Chrysler to increase spending on rebuilding brand reputation

Jeep Grand Cherokee

After five months of marketing darkness, Chrysler Group LLC is preparing to pump up their advertising this quarter and gradually increase the amount spent over the next few years says Automotive News. Starting next quarter, Chrysler Group will spend $100 for each vehicle sold at retail in the US, and eventually cap out their media spending at $170 per vehicle next year, and $210 in 2011. Chrysler Groups sales fell 30% last month from the same time the previous year, and CEO Sergio Marchionne told Automotive News “I can give you one reason: The fact that we’ve been incredibly quiet for the last five months, so the marketing positions of all our brands have been incredibly weak.”.

Marchionne cautioned against pessimism in his plan however and told attendees that “We would not reinvest $23 billion if your expectation is not to re-establish these brands.”

As part of their marketing plan, Chrysler plans to reinvent the Dodge image. They hope to shift from a rugged image to a more refined and youthful one. Ralph Gilles, CEO of the brand also mentioned a shift in marketing approach. Instead of going after consumers based on traditional demographics such as age, or price groups, Dodge intends to market to lifestyles as he noted that “people are aging gracefully”.

Jeep also has a slight image modification in the pipeline. CEO Mike Manley hopes to shift focus from sheer capability towards fuel economy and on-road driving performance. Research showed that only 30% of Jeep customers are truly interested in off-roading. Daimler AG had tried this when they owned jeep with the introduction of the Compass and the Patriot, which both flopped.

– By: Stephen Calogera