Walter Chrysler founded Chrysler Corporation in 1925 from the remains of the Maxwell Motor Company. He expanded the company in 1928 with the acquisition of Fargo Trucks and Dodge Brothers, and the creation of the Plymouth and DeSoto brands.
Facing postwar declines in market share, productivity, and profitability, as GM and Ford were growing, Chrysler borrowed $250 million in 1954 to pay for expansion and updated car designs.
In the 1960s the company expanded into Europe, by taking control of French, British and Spanish auto companies; Chrysler Europe was sold in 1978 to PSA Peugeot Citroën for $1.
Chrysler struggled through the 1970s to adapt to changing markets, increased US import competition, and safety and environmental regulation. The company began an engineering partnership with Mitsubishi Motors, and began selling Mitsubishi vehicles branded as Dodge and Plymouth in North America. By the late 1970s, Chrysler was on the verge of bankruptcy. It was saved by $1.5 billion in loan guarantees from the US government.
In 1987, Chrysler acquired American Motors Corporation (AMC), which brought the profitable Jeep brand under the Chrysler umbrella.
In 1998, Chrysler merged with German automaker Daimler-Benz AG to form DaimlerChrysler; the merger proved contentious with investors. As a result, Chrysler was sold to Cerberus Capital Management and renamed Chrysler LLC in 2007.
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