|Type||Division of Chrysler Group LLC|
|Founded||June 6, 1925|
|Headquarters||Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.|
|Key people||Sergio Marchionne (Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC)|
|Products||Luxury Cars, Mainstream vehicles|
|Parent||Chrysler Group LLC|
The Chrysler brand was originally a premium luxury position competing with Cadillac and Lincoln, owned respectively by Chrysler Group's Detroit rivals, General Motors and Ford Motor Company. Chrysler was the top brand in the portfolio of what was then known as Chrysler Corporation, led by its top model, the Imperial.
After the corporation decided to spin Imperial off as a separate brand in 1955 to better compete with Cadillac and Lincoln, Chrysler became the corporation's number two brand, but still offered luxury and near-luxury products. Chrysler's positioning of the Chrysler brand towards a mid-price brand caused Chrysler to kill DeSoto after 1961 and merge most DeSoto vehicles into the new Chrysler Newport. After the Imperial brand was dropped in 1975, Chrysler once again became the top brand.
Chrysler-Plymouth was a division that sold cars with both Chrysler and Plymouth brand names. The Chrysler models emphasized luxury, while the Plymouth cars stood for practicality. The division also sold the high-luxury Imperial brand until 1975. Most Chrysler-Plymouth dealers began offering Jeep vehicles following the demise of Chrysler's Eagle brand in 1998.
When the Plymouth brand was retired in 2001, Chrysler became a stand-alone division of DaimlerChrysler AG, the company formed by the merger of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz. Recently, however, the Chrysler Group has been making efforts to consolidate the Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep brands into one sales unit, while maintaining separate brand identity.
During the 1980s the Chrysler division expanded its product line and target markets by marketing upscale versions of the Chrysler K platform. The Chrysler brand took on a similar role as Oldsmobile, Buick, or Acura by offering entry-level luxury cars of various types and sizes. After the Plymouth line of cars (which were sold in car dealerships alongside the Chrysler brand) were discontinued in 2001, the Chrysler division marketed everything from economy cars such as the PT Cruiser to the limited production Prowler sports car alongside the brand's traditional upscale models such as the 300 and LHS.
Following Fiat's acquisition of a 20% stake in Chrysler LLC, Fiat set a long-term goal of reviving Chrysler as a full luxury brand to compete again with Cadillac and other luxury brands. The company stated in October 2009 that future plans for Chrysler brand vehicles include closer cooperation and shared development between Chrysler and Lancia, an upscale Italian automaker within the Fiat Group. In 2011, the brand's winged emblem was modified, eliminating the historic blue ribbon center which dated from the 1930s, replacing it with a blue-backed "Chrysler" nameplate. In May of 2014, Fiat-Chrysler announced it would make the brand a mainstream brand with premium features, similar to GM's Buick, in contrast to earlier statements of moving the full line into the luxury market.
Current Chrysler line-up
The North America Chrysler line-up consists of:
- Chrysler 200 (2011–present)
- Chrysler 300 (1955–1971, 1999–present)
- Chrysler Town & Country (1941–1988, 1990–present)
- Chrysler Ypsilon (2011–present; UK, Ireland and Japan only) (rebadged Lancia Ypsilon)
- Chrysler Delta (2011–present; UK and Ireland only) (rebadged Lancia Delta)
- Chrysler 300 (1999–present; select countries)
- Chrysler Grand Voyager (1988–present; select countries)
Past Chrysler models sold in the United States:
Chrysler's prior slogan was "Imported from Detroit", which debuted in early 2011. The current slogan, in an effort to modernize and globalize the brand, has been changed to "America's Import".
- "Chrysler Group Media Website". media.chrysler.com. March 25, 2014. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
- "Chrysler dealers OK with consolidation plan" in Automotive News, February 18, 2008. Accessed May 1, 2008.
- "REPORT: Fiat wants Chrysler to be a Cadillac Competitor". autoblog.com. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
- "Lancia, Chrysler to share products". Leftlanenews.com. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
- Priddle, Alisa; Snavely, Brent; Walsh, Tom (May 6, 2014). "Chrysler brand goes mainstream, adds compact". USA Today. Photo: Scott Olson Getty Images (Tysons Corner, VA: Gannett). Detroit Free Press. ISSN 0734-7456. Archived from the original on May 7, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
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