Just a thought or two on the Chrysler Super Bowl ad that supposedly reduced all of Detroit to tears. We’re tempted to ramble on for a few thousand words, but in an attempt to be pithy, we’ll start by summing up our thoughts in one word: BULLSHIT! Chrysler helped build Detroit and then ransacked it, with a little help from the New York financial world.
Putting aside the fact that Chrysler is now an Italian company, owned by Fiat, we’d like to correct Eminem by noting, actually, building cars isn’t what Detroit does anymore. We all wish they still did. But Detroit has been shedding auto jobs since the 80’s.
Don’t you love that line in the ad where the throaty, blue collar-sounding announcer guy says Detroit’s story isn’t “the one that’s been written about in the papers.” Wait, you mean the stories where executives at the Big Three Detroit automakers sat on their asses for years, raking in the cash, while Asian competition nearly wiped them out. Then, instead of reinventing their product, trying to compete, they laid practically everyone in the city of Detroit off and shipped their jobs to places like Mexico and Brazil. You mean those stories?
Chrysler closed two plants in Detroit alone in 2010, let alone the rest of the America. The company laid off 108 workers in Fontana this past summer as they shut down their end of a joint operation with Mercedes. Meanwhile, Chrysler just opened a $570 million engine plant in Mexico.
And for anyone who thinks the federal bailout of the company is going to make things any better for U.S. workers, consider this: Fiat, the Italian company that now owns Chrysler, has laid off practically all its workers in its corporate headquarters of Turin. The company moved its plants to Brazil, Turkey and elsewhere.
These days Chrysler is about as American, or Detroit, as fritto misto and pansita