Chrysler may soon be Imported from Detroit no more. In a recent interview, Chrysler marketing boss Olivier Francois said he wants the brand to move away from the tagline made famous by Eminem, and instead focus on marketing Chrysler as an American import-fighter.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Francois says he wants Chrysler to move toward a new identity as an import fighter. While Dodge goes up directly against domestic automakers like Chevrolet and Ford, Francois envisions Chrysler competing with automakers like Audi on style and technology, and competing with Toyota on quality. "If Chrysler wants to make sense in the same showroom [as Dodge], it must bring a different flavor and style," Francois said. "That's why we're working on our future cars to have this really specific level of [attributes such as] road manners." By competing with segment leaders in their spheres of influence, Francois believes Chrysler can attract import buyers into Chrysler showrooms, and eventually into its cars.
While a new marketing direction could work, Chrysler is held back is its lack of product. The brand currently has just three vehicles in its lineup: the phenomenal 300, the soon-to-be discontinued Town & Country, and the lackluster 200. Chrysler's product plan sees the 300 being refreshed and the 200 being replaced soon. Will a new marketing direction be enough to hold buyers over until additional new product arrives in 2015? If hits like the 300 and the Imported from Detroit ad campaign are any indication, Francois and Chrysler might be on the right track.