Chrysler Launches new Day Philosophy

By: Anthony Fontanelle

After a tragic marriage with German parent Daimler AG, Chrysler LLC assented to a divorce to go solo. But the Auburn Hills automaker does not want to sport a mediocre performance as a free-willed single. As such, it will be entertaining a change of heart and pave the way for a new philosophy.

'New Day' - that will be the fresh philosophy of the automaker. And to sport such philosophy, the American automaker will be delivering exciting auto lures. In February, Chrysler will begin offering new packages and features on 12 of its vehicles as it launches a new marketing campaign dubbed a "New Day Celebration," said Deborah Meyer, Chrysler vice president and chief marketing officer.

Chrysler said that the campaign is being driven by feedback from customers and dealers and illustrates how quickly the company is moving to make improvements. "We're bringing a 'New Day' philosophy to all of our brands," Meyer said during a speech Wednesday at the Automotive News World Congress.

Chrysler is the first major American automaker to be privately held in over five decades. Its marriage with Daimler was described a match made in heaven. But it proved otherwise. The automaker lost billions of dollars in the past couple of years. Additionally, the company suffered the whip of declining sales in the U.S.

To cope, part of the plan is to standardize some auto features. John Schenden of Pro Chrysler Jeep in Denver said that he is excited about the campaign. "It's what the customers have been asking for," he said. "It's the type of vehicle equipment-wise that most" of the "customers are looking for."

While the automaker is silent which vehicles will be part of the new campaign, Meyer said that Chrysler's popular Stow 'n' Go feature will come with the entry-level Dodge Grand Caravan SE.

"The Dodge Charger also will see some higher-end content, the SE Plus model will get a 3.5-liter V6 engine and 17-inch wheels. We're also responding to customers who have asked for more subtle colors by offering a new 'cool vanilla' shade," Meyer told the Detroit Free Press. "This all adds to the appeal of the Charger."

"The campaign deals with 56 features or value packages," she added. "They will be permanent packages. We're changing lineups to address the needs that our dealers and customers said they have. To bring more value - quickly - to them."

Meyer, in her speech, noted that Chrysler quickly responded to dealer concerns that the engine lineup for the Dodge Journey, which is being launched this spring, was too complex. Also, the maker of reliable confirmed that the Compass and Patriot would see dramatic interior upgrades this year. "A lot of these are the basics, but we're moving really fast to do it, faster than I've ever seen an OEM move," Meyer said.

Chrysler is going to launch a customer advisory board, which according to Meyer will allow customers to respond to survey questions and have a voice in upcoming products.

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