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America’s Import

Do you know where your car is made? Does it matter? Chrysler doesn’t think so.

A few years ago, Chrysler was in trouble. Mercedes had sold its stake in the company, venture capitalists couldn’t fund the company properly, and debt was everywhere. Then Fiat purchased a majority stake and started to turn things around. Shortly thereafter, Chrysler came out with this commercial:

“Imported from Detroit”, implying that Chrysler is “America’s Import”, is meant to draw a parallel between the American brand and its high-quality import competitors. But for me, the statement rings hollow — and not necessarily because of the quality aspect. Rather, is Chrysler really American? Take the Chrysler 300 sedan, a car built in Canada or Austria, based on a German platform, and funded by an Italian company. The only thing American about it is where it’s sold.

Many companies are moving their manufacturing around to avoid shipping cars all over the world. Honda has a big plant in Ohio, Nissan in Tennessee, and BMW in South Carolina. Consumers are willing to accept that there are good reasons for brand to do so. Only Chrysler calls out the incorrect fact in their advertising, however. 

~ Mike D’Ambrosio, Interactive Art Director, The S3 Agency


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