Chrysler information

Chrysler is generally considered part of the Big Three, a title that refers to the traditional triumvirate of domestic automakers. The current accuracy of this classification is open for debate, but there's no debating the fact that Chrysler has experienced a revival of sorts over the past few years.

The company was founded by Walter Chrysler (1875–1940) on June 6, 1925, when the Maxwell Motor Company (est. 1904) was re-organized into the Chrysler Corporation.

Walter Chrysler arrived at the ailing Maxwell-Chalmers company in the early 1920s. He was hired to overhaul the company's troubled operations (after a similar rescue job at the Willys-Overland car company).[16] In late 1923 production of the Chalmers automobile was ended.

The 1930s saw Chrysler boldly looking toward the future with the introduction of its revolutionary Airflow. Powered by a front-mounted inline-8, the car was one of the first to be designed with aerodynamics in mind, and featured swooping lines and a prominent grille. Perhaps a bit too ahead of its time, the Airflow was a flop with the public. Chrysler was able to survive the lean years of the Depression thanks to strong sales of its entry-level Dodge and Plymouth brands, whose vehicles boasted more traditional designs and much lower price tags.

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The Imperial name had been used since 1926, but was never a separate make, just the top-of-the-line Chrysler. In 1955, the company decided to spin it off as its own make and division to better compete with its rivals, Lincoln and Cadillac. Imperial would see new body styles introduced every two to three years, all with V8 engines and automatic transmissions, as well as technologies that would filter down to Chrysler corporation's other models. Imperial was folded back into the Chrysler brand in 1973.

By 1961, Chrysler had trimmed its line of brands by dropping the DeSoto nameplate. New technologies were also afoot, such as unibody construction (Chrysler was the first of the Big Three to introduce it) and the replacement of generators with alternators for a car's charging system. In the latter half of the '60s, Chrysler was heavily involved with NASCAR and producing performance-oriented cars.

Chrysler acquired the Jeep brand as part of the purchase of American Motors (AMC) on August 5, 1987, for somewhere between US$1.7 billion and $2 billion, depending on how costs were counted. Chrysler then established the Jeep/Eagle division, along with the Eagle brand that was discontinued a decade later as part of the DaimlerChrysler merger at that time. In 2001, the Plymouth brand was also discontinued. Currently, Dodge is the full line automobile brand, with the Chrysler brand marketing upscale cars. The Jeep brand focuses on SUVs, while the Ram brand offers small commercial vans and a variety of pick-up trucks. Earlier in October, 2012, inaccurate reports had suggested that Chrysler's Jeep brand is considering moving "all production to China." However, the company rejected the reports and the group's Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne reaffirmed that the company is not moving Jeep vehicle production out of the United States to China after it became an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign.

Thanks to impressive public campaigning by then-chairman Lee Iacocca, the debut of the well-received K-car platform and the creation of the modern minivan, sales had improved dramatically by the mid-'80s. The government's loan was paid off seven years early. The picture further brightened in the late 1980s with Chrysler's purchase of American Motors Corporation (which netted the company the Jeep brand) and a joint venture with Mitsubishi known as Diamond Star Motors.

The sale of substantially all of Chrysler's assets to "New Chrysler", organized as Chrysler Group LLC was completed on June 10, 2009. The federal government provided support for the deal with US$6.6 billion in financing, which was paid to "Old Chrysler", and a newly formed company called Old Carco LLC took over the remaining assets and liabilities, which remained in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[32] This transfer excluded eight manufacturing sites, the majority of real estate holdings, and equipment leases. Contracts with 789 dealers in the U.S. were also excluded. On May 24, 2011, Chrysler repaid its $7.6 billion loans to the United States and Canadian governments.

Less than a decade later, that merger was no longer, as Daimler sold Chrysler (and Dodge) to a private equity firm in 2007. However, that merger had borne some worthwhile fruit, most notably in the form of the Chrysler 300 full-size sedan. The latter shared some chassis components with an older Mercedes-Benz E-Class platform.

Today, the lineup has been pared down to a pair of sedans, a convertible and a minivan. However, after years of having lackluster entries in the very important midsize car category, Chrysler made major improvements in the performance, design and quality of its midsize sedan entry, the 200. The latest 300 also stands as a prime choice for a premium full-size sedan. Still, it remains to be seen as to whether this and future product releases will be enough to restore the company to its former glory.

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