Chrysler Media Website Tue, May 21, 2024 07:35:01 EDT Chrysler
Contact: Shawn  Morgan

Christina  Koczara

Company Historical Timeline

  • Explore the company's history from the 1800s to 2018
2014 - 2018
In early 2014, Fiat Group acquires 100 percent ownership in Chrysler Group, paving the way to complete the union between the two groups in both financial and technical terms. The merger of an Italian company and an American company creates a multinational organization that operates in more than 140 countries and employs nearly 236,000 people. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles unveils the Group’s strategic plan for 2014-2018. This marks the beginning of a new phase for the now fully integrated global automaker, which pursues its ambitious strategic objectives while consistently delivering on the key financial targets set out in the plan.

Michael Manley is appointed Chief Executive Officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and Chief Operating Officer of the NAFTA region on July 21, 2018.

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.

In early 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 New York Stock Exchange 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 percent. 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.

2009 – 2013
Fiat Group and Chrysler Group entered into a global strategic alliance in mid-2009, launching a period of profound changes for both groups. Synergies included optimization of the respective manufacturing footprints and global supplier base, sharing of technologies and access to new markets. Chrysler Group achieved 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, China.

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 percent.

On January 1, 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 percent.

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 10, Fiat Group and Chrysler Group LLC announce a global strategic alliance, with Fiat taking an initial 20 percent ownership interest in Chrysler, while the VEBA Trust, U.S. Treasury and Canadian government hold the remaining interests. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is also appointed Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler Group LLC.

Dodge and Ram Truck split to become separate, stand-alone brands, allowing each to focus on its own, distinct customers.

2000 – 2008
Even with ownership changes, new models and new power plants continued to be introduced. The Charger, Challenger and 300 nameplates were reintroduced, as was the third-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 reintroduces the HEMI engine to production cars.

1990 – 2000
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 customers expected from vehicles' appearances. Strong sales grew the corporate workforce to more than 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.

1980 – 1990
Following a decade of turbulence, the Chrysler Corporation saw a decade of growth and innovation. Back on firm financial ground, the company introduced a series of popular vehicles based on the K platform and created an entirely new segment in the market, the minivan.

The Dodge Viper Concept car is introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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.

1970 – 1980
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 car era and to 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 turnaround

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 to 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.

1960 – 1970
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 more than 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-size 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.

Unibody design is introduced on all Dodge full-size models.

The alternator is also introduced, a major advancement in automotive electronics and an industry first.

1950 – 1960
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.

1940 – 1950
The production needs of the war effort drove the company for most of the 1940s. The Chrysler Corporation made hundreds of different products, including trucks, tanks, aircraft engines and billions of rounds of ammunition. The Jeep brand was created at Willys-Overland before the war and switched 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.

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 U.S. government due to its versatility and utility.

1942 - 1945
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.

1930 – 1940
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 survived 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.

1920 – 1930
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.

1910 – 1920
The Dodge Brothers expand on their success as a major parts supplier to become one of the largest manufacturers 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 is hired by Charles Nash as Works Manager for the Buick Motor Company in Flint, Michigan.

The Dodge Brothers build a new plant in Hamtramck, Michigan.

1900 – 1910
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 to 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 more than 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 1800s 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.


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