Chrysler is a name that is often associated with high-end luxury cars that come at affordable prices. It is popular for being a part of the Big Three, a term referring to the three biggest car manufacturers in the United States, which also includes Ford and General Motors. While Chrysler has encountered several tumultuous financial years, it has remained steadfast as one of the most prominent producers of technologically advanced vehicles.
Walter Chrysler initially joined the Maxwell Motor Company as a consultant and engineer to aid the fledgling company as it was encountering several production concerns. By 1924 he and the company released the Chrysler, the first car bearing the brand’s name, and it was only a year later that the Maxwell Motor Company was reorganized to become the Chrysler Corporation.
Just a few years, right before the turn of the 1930s, Chrysler acquired the Dodge Brothers Company and Fargo, a company known for manufacturing industrial and commercial trucks. Within the same year Chrysler released the DeSoto and Plymouth brands.
During and after the Second World War, Chrysler remained one of the biggest companies in the United States. It finally expanded to Europe in the early 1960s when it opened Chrysler Europe. This was short-lived, however, because the company faced near-bankruptcy since 1973. It finally pulled out of Europe in 1979.
To recover, Chrysler acquired AMC (American Motors Corporation) in 1987, with the Jeep lineup along with it.
Still, financial trouble made its way and the company merged with Daimler-Benz AG in 1998. This didn’t last long due to investment issues and the company was again sold off to Cerberus Capital Management in 2007, where its name was shifted to Chrysler LLC.
In 2014, after a rocky 2009 battle against bankruptcy, the company merged with Fiat S.p.A. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was born.
The very first Chrysler Newport, manufactured in between 1940 and 1941, were some of the most prestigious cars of the time. Only six were known to be made, with one of them personally used by Walter Chrysler himself.
Then there’s the Chrysler 300 which is still offered today. It was first introduced in 2003 as a concept car but quickly became a mass-produced mid-line luxury car. It’s one of the most affordable sedans that still pack quite a punch as a high performance vehicle.
Chrysler is responsible for a lot of things that drivers now take for granted. For one thing, it was Chrysler that introduced the car automatic overdrive way back in 1934. Just a few years later and the company would innovate again with the introduction of safety rim wheels.
1951 saw Chrysler introduced the first iteration of power steering, power windows, and cruise control.
It was Chrysler that innovated with the inclusion safety air bags in all of their standard vehicles (1988) and an integrated child seat (1992) for optimal family safety.