It died a quiet and uneventful death.
You may not know this, but Chrysler as a company no longer exists. A foreign company has overtaken the smallest of America’s Big Three automakers and erased its corporate name.
Does this mean Chrysler automobiles have disappeared with it?
Car shoppers will still have a few Chrysler vehicles to choose from, but those are limited to the 200, the 300, and the Town & Country. Chrysler Group LLC, the company that succeeded the original Chrysler Corporation that was formed in 1925, is now known as FCA US.
The change was official last year, but I think it’s fitting to take a moment and say goodbye to the company that Walter P. Chrysler founded 90 years ago.
Before founding his own company, Walter Chrysler was a General Motors executive. He also spent time in the railroad industry before moving into the auto business and working at Buick, Willys-Overland, and Maxwell Motor. After creating Chrysler, he founded Plymouth and DeSoto, then bought Dodge and created the bones of the company that still exists today.
After FIAT merged with Chrysler, the name was changed to FCA, which today consists of the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram truck brands.
While Chrysler has been around for 90 years, its reputation for quality in recent decades wasn’t great. Chrysler’s vehicles didn’t compete very well with other cars on the market, especially foreign brands such as Honda and Toyota. The bankruptcy in 2009 opened the doors for foreign investment, and Italian-owned FIAT came to the rescue.
Chrysler began its comeback under fresh leadership and unveiled plans for new models, unleashed new marketing, and most importantly, began changing customer perceptions with increased quality.
Today’s Chrysler is just a shadow of the Chrysler we once knew, but thanks to FIAT, that’s a very good thing.
People nostalgic for the Chrysler name can still buy new, for now, and of course there are many vehicles from all eras available on the used market.
Were you aware that Chrysler has changed its name to FCA?