DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Chrysler will shift its media spending from national to spot TV to allow more flexibility for its budget, Vice Chairman Jim Press said at the American International Motor Show yesterday.
Both Chrysler and General Motors Corp. have pledged to spend more wisely in order to receive $4 billion in federal loans, and GM has said publicly it will slash $600 million from marketing over four years. But Chrysler has largely remained mum; this is the only clue it has given so far about its plans. Omnicom Group's PHD is its media-buying agency.
Mr. Press was upbeat at the automaker's press conference during the show, emphasizing that Chrysler's warranty costs in 2008 were the lowest in its 80-year history, a 30% improvement from 2007. Chrysler had the fewest U.S. recalls of any automaker in 2008, said Mr. Press, who also revealed the Chrysler brand's 200C EV concept, capable of going up to 40 miles on battery-only power with zero emissions.
GM, too, was optimistic, unveiling 17 new and upcoming models, many of which have been seen before, including the plug-in Chevrolet Volt, due in late 2010. For the automaker's well-attended press conference, GM brought in about 100 employees, retirees and dealers who acted as company cheerleaders. Chairman-CEO Rick Wagoner put on a happy face, telling the crowd "buried in all the financial news of recent months is that we've made tremendous progress in recent years making cars and trucks that consumers really want to buy."
GM did outsell Toyota Motor Sales USA in this country last year, reporting 2.98 million new vehicles, still down 23% vs. 2007.
There was one major change from prior years, however: a toned-down presence by automakers, marked by less glitz and less free food for journalists.