Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hey Chrysler, We Get It. You're "Imported from Detroit." Well, kinda sorta.

Chances are you're familiar with Chrysler's Imported from Detroit campaign, which made its debut during the Super Bowl in a well-received commercial featuring Eminem. No doubt, it's a cool commercial, arguably promoting the city of Detroit even more than the Chrysler 200 it was intended to showcase. Which might be a good thing: the 200 is a decent-looking car, albeit a cosmetic revision of the Sebring, which has been renowned colloquially as "America's #1 Piece-of-Shit-Rental-Fleet-Car" since its introduction in 1995.

The commercial was so good that it won an Emmy award and the video has had nearly thirteen million views on YouTube. Chrysler actually managed to scrounge up a profit for the first quarter of the year; a feat which must be credited to the marketing department. (Let's be honest here, we all know it wasn't because of the cars....)

"Imported from Detroit" is perhaps to Chrysler as "The Ultimate Driving Machine" was to BMW, with one major exception: It's grossly overused.

During the thirty-one years that BMW was "The Ultimate Driving Machine," I honestly believe they used the tagline less than Chrysler has already shoved "Imported from Detroit" down our poor consumer throats. Just look at this page. How many places can you find "Imported from Detroit?" I counted fifteen. On one page. You can buy shirts, hats, even cufflinks featuring their new slogan. Maybe Chrysler will become a clothing and accessories company instead of a car company. Would anyone notice the difference?

Click after the jump to continue reading this article

A good family friend and fellow automotive enthusiast, whom I shall refer to here only as "Cliff," described this over-usage quite eloquently and succinctly when he said, "If I see one more fucking Chrysler commercial telling me that 'it's Imported from Detroit,' I'm gonna go postal."

It is true that the 200 is very much an All-American car, with 81 percent of its parts content being American and final assembly taking place in a Detroit suburb. But is that a compelling reason to buy the car? The 200 is not a car that America can be proud of, as numerous critics have explained despite some titillating attempts at censorship revision. Hondas and Toyotas contain American parts content that is virtually equal to the 200's. Being "American" isn't going to be an adequate selling point.

What about the the 300, arguably Chrysler's most promising offering at the moment? It's got a front suspension from the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The rear suspension? It came off an E-Class. Where's it assembled?

Ontario, Canada.


  1. commercial is awesome but I gotta say you bring a very valid point there my friend

  2. Being American is a perfect reason to buy a car. if everyone bought American our economy might not be in shambles it is now. I wouldn't think of buying foreign when I can support my nation buy buying our product.

  3. I guess the point worth debating is whether you'd rather buy a Honda Accord made in Ohio or Indiana, by American workers, but the profits go to Japan, or buy a Chrysler 300 made in Ontario with the profits staying in the U.S. in Detroit. The reason behind the Mercedes components in the 300 was Chrysler's (disastrous) partnership with Daimler-Benz. The only good cars to come from that were the 300 and the all-new (2011) Grand Cherokee; they sucked Chrysler's resources dry.


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