NEW YORK -- Everywhere Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne goes, he seems to draw a crowd.
In January, Marchionne was interrupted during an evening keynote at the Automotive News World Congress. Two separate protesters stopped his speech with messages about plant closings and Chrysler quality and launched helium-filled balloons and distributed flyers with a message about union contracts.
This morning in New York it happened again.
Less than five minutes into his speech at the NADA/IHS Global Insight Automotive Forum, about a dozen security guards forcibly removed a number of union car-hauler workers dressed as crash-test dummies. The protesters got through the door of the conference ballroom at the Marriott Marquis hotel -- barely -- when a tussle ensued.
“Sergio!” one protester yelled, as he was being escorted away. “That's $14 billion in U.S. tax dollars!”
The scuffle went on for several minutes outside the door.
Marchionne kept speaking and made no reference to the uproar.