Preuss, who worked with Kowaleski most recently at Ford, said: “Not to take away anything from others who were there, but Tom was a huge part of the success of Chrysler’s resurgence in the 1990s. The mega auto show extravaganzas and over-the-top drive programs that became legendary and are now a staple of this industry, were hugely influenced by Tom’s creativity, drive and passion.”
During the 2013 interview with Automotive News, Kowaleski recalled how Chrysler's success in the 1990s forced other automakers to raise their game during auto shows.
A few years later, after a string of Chrysler stunts, he described taking a sneak peek inside Cobo before another round of press previews formally began.
"It was the last weekend of setup. I walked into Cobo and saw a sea of black two-story high pipe and drape. I thought, 'My god, we created all this hysteria.' All of a sudden everyone was playing."