5 Fun Facts About Chrysler
Since its founding, Chrysler has created some of the automotive industry’s most successful cars. It is one of the original American manufacturers and still has production in the United States today. Here are five fun facts about Chrysler that you may not have known.
Chrysler’s Founder Lived the American Dream
Walter Percy Chrysler founded Chrysler and gave the company his last name. However, Walter worked his way up through the career chain, putting in long, hard hours in lower level positions to get the experience and reputation he’d need to start his own company. In the early days, he even worked as a general master mechanic to get his foot in the door. It’s hard even today to imagine having the opportunity to quickly move through the ranks to become a major industry leader.
Chrysler Supported the War Efforts
During World War II, the United States armed forces badly needed ammunition and other equipment. Chrysler, like many automotive manufacturers, opened new factories to support the war production. In doing so, Chrysler contributed significantly to the efforts of the United States and its allies in winning the war, by providing troops with what they needed on the ground. At Chrysler’s wartime production plants and afterward to support other technological advancements, the company manufactured radar antennas, aircraft, missiles, and space boosters that NASA used during Project Mercury.
Chrysler Makes Buses
If you’re only familiar with Chrysler’s consumer-facing market, you may not know that Chrysler makes commercial vehicles. The company started to make buses in 1983, and the company’s models are still popular today. This venture led to the development of strategic partnerships with other major automotive manufacturers, such as a partnership with Mitsubishi. In fact, Chrysler is also in other commercial vehicle markets.
The Partnership with Dodge and Jeep is Relatively New
Most consumers recognize the “Dodge Chrysler Jeep” brand without hesitation. However, the three did not always operate as one brand. Jeep joined Chrysler in 1987. It’s easy to overlook the fact that throughout most of the company’s history, the Jeep brand stood independent from the others. But the combination of these three companies gave customers an opportunity to shop across the three brands. As a result, this had a positive impact on sales volume for all brands.
Fiat Owns Most of Chrysler
Today, one of the most American of automotive manufacturing brands is largely owned by an Italian motor company. Fiat slowly bought a large share of Chrysler by purchasing or otherwise acquiring shares strategically. While some positive aspects have come out of this arrangement, the company is still looking for a way to keep its American style in a much broader global market. Still, many of the cars remain extremely popular.
Like any company in American history with nearly a century of longevity, Chrysler has made a mark on a long automotive legacy. The company is one of the last of the original car brands. Each of these stories highlights why Chrysler has outlasted many others.
Image via Flickr by aka Kath