Posted by Dale Buss on May 16, 2013 02:48 PM
Fiat is reportedly considering shifting its global headquarters to the Detroit area. That would be a huge material and attitudinal boost for the region in the wake of a new report about the City of Detroit's finances that is even bleaker than before.
When Chrysler was acquired by Mercedes-Benz 15 years ago, effectively moving the headquarters of one of the old American Big Three to Germany, it was yet another body blow to a troubled metro-Detroit area that had already been in decline for decades. When Fiat and the US taxpayer rescued Chrysler (under post-Mercedes owners) from bankruptcy in 2009, at least there was hope of keeping the company, even though its new parent was Italian.
Now, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has signaled strong consideration for moving the worldwide center of the entire Fiat-Chrysler enterprise to Michigan, perhaps to help fill out Chrysler's relatively new headquarters complex in Auburn Hills, Mich., in north-suburban Detroit. Bloomberg reported that Marchionne is evaluating a switch from Turin, Italy, where Fiat was founded in 1899.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 6, 2013 04:33 PM
It's just another day in the rehabilitation efforts of Detroit. The city has launched its first business-to-business image campaign in five years, and Al Jazeera America has revealed that it'll place one of its dozen US news bureaus in Detroit, which has one of America's largest populations of people of Arab descent.
The last several months have continued to be rough on the image of the Motor City despite the fact that the Detroit Three automakers have been coming back smartly, manufacturing in metro Detroit is re-expanding, the Red Wings qualified for this month's playoffs for an NHL-record 22 years, Motown: The Musical has debuted on Broadway, and there's a genuine and substantial influx of workers and denizens back in the battered downtown of Detroit.
Still, the city has struggled to find its footing as Michigan instated an emergency financial manager on a resistant Detroit city government, and residents and tourists alike have struggled to "Say Nice Things About Detroit."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 22, 2013 10:48 AM
Every game-changing relationship has an arc that eventually dwindles, and maybe even ends. Obama-Clinton. Manning-Colts. Kardashian-Humphries.
That may be the case with Chysler-Detroit. Even as the company has been moving some of its suburban employees to downtown Motown, Chrysler marketers are signaling a change in the three-year-old, market-changing relationship between Chrysler and the city that helped the brand and the company back up off the canvas and played a huge role in returning Chrysler to long-term viability.
"There are three words in 'Imported From Detroit,'" Olivier Francois, Chrysler Group's CMO, recently told brandchannel. "Everyone thinks of the noun, 'Detroit." And we might have put more emphasis initially on the noun because Eminem is a great ambassador and music is all about Detroit and Chrysler 'is' Detroit. And 'Detroit' brings a certain romance to the brand."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 5, 2013 01:37 PM
Spring is springing in Detroit, and the poster child for urban decay is beginning to sing a new song about hope, renewal and pride.
Consider what's going on in the Motor City just today: The Detroit Tigers are playing their home opener of the 2013 season as the favorite to win the American League and the pick of many to win the World Series after last year's flop against the San Francisco Giants. Demand is surging for Tigers licensed merchandise as fans at home and abroad sense this might just be the team's year, with superstar pitcher Justin Verlander signed to a mammoth new contract.
The nearby University of Michigan takes on Syracuse this weekend in its first Final Four appearance in March Madness since the Fab Five team 20 years ago.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2013 11:08 AM
Just a couple of days after seeing its former mayor trundled off to jail in a conspiracy conviction, Detroit is considering whether to rally behind a new emergency manager appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
Kevyn Orr became Detroit's emergency financial manager this week, sharing a dais on Thursday not only with Snyder but, significantly, with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, who has graciously partnered with Snyder and other state officials in the top-down takeover of a Motor City that Bing had hoped to turn around.
Orr is a 54-year-old, "high-powered Washington, D.C., lawyer," according to the Detroit Free Press, and University of Michigan graduate who worked on Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy restructuring in his role at the Jones Day legal firm—a background that helped him land the job, and will give him what he'll need to tackle the unparalleled woes of Detroit. His new role will also him a $275,000 fee for spending the next 18 months trying to solve the financial puzzle that is Detroit.
"This is the Olympics of restructuring," said Orr to the Detroit Free Press. "Bankruptcy's been my stock in trade for the past several decades."Continue reading...
detroit auto show
Posted by Dale Buss on January 18, 2013 11:07 AM
If Sergio Marchionne weren’t the CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, globetrotting across three continents on a regular basis and running companies based on two of them, the man probably would have to make up a similar job just to contain his prodigious energy.
This week, he and the increasingly worldwide automotive operation he runs have made news in North America, Europe and Asia. And the charismatic, peripatetic Italian car mogul has displayed some of the inner edges of his famously expansive personality as well.
In the biggest news, Marchionne signed a deal in Michigan with Guangzhou Automobile Group to build Jeeps in China as Fiat, Chrysler and their brands try to play catch-up in the world’s biggest automotive market. Guangzhou will build at least 100,000 Jeeps there beginning in 2014, and output could double at some point, Marchionne said this week. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 21, 2012 12:27 PM
Earlier in the year, it appeared as through Chrysler might be abandoning its "Imported From Detroit" tagline. At least — in the wake of the controversial Clint Eastwood commercial during the 2012 Super Bowl, "It's Halftime in America," and with a spate of new TV advertising that didn't mention the Motor City — it seemed that way for a while.
But Chrysler's Motown sensibilities have returned through the course of 2012, and now they're back bigger than ever. First the gospel choir that co-starred with Eminem's iconic 2011 Super Bowl commercial for the auto brand popped up in Chrysler's current holiday campaign. And now, Chrysler is coming back with the ultimate tribute to its Motown home: a new campaign starring Berry Gordy.
In a new 60-second commercial titled "Who We Are," Chrysler showcases the new 2013 Chrysler Motown Edition by featuring the legendary Motown founder. As promised back in October, Gordy takes us through his humble beginnings in Detroit and ultimately to New York's Times Square and the home of the new Broadway show, Motown: The Musical.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 5, 2012 06:04 PM
Chrysler released a trio of new "Imported from Detroit" commercials touting the 2013 Chrysler 300: "Show up," above, and below, "A Title You Can Earn" and "Advice." The automaker is planning a special edition of the Chrysler 200 with Eminem, whose 2011 Super Bowl commercial for the brand introduced the tagline.Continue reading...