First a quick note of addition regarding yesterday's email alert. I failed to state (for those in the Fremont, MI area) that the movie "Come What May" will be showing at our facility on Friday, January 22 (not Friday, January 15). I apologize for any confusion this may have brought. Thanks. Bill Johnson ================ Living in Michigan, a state which has depended heavily upon the auto industry, the annual Detroit Auto Show garners much attention. Local television news is abuzz with reports on the new vehicles and the latest auto technology and flashiest accessories from the yearly event. However, the struggling Chrysler Corporation, bailed out by taxpayers like you and me, not having new product to promote decided to flash skin instead. Draped over Chrysler vehicles, Chrysler is using erotically clad and posed models as their vehiclesâ€™ accessories. As the article below reports, using sexy models to gain attention to product is a practice the U.S. auto industry has gotten away from â€“ to their credit – until this yearâ€™s desperate return by Chrysler to a degrading and sexist practice. Yet Chryslerâ€™s desperate attempt to sell cars may backfire. As they display scantily clad models spinning on a turntable between two vehicles like nothing more than pieces of meat, Chrysler risks offending buyers – both women and men – by objectifying and demeaning women, portraying them as nothing more than sex toys. Is this Chryslerâ€™s brilliant plan for using taxpayer bailout money to revamp their company? *********************** *Chrysler brings back sexy show models * By JUSTIN HYDE FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER January 13, 2010 03:59 AM Chrysler's newest models at the Detroit auto show look like they're trying out for Project Runway. Stripped across the front of Chrysler's stand are five vehicles — including a Ferrari and the Chrysler/Lancia Delta — with a woman in sexy fashion stationed nearby. In the center of the stand, Chrysler has put a pair of female models in matching outfits on a spinning turntable, nestled between two Fiat 500s. The models' looks are coordinated with the vehicle: the Ram pickup minder has western wear, while the Delta model sports a sparkly minidress that no store will ever sell. The move has successfully drawn large numbers of the mostly male automotive press to take a gander at the Chrysler stand lacking new product. But it's also a European tactic that Detroit automakers had previously shunned. Starting in the mid-1990s, Detroit automakers shifted away from putting the young and the beautiful on their cars in favor of "product specialists" — men and women chosen less for their looks and more for their ability to transform into walking information kiosks. Even the remaining fashion-forward models were expected to field questions about the vehicles they were draped over. With consumers growing more knowledgeable about new vehicles — and women accounting for a larger share of car buyers — the old way seemed sexist. While that approach became standard practice in the United States, overseas auto shows never made such a move. (And there's one big U.S. exception: the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association show in Las Vegas for aftermarket parts, whose imagery can't even be linked from family-minded auto show blogs.) European and Asian auto shows typically have two requirements for their models: attractive and female. For example, Chrysler's new owner Fiat drew some complaints at last year's Frankfurt auto show when it showed off an upgraded Dodge Caliber complete with models in schoolgirl outfits. Several foreign automakers also put glam models on their stands, but Chrysler's display stood out this year. Maybe any attention is good attention for a struggling automaker, and perhaps putting sexy back in Chrysler will help tide the company over until new vehicles arrive. But Chrysler runs the risk of hearing something from customers who find it a tart reminder of bad old days:Â Gentlemen, stop your engines. http://m.freep.com/news.jsp?key=585002&rc=bz **************************************** Let Chrysler know that their blatant use of sex to sell is an offense to you as a potential customer and that you expect better from them than this degrading display. By clicking on the link below you can send a prepared email to the CEO and the Chairman of Chrysler. (Of course you are welcome to personalize the prepared letter as you wish.) Click here to contact Chrysler: https://americandecency.org/take_action_form.php Or use the contact information below to personally call or write Chrysler. Chrysler Group LLC Sergio Marchionne – CEO & Director C. Robert Kidder – Chairman 1000 Chrysler Dr. Auburn Hills, MI 48326 Phone: 248-576-5741 Toll Free: 800-992-1997 Sergio Marchionne – CEO & Director Sergio.Marchionne@chrysler.com C. Robert Kidder – Chairman bob.Kidder@chrysler.com You can make an online donation at: https://secure4.afo.net/ada/main.php?f=donate/display9 or mail a donation to the address below. American Decency Association P.O. Box 202 Fremont MI 49412 American Decency Association is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.