Tropical Storm Karen: A Clever Ploy by FCA?

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Dodge Caravans left ravaged by Tropical Storm Karen

It was way back in the 1950s when the U.S. National Hurricane Center began the practice which would carry over to the World Meteorological Organization: the practice of assigning human names to tropical storms and hurricanes. This replaced the previous practice of assigning numerical names based on latitudinal and longitudinal placement, mostly because it made it easier for the common layperson to remember.

To put that practice into context, we don’t have to have lived in the path of 2017’s Hurricane Irma, 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, or 1992’s Hurricane Andrew to remember the devastation that each of them brought. In total, these hurricanes alone account for over 2100 deaths.

Storms receive a name once they start to display a circulating pattern, with wind speeds reaching 39 mph. And once those speeds reach 74 mph, they are upgraded to hurricane status. Fortunately, not all of these storms reach the point of ushering in death and destruction. Case in point: the disorganized and weak tropical cyclone from last month, named Tropical Storm Karen.

Despite warnings issued (and minor impact) to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Karen was a hardly noteworthy event and quickly lost focus to the potential impacts of Hurricane Lorenzo. But insider information emerging from Fiat-Chrysler America seems to indicate that the storms lacking destruction might be a disappointment to those behind its creation.

The rumors that FCA’s former CEO, the late Sergio Marchionne was a meteorological fanatic who spent his spare time building a weather manipulation machine are well-founded. And while the outspoken Italian businessman passed away just over a year ago, it’s widely believed that his passion-project might have fallen into the hands of the company he had led to unprecedented success.

Former FCA CEO, the late Sergio Marchionne
Sergio Marchionne photographed in 2014 after being asked what he considered to be his next big challenge.

FCA’s been in a lot of hot water lately. From reports of falsifying sales numbers to the struggles faced in European markets due to the automaker’s less-stringent emissions, they’ve had their fair share of struggles to overcome. But while Ford and GM are both restructuring their various lineups to favor SUVs over coupe and sedan styles, FCA has no need for such urgency. That trigger was pulled a long time ago, and sedans like the Challenger and Charger are more popular than ever. That said, they did have one stumbling block: the Dodge Grand Caravan.

Side-by-side of Chrysler Voyager and Dodge Grand Caravan

With its intended replacement by the resurrected Chrysler Voyager in 2020, FCA knew they needed to help create a vacuum to help spur interest in the Voyager. According to our anonymous source, it’s highly likely that FCA had attempted to program a controlled weather pattern which would specifically target geographies where the Dodge Grand Caravan was popular. It would then destroy the Grand Caravans as part of the wider-scale destruction. Not only would it create demand for the Voyager, it would eliminate a large part of an oversaturated market place.

And of course, they decided to name it ‘Karen.’

And why wouldn’t they? Chance are, that if someone were to run a list of owner profiles for the Dodge Grand Caravan, a larger number would be women over the age of 32 named Karen, sporting the ‘mom cut,’ smelling subtly of red wine, and demanding to speak to the manager.

TV personality Kate Gosselin with the hairstyle that inspired 'Karen' memes.
Kate Gosselin, the original ‘Karen’

And like all great conspiracies, memes were launched to distract the masses. ‘Tropical Karen’ memes were popping up everywhere, pacifying the common American, and preventing them from asking any question. Depicting a hurricane sporting the aforementioned mom cut, a good laugh was had until the threat had passed.

But what if this was just Round One? To what ends would Fiat-Chrysler America go to set themselves up for greater success? And should we now believe that tropical storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes are being created by the automaker themselves, the product of some dead madman’s desire to play God through a machine that may or not be housed in the unmapped Sub Level 2 of the FCA Mack Engine Plant at 4000 St Jean in Detroit.

Should we?

 

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