Final Inspection

Chrysler Falls Victim to Internet Fear-Mongering

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What’s lost in translation was a quickly spread miscommunication that Chrysler would end Jeep production here in the States.

Being a 20-something Millenial, I’m in tune with everyone I’ve ever known in life on the Internet. And even though I’m fortunate to know such a wide array of individuals, I’m sometimes disappointed to see how gullible some of them can be.

Almost every day, I find myself referring someone to Snopes.com over something they’ve posted online, whether it be some conspiracy about why Lincoln faces to the right on the penny to “liking” something in hopes of a miracle cure for some sick child. The Internet’s latest gaffe, which I’m sure will continue to spread well after Election Day in the U.S., involves Chrysler.

Bloombergreported this week that Jeep is considering production in China after a lengthy absence there. What’s lost in translation is a quickly spread miscommunication that Chrysler would end Jeep production here in the States as a result.

Anyone with the slightest hint of common sense knows Chrysler wouldn’t take the chance of riling up the American public during election season by announcing they plan to ship Jeep jobs to China. Michigan’s lawmakers on both sides of the aisle would be up in arms, not to mention the difficulty of breaking ties with the UAW here.

The miscommunication spread through the blogosphere quickly, prompting Chrysler’s senior vice president of corporate communications, Gualberto Rainieri, to release a statement on the auto maker’s blog: “Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation. A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.”

That debunking didn’t reach Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in time, who reportedly told an Ohio crowd the same night as Raineri’s blog that Jeep, “owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China.”

Not true, governor. The Romney camp has yet to correct itself, so perhaps we’ll have to rely on Snopes.

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on Dec 24, 2013

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