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Chrysler Corporation

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Chrysler Corporation
Vehicle Manufacturer

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Official Site: FCA US, LLC
Wikipedia: Chrysler
Wikipedia: History of Chrysler

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A manufacturer of cars and SUVs.  The former name of the company that is today known as Chrysler, LLC.

The Chrysler name began on 6 June 1925 when Walter Chrysler reorganized the Maxwell company. In 1928 it became a multi-marque company by adding DeSoto & Plymouth and purchasing Dodge.

The company merged with DaimlerBenz in 1998, becoming DaimlerChrysler until 2007 when the Chrylser assets were sold to Cerberus Capital Management. On 21 July 2011, Fiat purchased the United States government's shares in Chrysler LLC, beginning a process that would culminate in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles merger of 2014.

Throughout its history Chrysler brands have included: AMC, DeSoto, Chrysler, Dodge, Imperial, Jeep, and Plymouth.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Chrysler page on 9 January 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Chrysler 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). In late 1923 production of the Chalmers automobile was ended.

In January 1924, Walter Chrysler launched the well-received Chrysler automobile. The Chrysler was a 6-cylinder automobile, designed to provide customers with an advanced, well-engineered car, but at a more affordable price than they might expect. (Elements of this car are traceable to a prototype which had been under development at Willys during Chrysler's tenure). The original 1924 Chrysler included a carburetor air filter, high compression engine, full pressure lubrication, and an oil filter, features absent from most autos at the time. Among the innovations in its early years were the first practical mass-produced four-wheel hydraulic brakes, a system nearly completely engineered by Chrysler with patents assigned to Lockheed, and rubber engine mounts to reduce vibration. Chrysler also developed a wheel with a ridged rim, designed to keep a deflated tire from flying off the wheel. This wheel was eventually adopted by the auto industry worldwide.

Following the introduction of the Chrysler, the Maxwell brand was dropped after the 1925 model year. The new, lower-priced four-cylinder Chryslers introduced for the 1926 year were badge-engineered Maxwells. The advanced engineering and testing that went into Chrysler Corporation cars helped to push the company to the second-place position in U.S. sales by 1936, a position it would last hold in 1949.

In 1928, the Chrysler Corporation began dividing its vehicle offerings by price class and function. The Plymouth brand was introduced at the low-priced end of the market (created essentially by once again reworking and rebadging Chrysler's four-cylinder model). At the same time, the DeSoto brand was introduced in the medium-price field. Also in 1928, Chrysler bought the Dodge Brothers automobile and truck company and continued the successful Dodge line of automobiles and Fargo range of trucks. By the mid-1930s, the DeSoto and Dodge divisions would trade places in the corporate hierarchy.

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.

On April 28, 1955, Chrysler and Philco had announced the development and production of the World’s First All-Transistor car radio. The all-transistor car radio Mopar model 914HR, was developed and produced by Chrysler and Philco, and was an $150.00 "option" on the 1956 Imperial car models. Philco was the company, who had manufactured the all-transistor car radio Mopar model 914HR, starting in the fall of 1955 at its Sandusky Ohio plant, for the Chrysler corporation.

On September 28, 1957, Chrysler had announced the first production electronic fuel injection (EFI), as an option on some of its new 1958 car models (Chrysler 300D, Dodge D500, DeSoto Adventurer, Plymouth Fury). The first attempt to use this system was by American Motors on the 1957 Rambler Rebel. Bendix Corporation's Electrojector used a transistor computer brain modulator box, but teething problems on pre-production cars meant very few cars were made. The EFI system in the Rambler ran fine in warm weather, but suffered hard starting in cooler temperatures and AMC decided not to use this EFI system, on its 1957 Rambler Rebel production cars that were sold to the public. Chrysler also used the Bendix "Electrojector" fuel injection system and only around 35 vehicles were built with this option, on its 1958 production built car models. Owners of EFI Chryslers were so dissatisfied that all but one were retrofitted with carburetors (while that one has been completely restored, with original EFI electronic problems resolved).

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 1971.

The Valiant was also introduced for 1960 as a distinct brand. In the U.S. market, Valiant was made a model in the Plymouth line for 1961 and the DeSoto make was discontinued during 1961. With those exceptions per applicable year and market, Chrysler's range from lowest to highest price from the 1940s through the 1970s was Valiant, Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler, and Imperial.

In 1985, Chrysler entered an agreement with American Motors Corporation (AMC) to produce Chrysler M platform rear-drive, as well as Dodge Omnis front wheel drive cars, in AMC's Kenosha, Wisconsin plant. In 1987, Chrysler acquired the 47% ownership of AMC that was held by Renault. The remaining outstanding shares of AMC were purchased on the NYSE by August 5, 1987, making the deal valued somewhere between US$1.7 billion and US$2 billion, depending on how costs were counted. Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca wanted the Jeep brand, particularly the Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ) that was under development, the world-class, brand-new manufacturing plant in Bramalea, Ontario, as well as AMC's engineering and management talent that became critical for Chrysler's future success. Chrysler established the Jeep/Eagle division as a "specialty" arm to market products distinctly different from the K-car-based products with the Eagle cars targeting import buyers. Former AMC dealers sold Jeep vehicles and various new Eagle models, as well as Chrysler products, strengthening the automaker's retail distribution system.

In 1998, Chrysler and its subsidiaries entered into a partnership dubbed a "merger of equals" with German-based Daimler-Benz AG, creating the combined entity DaimlerChrysler AG. To the surprise of many stockholders, Daimler subsequently acquired Chrysler in a stock swap, before the retirement of Chrysler CEO Bob Eaton. His lack of planning for Chrysler in the 1990s, to become their own global automotive company, is widely accepted as the reason why the merger was needed. Under DaimlerChrysler, the company was named DaimlerChrysler Motors Company LLC, with its U.S. operations generally called "DCX". The Eagle brand was retired shortly after Chrysler's merger with Daimler-Benz in 1998 Jeep became a stand-alone division, and efforts were made to merge the Chrysler and Jeep brands as one sales unit. In 2001, the Plymouth brand was also discontinued.


Reference Desk

The Crittenden Automotive Library's "Reference Desk" is a collection of materials that cannot be shared due to copyright restrictions. Information from these resources, however, can be shared. Go to the Reference Desk page for more information.

TypeTitle
1997 BookTechnical Service Bulletins; Chrysler Corporation


Multimedia

Bob Deneen on Chrysler Promos and Mopar Drag Race Cars
Video ©2008 Bill Crittenden
From the February 2008 Meeting of C.A.R.S. in Miniature
View video of Presentation of Chrysler Promos and Mopar Drag Race Cars - 517MB


DateMedia or Collection Name & DetailsFiles
1941Assembly Lines of Defense
Wilding Picture Productions for the Chrysler Corporation

Topic Page
- 461MB - 20:22


Photographs

Chrysler Corporation Cars From right to left:
1966 Dodge Charger
1962 Chrysler 300H
1965 Chrysler 300L
and 1970 Plymouth Superbird

Photo ©2007 Bill Crittenden
Lensing Autumn Classic Car Show
October 7, 2007
View photo of Chrysler Corporation Cars - 3,141KB
Chrysler Corporation Import Center Dealership Signs "Import Center"
Plymouth Colt, Plymouth Colt Vista, Dodge Ram 50, Raider

Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
View photo of Chrysler Corporation "Import Center" Dealership Signs - 3.9MB
Chrysler Corporation Import Center Dealership Signs "Import Center"
Plymouth Colt, Plymouth Colt Vista, Chrysler Conquest

Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
View photo of Chrysler Corporation "Import Center" Dealership Signs - 3.1MB


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
1 June 1942Chrysler Corporation v. United States
Supreme Court of the United States
Decision
Text
16 July 1957Design for an Automobile Hood
United States Patent USD 180,681
Herbert F. Weissinger for Chrysler Corporation

PDF
- 464KB - 2 pages
23 July 1957Design for an Automobile Lamp
United States Patent USD 180,704
John E. Schwarz for Chrysler Corporation

PDF
- 330KB - 1 page
6 August 1957Design for an Automobile Grille
United States Patent USD 180,755
Clifford C. Voss for Chrysler Corporation

PDF
- 584KB - 2 pages
22 September 1966NHTSA Recall 1967 Chrysler, 1967 Dodge Monaco, 1967 Dodge Polara, 1967 Imperial, 1967 Plymouth Fury
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:CARBURETOR SYSTEM
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page
10 October 1975Chrysler Corporation's testing of Honda CVCC vehicles
From: Acting Comptroller General, USGAO
To: Representative Paul G. Rogers

PDF
- 314KB - 4 pages
24 June 1991Lubrication Order: Truck, Lift Fork, DED, PT Wheels, Rough Terrain, 6000LB Capacity, 24 IN Load Center (Anthony Model MLT-6) (Army Model MHE 200) (NSN 3930-00-903-0900) (Chrysler Model MLT-6CH) (Army Model MHE 202) (NSN 3930-00-937-0220) (Athey Model ARTFT-6, Army Model MHE 222) (NSN 3930-00-419-5744)
United States Army

PDF
- 153KB - 10 pages
17 December 2008Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979: Background, Provisions, and Cost
Congressional Research Service

PDF
- 351KB - 11 pages


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
26 July 1956"IDEA" CAR LOST ON ANDREA DORIAChrysler Corporation
7 January 1980Remarks on Signing Into Law H.R. 5860, the Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979President Jimmy Carter
10 February 1997NHTSA CONTINUES TO MONITOR CHRYSLER HATCH LATCH REPLACEMENT RATES IN OLDER VEHICLESNHTSA
13 March 2009Chrysler Through the YearsRonnie Tanner




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