Claim some ground, control that ground and then expand. Chrysler, wandering the Earth like Kane from Kung-Fu when it came to brand message after the bailouts, pulled off the first two feats in only 120 seconds when its "Imported from Detroit" commercial aired during the 2011 Super Bowl. Two years later and now that the brand has a center in the minds of consumers, the Chrysler Group's head of marketing, Olivier Francois, says it's time to move away from the "Detroit" component of that slogan and express the "Imported" aspect.

It is, more precisely, about positioning Chrysler as genuine competition for imports and not Ford or General Motors, but rather Toyota on quality or Audi on technology. A report in Forbes said that Francois not only "wants to attract import owners to Chrysler vehicles by focusing on quality, technology, fuel economy and style," but to "take back the lead in these four things." That is the new understanding he wants people to infer from the idea of Detroit – that the nation's car capital isn't just a patriotic rallying point but a lively competitor for established giants.

Chrysler has been running ads that no longer refer to Detroit, and recent efforts have linked a specific character to each brand – like Jenny with Jeep and Steven with the Chrysler 300 – to create brand separation. Francois hasn't detailed what he plans to do to bolster Chrysler's upscale pretensions, but his efforts would be helped by CEO Sergio Marchionne loosing the pursestrings and the arrival of strong new product.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 72 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        GreaseMonkeySRT
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yea, that's not racist or anything.
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
        chromal
        • 1 Year Ago
        Obvious troll is obvious.
        wrestleprocbt
        • 1 Year Ago
        The ads to me make me think Detroit is coming back out of the dark. But we all know Detroit is pretty much a city dumb. who would want to visit this city? Chrysler seems to be the only company proud of coming from Detroit. Their commercials make it look like some cool cars are being made though in the garages of the ghettos. I like Chrsyler, I would hardly consider it upscale. If they want it to have that image, stop making ghetto ads, add some new products and dump that ugly 200. The Town & Country is a nice upscalish van and the 300 while it still exist is nice too. Though Gov't may say it's too big and you have to listen to us so shrink it because we know whats good for America. Good luck Chrysler, keep the gov't out of your business, change the ghetto ads and America will support you. you paid back your money which is far more than can be said about Gov't Motors. May they just fail and take their union thugs with them both on the line and in gov't.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        So? Blacks pay money just like everyone else. Chrysler has been on a tear this past 2 years. They must have been doing something right.
      Finklestein
      • 1 Year Ago
      Focus on quality and reliability. That is why import owners won't touch a Chrysler/Dodge.
        fred schumacher
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Finklestein
        I've run half a dozen Dodge minivans past 250,000 miles, two of them past 300,000, with minimal problems and extremely low maintenance costs, and this in the worst climate and some of the worst roads in the U.S. in North Dakota and northern Minnesota. The 3.3 liter engines have shown themselves to be bulletproof, and require no expensive timing belt changes. Imports are big sellers on the coasts and in metro areas, but go into the rural interior, where people have to put a lot of miles on their vehicles, and domestic cars and trucks dominate.
        MAX
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Finklestein
        Chrysler is the fastest growing car company in California. Obviously some import buyers are switching. Check out a Chrysler used car lot, they have plenty of JapanInc trade-in's. The growing strength of Jeep will add to that. http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130325/AUTO0101/303250378
        Julio B
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Finklestein
        LOL! Because BMW is the epitome of reliability! (Being incredibly sarcastic!)
          Richard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Julio B
          I never stated BMW was the epitome of reliability. You need to understand that there is a very big difference between "actual" reliability and "perceived" reliability. For the most part, import buyers eventually move up to European brands because they seem to exude an image of quality. How many stories have you read with BMW factory workers drunk and/or high on the job?
        Bill Burke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Finklestein
        Most import buyers are car phobic. They don't understand them and fear them. They think that imports offer superior reliability, and make their purchase in ignorance and obsolescent myth. The other factor is the "I wanna be hip factor". Too many urban yuppies see the BMW like imports as a status symbol and follow the crowd like myopic sheep, These are tough biases to overcome, this is true, but to imply that Chrysler or any other domestic, if properly financed and properly led can't out perform the imports is the biggest myth of all. Where do you fall in this picture?
      luigi.tony
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good, because they are imported from Turin Italy.
        michigan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @luigi.tony
        You mean Germany
        • 1 Year Ago
        @luigi.tony
        [blocked]
      vizcarmb
      • 1 Year Ago
      Imported in Canada not Detroit. The 300C is not even made there
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 1 Year Ago
      Smart move, play up the European aspect with a big key on being Italian. Americans will buy any piece of krap as long as it's European.
      itguy08
      • 1 Year Ago
      Quality and Chrysler is a joke. Look at JD Powers' dependability. Bottom3 are Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep. Consumers Reports paints a similar picture. Perhaps they should try to make good cars first. It would be a first for Chrysler.
      PICKLEBOY
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good luck Chrysler trying to get anywhere close to the reliability of Toyotas. You're at the bottom of the list with reliability...
        Street King
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PICKLEBOY
        They aren\'t at the bottom, CR does 3 year studies, so the last cars you saw were 2010 Daimler garbage before the big 2011 refresh blizzard. The Ram was redone in 2009 and is now a CR list topper. Have faith... When the new 3 year reliability reports come out this year expect Chrysler to move up further than any other company.
          jmwinters
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Street King
          Did you even read that article? It still includes the 2010 models which is the Daimler garbage. the 11MY+ are the ones that are killing the reviews on predicted/expected reliability ratings
      itguy08
      • 1 Year Ago
      Perhaps they should focus on actual quality. Being the last 3 in JD Powers dependability (Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep) and CR Ratings does not inspire confidence in your product. And it's been this way for years. Maybe they should work on quality vs gimmics. It would be a first for Chrysler Co.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @itguy08
        [blocked]
        southpawxj
        • 1 Year Ago
        @itguy08
        They have been. JD Power quality surveys have not even reached the point of surveying the 2011+ vehicles (ones that have marked improvements in quality of materials, fit and finish, etc.)
          itguy08
          • 1 Year Ago
          @southpawxj
          This one http://autos.jdpower.com/ratings/dependability-press-release.htm paints a much different picture that is the same.
        AlBongo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @itguy08
        Well said. I agree.
      John Cocktoastin
      • 1 Year Ago
      \"as genuine competition for imports and not Ford or General Motors, but rather Toyota on quality or Audi on technology\" BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA...
      Greg
      • 1 Year Ago
      The "imported" slogan never resonated with me because Detroit is synonymous with failure.
      David
      • 1 Year Ago
      Aren't those cars parked (safely) on the Canadian side, with Detroit in the distance?
      James
      • 1 Year Ago
      I never understood that marketing campaign. To me, it just emphasized the fact that a lot of Detroit resembles a third-world country. I drive through some parts of Detroit and all I'm thinking about is how good they have it in the Dominican Republic.
    • Load More Comments