News Column

Chrysler Sends Trucks to Pick Up After Storm

Nov. 5, 2012

Staff --

Ram 1500
Ram 1500

In the aftermath of last week's devastating northeastern storm, Chrysler Group LLC announced it is donating 20 Ram trucks and $100,000 to the American Red Cross.

Chrysler -- which has been at the center of a media storm of its own recently after presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused the company of planning to relocate its Jeep manufacturing facilities to China -- made the announcement from its Auburn Hills, Mich., headquarters.

"Our hearts go out to those impacted by Superstorm Sandy," Fred Diaz stated in a press release.

The Ram Truck president and CEO of the Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC said, "We are inspired by their unwavering spirit in this time of adversity, and Ram is proud to support relief and recovery efforts by providing the Red Cross with a team of Ram trucks to support this critical mission."

In addition to the controversy surrounding the Romney ad and President Obama's support of the previous administration's "bail-out" of the automobile giant, billionaire commercial real estate developer Donald Trump last week took shots at the company for allegedly capitalizing on the recent controversy to gain media attention.

Mr. Trump's criticism of the automobile company prompted Chrysler executive Ralph Gilles to immediately take to Twitter and defend the company, now owned by Italian carmaker Fiat Group.

As reported on, Gilles tweeted that Donald Trump was contributing to the spread of false rumors about the company, rumors that could have a devastating effect on Chrysler workers by creating undue anxiety over the status of their jobs.

It's a sign of the times and a remarkable reflection of the quick response afforded by social media that, a) false rumors can be spread about a company that can potentially severely damage its image; b) corporate executives have adapted to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote -- and defend -- their brands; and c) companies are using the power of charitable giving to help repair the damage of negative media reporting.

The automaker's press release announcing the donations to storm disaster relief efforts states, "Chrysler Group and its brands have a long history of supporting its communities in their time of need."

The release goes on to remind the press that the Ram Truck brand and The Weather Channel Companies (TWCC) announced a partnership with the First Response Team of America, a nonprofit disaster relief organization.

"The First Response Team arrived ahead of Sandy to assist local responders with rescues and to provide help with cleanup efforts," the Chrysler press release attests.

Most commentators and pundits would undoubtedly agree that "non-profit" seems to be the operative word among today's charitable givers and press-coverage seekers, including Mr. Trump, who has announced his fair share of "gifts" to various causes over the years.

For its part, the American Red Cross expressed gratitude to Chrysler for the donations of Ram Trucks (no longer referred to as Dodge) and the $100,000 cash contribution.

"The impact of Superstorm Sandy was widespread and the road to recovery will be long for many families," said Neal Litvack, chief development officer at the American Red Cross. "Through the generosity of its partners such as Ram and Chrysler Group, the American Red Cross is responding with shelter, food and emotional support, helping families and communities with their most critical needs."

At the end of the month, as reports in its November exclusive feature, "The 2012 US-Hispanic Auto Market Trends Toward Growth," it's all about moving on -- and driving forward.

For more coverage on the automotive industry, please see HispanicBusiness' Auto Channel

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters