Power and Responsability
US car makers have always had the reputation of producing big, heavy, powerful cars. With the needs of being environmentally friendly/sustainable, some brands are slowly starting to change their old philosophy. However, most of them, like Chrysler, are doing most of their quite irrelevant sustainability stuff on the backstage. In other words, they are selling big, fairly powerful cars for the road, and the “green” stuff only shows up on the details and in the media, sort of just to say they’ve been working on it.
A simple figure: Chrysler’s 2014 vehicles’ kerb weight is, in average, approximately 1830kg. A Smart Fortwo weights under 800kg. This is just one example to show that Chrysler is far behind from truly sustainability-oriented concepts (not that the Smart is a truly sustainability-oriented concept but weight is a massive factor when it comes down to reducing energy consumption/emissions).
Chrysler – the brand – developed some electrical car ideas a few years back, with the promise they would use the gained knowledge to bring electrical vehicles to the market. Frank Klegon, Vice President of Product Development even said (in 2009) this: “Electric Vehicles provide the opportunity to fulfill social responsibility, reduce dependency on foreign oil, and eliminate monthly gasoline bills, while delivering performance and utility that our customers desire.”. It’s 2013 now and Chrysler is yet to have an electric vehicle available to the consumers. Now it is more difficult to find a place in the much more competitive electric vehicles’ market dominated by Tesla Motors. Chrysler is late behind.
Despite of that, in the meantime the brand developed some interesting projects (that they use as an argument to call themselves sustainable). Some of them are described in their “2011 Sustainability Report”. They are mostly related with waste and CO2 reduction in the manufacturing process (that also represent massive money savings – go figure why they would try to get rid of waste). Besides that, Chrysler has been involved in some social responsability campains such as one against “texting and driving” (read more here) and more recently one against bullying (watch video here).
autonews.com. (2009). Chrysler LLC Surges Forward with Production-intent Electric Vehicles. Available: http://www.autonews.com/Assets/html/08_angc/presentations/release_rhodes.pdf. Last accessed 17 Dec 2013.
Chrysler. (2013). Chrysler Town & Country and RFK Center “Warnings” Commercial . Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09xIgGM_PRg. Last accessed 17 Dec 2013.
Chrysler Group LLC. (2011). 2011 sustainability report – Economic, Environmental and Social Responsability. Available: http://www.chryslergroupllc.com/sustainability/documents/2011%20sustainability%20report.pdf. Last accessed 17 Dec 2013.
Leon Kaye. (2011). Chrysler Touts Turnaround, Emissions, Diversity in Sustainability Report. Available: http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/10/chrysler-touts-turnaround-emissions-diversity-sustainability-report/. Last accessed 17 Dec 2013.
Jack Martin. (2008). Chrysler shows new Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge Electric Vehicles. Available: http://www.gizmag.com/chrysler-shows-new-chrysler-jeep-and-dodge-electric-vehicles/10071/. Last accessed 17 Dec 2013.
RP news wires. (2010). Chrysler sets corporate policy on texting while driving. Available: http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/21828/chrysler-sets-corporate-policy-on-texting-while-driving. Last accessed 17 Dec 2013.
rsportcars.com. (2009). Chrysler Showcases its Electric Vehicle Future at 2009 Geneva Motor Show . Available: http://www.rsportscars.com/chrysler/2009-chrysler-200c-ev-concept/. Last accessed 17 Dec 2013.