Jay Leno's audience of several thousand Chrysler LLC dealers was already pumped when he took the stage last week in Las Vegas.
The UAW's strike had come and gone that same day. Moreover, the much-despised monthly dealer sales bonus — a program that lured Chrysler dealers into price wars with each other — was on its way out.
And they had heard rousing speeches by their new leaders, CEO Bob Nardelli and co-President Jim Press. Showing his mastery of the moment, Leno greeted his audience: "What a thrill it is to do a Chrysler event where I don't have to speak German."
The crowd roared.