Can you import a domestic car?
Chrysler is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the United States, and it’s proposing just that. The newest slogan of the Chrysler car company is “America’s Import”, which is meant to convey the company’s high level of quality. Chrysler wants to show that an American car company can be just as compelling and high quality as international car companies.
This is a bit of a trick of the light and a bold statement coming from Chrysler. This might be an American car company, but since 2014 it’s been a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Fiat Chrysler is the eight largest auto company on the planet. The Fiat in the name comes from the largest car company out of Italy. In fact, Fiat Chrysler has its headquarters split between London and Amsterdam. So even though Chrysler is technically a domestic car in the United States by legacy, it’s owned by a distinctly European car company.
Since its founding almost a hundred years ago in 1925, Chrysler has been a power player in the world of automobiles. The company started out in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
It was founded by and named for Walter Chrysler. Walter Chrysler was a prominent Freemason who was born in Kansas in 1875. He started out in the railroad industry before moving into the automotive industry. He was only in charge of the company that would bear his name for just over a decade before he stepped down in 1936. Chrysler the man died in 1940 from a massive cerebral hemorrhage, only two years after he was devastated by the sudden death of his wife and childhood sweetheart Della.
Merged, Divested, Acquired
The company was in and out of acquisitions from just after the loss of its founder.
Though Chrysler is one of the Big Three automakers out of America, it’s a company that’s found itself rolling down the same rough road that other American carmakers have found themselves rolling down. The company faced massive competition from foreign automakers since just after World War II.
Eventually, it found itself in major trouble. The 1990s were unkind to American automakers, and the company was bought by European carmaker Daimler-Benz in 1998. The company was then rebranded DaimlerChrysler, which would prove to only last for a decade.
In 2007, Daimler divested Chrysler. The latter continued to operate for the next seven years as an independent automaker. It filed for bankruptcy in 2011, defaulting on more than four billion dollars in debt. Though it repaid its debts early, the bailout ended up costing American taxpayers more than a billion dollars. The company merged with Fiat in 2014.
Under Fiat, Chrysler is part of a wider umbrella of formerly independent brands. These include Dodge, Ram, Fiat of course, Jeep, and Mopar, which produces auto parts and accessories.
Today, the company operates worldwide with a massive workforce of almost two hundred thousand employees. It is technically owned by the holding company Exor, N.V. out of the Netherlands. Annually, Chrysler has more than one hundred billion euro in revenue.