Chrysler/Dodge

chrysler_wingChrysler Group LLC is an American automobile manufacturer headquartered in Auburn HillsMichigan. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Italianmultinational automaker Fiat S.p.A. Chrysler was one of the “Big Three” American automobile manufacturers. It sells vehicles worldwide under its flagship Chryslerbrand, as well as the DodgeJeep, and Ram brands; it also manufactures vehicles sold under the Fiat brand in North America. Other major divisions of Chrysler include Mopar, its automotive parts and accessories division, and SRT, its performance automobile division. In 2011, Chrysler Group (not including Fiat) was thetwelfth biggest automaker in the world by production.

The Chrysler Corporation was founded by Walter Chrysler in 1925, out of what remained of the Maxwell Motor Company. Chrysler greatly expanded in 1928, when it acquired the Fargo truck company and the Dodge Brothers Company and began selling vehicles under those brands; that same year it also established thePlymouth and DeSoto automobile brands. In the 1970s, a number of factors including the 1973 oil crisis impacted Chrysler’s sales, and by the late 1970s, Chrysler was on the verge of bankruptcy. Lee Iacocca was brought in as CEO and is credited with returning the company to profitability in the 1980s. In 1987, Chrysler acquired American Motors Corporation (AMC), which brought the profitable Jeep brand under the Chrysler umbrella.

In 1998, Chrysler merged with German automaker Daimler-Benz AG to form DaimlerChrysler; the merger proved contentious with investors and Chrysler was sold to Cerberus Capital Management and renamed Chrysler LLC in 2007. Like the other Big Three automobile manufacturers, Chrysler was hit hard by the automotive industry crisis of 2008–2010 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on April 30, 2009. On June 10, 2009, Chrysler emerged from the bankruptcy proceedings with the United Auto Workers pension fund, Fiat, and the U.S. and Canadian governments as principal owners. Over the next few years Fiat gradually acquired the other parties’ shares while removing much of the weight of the loans (which carried a 21% interest rate) in a short period. By May 24, 2011, Chrysler had repaid what it borrowed from the U.S. government five years early. January 1, 2014, announced a deal to purchase the rest of Chrysler from the United Auto Workers retiree health trust. The deal was completed on January 21, 2014, making Chrysler Group a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat.

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