History of Chrysler (American Multinational Automaker)

History of Chrysler (American Multinational Automaker)

History of Chrysler (American Multinational Automaker)Chrysler Group LLC is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA. Chrysler was first organized as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925.

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 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.

Chrysler's world headquarters in Auburn Hills, MIFollowing the introduction of the Chrysler, the Maxwell was dropped after its 1925 model year run, although in truth the new line of lower-priced 4-cylinder Chryslers which were then introduced for the 1926 model year were basically Maxwells which had been re-engineered and rebranded. It was during this time period of the early 1920s that Walter Chrysler assumed the presidency of Maxwell, with the company then ultimately incorporated under the Chrysler name.

In 1987, Chrysler bought the No. 4 automaker, American Motors, but the subsequent consolidation prompted another financial crisis that led to a restructuring of the company. In the 1990s, Chrysler came back again, with vehicles like the powerful Dodge Viper sports car and its Jeep lineup. In 1998, Chrysler was acquired by Daimler-Benz of Germany and spent the next eight years as part of DaimlerChrysler.

But its inconsistent financial results and pressure from German shareholders prompted Daimler to seek a buyer in 2007. It sold the company to Cerberus Capital Management, an investment fund, which installed Robert L. Nardelli, the former chief executive of Home Depot, as its chief executive. Mr. Nardelli vowed that Chrysler would make a comeback as an American-owned company, yet the automaker, like others in Detroit, was battered by a deep sales slump last year as a recession took hold.

In November, Chrysler joined General Motors in seeking assistance from Congress, which rejected the company’s bid, forcing the Bush administration to step in with a financial lifeline. In January, Chrysler announced it had reached a tentative deal with Fiat, and in March, President Obama gave the companies 30 days to conclude the transaction.

That effort culminated in a restructuring plan in which Fiat would take a major role in the company’s management and the United Automobile Workers and major lenders agreed to concessions. But with the Obama administration unable to get support from all of the bondholders for the plan, it is now up to a federal bankruptcy court to determine the details of Chrysler’s immediate future.
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