who-owns-crysler

Who Owns Chrysler?

In June 2009, Crysler emerged from bankruptcy proceedings and became owned by the U.S. and Canadian governments, the United Auto Workers (UAW) pension fund, and the Italian holding company FIAT S.p.A. Later FIAT took over a majority stake, thus creating an holding company called FIAT Chrysler Automobiles. In 2021, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group merged to form Stellantis. Therefore, today, Crysler is part of Stellantis, which generated nearly €180 billion in revenue in 2022, with a net profit of €16.78 billion.

Introducing the Crysler brand

Chrysler is an American automobile manufacturer founded in 1925 by Walter Chrysler. The company has produced a range of vehicles over the decades such as sedans, SUVs, and minivans. One of Chrysler’s most significant achievements was the development of the HEMI engine in the 1950s which revolutionized high-performance engines.

Chrysler is one of the so-called “Big Three” American auto manufacturers (alongside General Motors and Ford) that enjoy a dominant position in the car and truck market and have influenced the global automotive industry.

Chrysler is now owned by Stellantis North America, a subsidiary of multinational automotive company Stellantis that also sells Dodge, Jeep, and Ram-branded vehicles. With that in mind, let’s discuss some of Chrysler’s ownership history below.

Government bailout

Like GM and Ford, the oil crisis of 1973 exposed Chrysler and its fleet of relatively expensive vehicles that were not terribly fuel efficient. With consumers looking for a more economical option, many flocked to compact, fuel-efficient Japanese models.

A second oil crisis in 1979 had Chrysler teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, but CEO Lee Iacocca made the then-bold move to secure a $1.5 billion loan from the U.S. Government. Iacocca then trimmed the company’s balance sheet and managed to repay the loan in 1983 well in advance of the deadline.

He later introduced the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager – the first family-oriented mini-vans – which would become a sales leader for the next quarter of a century. He also revived the Jeep brand and was involved in various partnerships and acquisitions.

Iacocca retires

Iacocca retired in 1992 and was replaced by Robert Eaton. The president of GM Europe was later persuaded to embark on a new direction for Chrysler which saw it merge with Daimler AG in 1998 as part of a $38 billion stock swap.

While the deal was announced as the coming together of two equal companies, many posited that the German company was taking over Chrysler and in any case, a clash of cultures and objectives would make the partnership untenable.

Second bailout and new owners

Chrysler was impacted by the 2008 GFC and once more turned to the U.S. Government to survive. The company continued to operate via a combination of talks with creditors and Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. 

In June 2009, the company emerged from bankruptcy proceedings and became owned by the U.S. and Canadian governments, the United Auto Workers (UAW) pension fund, and the Italian holding company Fiat S.p.A. 

As part of the deal, Fiat took a 20% stake in Chrysler and most of its assets.

Chrysler was also restructured and became known as Chrysler Group LLC.

Fiat’s stake increased to 46% after helping the company pay back its government debt and became the majority owner in 2011.

Three years later, Fiat assumed full ownership after acquiring the final share of Chrysler owned by UAW.

When Fiat merged with PSA in 2021 in a $52 billion deal, Chrysler became a subsidiary of Stellantis – the world’s fourth-largest auto group.

Key takeaways:

  • Chrysler is an American automobile manufacturer founded in 1925 by Walter Chrysler. The company has produced a range of vehicles over the decades such as sedans, SUVs, and minivans. Chrysler is one of the big three manufacturers with GM and Ford.
  • Chrysler is now owned by Stellantis North America, a subsidiary of multinational automotive company Stellantis that also sells Dodge, Jeep, and Ram-branded vehicles.
  • Prior to Stellantis, Chrysler merged with Daimler AG in a deal many saw as a takeover by the German brand. After the 2008 GFC, Chrysler became part-owned by two North American governments, an auto workers union, and Fiat. 

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