Chrysler Adopts Nike, Starbucks Strategy and Creates Personalized, Limited-Edition Products image

Chrysler is modeling its success strategy after those used by Starbucks Corp. and Nike Inc.

To become more competitive, Chrysler plans to reorganize its strategy and model itself after two industry giants in the US: Nike and Starbucks. Only four years have past since the US automaker’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filling, and the company managed to revive and keep increasing. Chrysler will take existing products and create multiple versions of them, the majority in higher-end, limited-editions, to attract new customers that look for personalized products.

“There’s a gazillion ways you can get your drink at Starbucks and that’s a powerful reward,” said Chrysler president Saad Chehab. That’s a cachet-reward factor that Starbucks has, no different than Nike does it with the Nike ID. I see us as one of the first ones to look at those types of venues and lifestyles, and attend to those needs.”

The latest example of the automaker trying to reach the influential audience is the 2013 special-edition Carhartt, themed 200S. Chrysler will manufacture only 2,000 Carhartt 200 S models, each priced at $28,870 and with the interior design based on black, water-resistant fabric, black-painted finishes and Carhartt logo seat accents.

Under the hood the model will have a Pentastar V-6 engine, able to get 283 horsepower. Other special-editions models, resembling the Carhartt 200 S, would be the 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition and the 300 Motown and Glacier Editions.

“This kind of special edition is typical when a vehicle is nearing the end of its life, so this is different,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Edmunds.com. “It’s a way to keep conversation and interest in the vehicle going until they can add more vehicles to their lineup.”