On Thursday, March 21, Chrysler Brand President and CEO Saad Chehab spoke at the Detroit Athletic Club in Detroit. Officially, Saad was there to discuss the Chrysler brand’s reemergence as a top player in the automotive industry. However, unbeknownst to the audience, Saad had plans to do much more. He used the occasion to introduce the new 2013.5 200S Special Edition, and to explain why Chrysler brand vehicles like it were responsible for garnering impressive sales numbers in recent years, including what turned out to be a record 11% gain for the Chrysler 200 in March sales year over year.
We’re posting an excerpt from Saad’s speech with the hope that it will offer more insight into how important the 200 nameplate is to the success of the Chrysler brand in general.
Saad Chehab Speaks at the Detroit Athletic Club | An Excerpt
“To create greater sales, the team focused on smaller, more targeted opportunities. And so far, it’s working. On the 200, for example, we focused on individual markets and demographics. We created the 200S as a way to make inroads into some of America’s trickiest markets, like California.
“How did the 200S work out in that market? Well, it’s the main catalyst behind Chrysler being the biggest sales gainer of any retailer in California last year. We did it by giving that market what it wanted, a 200 that didn’t just have bigger wheels, a bolder grille and tuned interior. It had attitude and relevance.
“As simple as it sounds, the 200S helped us do something very difficult: it lowered our median age and raised the average household income of Chrysler customers versus two years ago. The ‘S’ delivered some great sales numbers and proved that markets like California were ready for a dose of Detroit attitude.
“So, what’s next? The team brought you a little surprise in recognition of this special event and its location. Today we are announcing the new 2013.5 Chrysler 200S Special Edition, and we wanted you to see it first.
“This was done with our friends at Carhartt® and Mopar®. That’s a Detroit one-two punch we can all be proud of. We’re talking about redesigned fascias to give it a more aggressive front and a planted back end, side skirts that add to its attitude, a unique grille, dual exhaust tips integrated into a lowered valance and finished off with menacing black wheels.
“We sweated the details on the inside, too. With this car, you’ll get Carhartt-designed materials, seats and trims as well as their signature triple stitching and embossed logo. That’s a logo that stands for toughness and authenticity on jobsites all over the world. In this 200, it also stands for a hard-working attitude that only Detroit can offer.
“And this car is not just about looks. With its nearly 300 horsepower V-6 engine, it has a newly installed sport suspension, an available cold-air intake for more kick, an available strut tower brace for increased rigidity and an available Cat Back exhaust for a throatier tune, which can all be installed by the dealer at an additional price.
“I think this car best symbolizes what our blue-collar roots would look like in a tailored suit. And here’s the cool part—it’s going to be limited in production. Only 2,000 of these babies will be produced. This is why we’re calling it the 2013.5 200S Special Edition.
“Who says exclusivity can’t come from Detroit?”
Please stay tuned to Forward Look for information on how to purchase your own 2013.5 Chrysler 200S Special Edition.