After an 89-year run, the illustrious name of Chrysler is no more. Today, the automaker’s parent Fiat officially changed its name to FCA US LLC.
Eighty-nine years after it emerged from the ashes of the Maxwell Motor Co., Chrysler Corporation is no more.
Just this morning, the automaker, part of Fiat since 2009 when the Italian car company was allowed to buy a stake in Chrysler as part of the bailout plans for the then-troubled US auto manufacturer, officially changed its name to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC or FCA US LLC.
Today’s action ends a rather illustrious page in the annals of automotive history. Though the new name continues to use Chrysler as a central part, the automaker is no longer officially the automaker that was founded in 1926 by Walter Chrysler.
Chrysler, who had a reputation for turning auto manufacturers around, was brought in to rebuild the ailing Maxwell-Chalmers Motor Co. in the early 1920s. In 1923, Chalmers auto manufacturing was officially halted, according to Wikipedia.
Chrysler then launched the Chrysler 70, built by Maxwell until 1926, when the company was reorganized into the Chrysler Motor Corp. And, today, Chrysler officially went into the history books.
Fortunately, says the carconnection.com, the name change is a technicality because the automaker will remain in Auburn Hills, MI. Further, it plans to continue the names of its product lines, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep.
The name change is not really a surprise. Fiat, Chrysler’s parent, telegraphed its intent to change the names of all of its corporate pieces in October when it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. At that time, the parent firm Fiat SpA, changed its name to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. It also became a Dutch-registered firm. Now, the change has been made to Chrysler.
During its near-90-year run, the Chrysler Corp. has produced some iconic models. For example, the Airflow in 1935, a streamlined coupe whose passenger compartment sat well back on the frame emphasizing its rounded features, was the automaker’s attempt at making an aerodynamically sound vehicle. Later, the automaker would make its famed Imperial and 300.
During the pony car wars of the 1960s, Chrysler was famed for its development of the hemi engine, a descendant of the famed wedge powerplant, which became the heart of the Mopar (the nickname the automaker was given) offerings. This engine made vehicles like the Dodge Charger and Plymouth Super Bee competitive with the likes of the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet’s Camaro.
Marc Stern has spent more than 40 years in and around cars. His work has included answering motorist questions, motor vehicle reviews and evaluation and writing dealers, consumer and industry news pieces. In addition, Mr. Stern has contributed to well-known automotive publications including Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek and Old Cars Weekly, among others.