John Fortuno has a thing for the Chrysler 300. He’s spent years tweaking his own to get just the right stance and presence, and I have to give him props on the end result. Unlike so many pimptastic Chrysler 300s, Fortuno’s ride is tastefully understated. I’m not liking the Lambo doors, but aside from that it’s one of the few tuned 300s that I’d actually want to drive (and be seen in). Fortuno’s got some fans in Michigan, and they invited him up to tour their design studio and give feedback to the stylists. Their name? Chrysler Corporation. Video below.
It was be easy to write this off as corporate pablum, designed to anesthetize the public into thinking that they have a say in car design. Twenty years ago, that probably would have been the case; based on what I’ve seen with Chrysler Group, LLC of late, that’s no longer true. I’ll bet that Chrysler’s designers were taking notes when they met with Fortuno, and I’ll bet that he’s not the only tuner that Chrysler brought in. Their designers still have final say on what the cars look like, but it’s refreshing to see a company that solicits outside input (and takes it seriously).
Ford has been the golden child of Detroit lately, and they seem to have hit on just the right mix of product at just the right time. It’s been easy to ignore Chrysler, since they’ve historically lagged behind GM and Ford in sales. Their product quality in recent years has been less than admirable, which hasn’t helped them attract or retain customers. That said, I’ve seen the biggest change of all at Chrysler in the past year, and I really think the “bad old days” are behind them. Look for better content, better styling and improved product quality from all of the Chrysler Group companies, and ignore them at your own risk.