Tags: Chrysler | Vehicle | Recall | GM

Chrysler Vehicle Recall Has Silver Lining

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Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 10:33 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Few things could save GM from the horrendous blowback from the ongoing recall issue, but this news item might — at least temporarily. Chrysler, one of GM’s chief American-made competitors recently announced they would be recalling about 350,000 vehicles due to an ignition issue that CNN called very similar to the issue that GM has been dealing with for some time now.
 
There are two key differences in this case, and Chrysler needs to repeat these differences early and often. With a headline this incendiary there is no doubt that the consumer public will immediately make the Chrysler-GM connection, tenuous though it may be. And that first impression may be all the time that a consumer gives to this issue. Therefore, after correcting the issue and expressing regret for the mistake, Chrysler’s PR efforts should focus almost entirely on publicizing these two differences.
 
First, nobody at Chrysler has been accused of a cover-up. According to reports from the company, it only knows of one “minor accident” associated with the issue. Further, it is not aware of any injuries. When they put that out there, you can bet that every newscast who reports on this issue will not compare, they will contrast that fact with the deaths associated with GM’s ignition recall issue.

And the contrasting is a huge plus on Chrysler’s side. Not only are they avoiding being painted with the same brush, they are being shown to be, at least in this specific instance, “better” or “less of an issue” than their competition.
 
Second, the scope of the issue creates another “contrast” instead of “compare” scenario. Chrysler said its ignition problem can cause the key to “not return to the on position” after the driver turns it to the start position while starting the car. Translation? The wipers and defroster may not work. In contrast, it was widely reported that GM’s issue caused drivers to lose control while in transit, with terrifying and, sometimes, fatal results.
 
With that in mind, this is one of those scenarios in which the “bad news” for Chrysler may end up giving them a net positive return — as long as they manage their message properly. Miss a step and they have driven a golden PR opportunity right into the ditch.
 
Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent PR Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.
 
 
 

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Chrysler, one of GM’s chief American-made competitors recently announced they would be recalling about 350,000 vehicles due to an ignition issue that CNN called very similar to the issue that GM has been dealing with for some time now.
Chrysler, Vehicle, Recall, GM
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2014-33-30
Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 10:33 AM
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