» Chrysler’s best quarterly profit in 13 years: Just a couple years away from a bailout that shook the company to the core and the merger with Fiat that saved it, Chrysler is on a little bit of a winning streak, with several car models posting their best monthly results ever.
l am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message about job growth and the spirit of America. … If Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it.Clint Eastwood • Speaking to Bill O’Reilly about the “It’s Halftime in America” Super Bowl ad he did for Chrysler, which has sparked speculation as to whether he intended a specific political endorsement for the ad. He did not. It’s worth noting that, no, he did not support the auto bailouts, and he’s a lifelong Republican who has only voted for one Democrat as far as he can remember: Former California Gov. Gray Davis in 1998. The effective ad, a political fireball reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s “It’s Morning in America Again” ad from 1984, has drawn scrutiny from some on the right — Karl Rove suggested the Obama administration was using Chrysler to make indirect political ads for them. With Eastwood’s comments, it’s clear things are more complicated than that.
excitablehonky asks: I'm not particularly inclined to defend whichever side of the issue Mitt Romney might be on any given day, but I think it's pretty dubious to say Clint Eastwood refuted the "unpopular opinion" expressed in Romney's November op-ed about Detroit with a Super Bowl commercial when Eastwood himself was saying that we shouldn't be bailing out car companies just a week or two before Romney's piece ran. Shouldn't sauce for the goose (Romey) be sauce for the gander (Eastwood)?
» SFB says: You have a handicap we didn’t last night — you’re refuting the point using evidence most people weren’t aware of yesterday (as we were liveblogging), a quote that didn’t surface online until three hours ago. Keep in mind that anything can look less shiny under the surface in the face of new evidence. Now, whether Eastwood actually believes that way or if he was the mouthpiece for a car company, let’s also keep in mind that visceral effect does speak for a lot, too. Which is to say, Eastwood’s voice sold that point, whether or not he was buying it. — Ernie @ SFB
On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number one automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs. We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.
Was this the right thing for us to do, seeing the success we’ve had? (more here)
» Pulling out the big guns: This week’s Detroit Auto Show is a giant coming-out party for an auto industry that was struggling to keep the engine running just a couple of years ago. But, while those times are certainly not gone entirely, they’ve certainly improved in recent years, which reflects in the boldness of this year’s models. In fact Chrysler, the weakest of the the three auto companies, is actually looking like a bright spot for Fiat, whose Chief Executive, Sergio Marchionne, invested in the company at its weakest point. ”He entered Chrysler at rock bottom and will now capitalize on a U.S. recovery — the timing was perfect,” said automotive analyst Philippe Barrier. But maybe you’re like us and you don’t care about the specifics of the recovery and just want to see cool new cars. Well, the Detroit Free Press has you covered.
I haven’t gotten any questions yet today like, ‘Will you be here next year?’Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne • On the company’s slow bounceback. Chrysler hasn’t had the dramatic turnaround that Ford and GM have had since the nadir of the financial crisis, but they appear to be making headway with a new generation of vehicles – particularly the newest Jeep Grand Cherokee, which has done well despite the fact that SUVs have fallen out of fashion lately. The company’s collaboration with Fiat has also helped buoy Chrysler. So, how about paying back those loans from the bailout and other sources? “We are going to repay one hundred cents on every dollar of loans we received,” Marchionne said. source (via • follow)