Chrysler Make Overview
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Older Chrysler Models
|Chrysler 300C SRT-8||Chrysler Alpine||Chrysler Centura|
|Chrysler Cirrus||Chrysler Conquest||Chrysler Cordoba|
|Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6||Chrysler Daytona||Chrysler Dynasty|
|Chrysler Fifth Avenue||Chrysler Grand Voyager||Chrysler Imperial|
|Chrysler Intrepid||Chrysler Laser||Chrysler Le Baron|
|Chrysler ME 4 12||Chrysler Neon||Chrysler New Yorker|
|Chrysler Newport||Chrysler Prowler||Chrysler Royal|
|Chrysler Saratoga||Chrysler TC|
The Chrysler Corporation was an independent American automobile manufacturer for nearly 75 years, before being absorbed into the German DaimlerChrysler AG group in 1998. This family also includes Mercedes and Maybach.
Shortly after auto industry veteran Walter Chrysler founded the company in the 1920s, new marques called Plymouth and Dodge became Chrysler subsidiaries. The Plymouth was intended to offer similar styling with a lower price, as production began in depression-era America. Dodge added some additional model variety, as Chrylser attempted to position itself in direct competition with General Motors.
The Chrysler Corporation was responsible for several significant automotive innovations. In the 1930s, Chrysler introduced the Airflow concept, incorporating aerodynamic considerations into automobile design for the first time. Many modern Chrysler models, including the Pacifica, Sebring, and Aspen SUV, have inherited some visible attributes of the 1930s Airflow models. In the 1960s, Chrysler introduced unitized body construction, which created a more structurally sound finished product. The "mini-van" is also a Chrysler invention.
The company has had a long history of financial struggles, highlighted by a 1979 government bailout worth $1.5 billion and the subsequent emergence of Lee Iacocca. Iacocca's revival had brought about a much improved situation by the mid-1980s. Steady improvements in sales, courtesy of the widely lampooned but tremendously successful K-Car, enabled the acquisition of Jeep/Eagle.
Chrysler continued to struggle until it was bought out by Daimler-Benz in 1998. The so-called "merger" resulted in the formation of DaimlerChrysler AG. Since then, Chrysler has benefited greatly from Daimler's influence on both concept and design. 21st century Chryslers have advanced by embracing Mercedes platforms, European-inspired designs, and the company's own Hemi heritage.
In July 2007, Chrysler was officially bought from Daimler-Benz by an American company, Cerberus Holdings. The Chrysler group name will now be Chrysler, LLC, and it will be owned by Americans once again. The first announcement made by the new owners was that all 2006 - 2008 model-year vehicles sold will have a Lifetime Powertrain Warranty, the best in the industry. This will apply only to the first owner, however, it's a powerful statement about the quality of Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge products and an incentive for buyers to visit their dealers.
Also, in the first week of August 2007, Chrysler demoted CEO Tom LaSorda from his position and replaced him with Robert Nardelli, former Home Depot CEO and the man generally credited with turning Home Depot into the successful, billion-dollar corporation and brand it has become. The next few years will certainly be interesting for Chrysler. While collaboration with Daimler will continue in the form of the Dodge Sprinter van, as well as some suspension components, Chrysler is now free to pursue some of its own designs as well as collaborations with other automakers, which were generally squelched during the Daimler years.