Autobiography, Automotive, Biography, Business, Educational, History, Memoir

Sex, lies, conflicts of interest, international intrigue and a double-cross of thousands of union employees in the heart of America. Add to that three major companies’ futures on the line and an assassination by anarchist terrorists in Paris of one of the company’s chairman, in front of his screaming daughter, that almost kills a deal to save at least two of the companies. Hollywood? No. This was real.

“The Last American CEO” is the ultimate insider’s view of one of the biggest global business deals in history – Chrysler’s 1987 purchase of American Motors (AMC) from French automaker Renault. Relevant today? The jewel of the acquisition was Chrysler acquiring the Jeep brand, which almost single-handily saved Chrysler from near-bankruptcy in the early 1990s and certainly allowed Chrysler to survive a real bankruptcy in 2009. Joe Cappy was the last CEO of AMC and Jason Vines became his PR guy and later the PR chief for Nissan, then Ford and later Chrysler, all during times of turmoil.

Jason Vines, 54, is an independent communications and government affairs consultant specializing in crisis management, reputation management, brand rehabilitation, product launch and automotive issues. Vines has counseled General Motors on issues surrounding the Chevy Volt, the U.S. Government divestiture of GM stock, the revival of GM’s European operations and other corporate and product issues, including the recent recall conundrum regarding the ignition switch issue.  In addition, Vines has been involved with public policy issues regarding the electrification of the nation’s automobile fleet. He has also counseled a chemical client in reputational restoration, a major Native American tribe currently under attack by various agencies inside the federal U.S. Government and the U.S. auto dealers’ national association (NADA) on protection of the current, independent state-based dealer franchise system. Vines served as the top communications professional for three automakers – Nissan, Ford and Chrysler — between 1998 and 2008. He was named “Top PR Professional” in the automotive industry in 1999, 2005 and 2006 by Automotive News, the industry’s lead trade publication He is credited with leading some of the most memorable product launches in the automotive industry including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Viper, Dodge Ram and the reborn Nissan 350Z.