For the 2010 Detroit auto show, Chrysler’s stand was little more than an Dodge Ram mounted upside-down to the ceiling and journalists following CEO Sergio Marchionne around the sparse display.
The automaker’s display at the 2011 North American International Show is markedly different, and Chrysler’s people know it. Chrysler marketing chief Olivier Francois started his introduction of the new Chrysler 300 by talking about how grave the situation was at last year’s show.The biggest problem? New products. Chrysler hardly had anything to show.
“This is a story about how people react when their backs are against the ropes,” Francois said in his heavily accented English.
Today’s Chrysler isn’t quite back from the brink, but the outlook from Auburn Hills is far rosier than a year ago. Jeep has the Grand Cherokee, which is getting rave reviews and Dodge’s Durango is getting positive early returns.