By Joel D. Joseph, Chairman, Made in the USA Foundation
In 2009 the U.S. government bailed out Chrysler Corporation, first giving it a bridge loan of $4 billion, then lending it $6 billion to fund operations while in bankruptcy.
In May 2011, Chrysler repaid $11.2 billion of its outstanding $12.5 billion in government loans. The total cost to U.S. taxpayers was $1.3 billion.
In a slap in the face to American taxpayers, Chrysler announced in July that it would cease production of passenger cars in the United States, but continue to make Jeeps and trucks in the U.S. While Chrysler's actions to move car production abroad are despicable, part of the blame must be placed on the U.S. government's failure to require Chrysler, as a part of the bailout agreement, to keep auto production in the United States.
More Misleading Chrysler Ads
The Made in the USA Foundation objected to misleading Chrysler ads for the Chrysler 300 several years ago that included an "Imported from Detroit" slogan. The Chrysler 300 was and is still made in Canada. Now, ads for the Chrysler Pacifica include the same slogan, and once again the Pacifica is made in Canada.
Chrysler also has misleading ads for its muscle-car, the Dodge Charger. The ads proclaim that the Dodge Charger is "Domestic. Not domesticated." The Charger is not domestic. Domestic means, according to Merriam-Webster, "of, relating to, or made in your own country." Concerning ads broadcast in the United States, domestic means the United States. The Charger is made in Canada.
Warning to Chrysler
I gave Chrysler legal notice that if it does not pull these offending ads, that a complaint will be filed with the Federal Trade Commission and a court action initiated. We cannot allow Chrysler to cheat American taxpayers, move production offshore and then use misleading ads to imply that cars are made in the USA when they are not.