Chrysler was founded in 1925 by Walter Percy Chrysler. The company originates from the Maxwell Motor Company, which Walter P. Chrysler had joined in the early 1920s. In 1928, Chrysler Corporation expanded with the purchase of Dodge and the creation of the DeSoto and Plymouth divisions.
In 1924 Chrysler gained recognition by introducing four-wheel hydraulic brakes and followed up in 1926 with rubber engine mounts. It was also one of the first to take a scientific approach on aerodynamics, using a wind tunnel. The acquisition of proved strong business move when the Depression started. Strong sales generated by Dodge and Plymouth brands helped Chrysler survive. The manufacturer also gained notoriety for well-crafted cars in WWII.
The company has a history of economic turbulence, the first example was in the 70s when they sought $1.5 billion government bailout. Chrysler paid off the loans early in the 1980s, when it enjoyed success thanks to its minivans and a family of fuel-efficient autos called the K-cars.
In 1987, Chrysler bought the No. 4 automaker, American Motors Company (Jeep), but the subsequent consolidation prompted another financial crisis. This time however the crisis was solved by restructuring. In the 1990s, Chrysler came back again, with vehicles like the powerful Dodge Viper sports car, family oriented minivans and its Jeep lineup. In 1998, Chrysler was acquired by Daimler-Benz of Germany and spent the next eight years as part of DaimlerChrysler.
But its inconsistent financial results and pressure from German shareholders prompted Diamler to seek a buyer in 2007. It sold the company to Cerberus Capital Management, an investment fund, which jump kicked popularity of this American company again. Chrysler LLC unveiled a new company logo, a variation of the previously used Pentastar logo, and launched its new website on August 6, 2007. However, with recession Chrysler once again found itself looking for help from Congress. Rescue came in the form of Fiat and some $6 billion government intervention. In 2009 efforts culminated in a restructuring plan in which Fiat alliance would take a major role in the company’s management. The Obama administration worked diligently keep Chrysler from bankruptcy however efforts proved fruitless. In June 2009 Fiat took control of Chrysler as a part of Chrysler’s restructuring plan, and a new era of Chrysler was born. As part of this makeover all product models are getting a face-lift and this should be complete by 2012.
Chrysler has seen their fair share of logo redesigns since the company’s inception, beginning in 1925 with their classic medallion logo. Variations of the logo followed until 1955 when designers unveiled the “Forward Look” which was a modernistic look at brands future and got rid of medallion in favor of space age arrows. By 1962, the company adopted the Pentastar which soon became their most recognizable mark. Contrary to popular belief, it was not designed to symbolize the five divisions of the corporation at the time, Plymouth, Dodge, Chrysler, Imperial and Airtemp (Chrysler’s HVAC division). Chrysler’s trademark symbol, the Pentastar, was simple and easily recognizable from any perspective and appeared consistently on all brands from 1963 into the mid-1970s. The original medallion logo was later revived in 1996 and sprouted a pair of silver wings after introduction of Damlier Benz partnership. This logo remained in use from 1998- 2009. In order to differentiate the brands, Chrysler began phasing out the Pentastar in 1993.
The Chrysler brand revived the original gold logo in 1994, eventually adopting the full winged logo it had used until the 1950s. The last vehicle to carry the Pentastar was the 1996 minivan. Many dealerships still have signage and other traces still visually apparent to the Pentastar, where a five-Pentastar logo remains in use as the logo of the “Five Star Dealer” service rank. With new mergers the brand has recently taken on a more modern appearance of wings. This new logo will go on all vehicles but the corporate logo will remain the traditional Pentastar.