A Brief history of Chrysler
Walter P. Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corporation on The 6th of June 1925 from the remaining assets of the Maxwell Motor Company. Originally employed to overhaul the ailing Maxwell – Chalmers Company in the early 1920's (a feat he had already successfully achieved with the Willys car company previously), Walter oversaw production until 1923 when the last Chalmers Automobile was produced. Following this, the first car to bear his name was introduced in January of 1924, this six-cylinder car was well received and with the final Maxwell cars being rebranded in 1926, Walter took over the presidency of the company and Chrysler was born.
Over the next few decades different marques were added to its range to try and rival the likes of GM, these included Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto and the Imperial models. Although Chrysler was praised for its engineering prowess over this period, it also gained a reputation for the odd financial crisis.
The 60's saw the company move to the position of the third largest manufacturer in the US, aided by the unibody (unitized body) construction, this gave the body far more rigidity and would go on to become the norm across the industry.
Through the late sixties, seventies and early eighties the company managed both success and failure, downsizing in the US, expansion in Europe and the energy crisis of the mid seventies all eventually conspired to force Chrysler to apply to the US government for a loan of 1.5 billion dollars in 1979 to avoid bancruptcy. With this injection of new monies they avoided going bust and through the early eighties slowly fought back, helped by the minivan concept that is still utilised today.
The Merger in 1998 between Chrysler and Daimler–Benz to create DaimlerChrysler AG originally began as a merger of equals, but with another financial crisis on its way, it soon became clear this was actually a takeover. Major cost cutting was implemented, the Plymouth brand was dropped in 2001 and efforts were concentrated on shared projects with Mercedes, resulting in the Crossfire and the introduction of the 300c.
Financial performance has since improved somewhat and the Chrysler brand now contributes a healthy profit to its parent company in a partnership that looks to last.