proves a well-made sedan doesn’t have to cross an ocean to be worthy of American driveways.”

The “supporting lead” in these new commercials actually is the Sterling Heights, Mich., plant where the 200 is assembled. There are plenty of glimpses in the ads of the plant’s state-of-the-art production technology. And in that sense, Chrysler workers, too, are featured.

“The plant has been completely reconstructed, with wholly new processes, and all of the plant’s workers have been [re-trained], and the technology is world-class,” Hunter said.

As Hunter put it, “We believe the car represents Chrysler on its best day.”

So far, Chrysler dealers, at least, seem to be agreeing. The new 200 began arriving in Chrysler dealerships in small numbers in May, with greater volumes expected by July; 10,000 vehicle orders were placed by dealers on the first day, and more than 17,000 in the first two days.

It’s crucial for the new 200 to do well out of the gate because the Chrysler brand lineup is about as threadbare as it can get at the moment. And the brand has got to start to make up some sales-volume ground if it is to come anywhere close to CEO Sergio Marchionne’s goals of more than doubling global Chrysler sales by 2018, to 800,000 units from last year’s 350,000, and of positioning Chrysler to compete seriously with established mid-market brands including Ford and Toyota.

With production and sales of the old 200 being phased out lately, Chrysler brand sales were down 22 percent in May overall compared with a year earlier and 14 percent for the year to date.

The larger 300 sedan — a sensation in its own right when it was launched several years ago, and demonstrating remarkable staying power since then — has suffered an 11-percent drop in sales for the year to date.

The lone bright spot in Chrysler’s stable has been a surprising one: Town & Country, the only other Chrysler nameplate, has seen sales rise by 16 percent so far this year even though the major competing minivans, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, have experienced flat sales in 2014. The Dodge Caravan minivan has experienced even more success than its sibling, with sales rising by 21 percent for the year.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
Volkswagen AG New Coverage: Trefis Price Estimate at $51
Volkswagen AG is the second largest automaker in the world behind Toyota and slightly ahead of GM, selling 9.72 million vehicles globally in 2013. Established in 1937, Volkswagen AG, along with its 340 subsidiary...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Alcohol kills 15 Australians everyday
Canberra, July 31 (IANS) Alcohol causes 15 deaths and hospitalises 430 Australians every day with the numbers rapidly increasing over the past decade, a new study released Thursday said. VicHealth and Foundation for...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Australia suspends athletics head coach
Glasgow, July 31 (IANS) Australia's head coach here at the Commonwealth Games Eric Hollingsworth has been suspended by Athletics Australia (AA) after his outburst at Olympic gold medallist and team captain Sally...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Tom Hardy to play Marco Pierre White in biopic?
Tom Hardy wants to play Marco Pierre White in the Hollywood film based on his life. The 36-year-old actor is keen to star as the bad boy chef in the upcoming biopic, which is being directed by Ridley Scott, after...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
App that pays you for exercise
New York, July 31 (IANS) Will you miss your workout if you had to pay for it? If money motivates you more than fitness, an app is here to either reward or punish you. Pact is an app which uses money to track your...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Decreased carbon dioxide formed Antarctic ice sheet?
New York, July 31 (IANS) Turning a long-held climate shift theory on its head, researchers have found that decreased carbon dioxide (CO2) levels during a major climate shift 34 million years ago led to initiation of...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Tidal forces gave moon its shape: Study
Washington, July 31 (IANS) What gave the moon its overall shape? Tidal forces. In the fresh look into moon's formation, researchers incorporated tidal effects into their analysis. They also took into account the large...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Share domestic chores for super sex life
New York, July 31 (IANS) Do you often ignore sharing household chores with your spouse? Start helping her from now on as it comes with an extra incentive - better, hotter sex. According to an interesting study, "...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Bees select best flowers even before landing
London, July 31 (IANS) For rearing their young, bees need to be able to select flowers providing the most nutritious pollen and they know it even before landing on the flower simply by looking at the colour of the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Kendall Jenner wants to win Harry Styles back
Kendall Jenner reportedly believes she and Harry Styles are ''meant to be together.'' The 18-year-old model has secured backstage VIP passes for several One Direction shows and is determined to use the band's 'Where We...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kelly Rowland's husband 'super supportive' during pregnancy
Kelly Rowland's husband has been ''super supportive'' throughout her pregnancy. The 33-year-old singer is expecting her first child with her beau Tim Witherspoon - whom she married in May - and she admits she feels ''...
Read more on Celebrity Balla