The great-grandson of the founder of Chrysler has publicly declared his support for the company, attending a rally in Baltimore to help the carmaker campaign for a federal bailout package. Frank Rhodes, great-grandson of Walter Chrysler and furniture maker, stated that he wants to "see them survive", and that there was little point in making "our American companies go away". Rhodes currently has no financial interest in Chrysler, and his efforts to save the company are based more on preserving the past than protecting his current interests.

While Chrysler has admittedly made some serious mistakes over its history, Rhodes reminded supporters about the important role it has played in shaping America as we know it today, reports Automotive News. Unfurling a large, blue flag, Rhodes showed off the signatures of a number of Chrysler technicians who assisted NASA in designing and producing the boosters for the Apollo mission - the same boosters that thrust the very first man on to the Moon.

Rhodes also mentioned the important role the Detroit 3 had during World War II, where they became manufacturing centers for bullets and shells that helped the Allied forces to win the war. In Rhodes' opinion, losing America's "manufacturing base" would deal a severe blow to the economy and thus "failure is not an option".

Currently, executives from Chrysler, GM and Ford are in the midst of testifying before Congress to make a case for granting them a federal bailout package, but if the predictions of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are correct then the outcome of the hearings won't matter, as the auto industry will be propped up by either the legislature or the administration in any case.

Around the U.S., opinion polls are starting to swing toward protecting the auto industry, which is attempting to clean up its high-flying corporate image and return to more humble roots in order to win back public support.