Components and Production Systems
In early 2014, Fiat Group acquires 100% ownership in Chrysler Group. In October the same year, the two companies merge to create Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. This marks the beginning of a new phase for the now fully-integrated global automaker.In December 2019, FCA enters into a combination agreement with PSA to create a leading global mobility company.
In December, FCA and Groupe PSA agree to a 50/50 merger that will create a leading global mobility company.
FCA announces $4.5 billion in investment to expand production capacity in Michigan to grow core brands and electrify Jeep® vehicles.
FCA launches a new global connected vehicle ecosystem that will use Harman (Samsung) and Google's Android technology and will be featured on all new Group vehicles worldwide by 2022.
Jeep launches the all-new Commander PHEV, the first of its New Energy Vehicles for the Chinese market.
Fiat brand celebrates its 120th anniversary.
Abarth celebrates its 70th anniversary year.
FCA completes the sale of Magneti Marelli to Calsonic Kansei.
FCA enters into an agreement for the sale of Teksid’s cast-iron automotive components business to Tupy.
The year is marked by a sudden and unexpected change in leadership following the untimely passing of Sergio Marchionne. Mike Manley is appointed Chief Executive Officer of FCA on July 21.
Ram launches the all-new 1500, which wins two of the most prestigious awards in North America: North American Truck of the Year (NACTOY) and Motor Trend Truck of the Year.
Jeep launches the all-new Jeep Gladiator, the most capable midsize truck ever.
FCA announces €5 billion in investments in Italy over the 2019-2021 period to support renewal of the product range and development of new powertrain solutions with a significant focus on hybrid and electric technologies.
FCA enters into a definitive agreement to sell Magneti Marelli (automotive components business) to Calsonic Kansei.
Jeep and Ram both reach record global sales.
Alfa Romeo launches the Stelvio, the brand’s first-ever SUV.
Jeep begins production of the Compass in India, bringing the brand’s production to a total of six countries around the world.
Alfa Romeo announces its return to Formula 1 for the 2018 championship season, after more than 30 years away from the sport.
Fiat begins production of the all-new Cronos sedan in Argentina for distribution in markets across Latin America.
FCA signs a memorandum of understanding with BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye to develop a state-of-the-art autonomous driving platform.
Mopar® celebrates its 80th anniversary year.
At the beginning of January, FCA completes the spin-off of Ferrari.
2016 is a very active year on the product front, including the Group’s entry into six new product segments: Maserati launches its first-ever SUV, the Levante. Alfa Romeo launches the ground-breaking new Giulia and the Fiat brand introduces the Tipo, Toro, Fullback and 124 Spider.
Chrysler brand – which introduced the minivan concept in the 1980s – launches the all-new Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid, the industry’s first electrified minivan.
FCA announces a collaboration with Waymo (formerly the Google Self-Driving Car Project) and the completion of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicles purpose built for fully self-driving operations.
The new state-of-the-art Jeep industrial complex is opened in Goiana, Brazil. This greenfield plant becomes the Group’s largest facility with installed production capacity of more than 250,000 vehicles a year and the flexibility to produce three different models.
The GAC-FCA joint venture plant in Changsha, China begins production of the Jeep Cherokee, the brand’s first locally-produced model.
Luxury carmaker Ferrari is listed on the NYSE in advance of its intended spin-off from FCA.
Alfa Romeo reveals the all-new Giulia sedan, the first of the brand’s new generation of models.
The Verrone transmission plant in Italy is awarded World Class Manufacturing Gold.
In January, Fiat Group increases its ownership in Chrysler Group to 100%. In October, the two companies merge to create Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and shares in the new company begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange and the Milan Stock Exchange.
The Jeep brand launches the all-new Renegade, the brand’s first-ever small SUV and the first FCA vehicle designed in the U.S. and produced in Italy.
Alfa Romeo returns to the North American market, after an absence of some 20 years, with the launch of the 4C Coupé.
Fiat brand expands the 500 family with the launch of the new 500X crossover.
Maserati and Dodge both celebrate their 100th anniversary.
Fiat Group and Chrysler Group enter into a global strategic alliance in mid-2009, launching a period of profound changes for both groups. Synergies include optimization of the respective manufacturing footprints and global supplier base, sharing of technologies and access to new markets. Chrysler Group achieves an impressive turnaround in just 19 months and fully repays, with interests and six years ahead of schedule, all the loans received from the U.S. and Canadian governments.
A historic decision changes the shape of the Group: the demerger of its capital goods businesses and the creation of two distinct entities, Fiat and Fiat Industrial.
By the end of the period, Fiat and Chrysler have achieved full integration at the industrial and cultural level and have created an organization that is truly unified in practice, even if not yet on paper.
Maserati debuts the new Ghibli, which represents the brand’s entry into the high-end E segment.
The Ram brand introduces the new Ram ProMaster commercial van, developed from the successful, long-standing Fiat Ducato, and the ProMaster City.
Group plants in Pomigliano d’Arco (Italy), Tychy (Poland) and Bursa (Turkey) are the first three assembly plants to achieve World Class Manufacturing Gold.
Fiat brand launches the 500L, a new addition to the highly-successful 500 family with production in Kragujevac, Serbia.
Production of the Fiat Viaggio, the brand’s first-ever model produced in China, begins at the newly-inaugurated GAC-Fiat joint venture plant in Changsha.
The Bielsko-Biala engine plant in Poland is the first Group plant to achieve World Class Manufacturing Gold.
Fiat Group’s ownership interest in Chrysler Group reaches 58.5%.
On January 1st, Fiat Group spins off its capital goods activities to Fiat Industrial (subsequently renamed CNH Industrial) to focus on its core automotive businesses.
The Jeep brand celebrates 70 years since the iconic Willys MB entered production in 1941.
Production of the third generation Fiat Panda begins at the Pomigliano d’Arco plant in Italy.
During the year, Fiat Group increases its ownership interest in Chrysler Group to 53.5%.
John Elkann is named Chairman of the Company.
Alfa Romeo celebrates its 100th anniversary and debuts the new Giulietta.
Production of the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee begins at Detroit’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant.
The Fiat brand marks its return to North America, after an absence of 27 years, with the presentation of the 500 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
On June 10th, Fiat Group and Chrysler Group LLC announce a global strategic alliance with Fiat taking an initial 20% ownership interest in Chrysler and the VEBA Trust, US Treasury and Canadian government holding the remaining interests. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is also appointed Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler Group LLC.
During the period, Group brands launch several key models. Fiat presents a restyling of the Punto, the new Idea, the Bravo, and relaunches the iconic Fiat 500; Alfa Romeo debuts the 159, 166, MiTo and Giulietta; for its 100th anniversary, Lancia launches the all-new Ypsilon; at Maranello, Ferrari begins production of the innovative Ferrari F430 and 599 GTB Fiorano; and, Maserati comes out with the captivating GranSport and GranTurismo. In 2004, the Group begins an impressive turnaround achieving record profits in 2008.
The new Lancia Delta, the Alfa 8C Spider, the 500 Abarth and the Fiorino are all presented for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show.
A few months later, Fiat launches the “free space” Qubo and the Grande Punto Natural Power.
At the end of January, Fiat launches the new Bravo. In March, one of the most prestigious sports car brands in history, Abarth, is relaunched with its reinterpretation of the Grande Punto.
On July 4th, the new Fiat 500 hits the market and becomes an instant success. In 2008, it is named “Car of the Year”.
Launch of the TetraFuel system for alternative fuels.
Fiat Group returns to profitability and the 16v 1.3 MultiJet engine is named “Engine of the Year”.
FPT Powertrain Technologies is established.
Umberto Agnelli dies and the Group’s new leaders are appointed: Luca Cordero di Montezemolo as Chairman, John Elkann as Vice Chairman and Sergio Marchionne as Chief Executive Officer.
The Panda wins the “Car of the Year” award.
After almost half a century at the helm of the company, Giovanni Agnelli dies and his brother Umberto takes over as Chairman.
Fiat invents the MultiJet technology and the SDE, the smallest direct-injection diesel engine ever produced.
In Brazil, the company introduces flexfuel technology, which enables two different fuels (e.g., gasoline and ethanol) to be mixed in the same tank.
Fiat presents the Stilo and the following year Lancia launches the Thesis, its new flagship luxury model.
An industrial alliance is formed with General Motors that would be dissolved in 2005.
Alfa Romeo brings out the 147 which is elected “Car of the Year” the following year.
In response to increasingly tough international competition, Fiat Group adopts a multi-track strategy: on one side, it invests in product and process innovation and the search for new markets outside Europe with high development potential and, on the other, it implements a plan for cost containment and internal reorganization.
The world’s first automated manual transmission (Selespeed) goes into mass production.
During the same year, CNH-Case New Holland is formed to create a leading global player in agricultural and construction equipment.
The Fiat Multipla, Lancia Lybra and new Punto come onto the market.
The Alfa Romeo 156 becomes the first car in the world to be fitted with a diesel engine with Common Rail system, which within the space of a few years revolutionizes the market for diesel-powered cars.
The Fiat Punto, Fiat Bravo-Brava and then the Alfa Romeo 156 are named “Car of the Year”.
The Company acquires the prestigious automaker Maserati and also introduces Progetto Autonomy to facilitate mobility for the disabled.
The Panda Elettra is the first mass-produced electric vehicle.
In the Eighties, the industrial world underwent profound changes, linked above all to the development of electronics and new materials. Attention for the environment also increases and Fiat demonstrates its sensitivity by creating electric and natural gas vehicles, and setting up the Fare project, for the recycling of cars destined for demolition.
The state-of-the-art research center Elasis is established at the Group’s initiative.
The same year, the Fiat Tipo is named “Car of the Year”.
Other cars to achieve success during the decade are the Fiat Regata and Croma, the Lancia Delta, Thema and Y10, the Alfa Romeo 164, and the Ferrari GTO, Testarossa and F40, as well as the commercial vehicles Fiorino and Ducato.
The world’s first direct-injection diesel engine for passenger cars is developed.
Production begins on the innovative FIRE (Fully Integrated and Robotized Engine).
Alfa Romeo becomes part of the Group.
At Cape Canaveral in Florida, Fiat Auto presents the new Uno, a symbol of innovation and technological rebirth for company.
It goes on to win the “Car of the Year” award in 1984.
Launch of the Panda, which immediately becomes key player in the economy segment.
Toward the end of the 1960s, there is a long period of protests and social unrest that also involves Fiat and has significant repercussions on the group’s results. Despite these difficulties, the group invests heavily in the south of Italy and begins construction of plants located in Termini Imerese, Cassino, Termoli, Sulmona, Vasto, Bari, Lecce and Brindisi. During the same period, Fiat begins the process of decentralizing its operating activities, transforming the company into an industrial holding. Among the first companies to be established were Fiat Macchine Movimento Terra, Fiat Engineering and Iveco.
Fiat Auto grows and eventually brings together the Fiat, Lancia, Autobianchi and Ferrari brands.
The innovative car chassis assembly system, “Robogate”, is installed at some plants.
At the same time, new factories are constructed in Italy and Brazil.
Comau and Teksid are established.
Centro Ricerche Fiat is founded.
Ferrari wins the Formula 1 World Championship.
This triumph is repeated in 1977 and 1979.
Lancia begins production of the Beta, which is followed in subsequent years by the Stratos, Gamma and Delta.
The same year, Lancia wins the World Rally Constructors’ Championship and takes the title again in 1974, 1975 and 1976.
Fiat takes first in 1977 and 1978.
Presentation of the 127 which achieves extraordinary success and the following year wins the “Car of the Year” award.
The historic sports brand Abarth becomes part of the Group.
The decade begins with a general spirit of optimism and the economic miracle continues in Italy. Fiat experiences dramatic increase in production volumes: the number of cars constructed per year goes from 425,000 to 1,741,000; trucks from 19,000 to 64,800; tractors from 22,637 to 50,558; earthmovers from 3,000 to 6,255. Fiat doubles the number of employees to almost 171,000.
The 128, Fiat’s first front-wheel drive car, is named “Car of the Year”.
The company acquires Lancia and purchases a 50% interest in Sefac-Ferrari.
The same year, Fiat Ferroviaria designs and produces the Pendolino, the world’s first tilting train.
Vittorio Valletta dies.
Production begins at the Rivalta plant.
Fiat takes a majority stake in Magneti Marelli.
The 124 is named “Car of the Year” and the Fiat Dino Coupé is launched complete with engine based on Ferrari technology.
Giovanni Agnelli, grandson of the founder, becomes Chairman.
A major agreement is signed for construction of the Vaz plant in Togliattigrad, Russia, which will produce two thousand Zigulì passenger cars a day.
Launch of the two-door, five-seat Fiat 850 sedan.
Italy experiences a period of economic boom and the car industry is one of the main drivers of intense growth: one car for every 96 inhabitants in 1949 becomes one for every 28 inhabitants in 1958 and one for every 11 inhabitants by 1963. Fiat now has more than 85,000 employees and car production grows six-fold over the decade.
The new 500 and the Autobianchi Bianchina are launched. The Fiat G.91 is selected as tactical fighter for NATO.
Arrival of the popular 600, the first Fiat rear-wheel drive passenger car.
Impresit, a company specialized in civil engineering founded in 1929, constructs roads, tunnels, bridges and dams, such as the Kariba dam on the Zambesi river.
Launch of the 1400, Italy’s first diesel-powered passenger car.
The high-performance 8V sports car reaches 200 kilometers per hour and the 7002 model helicopter is presented.
The same year, production begins on the 682N lorry which goes on to be produced for more than a quarter of a century and becomes a milestone in transport history.
The transatlantic liner Giulio Cesare, powered by a Fiat engine, enters service and Italy’s first jet, the Fiat G.80, takes flight.
With entry into the war, Fiat has to convert production to military purposes. The company dramatically reduces production of cars, while output of trucks is multiplied five-fold. Armored vehicles, airplanes and marine engines are also produced.
The number of employees tops 71,000 and the company returns to bottom line growth.
Senator Agnelli dies on 16 December 1945 and Vittorio Valletta becomes chairman. Large-scale production of cars resumes, with models such as the 500B berlinetta and estate, the refreshed 1100 and 1500, and the sporty 1100S. Alongside these are trucks and buses, high-power tractors, railcars, airplanes and large marine engines.
Launch of the 700D wheeled tractor and the model “50”, the first diesel-powered heavy crawler.
The latter is hidden underground for fear of requisition by the Germans.
It is recovered at the end of the war and mass production begins.
The Fiat 016 locomotive exceeds 160 kilometers per hour, breaking the world speed record in the diesel engine category.
For Fiat, the early ‘30s are marked by the consolidation of its manufacturing base and significant expansion abroad: from France to Spain, Poland and the USSR.
Construction begins on the Mirafiori plant.
It is inaugurated two years later, introducing the most advanced working methods to Italy.
Francesco Agello reaches 709.209 kilometers per hour in a Macchi-Castoldi M.C.72 powered by a Fiat AS6 engine, setting a world record for propeller-driven seaplanes that remains unbeaten.
Fiat releases 15 more models.
Some are to become milestones in automobile history: the popular 508 Balilla, the deluxe 518 and 527 Ardita, the aerodynamic 1500, the economic 500 Topolino and the 1100 “Musone”.
The 700C tractor is launched.
The arrival of the “Littorina”, the world’s first railcar.
Life in post-war Italy is marked by intense political and social conflict. These are difficult years for the Company requiring rigorous attention to cost management. In 1923, with the crisis having passed, the Lingotto factory is inaugurated and it becomes the symbol of a Fiat whose future is now inextricably linked to the concept of industrialized production. Inside the factory, the assembly line is introduced and working methods are transformed.
The decade sees the release of many models, including launch of the SuperFiat, the 519, a six cylinder luxury car, the 509 and the 503.
In 1927, the 520 is offered in left-hand drive and in 1928, aluminum cylinder heads are adopted on production model cars, representing a world first.
1929 sees the arrival of the economical 514 and the elegant 525.
The 1014 van is also launched: with six wheels, dual transmission and articulated chassis, this vehicle is unbeatable off road.
The AL biplane, Fiat’s first civil aviation aircraft, takes its maiden flight.
The same year, the company establishes Grandi Motori for the construction of marine engines.
Giovanni Agnelli becomes Chairman of Fiat.
In Europe, as the new century unfolds, significant economic and scientific progress continue. But the eruption of the Great War has a considerable impact on industrial activity as it is transformed to support the country’s military effort.
Immediately following the war, Fiat comes out with the 501 “economy”, 505 and 510, as well as its first tractor, the 702.
Construction begins on the Lingotto factory, the largest in Europe at the time. The Group enters the steel and railway sectors.
As part of the war effort, almost 20,000 units of the 18BL lorry are produced and, in the years following, various aircraft engines.
Fiat cars win a number of international races, such as the American Grand Prize, the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and the Gothenburg-Stockholm Winter Cup.
The first small displacement production car, the Fiat Zero, is created.
Six new models are launched: the 12-15 HP, 15-20 HP, 20-30 HP, 30-45 HP and the Type 5 and Type 6.
Fiat is founded at the end of the 1800s – a period filled with the fervor of grand initiatives, inventive spirit and new ideas – and is destined to rapidly become one of the world’s leading industrial groups.
The company begins manufacture of aircraft engines: the first developed is the 50hp SA 8/75, which incorporates the experience acquired on the auto racing circuit.
Out of a total 8 million lire in annual sales, export sales reach 6 million lire.
Auto production is expanded with the addition of the 8, 10, 12, 24, 60, 100 and 130 HP models.
The company also begins making trucks, buses, trams and marine engines.
The company is listed on the stock exchange and begins producing its first vehicles for goods transport.
Giovanni Agnelli becomes Managing Director.
The first plant is inaugurated and production reaches 24 cars a year.
On July 11th, the deed of incorporation is signed giving birth to Società Anonima Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino – F.I.A.T. The first car built is the 4 HP.
Even with ownership changes, new models and new power plants continued to be introduced. The Charger, Challenger and 300 nameplates were re-introduced, as was the 3rd Generation HEMI engine. The Jeep and Ram brands continued to grow their market share with continuous improvements.
Nearly 40 years after the debut of the original, Dodge brings the Challenger back. A modern muscle car, it comes with a fuel-efficient V-6 option and an aggressive entry-level price.
The Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico marks the one-millionth Chrysler PT Cruiser manufacturing milestone.
The 2005 Chrysler 300 is named "North American Car of the Year."
The new Chrysler 300 is named “Car of the Year” by Motor Trend magazine.
Chrysler re-introduces the HEMI engine to production cars.
The 1990s saw Chrysler’s sales driven by design innovation across the model lines. From the bold new Viper to a radically new pickup, Chrysler reshaped what the customers expected from vehicles appearance. Strong sales grew the corporate workforce to over 130,000 employees worldwide.
The Dodge Durango SUV and the Chrysler 300M are introduced.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers the new Quadra-Dive four-wheel-drive system.
Chrysler and Daimler-Benz agree to a merger.
Chrysler’s market share reaches 16.2 percent, the highest since 1957.
The all-new Dodge Ram is introduced.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is introduced redefining the luxury SUV segment.
The all-new LH cars are introduced, the first example of “Cab Forward” design.
The production Dodge Viper is on sale for the first time.
The new $1 billion Jefferson Avenue Assembly Plant is dedicated and production of the Jeep Grand Cherokee begins.
Chrysler introduces the integrated child safety seats into its minivan line, an industry first.
The Chrysler Tech Center is dedicated in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Following a decade of turbulence, the Chrysler Corporation sees a decade of growth and innovation. Back on a firm financial ground, the company introduces a series of popular vehicles based on the K platform and create an entirely new segment in the market, the minivan.
The Dodge Viper Concept car is introduced at the Detroit Auto Show.
Chrysler offers airbags as standard equipment, an industry first.
Chrysler acquires the Jeep brand with the purchase of American Motors.
Lee Iacocca drives the first production minivan, a Plymouth Voyager, off the assembly line.
The Chrysler LeBaron convertible is introduced. It is the first convertible to be offered in North America since 1975.
The K-Car is introduced.
The 1970s were a time of great change in the industry and at Chrysler. Higher insurance rates and rising gas prices led to the end of the muscle era and a focus on smaller and more economical vehicles. By the end of the decade, Chrysler had introduced a line of sub-compact cars to meet the challenges, but they still faced financial uncertainty. Lee Iacocca was brought in from Ford Motor Company to lead a dramatic turn around.
Lee Iacocca joins Chrysler. The Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon are introduced.
The new Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare win the Motor Trend "Car of the Year" award.
The Chrysler Cordoba is introduced.
Chrysler introduces the four-wheel limited-slip brake system called Sure Brake System, which is the forerunner of the modern ABS systems.
The Dodge Challenger is introduced. Dodge’s entrant into the Pony Car Wars is fitted with a large variety of engines including the legendary 426 HEMI.
A decade that would be remembered for its horsepower wars, the 1960s were a time of incredible growth for the Chrysler Corporation. Employment at the company grew from around 100,000 employees in 1960 to over 230,000 by 1969. The new Valiant compacts were introduced in 1960 and Chrysler’s international presence grew with increased investment in the Simca and Rootes Group in Europe.
The Dodge Daytona is introduced.
Following a ban from NASCAR for not being available to the public, the HEMI engine is made available in mid and full-sized Dodge and Plymouth models. The HEMI remains available until the end of the 1971 model year.
The Dodge Charger is introduced.
Chrysler enters the Pony Car market with the mid-year introduction of the Plymouth Barracuda.
The 426-cubic inch HEMI engine is introduced at the 1964 Daytona. HEMI powered cars come in first, second, and third and the legend of the HEMI is born.
A new Ghia-bodied Chrysler Turbine car is introduced. Two-hundred families from around the country evaluate the Turbine car at their homes for 90 days.
The Jeep Wagoneer is introduced. It is the first time that four-wheel-drive and an automatic transmission are combined in an SUV.
Chrysler’s first compact car, the Valiant is introduced.
The same year a uni-body design is introduced on all Dodge full-sized models.
The alternator is also introduced, a major advancement in automotive electronics and an industry first.
The 1950s were a time of economic growth and prosperity throughout the United States. After years of buying refreshed pre-war vehicles, consumers expected more styling and features in their vehicles. This led to new, more powerful engines, advanced safety features, and an all-new look. Chrysler called it the “Forward Look”, reflecting the Jet Age the world was now entering.
Designer Virgil Exner’s vision of Jet Age cars comes alive with the introduction of sleek lines and high rear fins on all Chrysler models.
The Jeep CJ-5 is introduced ushering in the era of recreational off-roading. The Jeep begins its decades-long run as a lifestyle vehicle.
The Chrysler 300 is introduced. This vehicle, powered by the HEMI engine, is the first production vehicle to offer 300 horsepower.
The Chelsea Proving Grounds opens in Chelsea, Michigan. The 3,850-acre facility features state-of-the-art test facilities and a five-mile high-speed oval.
Dodge gets its first HEMI engine with the introduction of the 241-cubic inch V-8 and a Dodge Royal paces the Indianapolis 500.
Chrysler offers the industry's first power steering on Chrysler and Imperial models.
The V-8 HEMI engine is introduced.
The production needs of the war effort drive the company for most of the 1940s. The Chrysler Corporation makes hundreds of different products including trucks, tanks, aircraft engines, and billions of rounds of ammunition. The Jeep brand is created at Willys-Overland before the war and switches to civilian vehicles after the war.
The Jeep brand combines an all-steel body, seven passenger seating and four-wheel-drive to create the world’s first SUV.
The Jeep begins production of a civilian model, the CJ-2A, before WWII is over. It is the first civilian vehicle allowed to be built by the US government due to its versatility and utility.
All divisions of the corporation turn out a wide variety of items to support the military, from trucks and tanks to bullets and radar units.
By the end of the war, Chrysler has supplied several billion rounds of ammunition, 600,000 trucks, and 25,000 tanks.
Production of all passenger cars ends in February and all corporate plants shift to producing products for World War II.
Willys-Overland begins production of the Jeep with the introduction of the MB for the military.
Walter P. Chrysler dies at the age of 65.
The Great Depression had a huge impact on the automobile industry. Many smaller companies were forced out of business, while the larger ones struggled to stay in business. Thanks in part to having vehicle lines in multiple price classes, Chrysler survives the depression without dramatic cuts to staff and was even able to invest in its models. Engineering achievements included the introduction of overdrive and the one-piece curved windshield.
All-new bodies are introduced for the 1940 model-year Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge and DeSoto cars. This is the first year of production for the top-of-the-line Chrysler New Yorker, a model name that will last through the mid-1990s.
A new state-of-the-art truck plant is completed in Warren, Michigan.
The revolutionary Airflow is introduced. It is the world’s first vehicle to be designed using a wind tunnel.
The Plymouth becomes the third best-selling vehicle in the nation. Strong sales of the Plymouth enable the Chrysler Corporation to survive the Great Depression.
The 1920s was a time of transition in the auto industry. Many companies were struggling to survive which lead to a series of bankruptcies, mergers and acquisitions. In this environment, Walter P. Chrysler, who was overseeing the Maxwell Motor Company, released an automobile bearing his name and recreated the Chrysler Corporation from Maxwell’s assets. Later in the decade, he introduced the Plymouth and DeSoto brands and acquired the Dodge Brothers.
The Chrysler Corporation buys the Dodge Brothers Corporation and introduces the DeSoto and Plymouth brands.
The Chrysler Corporation is incorporated on June 6, 1925 from the assets of the Maxwell Motor Company.
The first Chrysler model is sold through the Maxwell dealer network.
Walter P. Chrysler becomes the Chairman of the Board of Maxwell Motor Company to prevent it from going into receivership.
Walter P. Chrysler is hired to save Willys-Overland and the Willys company from bankruptcy with an annual salary of $1 million.
John and Horace Dodge die 11 months apart.
The Dodge Brothers expand on their success as a major parts supplier to become one of the largest manufactures in the country with a worldwide dealer network. Building on their well-established reputation, John and Horace create a well-engineered car that appeals to the masses.
Walter P. Chrysler resigns as President of Buick and Vice President of General Motors.
Dodge Brothers introduce their first commercial truck, which is sold as a 1918 model.
Dodge cars become the U.S. Army’s first gasoline-powered combat vehicle used in battle while pursuing Poncho Villa in Mexico.
The Dodge Brothers end their relationship with the Ford Motor Company and begin producing their own vehicle.
Walter P. Chrysler his hired by Charles Nash as a Works Manager for the Buick Motor Company in Flint, Michigan.
The Dodge Brothers build a new plant in Hamtramck, Michigan.
The first decade of the new century saw the introduction of the automobile to a wider consumer base. No longer were cars a toy for the rich. Early pioneers of the industry, including the Dodge Brothers, were able mass produce and lower the price of automobiles.
Walter P. Chrysler attends the Chicago Auto Show and purchases his first car, a Locomobile.
The Dodge Brothers end their contract with Olds Motor Works and sign a contract with Henry Ford to build engines, transmissions, and steering and brake parts for Henry Ford’s new automobile venture.
The Dodge Brothers begin production of transmissions for the Olds Motor Works. They would eventually produce over 3,000 transmissions.
The Dodge Brothers move to Detroit, Michigan, and open a machine shop on Beaubien Street.
The Industrial Revolution was picking up steam in the late 1800’s and the men who would create the automobile industry were coming into their own. With the invention of the internal combustion engine and its mating with the formerly horse-drawn carriage, a new industry was born. This invention would in time change the course of history.
The Dodge Brothers move to Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and eventually form the Evens & Dodge Bicycle Company.
Walter P. Chrysler is born in Wamego, Kansas.
Horace Dodge is born in Niles, Michigan.
John Dodge is born in Niles, Michigan.