It’s smashed a Jeep through the plate glass windows of Detroit’s Cobo Hall, launched a minivan over the head of its two top executives and dropped a Ram pickup from the convention center’s rafters, but on Sunday, Chrysler kicked off the 2008 North American International Auto Show with a stunt that may finally have gone over the top, earning the automaker’s PR team the “No-Bull Prize.” Please, no more bulls.
The official schedule noted only that the automaker was preparing the launch of the 2009 remake of the Dodge Ram pickup. We should have gotten a clue when they announced that the entrance to Cobo would be closed for several hours, and then workmen started setting up barricades and fencing. But the guys on horseback were a definite giveaway, followed by a veritable stampede of bulls charging down Washington Boulevard.
The poor boys were as confused as we were, expecting a product preview. And when bulls get nervous, they, well, can get kind of frisky. “Aren’t those all boys?” asked one bemused European correspondent. Yep, but we’ve developed a tolerant attitude, here in the Motor City. Most of us, anyway, but there were a lot of folks who spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out where to park and then how to get to Cobo for the rest of the day’s events.
Oh, and yes, there really was a news conference, though the normally ebullient Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press lost his cool for a few minutes trying to figure out how to describe the new Ram while the bulls were, er, ramming around a little bit more than expected.
Next year, we’re betting on something a little less over-the-top from Chrysler. Perhaps dropping in one of the automaker’s new hybrids by parachute? Or a barbeque?
2008 Detroit Auto Show Coverage. Ford F-150, Hyundai Genesis and Corvette ZR1. by TCC Team (2008-01-09)