Daily Edition: Jan. 31, 2006

January 30, 2006

Chrysler Revamps Marketing Dept.

Chrysler Group on Monday restructured its marketing department in a way that more clearly separates brand marketing from product planning, and is designed to elevate how consumers view the Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep brands relative to the competition, especially Asian rivals.

Stephen Bartoli was named vice president of global product planning and marketing earlier this month. Newly assigned executives overseeing product planning and marketing for front-wheel-drive vehicles, body-on-frame-vehicles, and rear-drive vehicles will report to Bartoli. Meanwhile, executives named to branding positions will report to George Murphy, Chrysler group senior vice president of global marketing.

"These appointments will keep our focus laser sharp on the brands as we support the record number of product launches in the works for the Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge brands," said Murphy.

Ann Fandozzi, 34, is director of front-wheel-drive product planning and marketing. Joseph Veltri, 47, was named director of body-on-frame product planning and marketing. And John Sloan, 50, was named director of rear-wheel-drive product planning and marketing. They report to Bartoli.

Thomas Loveless, 45, former director of sales operations, was named director of Dodge marketing and global communications. David Rooney, 50, was named director of Chrysler marketing and global communications, a similar post he already held. John Plecha, 40, was named director of Jeep marketing and global communications, following a stint as director of Jeep marketing and rear-drive product planning. And Christine MacKenzie, 51, was named executive director of multi-brand events and agency relations. She had been executive director of corporate research and reporting. Those four report to Murphy.

Chrysler has been enjoying a good run of profits and market share gains, especially when compared with GM and Ford. But research done internally, and by outside firms such as Strategic Vision, shows that Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep brands are still held in comparatively low esteem relative to domestic brands such as Ford, Chevy, and Buick, and well behind Asian brands likeToyota and Honda. With new designs such as Chrysler 300 garnering praise and positive momentum, Chrysler is trying to engineer comebacks for the images of its brands as well. The shakeup and reorganization of the marketing ranks follows the departure of Chrysler's high-profile director of marketing communications Julie Roehm, who directed a lot of the company's recent advertising efforts, including the successful campaign around the HEMI V-8 engine. -Jim Burt


GM Donates Parts for 37-Year-Stolen 'Vette

In an even happier ending to a story first reported by the New York Times, the owner of a stolen 1968 Corvette Convertible will get GM's help to restore the car, with which he was recently reunited. Alan Poster is the owner of the 1968 'Vette, which was stolen from him shortly after he bought it 37 years ago. Last week, the Times reported that Poster had recovered the car shortly before it was to be shipped out of the country to a new owner in Sweden. On hearing of the story - and the car's lack of transmission, gas tank, and carburetor and need of new paint - GM Restoration Parts and Chevrolet gave him a $2500 credit to put toward restoring the car with genuine Corvette parts. Poster told the paper he would restore the car and give it to his 17-year-old daughter.

2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 by TCC Team (11/30/2005)
Sound and fury…signifying everything.


Pacifica Adds FWD Limited Model

Chrysler's Pacifica crossover lineup is growing with the addition of a new front-drive Limited model. Available at showrooms in March, the $35,540 Pacifica Limited with front-drive includes three-row side curtain airbags, traction control, 19-inch chrome wheels, first- and second-row leather heated seats, a power moonroof, a ParkSense rear back-up system, power adjustable pedals, a power liftgate, and a six-disc in-dash DVD changer. Options include Sirius, a rear-seat entertainment system, Bluetooth compatibility, and a DVD navigation system.

2004 Chrysler Pacifica by TCC Team (3/10/2003)
Expanding the crossover/wagon/SUV argument one niche at a time.


Mustang Hooks Into Ringtones

2005 Ford Mustang GT

2005 Ford Mustang GT

The new Mustang is ringing Ford's financial bells - and now the 'Stang is ringing cellphones at the world's number-three automaker too. Ford is set to release a set of ringtones inspired by the pony car: one is a version of the Star-Spangled Banner as rendered by the Mustang's exhaust note; the second is the sounds of a Mustang running through the gears. The two free ringtones are available now at www.fordvehicles.com. Computer wallpapers are available at the site as well, showing off the GT convertible, the hardtop GT, and the Mustang pony logo.

Preview: 2007 Ford Shelby GT500 by Marty Padgett (1/9/2006)
Channeling the Shelby magic once more.

TCConfidential: Buick's Got a Brand New Bag for Tiger

Tiger Woods Buick golf bag

Tiger Woods Buick golf bag

Tiger Woods walked out of the Buick Invitational championships this week in La Jolla with another title - and with a new golf bag designed by Buick with his personal touches. The blue-and-silver golf bag is plastered with Tiger's name and the Buick logo, and was made by Nike. With his original bag, Tiger won 31 PGA tour events and earned almost $45 million in winnings - including four Buicks, the prizes for the brand's namesake golf tournament.

More in TCConfidential




Brazil to Build U.S. EcoSport

Ford's Brazil arm is working on a new version of its EcoSport SUV, but the new larger vehicle isn't staying at home - it's headed to the U.S. To be engineered in Brazil, the new EcoSport will be built in Mexico. Basic development costs in Brazil are very competitive; an engineer's salary is about one-third of what is paid in more developed countries. The existing EcoSport shares the basic architecture of the current Fiesta subcompact and has been a huge success in Latin countries where it is sold. Its current size approaches that of the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute, so the increased dimensions will make it a ready replacement for those aging crossovers. -Fernando Calmon


Renault Sticks with Brazil

In spite of excess capacity and continuing losses here, it clearly seems that Renault will choose to concentrate efforts in countries like Brazil, leaving China, the world's second market, in waiting mode. In the next February 9th, in Paris, the company's new CEO, Carlos Ghosn, will announce the world plan for the French make, pointing to a set of clear and bold goals, as it has been done already with excellent results at Nissan, where he is the top officer also. Things seem to be seized in China, where Renault has settled in 2002, but no car has been produced so far. The expectations are, in addition to push Renault in Brazil, to go for expansion in India, a more predictable and less risky market in relation to Chinese operations.


FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases


Land Rover North America today launched an all-new marketing campaign - "Designed for the Extraordinary" - intended to entice potential customers into the world of Land Rover: sophisticated yet rugged, luxurious yet authentic, as only a Land Rover can be. The campaign focuses on what differentiates Land Rovers from other luxury vehicles offering exceptional design and outstanding breadth of capability.

"Designed for the Extraordinary" showcases the brand as a whole, highlighting each individual nameplate - Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and LR3. To reinforce each vehicle's personality in an unusual manner, Land Rover is placing vehicles in settings that feature genuine demonstrations of superior performance.


Name Symbol Last Change
Autobytel, Inc. ABTL 4.80 -0.06 (-1.23%)
Autoliv Inc. ALV 49.40 +0.89 (+1.83%)
AutoNation Inc. AN 22.31 -0.08 (-0.36%)
ArvinMeritor Inc. ARM 16.89 +0.91 (+5.69%)
American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc. AXL 18.80 +0.13 (+0.70%)
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLDP 5.45 +0.39 (+7.71%)
BorgWarner Inc. BWA 55.21 +0.33 (+0.60%)
Cummins Inc. CMI 98.44 -1.47 (-1.47%)
Dana Corporation DCN 4.85 +0.46 (+10.48%)
DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR) DCX 57.31 +0.46 (+0.81%)
Dura Automotive Systems DRRA 2.28 +0.06 (+2.70%)
Eaton Corporation ETN 66.42 -0.43 (-0.64%)
Ford Motor Company F 8.68 +0.03 (+0.35%)
General Motors Corporation GM 24.34 +0.54 (+2.27%)
Gentex Corporation GNTX 16.94 -0.04 (-0.24%)
Goodyear Tire & Rubber GT 18.76 -0.11 (-0.58%)
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) HMC 28.24 +0.06 (+0.21%)
Johnson Controls Inc. JCI 70.52 +0.53 (+0.76%)
Lear Corporation LEA 25.96 +0.66 (+2.61%)
Magna International Inc. MGA 74.00 +0.66 (+0.90%)
Motorola Inc. MOT 22.61 +0.11 (+0.49%)
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) NSANY 22.55 +0.08 (+0.36%)
Sonic Automotive Inc. SAH 23.55 -0.01 (-0.04%)
Siemens AG SI 91.40 -0.87 (-0.94%)
Sirius Satellite Radio SIRI 5.86 -0.01 (-0.17%)
Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) TM 103.00 +0.56 (+0.55%)
TRW Automotive Holdings TRW 25.70 +0.20 (+0.78%)
Tower Automotive Inc. TWRAQ.PK 0.06 -0.01 (-10.45%)
United Auto Group Inc. UAG 38.39 +0.30 (+0.79%)
Visteon Corporation VC 5.34 +0.21 (+4.09%)
XM Satellite Radio Hold. XMSR 26.43 -1.04 (-3.79%)
The Car Connection
See the winners »
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from The Car Connection. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.