December 30, 2011 10:00 AM
As we moved into the second half of 2011, the positive momentum of
the company continued to grow, and spirit and morale were on the
rise as well.
May 24th, 2011, marked one of the biggest, proudest milestones for
the newly reborn company. Our CEO Sergio Marchionne, Assistant to
President Obama for Manufacturing Policy Ron A. Bloom and Deputy
Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese joined
government officials, UAW representatives and employees at the
Sterling Heights (Michigan) Assembly Plant to formally acknowledge
and express gratitude for the financial support from the U.S. and
Canadian governments, as well as announce the full repayment of all
government loans. Twenty-three months in the making and six years
ahead of schedule, Marchionne received confirmation from Citigroup
that the company's wire and bank transfer of payments to the U.S.,
Canada and Ontario governments were received and Chrysler Group's
$6.7 billion loan was paid in full, with interest.
As the repayment celebration rolled on, we created more reasons to
rejoice - a new addition to the Chrysler Group family. Street
and Racing Technology (SRT) was elevated to its own unique brand,
allowing further expansion of our world-class performance vehicle
lineup. Ralph Gilles, the former CEO and President of Dodge brand,
was tapped as the new President and CEO of SRT Brand and
Motorsports for Chrysler Group.
Dodge brand launched a “Search Engine” campaign where
the brand placed three Dodge Journeys across the United States,
then released clues to the nation via online media and television
spots. It was up to the “car hunters” to put the clues
together and find their prize before someone else got to it first.
Chrysler Group's progress continued in October with the
announcement that the company's Q3 net income totaled $212 million
compared with a net loss of $84 million just one year prior.
Worldwide vehicle sales were up 24% year over year.
November is the month of the Los Angeles Auto Show where the FIAT
brand revealed the all-new FIAT 500 Abarth. The television spot
that launched along with the sporty, edgy new vehicle was titled
“Seduction” - another instant advertising hit with
the public. The “viral” spot got more than a million
hits on YouTube in just one week and it was picked up by VH1 as a
featured “Pop-Up” Video.
As we take a look back at this eventful year, we can't help but be
incredibly thankful for our good fortune and incredibly grateful
for the hard work and dedication it took to get here. Chrysler
Group has seen some highs and lows over the past few years, but we
are certainly happy to end this year on a high note.
For 2012, the momentum continues. We are excited about the great
products, events, ads and announcements in the works for 2012.
To you and yours, Happy Holidays.