For nearly one hundred years, the company now known as FCA, Fiat Chrysler, or just Chrysler has been one of the leading lights of the automotive industry, but how much do you know about this storied business, from its brand to its long line of vehicles? Read on to discover some of the most interesting facts our Chrysler dealership team has put together about the company we all love.
Chrysler’s Founder Took Apart His First Car Before Driving It
Walter Percy Chrysler, the founder of Chrysler, bought his first car at age 35. Rather than doing what most people would do and take his new ride for a spin, Walter decided to do something unexpected with his vehicle: He disassembled it. So interested was Chrysler in understanding how his new contraption worked, he had taken his car apart and then put it back together again before he drove it for the first time.
Walter Chrysler Was President of Buick
Nearly ten years before Chrysler was founded, Walter Chrysler was already an executive for an automotive manufacturer. In 1917, Chrysler became president and executive director of General Motors Buick division. In 1925, he would help reorganize the failing Maxwell Motor Company into the car company that would bear his name.
He Also Came From Humble Beginnings
Walter Percy Chrysler’s rags to riches story is a true inspiration to everyone who’s worked hard and dreamed big. Rather than coming from money and privilege, he began his working life as a railroad mechanic who often found himself out of work. All that changed when he found work in the auto industry in 1911, where he showed an intuitive understanding of how the manufacturing process worked.
He showed great insight into how to lower production costs, leading to a series of promotions that saw him rise through management to become the president of the Buick group, and then eventually the founder of his own company.
Chrysler Acquired Dodge in 1928
The Dodge brand of vehicles is one of several product lines in the Chrysler family, but not many people realize just how long it has been a part of the company. In 1928, Chrysler acquired two smaller auto companies: Fargo and the Dodge Brothers Company. Since then, Chrysler has been marketing cars under both brand names, with Dodge, in particular, becoming a popular line of vehicles in the U.S.
Chrysler Was the 2nd Biggest Car Manufacturer in the 1930s
Only twelve short years after the company was founded, Chrysler had expanded to become the second biggest car company in the world, second only to General Motors. During World War II, the company opened eleven new factories, to meet the government’s growing need for military vehicles, but was unable to keep up with the US Army’s volume demands.
This, combined with the death of Walter Percy Chrysler in 1940, leaving the president post empty, eventually contributed to Ford overtaking Chrysler to become the second largest auto manufacturer in the world. To this day, Chrysler is still the third largest car manufacturer worldwide, selling millions of vehicles every year.
Want to learn more about Chrysler and its many vehicles? Contact Community Chrysler today at 765-342-5000 to schedule a test drive, or to speak with one of our representatives.