Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, after delivering his 30-minute keynote address to the NADA convention, told reporters that the auto industry has to meet proposed 54.5 mpg standards by 2025, and that it can do so even when NADA objects to the proposal. He said automakers shouldn’t give up on projects that are set 14 years in the future. It’s remarkable that this is actually the first time that Marchionne has been to Las Vegas.
He also said that Chrysler would remain flexible and transparent as it fixes its suspended Dealer Standards program, explaining that all automakers "have to go beyond a system where the manufacturer issues top-down edicts" to dealers. He cited that the pricing transparency on the Internet means that negotiating for the price isn’t anymore the dealers’ responsibility.
He said that he believes this trend will persist. He said that we should expect an “unconventional” two-minute ad at the SuperBowl. He didn’t provide details. Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal said that that actor/director Clint Eastwood would be seen in the ads to offer a pep talk to the nation. Marchionne got a standing ovation from a contingent of Chrysler dealers as outgoing NADA Chairman Stephen Wade introduced him. [source: Autonews]