Riding the Roller Coaster: A History of the Chrysler Corporation

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Wayne State University Press, 2003 - Business & Economics - 385 pages
3 Reviews

From the Chrysler Six of 1924 to the front-wheel-drive vehicles of the 70s and 80s to the minivan, Chrysler boasts an impressive list of technological "firsts." But even though the company has catered well to a variety of consumers, it has come to the brink of financial ruin more than once in its seventy-five-year history.

How Chrysler has achieved monumental success and then managed colossal failure and sharp recovery is explained in Riding the Roller Coaster, a lively, unprecedented look at a major force in the American automobile industry since 1925. Charles Hyde tells the intriguing story behind Chrysler—its products, people, and performance over time—with particular focus on the company's management. He offers a lens through which the reader can view the U.S. auto industry from the perspective of the smallest of the automakers who, along with Ford and General Motors, make up the "Big Three."

The book covers Walter P. Chrysler's life and automotive career before 1925, when he founded the Chrysler Corporation, to 1998, when it merged with Daimler-Benz. Chrysler made a late entrance into the industry in 1925 when it emerged from Chalmers and Maxwell, and further grew when it absorbed Dodge Brothers and American Motors Corporation. The author traces this journey, explaining the company's leadership in automotive engineering, its styling successes and failures, its changing management, and its activities from auto racing to defense production to real estate. Throughout, the colorful personalities of its leaders—including Chrysler himself and Lee Iacocca—emerge as strong forces in the company's development, imparting a risk-taking mentality that gave the company its verve.

How Chrysler has achieved monumental success and then managed colossal failure and sharp recovery is explained in Riding the Roller Coaster, a lively, unprecedented look at a major force in the American automobile industry since 1925. Charles Hyde tells the intriguing story behind Chrysler—its products, people, and performance over time—with particular focus on the company's management. He offers a lens through which the reader can view the U.S. auto industry from the perspective of the smallest of the automakers who, along with Ford and General Motors, make up the "Big Three."

The book covers Walter P. Chrysler's life and automotive career before 1925, when he founded the Chrysler Corporation, to 1998, when it merged with Daimler-Benz. Chrysler made a late entrance into the industry in 1925 when it emerged from Chalmers and Maxwell, and further grew when it absorbed Dodge Brothers and American Motors Corporation. The author traces this journey, explaining the company's leadership in automotive engineering, its styling successes and failures, its changing management, and its activities from auto racing to defense production to real estate. Throughout, the colorful personalities of its leaders—including Chrysler himself and Lee Iacocca—emerge as strong forces in the company's development, imparting a risk-taking mentality that gave the company its verve.

 

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Review: Riding the Roller Coaster: A History of the Chrysler Corporation

User Review  - George Miller - Goodreads

Another great automotive book from the Wayne State University Press. This book traces the history of Walter P. Chrysler and the Chrysler Corporation from Walter's childhood though Chrysler's merger ... Read full review

Contents

The Early Life and Career of Walter Percy Chrysler
1
WillysOverland Chalmers and Maxwell
15
TABLES
25
Walter Chryslers Car and His Company 192427
29
The Dodge Brothers and Their Company
45
Dodge Brothers in the 1920s
61
Success and Struggle 192833
73
Chrysler in the Mid193Os
87
Postwar Recovery and Crisis 194550
149
The Tex Colbert Era 195061
161
The Fat Years 196168
187
The Lean Years 196979
207
Lee to the Rescue 197883
233
Lees Company 198492
263
Chrysler into DaimlerChrysler 19932002
295
Chrysler Corporation A Retrospective
315

Chrysler in the Late 1930s
111
Chrysler in the Second World War
127
NOTES
319
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Charles K. Hyde is a professor of History at Wayne State University Press and is author of many books, including The Northern Lights: Lighthouses of the Upper Great Lakes (Wayne State University Press, 1995) and Historic Highway Bridges of Michigan (Wayne State University Press, 1993).

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