The CEO of FCA is expected to announce the elimination of the Chrysler name entirely at their next board meeting. If he does, it will be the end of an era. But not an entirely unexpected one. They currently only produce the 300 and one minivan model. How Chrysler has remained alive for this long is a miracle. As is well known, Chrysler has been on life support of one form or another since before 1978, the year Lee Iacocca went there from Ford.
Chrysler’s convoluted history is studied in business grad programs worldwide, and now that the story has its final chapter (assuming the news is accurate) it’ll be analyzed more extensively than ever.
I’m sure most of us have Chrysler stories. In the '80s, I worked with an already-once-retired engineer who remembered the Chrysler New Yorkers of his youth and always wanted one. His wife passed, and, being financially secure, he used the insurance money to buy the New Yorker that he’d always wanted… well, sort of. Three of us traveled in his new New Yorker to a hotel in Danvers, Mass. (about 50 miles from our company), to a week-long seminar in applied statistics for engineers. Frankly the New Yorker was by that time a gussied-up K-car… a cramped piece of very cheesy design and manufacturing. It was a poor shadow of the New Yorkers of the '50s and '60s.
It’ll be the end of an era, and the end of a once-proud nameplate.