E. Thomas Pappert

Distinguished Service Citation Award 2000

1939 - 2022

Tom Pappert, who retired from Chrysler in 1998 as vice president of Sales, led the company’s sales team for 18 years. His tenured covered the tumultuous era of the first government bail-out sought by CEO Lee Iacocca, the introduction of the minivan, the acquisition of AMC that added the lucrative Jeep brand and a period of record sales. Under Pappert’s leadership, the company worked to improve its customer experience through pioneering dealer incentives, implementation of customer satisfaction surveys and the development of an empowering bottom-up corporate philosophy, as well as fostering a team approach between the Chrysler factory and dealer network. It was his team that initiated the first lawsuit against a dealer (a Maryland Jeep Eagle dealer) seeking to revoke the franchise after persistent poor satisfaction ratings and the dealer’s resistance to change. Pappert is quoted in a New York Times story explaining, “We in the industry have got to shake the image that we have. When we run across a situation that’s gone on for five years, we do what we have to do.”

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