Chrysler

Last updated

FCA US, LLC
Stellantis North America
Formerly
  • Chrysler Corporation (1925–1998)
  • DaimlerChrysler (1998–2007)
  • Chrysler LLC (2007–2009)
  • Chrysler Group LLC (2009–2014)
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US (2014–2021)
Company type Subsidiary
Industry Automotive
Predecessor
FoundedJune 6, 1925;98 years ago (1925-06-06)
Founder Walter Chrysler
Headquarters 1000 Chrysler Drive, ,
United States
Number of locations
See List of Stellantis North America factories
Area served
North America
Key people
  • Carlos Zarlenga (COO)
Brands
Number of employees
81,341 (2023)
Parent Stellantis
Subsidiaries Stellantis Canada
Website media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Footnotes /references
[1]

FCA US, LLC, doing business as Stellantis North America and known historically as Chrysler Corporation ( /ˈkrslər/ KRY-slər), [2] [3] is one of the "Detroit Three" automobile manufacturers in the United States, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is the American subsidiary of the multinational automotive company Stellantis. Stellantis North America sells vehicles worldwide under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram nameplates. It also includes Mopar, its automotive parts and accessories division, and SRT, its performance automobile division. The division also distributes Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Maserati vehicles in North America.

Contents

The original Chrysler Corporation was founded in 1925 by Walter Chrysler from the remains of the Maxwell Motor Company. It was acquired by Daimler-Benz, which in 1998 renamed itself DaimlerChrysler. After Daimler divested from Chrysler in 2007, the company operated as Chrysler LLC (2007–2009), and Chrysler Group LLC (2009–2014) before being acquired by Fiat S.p.A. and becoming a subsidiary of the newly formed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ("FCA") in 2014. Chrysler in 2021 is a subsidiary of Stellantis, the company formed from the merger between FCA and PSA Group (Peugeot Société Anonyme) in 2021.

After founding the company, Walter Chrysler used the General Motors brand diversification and hierarchy strategy that he had become familiar with when he worked in the Buick division at General Motors. He then acquired Fargo Trucks and the Dodge Brothers Company, and created the Plymouth and DeSoto brands in 1928. Facing postwar declines in market share, productivity, and profitability, as GM and Ford were growing, Chrysler borrowed $250 million in 1954 from Prudential Insurance to pay for expansion and updated car designs. [4] [5] [6]

Chrysler expanded into Europe by taking control of French, British, and Spanish auto companies in the 1960s; Chrysler Europe was sold in 1978 to PSA Peugeot Citroën for $1 billion. The company struggled to adapt to changing markets, increased U.S. import competition, and safety and environmental regulation in the 1970s. It began an engineering partnership with Mitsubishi Motors, and began selling Mitsubishi vehicles branded as Dodge and Plymouth in North America. On the verge of bankruptcy in the late 1970s, it was saved by $1.5 billion in loan guarantees from the U.S. government. New CEO Lee Iacocca was credited with returning the company to profitability in the 1980s. In 1985, Diamond-Star Motors was created, further expanding the Chrysler-Mitsubishi relationship. In 1987, Chrysler acquired American Motors Corporation (AMC), which brought the profitable Jeep, as well as the newly formed Eagle, brands under the Chrysler umbrella. In 1998, Chrysler merged with German automaker Daimler-Benz to form DaimlerChrysler AG; the merger proved contentious with investors. As a result, Chrysler was sold to Cerberus Capital Management and renamed Chrysler LLC in 2007.

Like the other Big Three automobile manufacturers, Chrysler was impacted by the automotive industry crisis of 2008–2010. The company remained in business through a combination of negotiations with creditors, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on April 30, 2009, and participating in a bailout from the U.S. government through the Troubled Asset Relief Program. On June 10, 2009, Chrysler emerged from the bankruptcy proceedings with the United Auto Workers pension fund, Fiat S.p.A., and the U.S. and Canadian governments as principal owners. The bankruptcy resulted in Chrysler defaulting on over $4 billion in debts. In May 2011, Chrysler finished repaying its obligations to the U.S. government five years early, although the cost to the American taxpayer was $1.3 billion.

Over the next few years, Fiat S.p.A. gradually acquired the other parties' shares. In January 2014, Fiat acquired the rest of Chrysler from the United Auto Workers retiree health trust, making Chrysler Group a subsidiary of Fiat S.p.A. [7] In May 2014, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was established by merging Fiat S.p.A. into the company. Chrysler Group LLC remained a subsidiary until December 15, 2014, when it was renamed FCA US LLC, to reflect the Fiat-Chrysler merger. [8]

History

1925–1998: Chrysler Corporation

The Chrysler company was founded by Walter Chrysler on June 6, 1925, [9] [10] when the Maxwell Motor Company (est. 1904) was re-organized into the Chrysler Corporation. [11] [12] The company was headquartered in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park, [13] [14] [15] where it remained until completing the move to its present Auburn Hills location in 1996. [16]

Chrysler had arrived at the ailing Maxwell-Chalmers company in the early 1920s, hired to overhaul the company's troubled operations (after a similar rescue job at the Willys-Overland car company). [17] In late 1923, production of the Chalmers automobile was ended. [17]

In January 1924, Walter Chrysler launched the well-received Chrysler automobile. The Chrysler Six was designed to provide customers with an advanced, well-engineered car, at an affordable price. Elements of this car are traceable to a prototype which had been under development at Willys during Chrysler's tenure [18] 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. [19] 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, called "Floating Power" 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.

The Maxwell brand was dropped after the 1925 model year, with the new, lower-priced four-cylinder Chryslers introduced for the 1926 year being badge-engineered Maxwells. [20] The advanced engineering and testing that went into Chrysler Corporation cars helped to push the company to the second-place position in U.S. sales by 1936, which it held until 1949.

In 1928, the Chrysler Corporation began dividing its vehicle offerings by price class and function. The Plymouth brand was introduced at the low-priced end of the market (created essentially by once again reworking and rebadging the Chrysler Series 50 four-cylinder model). [20] At the same time, the DeSoto brand was introduced in the medium-price field. Also in 1928, Chrysler bought the Dodge Brothers [21] automobile and truck company and continued the successful Dodge line of automobiles and Fargo range of trucks. By the mid-1930s, the DeSoto and Dodge divisions would trade places in the corporate hierarchy.

1955 Imperial car model, in its first year as a separate make, apart from Chrysler, shown on display at January 1955 Chicago Auto Show Chrysler Imperial car-1955.JPG
1955 Imperial car model, in its first year as a separate make, apart from Chrysler, shown on display at January 1955 Chicago Auto Show

The Imperial name had been used since 1926 but was never a separate make, just the top-of-the-line Chrysler. However, in 1955, the company decided to offer it as its own make/brand and division to better compete with its rivals, Lincoln and Cadillac. This addition changed the company's traditional four-make lineup to five (in order of price from bottom to top): Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler, and the now-separate Imperial. [22] [23]

In 1954, Chrysler was the exclusive provider of its Hemi engine in the Facel Vega, a Paris coachbuilder that offered their own line of hand-built luxury performance cars, with the PowerFlite and TorqueFlite transmissions offered. The Facel Vega Excellence was a four-door hardtop with rear-hinged coach doors that listed for US$12,800 ($129,831 in 2022 dollars [24] ). [25]

1955 Chrysler – Philco all-transistor car radio – "Breaking News" radio broadcast announcement

On April 28, 1955, Chrysler and Philco announced the development and production of the World's First All-Transistor car radio. [26] The all-transistor car radio, Mopar model 914HR, developed and produced by Chrysler and Philco, was a $150 option on the 1956 Imperial automobile models. Philco began manufacturing this radio in the fall of 1955 at its Sandusky Ohio plant. [27] [28]

On September 28, 1957, Chrysler announced the first production electronic fuel injection (EFI), as an option on some of its new 1958 car models (Chrysler 300D, Dodge D500, DeSoto Adventurer, Plymouth Fury). The first attempt to use this system was by American Motors on the 1957 Rambler Rebel. [29] [30] Bendix Corporation's Electrojector used a transistor computer brain modulator box, but teething problems on pre-production cars meant very few cars were made. [31] The EFI system in the Rambler ran fine in warm weather, but suffered hard starting in cooler temperatures and AMC decided not to use this EFI system on its 1957 Rambler Rebel production cars that were sold to the public. [30] Chrysler also used the Bendix "Electrojector" fuel injection system and only around 35 vehicles were built with this option, on its 1958 production-built car models. [32] Owners of EFI Chryslers were so dissatisfied that all but one were retrofitted with carburetors (while that one has been completely restored, with original EFI electronic problems resolved).[ citation needed ]

The Valiant was also introduced for the 1960 model year as a distinct brand. In the U.S. market, Valiant was made a model in the Plymouth line for 1961 and the DeSoto make was discontinued in 1961. With those exceptions per applicable year and market, Chrysler's range from lowest to highest price from the 1940s through the 1970s was Valiant, Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler, and Imperial.[ citation needed ]

From 1963 through 1969, Chrysler increased its existing stakes to take full control of the French Simca, British Rootes, and Spanish Barreiros companies, merging them into Chrysler Europe in 1967. In the 1970s, an engineering partnership was established with Mitsubishi Motors, and Chrysler began selling Mitsubishi vehicles branded as Dodge and Plymouth in North America.

Chrysler struggled to adapt to the changing environment of the 1970s. When consumer tastes shifted to smaller cars in the early 1970s, particularly after the 1973 oil crisis, Chrysler could not meet the demand, although their compact models on the "A" body platform, the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Valiant, had proven economy and reliability and sold very well. Additional burdens came from increased US import competition, and tougher government regulation of car safety, fuel economy, and emissions. As the smallest of the Big 3 US automakers, Chrysler lacked the financial resources to meet all of these challenges. In 1976, with the demise of the reliable Dart/Valiant, quality control declined. Their replacements, the Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare, were comfortable and had good roadability, but owners soon experienced major reliability problems which crept into other models as well. Engines failed and/or did not run well, and premature rust plagued bodies. In 1978, Lee Iacocca was brought in to turn the company around, and in 1979 Iacocca sought US government help. Congress later passed the Loan Guarantee Act providing $1.5 billion in loan guarantees. [33] The Loan Guarantee Act required that Chrysler also obtain $2 billion in concessions or aid from sources outside the federal government, which included interest rate reductions for $650 million of the savings, asset sales of $300 million, local and state tax concessions of $250 million, and wage reductions of about $590 million along with a $50 million stock offering. $180 million was to come from concessions from dealers and suppliers. [34] Also in 1978, Iacocca offloaded the ailing European operation to PSA Peugeot Citroën for a nominal $1, taking with it the group's substantial losses and debts which had been dragging the rest of the business down.

After a period of plant closures and salary cuts agreed to by both management and the auto unions, the loans were repaid with interest in 1983. In November 1983, the Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager was introduced, establishing the minivan as a major category, and initiating Chrysler's return to stability. [34] [35]

In 1985, Diamond-Star Motors was created, further expanding the Chrysler-Mitsubishi relationship. In 1987, Chrysler acquired American Motors Corporation (AMC), which brought the profitable Jeep brand under the Chrysler umbrella.

Aerial view of the Chrysler World Headquarters and Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan, completed in 1996. Photo was taken in 2002. ChryslerHQ-highres-colored.jpg
Aerial view of the Chrysler World Headquarters and Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan, completed in 1996. Photo was taken in 2002.

In 1985, Chrysler entered an agreement with AMC to produce Chrysler M platform rear-drive, as well as Dodge Omnis front wheel drive cars, in AMC's Kenosha, Wisconsin, plant. In 1987, Chrysler acquired the 47% ownership of AMC that was held by Renault. The remaining outstanding shares of AMC were bought on the NYSE by August 5, 1987, making the deal valued somewhere between US$1.7 billion and US$2 billion, depending on how costs were counted. [36] Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca wanted the Jeep brand, particularly the Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ) that was under development, the new world-class manufacturing plant in Bramalea, Ontario, and AMC's engineering and management talent that became critical for Chrysler's future success. [37] Chrysler established the Jeep/Eagle division as a "specialty" arm to market products distinctly different from the K-car-based products with the Eagle cars targeting import buyers.[ citation needed ] Former AMC dealers sold Jeep vehicles and various new Eagle models, as well as Chrysler products, strengthening the automaker's retail distribution system.

Eurostar, a joint venture between Chrysler and Steyr-Daimler-Puch, began producing the Chrysler Voyager in Austria for European markets in 1992.

1998–2007: DaimlerChrysler

In 1998, Chrysler and its subsidiaries entered into a partnership dubbed a "merger of equals" with German-based Daimler-Benz AG, creating the combined entity DaimlerChrysler AG. [38] To the surprise of many stockholders, Daimler acquired Chrysler in a stock swap [39] before Chrysler CEO Bob Eaton retired. Under DaimlerChrysler, the company was named DaimlerChrysler Motors Company LLC, with its U.S. operations generally called "DCX". The Eagle brand was retired soon after Chrysler's merger with Daimler-Benz in 1998 [40] Jeep became a stand-alone division, and efforts were made to merge the Chrysler and Jeep brands as one sales unit. [41] In 2001, the Plymouth brand was also discontinued.

Eurostar also built the Chrysler PT Cruiser in 2001 and 2002. The Austrian venture was sold to Magna International in 2002 and became Magna Steyr. The Voyager continued in production until 2007, whereas the Chrysler 300C, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Jeep Commander were also built at the plant from 2005 until 2010.[ citation needed ]

On May 14, 2007, DaimlerChrysler announced the sale of 80.1% of Chrysler Group to American private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., thereafter known as Chrysler LLC, although Daimler (renamed as Daimler AG) continued to hold a 19.9% stake. [42]

2007–2014: Effects of Great Recession

The economic collapse during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008 pushed the company to the brink. On April 30, 2009, the automaker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to be able to operate as a going concern, while renegotiating its debt structure and other obligations, [43] which resulted in the corporation defaulting on over $4 billion in secured debts. [43] The U.S. government described the company's action as a "prepackaged surgical bankruptcy". [43]

On June 10, 2009, substantially all of Chrysler's assets were sold to "New Chrysler", organized as Chrysler Group LLC. The federal government provided support for the deal with US$8 billion in financing at nearly 21%. Under CEO Sergio Marchionne, "World Class Manufacturing" or WCM, a system of thorough manufacturing quality, was introduced and several products were re-launched with quality and luxury.[ citation needed ] The Ram, Jeep, Dodge, SRT, and Chrysler divisions were separated to focus on their own identity and brand, and 11 major model refreshes occurred in 21 months. The PT Cruiser, Nitro, Liberty and Caliber models (created during DCX) were discontinued. On May 24, 2011, Chrysler repaid its $7.6 billion loans to the United States and Canadian governments. [44] [45] The US Treasury, through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), invested $12.5 billion in Chrysler and recovered $11.2 billion when the company shares were sold in May 2011, resulting in a $1.3 billion loss. [46] [47] [48] [49] On July 21, 2011, Fiat bought the Chrysler shares held by the US Treasury. [50] The purchase made Chrysler foreign-owned again, this time as the luxury division. The Chrysler 300 was badged Lancia Thema in some European markets (with additional engine options), giving Lancia a much-needed replacement for its flagship.

2014–2021: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

On January 21, 2014, Fiat bought the remaining shares of Chrysler owned by the VEBA worth $3.65 billion. [51] [7] Several days later, the intended reorganization of Fiat and Chrysler under a new holding company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, together with a new FCA logo were announced. [52] The most challenging launch for this new company came immediately in January 2014 with a completely redesigned Chrysler 200. The vehicle's creation is from the completely integrated company, FCA, executing from a global compact-wide platform. [53] [ verification needed ]

On December 16, 2014, Chrysler Group LLC announced a name change to FCA US LLC. [54] [55]

On January 12, 2017, FCA shares traded at the New York Stock Exchange lost value after the EPA accused FCA US of using emissions cheating software to evade diesel-emissions tests, [56] [57] [58] [59] however the company countered the accusations, [60] and the chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne sternly rejected them. [61] The following day, shares rose as investors played down the effect of the accusations. Analysts gave estimates of potential fines from several hundred million dollars to $4 billion, although the likelihood of a hefty fine was low. [62] Senior United States Senator Bill Nelson urged the FTC to look into possible deceptive marketing of the company's diesel-powered SUVs. Shares dropped 2.2% after the announcement. [63] [64] FCA US would in 2022, plead guilty to a criminal charge of conspiring to defraud the US, to wire fraud, and to violate the Clean Air Act. [65] [66]

On July 21, 2018, Sergio Marchionne stepped down as chairman and CEO for health reasons, and was replaced by John Elkann and Michael Manley, respectively. [67]

As a result of ending domestic production of more fuel-efficient passenger automobiles such as the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 sedans, FCA US elected to pay $77 million in fines for violating the anti-backsliding provision of fuel economy standards set under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 for its model year 2016 fleet. [68] [69] It was again fined for the 2017 model year for not meeting the minimum domestic passenger car standard. FCA described the $79 million civil penalty as "not expected to have a material impact on its business." [70]

As part of a January 2019 settlement, Fiat Chrysler was to recall and repair approximately 100,000 automobiles equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine having a prohibited defeat device, pay $311 million in total civil penalties to US regulators and CARB, pay $72.5 million for state civil penalties, implement corporate governance reforms, and pay $33.5 million to mitigate excess pollution. The company was also to pay affected consumers up to $280 million and offer extended warranties on such vehicles worth $105 million. The total value of the settlement was about $800 million, though FCA did not admit liability, and it did not resolve an ongoing criminal investigation. [71]

In February 2023, Fiat Chrysler unveiled a concept for its first electric vehicle, the Chrysler Halcyon, a battery-electric sedan. [72]

Logo evolution

Notes

Corporate governance

Chrysler House landmark executive offices in the Detroit Financial District DimeBuildingDetroit.jpg
Chrysler House landmark executive offices in the Detroit Financial District

As of 2022, management positions of Stellantis North America include: [73]

Board of directors

Management team

Sales and marketing

United States sales

Chrysler is the smallest of the "Big Three" U.S. automakers (Stellantis North America, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors). In 2020, FCA US sold just over 1.8 million vehicles.[ citation needed ]

Global sales

Chrysler was the world's 11th largest vehicle manufacturer as ranked by OICA in 2012. [74] Total Chrysler vehicle production was about 2.37 million that year. The company has since become a wholly-owned subsidiary and no longer reports global sales.

Marketing

Lifetime powertrain warranty

In 2007, Chrysler began to offer vehicle lifetime powertrain warranty for the first registered owner or retail lessee. [75] The deal covered owner or lessee in U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, for 2009 model year vehicles, and 2006, 2007, and 2008 model year vehicles purchased on or after July 26, 2007. Covered vehicles excluded SRT models, Diesel vehicles, Sprinter models, Ram Chassis Cab, Hybrid System components (including transmission), and certain fleet vehicles. The warranty is non-transferable. [76] After Chrysler's restructuring, the warranty program was replaced by five-year/100,000 mile transferable warranty for 2010 or later vehicles. [77]

"Let's Refuel America"

In 2008, as a response to customer feedback citing the prospect of rising gas prices as a top concern, Chrysler launched the "Let's Refuel America" incentive campaign, which guaranteed new-car buyers a gasoline price of $2.99 for three years. [78] With the U.S. purchase of eligible Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles, customers could enroll in the program and receive a gas card that immediately lowers their gas price to $2.99 a gallon, and keeps it there for the three years.

Lancia co-branding

Chrysler plans for Lancia to codevelop products, with some vehicles being shared. Olivier Francois, Lancia's CEO, was appointed to the Chrysler division in October 2009. Francois plans to reestablish the Chrysler brand as an upscale brand. [79]

Ram trucks

In October 2009, Dodge's car and truck lines were separated, with the name "Dodge" being used for cars, minivans, and crossovers and "Ram" for light- and medium-duty trucks and other commercial-use vehicles. [80]

Calendar yearU.S. Chrysler sales%Chg/yr.
1999 [81] 2,638,561
20002,522,695Decrease2.svg4.4%
2001 [82] 2,273,208Decrease2.svg9.9%
2002 [83] 2,205,446Decrease2.svg3%
20032,127,451Decrease2.svg3.5%
2004 [84] 2,206,024Increase2.svg3.7%
2005 [84] 2,304,833Increase2.svg4.5%
2006 [85] 2,142,505Decrease2.svg7%
2007 [85] 2,076,650Decrease2.svg3.1%
2008 [86] 1,453,122Decrease2.svg30%
2009 [87] 931,402Decrease2.svg36%
2010[ citation needed ]1,085,211Increase2.svg17%
2011[ citation needed ]1,369,114Increase2.svg26%
2012[ citation needed ]1,651,787Increase2.svg21%
2013[ citation needed ]1,800,368Increase2.svg9%
2014 [88] 2,090,639Increase2.svg16%
2015 [89] 2,243,907Increase2.svg7%
2016 [90] 2,244,315Increase2.svg 0.0%
2017 [91] 2,059,376Decrease2.svg 0.8%
2018 [92] 2,235,204Increase2.svg 8.5%
2019 [93] 2,203,663Decrease2.svg 1.4%
2020 [94] 1,820,636Decrease2.svg 17.4%
2021 [95] 1,777,394Decrease2.svg 2.4%
2022 [96] 1,547,076Decrease2.svg 13.0%
2023 [97] 1,527,090Decrease2.svg 1.3%

"Imported From Detroit"

In 2011, Chrysler unveiled their "Imported From Detroit" campaign with ads featuring Detroit rapper Eminem, one of which aired during the Super Bowl. The campaign highlighted the rejuvenation of the entire product lineup, which included the new, redesigned, and repackaged 2011 model year 200 sedans and 200 convertibles, the Chrysler 300 sedan, and the Chrysler Town & Country minivan. [98] [99] As part of the campaign, Chrysler sold a line of clothing items featuring the Monument to Joe Louis, with proceeds being funneled to Detroit-area charities, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Michigan, Habitat for Humanity Detroit and the Marshall Mathers Foundation. [100]

In March 2011, Chrysler Group LLC filed a lawsuit against Moda Group LLC (owner of Pure Detroit clothing retailer) for copying and selling merchandise with the "Imported from Detroit" slogan. [101] Chrysler claimed it had notified defendant of its pending trademark application February 14, but the defendant argued Chrysler had not secured a trademark for the "Imported From Detroit" phrase. On June 18, 2011, U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow ruled that Chrysler's request did not show that it would suffer irreparable harm or that it had a strong likelihood of winning its case. Therefore, Pure Detroit's owner, Detroit retailer Moda Group LLC, can continue selling its "Imported from Detroit" products. Tarnow also noted that Chrysler does not have a trademark on "Imported from Detroit" and rejected the automaker's argument that trademark law is not applicable to the case. [102] [103] In March 2012, Chrysler Group LLC and Pure Detroit agreed to a March 27 mediation to try to settle the lawsuit over the clothing company's use of "Imported from Detroit" slogan. [104] Pure Detroit stated that Chrysler has made false claims about the origins of three vehicles - Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Chrysler Town & Country - none of which are built in Detroit. Pure Detroit also said that Chrysler's Imported From Detroit merchandise is not being made in Detroit.[ citation needed ] In 2012 Chrysler and Pure Detroit came to an undisclosed settlement. [105]

Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly, which makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, is the only car manufacturing plant of any company remaining entirely in Detroit (General Motors operates a plant that is partly in Detroit and partly in Hamtramck). [106]

In 2011, Eminem settled a lawsuit against Audi alleging the defendant had ripped off the Chrysler 300 Super Bowl commercial in the Audi A6 Avant ad. [107]

"Halftime in America"

Again in 2012, Chrysler advertised during the Super Bowl. Its two-minute February 5, 2012 Super Bowl XLVI advertisement was titled "Halftime in America". The ad drew criticism from several leading U.S. conservatives, who suggested that its messaging implied that President Barack Obama deserved a second term and, as such, was political payback for Obama's support for the federal bailout of the company. [108] Asked about the criticism in a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft, Sergio Marchionne responded "just to rectify the record I paid back the loans at 19.7% Interest. I don't think I committed to do to a commercial on top of that" and characterized the Republican reaction as "unnecessary and out of place". [109]

America's Import

In 2014, Chrysler started using a new slogan, "America's Import" in ads introducing their all-new 2015 Chrysler 200, [110] targeting foreign automakers from Germany to Japan with such ads (German performance and Japanese quality), and at the ending of selected ads, the advertisement will say, "We Built This", indicating being built in America, instead of overseas.

Slogans

  • Engineered to be Great Cars (1998–2001)
  • Drive = Love (2002–2004)
  • Inspiration comes standard (2004–2007)
  • Engineered Beautifully (2007–mid 2010) [111]
  • Imported From Detroit (2011–2014) [112] [113]
  • America's Import (2014–2016) [110]

Product line

Chrysler Uconnect

First introduced as MyGig, Chrysler Uconnect is a system that brings interactive ability to the in-car radio and telemetric-like controls to car settings.[ citation needed ] As of mid-2015, it was installed in hundreds of thousands of Fiat Chrysler vehicles. [114] It connects to the Internet via the mobile network of AT&T, providing the car with its own IP address. [114] Internet connectivity using any Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or Ram vehicle, via a Wi-Fi "hot-spot", is also available via Uconnect Web. According to Chrysler LLC, the hotspot range extends approximately 100 feet (30 m) from the vehicle in all directions, and combines both Wi-Fi and Sprint's 3G cellular connectivity.[ citation needed ] Uconnect is available on several current[ when? ] and was available on several discontinued Chrysler models including the current Dodge Dart, Chrysler 300, Aspen, Sebring, Town and Country, Dodge Avenger, Caliber, Grand Caravan, Challenger, Charger, Journey, Nitro, and Ram. [115]

In July 2015, IT security researchers announced a severe security flaw assumed to affect every Chrysler vehicle with Uconnect produced from late 2013 to early 2015. [114] It allows hackers to gain access to the car over the Internet, and in the case of a Jeep Cherokee was demonstrated to enable an attacker to take control not just of the radio, A/C, and windshield wipers, but also of the car's steering, brakes and transmission. [114] Chrysler published a patch that car owners can download and install via a USB stick, or have a car dealer install for them. [114]

Brands

Current and former brands of Stellantis North America:

Current

OriginBrandEstab.AddedNotes
Flag of the United States.svg  US Chrysler 19251925
Flag of the United States.svg  US Dodge 19001928
Flag of the United States.svg  US Jeep 19431987
Flag of the United States.svg  US Mopar [n 1] 19371937
Flag of the United States.svg  US Ram Trucks 20102010Previously Ram Truck Division (of Chrysler).

Former

OriginBrandEstab.Chrysler
Years
Fate
Flag of the United States.svg  US American Motors 19541987–1988Defunct, succeeded by the Eagle brand [116]
Flag of the United States.svg  US Chrysler Amplex [n 2] 19321932–1988Sold to ICM Industries
Flag of the United States.svg  US Graham Brothers19161928-1929discontinued and trucks continued under Dodge and Fargo- Passenger car division continued independently as Graham-Paige
Flag of the United States.svg  US Chrysler Marine [n 3] 19271927–1980Discontinued
Flag of the United States.svg  US DeSoto [n 4] 19281928–1961Models consolidated and replaced by Chrysler Newport.
Flag of the United States.svg  US Eagle [n 5] 19881988–1998Discontinued
Flag of the United States.svg  US Fargo 19131913–1972Discontinued [n 6]
Flag of the United States.svg  US Global Electric Motorcars 19921998–2011Sold to Polaris Industries
Flag of the United States.svg  US Imperial 19551955–1983Discontinued
Flag of the United States.svg  US Plymouth 19281928–2001Discontinued, all unique/incoming models integrated into Chrysler Line up.
Flag of the United States.svg  US Valiant 19591959–1976Discontinued [n 7]
Flag of Italy.svg  ITA Lamborghini 19631987–1994Sold to Mycom / V'Power Corp. [118]
Flag of Spain.svg  SPA Barreiros 19541969–1978Discontinued, became part of Chrysler Europe
Flag of France.svg  FRA Simca 19341967–1970Discontinued, became part of Chrysler Europe
Flag of France.svg  FRA Matra 19641970–1979Joint venture; stake acquired by Peugeot
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK Humber 18871967–1976Discontinued, became part of Chrysler Europe
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK Commer 19051967–1979Discontinued, became part of Chrysler Europe
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK Karrier 19081967–1979Discontinued, became part of Chrysler Europe
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK Hillman 19071967–1976Discontinued, became part of Chrysler Europe
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK Sunbeam 19051967–1976Discontinued, became part of Chrysler Europe
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK Singer 18751967–1970Discontinued, became part of Chrysler Europe
Notes
  1. Replacement parts for Chrysler-built vehicles, as well as a brand for dealer service and customer service operations. It includes "Mopar Performance", a subdivision providing performance aftermarket parts for Chrysler-built vehicles.
  2. Division that manufactured bearings and gears.
  3. Division that built inboard, outboard engines, and various types of boats.[ citation needed ]
  4. Desoto trucks were built and sold by Chrysler in Turkey until 1978, after which Askam took over the Turkish rights to the marque.
  5. Name derived from the AMC Eagle model after Chrysler took over American Motors in 1987.
  6. Replaced by Plymouth Trucks in the US in 1937 and folded into the Dodge Division after 1972 in Canada. [117]
  7. The Valiant was introduced in 1960 as a separate Chrysler brand, then was incorporated into the Plymouth line in the US starting in 1961.

Brand predecessors

Maxwell-Chalmers

  • Maxwell (1904–1926), US; new models renamed Chrysler and Plymouth
  • Chalmers (1908–1923) US for luxury cars; merged with Maxwell in 1922

United States Motor Company

(1908–1913); reorganized and folded into Maxwell[ citation needed ]

Chrysler Corporation

  • Graham Brothers (1916–1929) US; acquired by The Dodge Brothers Company in 1925 with the passenger car division split to form Graham-Paige and folded into Dodge after Chrysler's ownership
  • Fargo (1913-1935) US, (1920–1972) Canada for trucks and vans; replaced by Plymouth Trucks in the US in 1937 and folded into the Dodge Division after 1972 in Canada [121]

Rootes Group

(1913-1971), UK; minority interest purchased by Chrysler in 1964, progressively taking controlling interest in 1967, renamed Chrysler Europe in 1971

American Motors Corporation

(1954–1988), US; purchased by Chrysler and renamed Jeep-Eagle Division

  • AMC (Brand), (1967-1987) US; rebranded Eagle
  • Hudson (1909–1957), US
    • Aerocar (1905-1908) US; Brand discontinued and Reorganized into Hudson Motors
    • Essex (1918–1933), US; Folded into the main Hudson line
    • Terraplane (1932–1938), US
  • Nash (1917–1957), US
    • Jeffery (1903-1917), US; line dissolved and renamed Nash in 1915
    • LaFayette (1919–1940) US; folded into Nash
    • Ajax (1925–1926), US
    • Mitchell (1903-1923), US; purchased and renamed Ajax
  • Rambler (1900–1914 ; 1950–1969), US
  • Metropolitan (1959–1962), US[ citation needed ]
  • AM General US 1970–1983; the former contract division of AMC

Kaiser Motors Corporation

  • Kaiser (1946–1955) US for entry level; [122] [123] [124] renamed Willys-Kaiser Motors, then to Kaiser-Jeep Corporation, purchased by AMC in 1970
  • Frazer (1946–1951) US for entry level luxury; discontinued models incorporated in Kaiser

Graham-Paige

(1927–1947), mid-priced cars; purchased by Henry Kaiser and reorganized into Kaiser-Frazer Motors

Willys-Overland Motors

(1912-1963) US; acquired by Kaiser Motors, later Kaiser Jeep, then by AMC in 1970

Environmental initiatives

In 1979, Chrysler, in cooperation with the United States Department of Energy, produced an experimental battery electric vehicle, the Chrysler ETV-1.

In 1992, Chrysler developed the Dodge EPIC concept minivan. In 1993, Chrysler sold a limited-production electric minivan called the TEVan; only 56 were produced, mostly for electric utilities. A second generation, the EPIC (unrelated to the concept), was released in 1997 and discontinued in 1999. [125]

Chrysler once owned the Global Electric Motorcars company, building low-speed neighborhood electric vehicles, but sold GEM to Polaris Industries in 2011.

In September 2007, Chrysler established ENVI, an in-house organization focused on electric-drive vehicles and related technologies which was disbanded by late 2009. [126] In August 2009, Chrysler took US$70 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a test fleet of 220 hybrid pickup trucks and minivans.

The first hybrid models, the Chrysler Aspen hybrid and the Dodge Durango hybrid, were discontinued a few months after production in 2008, [127] sharing their GM-designed hybrid technology with GM, Daimler and BMW. [128]

Chrysler was on the Advisory Council of the PHEV Research Center, and undertook a government sponsored demonstration project with Ram and minivan vehicles. [129]

In 2012, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne stated that Chrysler and Fiat planned to focus primarily on alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas and Diesel, instead of hybrid and electric drivetrains for their consumer products. [130]

Fiat Chrysler bought a total of 8.2 million megagrams of U.S. greenhouse gas emission credits from competitors including Toyota, Honda, Tesla and Nissan for the 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014 model years. [131] It had the worst fleet average fuel economy among major manufacturers selling in the US from model years 2012–2022. [132]

Chrysler Defense

The dedicated tank building division of Chrysler, this division was founded as the Chrysler Tank division in 1940, originally with the intention of providing another production line for the M2 Medium Tank, so that the U.S. Army could more rapidly build up its inventory of the type. Its first plant was the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant. When the M2A1 was unexpectedly declared obsolete in August of the same year, plans were altered (though not without considerable difficulty) to produce the M3 Grant instead, primarily for the British as part of the United States under the counter support for Great Britain against Nazi Germany (the U.S. not yet being formally in the war), with the balance of the revised order going to the U.S. Army as the Lee. After December 1941 and the United States' entry into the war against the Axis powers, the Tank division rapidly expanded, with new facilities such as the Tank Arsenal Proving Ground at (then) Utica, Michigan. It also quickly widened the range of products it was developing and producing, including the M4 Sherman tank and the Chrysler A57 multibank tank engine.

Special programs

During World War II, essentially all of Chrysler's facilities were devoted to building military vehicles (the Jeep brand came later, after Chrysler acquired American Motors Corporation). [133] They were also designing V12 and V16 hemi-engines producing 2,500 hp (1,864 kW; 2,535 PS) for airplanes, but they did not make it into production as jets were developed and were seen as the future for air travel.[ citation needed ] During the 1950s Cold War period, Chrysler made air raid sirens powered by its Hemi V-8 engines.

Radar antennas

When the Radiation Laboratory at MIT was established in 1941 to develop microwave radars, one of the first projects resulted in the SCR-584, the most widely recognized radar system of the war era. This system included a parabolic antenna six feet in diameter that was mechanically aimed in a helical pattern (round and round as well as up and down).

One of Chrysler's most significant contributions to the war effort was in radar technology. For the final production design of this antenna and its highly complex drive mechanism, the Army's Signal Corps Laboratories turned to Chrysler's Central Engineering Office. There, the parabola was changed from aluminum to steel, allowing production to form using standard automotive presses. To keep weight down, 6,000 equally spaced holes were drilled in the face (this had no effect on the radiation pattern). The drive mechanism was completely redesigned, using technology derived from Chrysler's research in automotive gears and differentials. The changes resulted in improved performance, reduced weight, and easier maintenance. A large portion of the Dodge plant was used in building 1,500 of the SCR-584 antennas as well as the vans used in the systems. [134] [135]

Aircraft

Missiles

In April 1950, the U.S. Army established the Ordnance Guided Missile Center (OGMC) at Redstone Arsenal, adjacent to Huntsville, Alabama. To form OGMC, over 1,000 civilian and military personnel were transferred from Fort Bliss, Texas. Included was a group of German scientists and engineers led by Wernher von Braun; this group had been brought to America under Project Paperclip. OGMC designed the Army's first short-range ballistic missile, the PGM-11 Redstone, based on the WWII German V-2 missile. Chrysler established the Missile Division to serve as the Redstone prime contractor, setting up an engineering operation in Huntsville and for production obtaining use from the U.S. Navy of a large plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan. The Redstone was in active service from 1958 until 1964; it was also the first missile to test-launch a live nuclear weapon, first detonated in a 1958 test in the South Pacific. [136]

Working together, the Missile Division and von Braun's team greatly increased the capability of the Redstone, resulting in the PGM-19 Jupiter, a medium-range ballistic missile. In May 1959, a Jupiter missile launched two small monkeys into space in a nose cone; this was America's first successful flight and recovery of live space payloads. Responsibility for deploying Jupiter missiles was transferred from the Army to the Air Force; armed with nuclear warheads, they were first deployed in Italy and Turkey during the early 1960s. [137]

Space boosters

In July 1959, NASA chose the Redstone missile as the basis for the Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle to be used for suborbital test flights of the Project Mercury spacecraft. Three uncrewed MRLV launch attempts were made between November 1960 and March 1961, two of which were successful. The MRLV successfully launched the chimpanzee Ham, and astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom on three suborbital flights in January, May, and July 1961, respectively.

America's more ambitious crewed space travel plans included the design of the Saturn series of heavy-lift launch vehicles by a team headed by Wernher von Braun. Chrysler's Huntsville operation, then designated the Space Division, became Marshall Space Flight Center's prime contractor for the first stage of the Saturn I and Saturn IB versions. The design was based on a cluster of Redstone and Jupiter fuel tanks and Chrysler built it for the Apollo program in the Michoud Assembly Facility in East New Orleans, one of the largest manufacturing plants in the world. Between October 1961 and July 1975, NASA used ten Saturn Is and nine Saturn IBs for suborbital and orbital flights, all of which were successful; [138] Chrysler missiles and boosters never suffered a launch failure.[ citation needed ] The division was also a subcontractor which modified one of the mobile launcher platforms for use with the Saturn IB rockets using Saturn V infrastructure.

See also

Countries

Related Research Articles

Dodge is an American brand of automobiles and a division of Stellantis North America, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Dodge vehicles have historically included performance cars, and for much of its existence Dodge was Chrysler's mid-priced brand above Plymouth.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eagle (automobile)</span> Defunct American automobile brand

Eagle was a brand of the Chrysler Corporation following the purchase of American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1987 and marketed through the end of the 1998 model year. It was aimed at the enthusiast driver and promoted as more "European" than the automaker's similar models.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">American Motors Corporation</span> Defunct American automobile company

American Motors Corporation was an American automobile manufacturing company formed by the merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company on May 1, 1954. At the time, it was the largest corporate merger in U.S. history.

Stellantis Canada is the wholly owned subsidiary of Stellantis through its North American division operating in Canada. Incorporated in 1925, the Chrysler Corporation of Canada acquired a Maxwell-Chalmers plant in Windsor, Ontario that had been used to manufacture some Chrysler models in the previous year. Initially called Chrysler Canada, Ltd, the name of the company changed to DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc. following the merger of the two parent automotive conglomerates. In August 2007, the company was renamed Chrysler Canada Incorporated when Cerberus Capital Management purchased 80.1% of its parent company Chrysler.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chrysler 300</span> Full-size car

The Chrysler 300 is a full-size luxury car manufactured and marketed by Stellantis North America and its predecessor companies as a four-door sedan and station wagon in its first generation and solely as a four-door sedan in its second generation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mopar</span> Parts, service and customer care organization within Stellantis

Mopar is the parts, service, and customer care division of the former Chrysler Corporation, now owned by Netherlands-based automobile manufacturer Stellantis. It serves as a primary OEM accessory seller for Stellantis brands under the Mopar brand. The name is a portmanteau of the words "MOtor" and "PARts". "Mopar" is also used as a nickname by enthusiasts of Chrysler-built products to refer to any product built by the company.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jeep Grand Cherokee</span> Large American 4WD off road SUV

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a range of mid-size SUVs produced by the American manufacturer Jeep. At its introduction, while most SUVs were still manufactured with body-on-frame construction, the Grand Cherokee has used a unibody chassis from the start.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jeep Compass</span> Compact crossover SUV

The Jeep Compass is a compact crossover SUV introduced for the 2007 model year, and is currently in its second generation. The first generation Compass and Patriot, its rebadged variant, were among Jeep's first crossover SUVs. The second-generation Compass debuted in September 2016 in Brazil and at the Los Angeles International Auto Show in November 2016, sharing a modified platform with the Renegade. It is positioned between the smaller Renegade and the larger Cherokee globally or the Commander in South America.

Detroit Assembly Complex – Jefferson, previously known as the Jefferson North Assembly Plant is a Stellantis North America automobile assembly factory in Detroit, Michigan. The plant is located adjacent to the Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack plant. Located on East Jefferson Avenue 6 miles (9.7 km) northeast of Downtown Detroit, near Grosse Pointe Park, the factory opened in 1991 as a major commitment to the downtown Detroit area by Chrysler, and was expanded in 1999, bringing its area to 2,700,000 sq ft (250,000 m2) and expanded again in 2011, bringing its total to 3,000,000 sq ft (280,000 m2).

Brampton Assembly Plant is a Stellantis Canada automobile factory located at 2000 Williams Parkway East Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Originally built by American Motors Corporation (AMC) for US$260 million, in the former Bramalea area of Brampton, the manufacturing plant was specially designed for building the Eagle Premier. Its role since has primarily been to assemble full-sized Chrysler products.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jeep Patriot</span> Motor vehicle

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fiat Chrysler Australia</span> Automobile manufacturer

Fiat Chrysler Australia, officially FCA Australia, is the official Stellantis subsidiary in that country, operating as distributor of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Abarth, Alfa Romeo and Fiat vehicles. However, there had previously been a "Chrysler Australia Ltd" which had operated as a vehicle manufacturer in Australia from 1951 until 1980, and was subsequently taken over by Mitsubishi Motors Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Passenger vehicles in the United States</span>

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Jeep-Eagle was the name of the automobile sales division created by the Chrysler Corporation after the US$2 billion takeover of American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1987. The division marketed a variety of vehicles until 1997.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Automotive industry in the United States</span> Overview of U.S. automotive industry

In the United States, the automotive industry began in the 1890s and, as a result of the size of the domestic market and the use of mass production, rapidly evolved into the largest in the world. The United States was the first country in the world to have a mass market for vehicle production and sales and is a pioneer of the automotive industry and mass market production process. During the 20th century, global competitors emerged, especially in the second half of the century primarily across European and Asian markets, such as Germany, France, Italy, Japan and South Korea. The U.S. is currently second among the largest manufacturers in the world by volume.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Chrysler</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">GAC Fiat Chrysler</span> Automobile manufacturing company, joint venture of GAC and Stellantis

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fiat Chrysler Automobiles</span> Multinational automotive manufacturing conglomerate

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Stellantis N.V. is a multinational automotive manufacturing corporation formed from the merger in 2021 of the Italian–American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the French PSA Group. The company is headquartered in Amsterdam.

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Further reading