Did anyone else have some problems with the Chrysler commercial Bob Dylan did for the Super Bowl? First of all, I never knew that Mr. Anti-Establishment Dylan had such a commercial streak in him. I also have a hard job picturing him as a counter-culture car nut. Don’t all folk music singers think cars are evil things?
But my real problem was with the “Is There Anything More American Than America” theme of an ad coming from a car company owned by Fiat. Now, my dad’s first car was a ’37 Plymouth, his first nice car was a ’49 De Soto and I learned to drive on a ’58 Chrysler Saratoga. Dad later bought a Dodge Dart, too, and my first Wisconsin car was a ’63 Chrysler 300. And I shouldn’t forget that I also bought a new Dodge Intrepid. I like the “American” Chryslers, but in modern times Mopar has had German and French (now there’s a combination) owners.
In early 2009, Chrysler Group, based in Auburn Hills, Mich., became majority owned by the United Auto Workers Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association trust. Then, in June 2009, Fiat gained ownership of Chrysler Group as a part of Chrysler's restructuring plan. Fiat eventually gained a 58 percent total stake in the company.
So, what was Bob Dylan thinking when he said, “When it’s made here it’s made with the one thing you can’t import: American pride?” Or how about his line, “So, let Germany brew your beer; Let Switzerland make your watch; Let Asia assemble your phone. We’ll build your car!” Why didn’t he say, “Let the French build your car?”
But the thing that really ticked me off most was when he said, “Because what America created was a first and an inspiration to the rest of the world. Yeh, Detroit made cars and cars made America” while a German road sign was flashed on the screen. That isn’t even historically accurate! As most of us know, Mercedes-Benz (Germany) made the first automobile. Chrysler didn’t come along until 1925.
Bob, it really doesn’t bother me much if you’ve decided to become a hipster in your old age, but let’s get it right where the automotive history is concerned. As far as your Super Bowl ad copy goes, somebody was just blowing in the wind.