Everything You Need to Know About the Chrysler Airflow

When it comes to auto scandals like what we’ve seen with Volkswagen, this story may be just about the dirtiest of them all, because it does involve a major automotive giant still existing today, albeit the most recent financial troubles: General Motors. Back in the day, GM was king — until another energetic upstart of an automaker came out with the rather innovative Chrysler Airflow in 1934, a prototype of sheer cinematic genius way ahead of its time and foreshadowing automotive excellence for many years to come.

Of Course, GM Hated That the Chrysler Airflow Was Getting so Much Attention….

This is where the auto industry can get super-vicious. So what did General Motors do? theyChrysler Airflow-1 bought out advertisements in the Saturday Evening Post, pitching proverbial puke balls at the Chrysler Airflow with allegations of plagiarism due to a “top-secret GM design.” Think of it this way: GM was the big bully kid jealous of the smarty-pants who the girls really liked (but wouldn’t admit it).

Those were the days when auto advertising and competition were so bloodthirsty that it made mixed martial arts look like butt slapping with a wet napkin. Amazingly enough, though, Chrysler wasn’t reeling much at the stab GM made, releasing a newsreel of phenomenal prowess and innovation, showing off the Chrysler Airflow and its advanced suspension by shooting out tires at high speeds. Impressive. The newsreel even featured a pitcher throwing a fastball at a window and not even cracking the glass. Testers even rolled the darn car over and drove it away without a problem; and if that wasn’t enough, they drove the Chrysler Airflow off a 110-foot cliff, and after it landed, testers at the bottom drove the steel beast off into the horizon — all without one dent on the fender or a scratch on the windshield.

You’d Think That Impressive Newsreel Would Make a Difference in This Auto Industry

Sadly, it did not. The Chrysler Airflow was beaten (not by the cliff, obviously) due to the gossip and scare tactics of GM and their successful smear campaign. The car that would’ve made more headlines for years to come was then discontinued due to the bad press and negativity of the supposed “scandal” and was never seen again.

Case in point: you lose in the auto industry if you’re the target of gossip!

Everything You Need to Know About Ralph Gilles

If there’s anything the auto industry is, it’s this: creativity. From creativity doth innovation and design be revealed, and that’s the mantra of American-Canadian automobile designer Ralph Gilles believes in. It’s the beginning of excellence in the auto industry for good reason. the best auto brands out there consumers will select revolve around what trends are making it in the eyes of desires of the many, hence why Ralph Gilles remains as one of many influences in the automotive industry today.

The History of Ralph GillesRalph Gilles

You know a man like Ralph Gilles knows what he’s doing in his field if he at one point was the President and CEO of the SRT brand as well as the senior VP of Design for Chrysler. He was just recently, in fact, promoted to Head of Design for Fiat/Chrysler back in April of this year, and for good reason: the man’s behind the design of the popular 2005 Chrysler 300 as well as the 2014 SRT Viper, two very high-performance and styled cars made for the flashy without sacrificing the performance.

Ralph Gilles didn’t get that way by osmosis, though. Since the age of 8, the boy draw concept vehicles with an air to dream, and that’s really what it takes to put an automotive footprint in the sand and make a dream a reality. People love dreams — especially when driving them.

Why the Auto Industry’s Looking Up Because of Geniuses Like Ralph Gilles

Aside from the fact that Gilles has been promoted and replaced and promoted so many times — being Senior VP of Design in 2008, President and CEO of Dodge in 2009 before taking on the role of Chrysler’s senior VP of Design and CEO of Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology division — the fact that he’s dipped his fingers in so many aspects of American automotive design is reason enough why he’s included in this prestigious list of thought leaders for 2015.

Everything You Need to Know About Sergio Marchionne

Know this: Italians know their cars. They’ve known automobiles for decades, actually. And at the top of that fact is one man who remains as one of many influences in today’s auto industry: Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the Chairman of CNH Industrial. This is business and automotive inextricably linked beautifully, and that’s what makes the auto industry shine the most with advancements both technological and industrial.

Why Sergio Marchionne Is so Relevant in Today’s Auto IndustrySergio Marchionne

Listen up very closely: when it comes to the auto industry, it’s fickle. It’s delicate. Companies can drop like flies in mere seconds all because of lost money, recalls and other horrible calamities. Case in point: General Motors, Cadillac. And, of course, Chrysler, our faithful US automaker suffering for so many years without ever being profitable at all. The company did, in fact, file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a legal action taken by many companies or individuals for good reason.

Enter: Sergio Marchionne, a man with such clout to turn the Fiat Group around as one of the most prolific and fastest-growing corporations in the automotive industry. Fiat was dying, too, until Sergio Marchionne took the helm and grew company toward profitability back ion 2006, and it only took him two years to do it. It was then that he turned his attention to strategic alliances to maximize profitability and get more of a competitive footprint in the auto market saturated with such competition — enter, Chrysler, another company struggling to get above the water.

And with the support of the U.S. and Canada governments along with trade unions, the merger was successful, bolstered by the success of Fiat, that Chrysler rose from the ashes as well, paying off those government bankruptcy loans; and before you know it, Sergio Marchionne gained a foothold on the American market in a big way, creating the new holding company we all know in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a company with success today and the seventh largest automotive manufacturer globally.

Recognize the Importance of Sergio Marchionne

Think about it. This guy literally generated enough business, revenue, profit and competition to raise two companies from the grave to be major heavy hitters in the industry. Two. You can bet this is a man capable of making change in the automotive industry, which is why Sergio Marchionne is so relevant today.