DETROIT (TheStreet) -- The origin of the acclaimed Chrysler 200 Super Bowl came during a speech two months earlier at the Los Angeles Auto Show, said Chrysler CEO Olivier Francois.
In an interview with TheStreet at the New York Auto Show last week, Francois was asked whether he was involved in the creation of the ad, which featured Eminem.
"You can't be more involved," he responded.
Francois recalled his presentation speech for the 200 in Los Angeles. "L.A. is an import market, " he said. "Presenting an American D segment (large family) sedan in Los Angeles is very challenging. And I had to plead the [case] that it's as good as an import. It's imported from Detroit." Once the concept was embedded, Francois wanted to use Eminem music as part of the soundtrack. This led to discussions with Eminem, in which the possibility of the music star's appearance in the ad was broached. The 200 is a big deal for Chrysler, Francois said, because midsize sedans represent a major segment in the U.S. auto industry, with about two million sales annually. The 200 competes with GM's (GM) Chevrolet Malibu, which had its introduction last week at the New York and Shanghai auto shows, as well as the Ford (F) Fusion, Toyota's (TM) Camry and Honda (HMC) Accord.
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