What a year Jeep had! For a brand that happened to be on board when Fiat bought the bankrupt Chrysler in 2009, it was revelatory. Back then, Chrysler's sales had plunged 46.3 percent and the company had just 10 percent of the American auto market (down from 15 percent a few years earlier). Chrysler was fifth in U.S. sales, behind General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Honda. Most people were grateful that someone was rescuing an iconic brand from oblivion -- but few thought that Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne (who died last year) had made a smart move.
Amelia Island, FL -- The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, now in its 24th year, is not a classic car auction -- those occur earlier in the week, with most of the big players participating. It’s a celebration of the best of the best in the world of vintage automobiles, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t many commercial tie-ins. It’s an expensive show to put on, with an effort to maximize the return for the charities that are the non-profit events’ benefactors.
Deborah Wahl, who took over as Cadillac’s marketing chief a year ago, came over from the Golden Arches. If a resume that includes McDonald’s and the home builder Pulte sounds unusual for a top spot in the auto industry, keep in mind that Wahl also had marketing positions at Chrysler (as it was known then), Toyota/Lexus, Mazda and Ford.