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Snoop's gotta have a new Chrysler 300C
Posted 6/8/2004 4:23 PM Updated 6/8/2004 4:42 PM

By Brett Clanton, The Detroit News
When Chrysler executives first envisioned the target audience for its new flagship passenger sedan — the 300C — gangsta rapper Snoop Dogg probably didn't leap to mind.

He probably wasn't the target audience for the 300C, but Snoop Dogg wants one.
By Bill Pugliano, Getty Images

But the language-twisting Los Angeles hip-hopper recently left a voice mail message for Dieter Zetsche, CEO of DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group, asking for one of the hot-selling sedans.


AP file
Snoop Dogg


"What I gotta' do to get that brand new 300 up outta you?," he said to Zetsche, 51, whose first language is German. He then suggested Zetsche should "get back in contact with my nephew so he can make it happen, then it's official like a referee with a whistle."

Chrysler officials, once they figured out how to interpret the request, began working out a barter deal with Snoop — perhaps giving him a discount on the car if he promotes it by driving it in a video or to high-profile events. The automaker expects to close the deal in a couple of weeks.

But at a minimum, they say, the interest from Snoop and 50 Cent, another chart-topping rapper, underscores the broad appeal of the new 300, a regal rear-wheel-drive sedan that is attracting luxury buyers despite a $23,000 to $35,000 base price.

"We've seen SUVs that have gotten the attention of the hip-hop crowd, but not a passenger car," said Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines.

Since dealers started taking deliveries in March, the 300 has been one of the strongest sellers out of the gate for Chrysler in years, producing waiting lists nationwide and spurring customers to sometimes pay thousands of dollars over sticker price.

That's good news for Chrysler, which is trying to regain market share lost to Asian rivals in the passenger car segment.

In his message to Zetsche, Snoop, 32, promised to add to the considerable buzz surrounding the 300. "If you want this car to blow, give it to me," he said.

Zetsche first referred to the message from, as he put it, "Snoopy Doggy Dogg," after a speech last week at the Executives' Club of Chicago.

Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, left the voice mail for Zetsche at DaimlerChrysler's Los Angeles business center.

The multiplatinum-selling rap artist has crossed over into movies and TV commercials despite his oft-professed love of marijuana and occasional legal entanglements. He scored major roles in the recent film Starsky & Hutch and Soul Plane, a summer comedy.

Chrysler should consider the boost Snoop Dogg could bring to the brand if the two partnered, said Wes Brown, a partner at Iceology, a marketing and consulting firm in Los Angeles.

"They'd be crazy not to take advantage of someone as trend-setting and popular as Snoop Dogg," he said. Besides, Snoop has done a lot to clean up his image in recent years, from appearing on Sesame Street to hosting Saturday Night Live, Brown said.

Chrysler has accommodated other celebrity orders through the years, including a Dodge Viper for Jay Leno, a Plymouth Voyager minivan for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and three PT Cruisers for Cher.

Snoop Dogg is no different, Vines said.

"We are creating buzz, and you put it in the hands of the people who can give you exposure," Vines said. "I don't remember any meetings leading up to the launch of the 300 where we said: 'We've got to get Snoop Dogg.'"

But, he said, "I'm not going to scoff at anybody who likes our products."
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
By the way. I had the windows done on my Brilliant Black yesterday, 35% tint. It looks great. Highly recommended.
 
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