“We saw how people in Detroit rallied behind RoboCop,” said Chrysler chairman C. Robert Kidder. “We wanted to emulate that.”
Italian automaker Fiat purchased a large portion of the beleaguered car company in 2009, a deal that could eventually give Fiat 51% ownership. The other 49%? That goes straight to Detroit via Kickstarter.
“Sure, it was pretty embarrassing two years ago to have to sell our All-American company to the Italians,” said Kidder. “Especially when I went in for the handshake and they would try to do that weird European thing where they kiss on both cheeks. But we’re getting over it and we think this deal will help how people see us.”
“And hey, like I always say, at least we didn’t sell to an Axis country, like Germany or Japan,” added Kidder.
The deal has indeed resonated.
“This is fan-fuckin’-tastic,” said John Wheatley, a mechanic from Ann Arbor. “I’m gonna put in 100 bucks so I can have my shares, plus my name etched on the inside of every bumper they make.” The Kickstarter offer rewards higher contributions, with the highest level of donor getting a model of car named after them. So far, only a donation by a Robert Buttplug has made the cut.
Kidder expects fans to meet the $40,000 price tag within the month. “It’s a lot of money, especially for people in Detroit, but I’m confident we’ll meet our goal.”