About 4,000 Chrysler Group dealers and associates finally had the chance to meet with CEO Sergio Marchionne after waiting for 16 months. And they weren’t disappointed.
Marchionne impressed them with quotes from Dickens and Einstein as he highlighted their unified goal for a Chrysler rebirth. Marchionne referred to the dealers as his fellow chief executives while asking for a healing process within the company.
He said that Chrysler must restore its tarnished greatness and reconnect to "the heart of the market." Marchionne, who took control of Chrysler in mid-2009, met up with the dealers at Chrysler's National Dealer Announcement Show in Orlando.
In this event, Chrysler revealed several new products, including a mid-sized sedan called the Chrysler 200, a reborn Dodge Viper and a Jeep pickup. Marchionne had prepared a speech that was serious, philosophical and funny at the same. He urged dealers to support his team as well as the 17 vehicles Chrysler presented to them.
He convinced the dealers how financially healthy Chrysler is and how it is currently on track to post a $5 billion operating profit on sales of 2.8 million units by 2014.
In 2009, Chrysler sold 1.3 million units worldwide. He admitted the long time for dealers to hear from the company. In fact, the last dealer announcement show had been in 2007 in Las Vegas, when Chrysler was still owned by Cerberus Capital Management.
He acknowledged that dealers had been hurt by the economic crisis in 2009 and the termination of 789 of other dealers because of bankruptcy.