September 20, 2004

Today in Automotive History 1979

Today in Automotive History

1979 The Chrysler Comeback Kid

After being fired from the Ford presidency, Lee Iacocca was elected chairman of the failing Chrysler Corporation. Despite dire predictions from his critics, Iacocca succeeded in rebuilding Chrysler through layoffs, cutbacks, hard-selling advertising, and a government loan guarantee. He became the epitome of the "can-do" executive, famous for his strong work ethic and no-nonsense style. During Chrysler's crisis years, Iacocca reduced his salary to $1 per year to set an example for the rest of the company, explaining that everyone must be willing to sacrifice a little in order for Chrysler to survive. By 1983, Chrysler had moved from the verge of bankruptcy to a competitive force in the automobile market, paying back all of its government loans in less than four years. "We at Chrysler borrow money the old- fashioned way. We pay it back," said Iacocca. His autobiography Iacocca became a best-seller in 1984, breaking all records for a business book.

Posted by Quality Weenie at September 20, 2004 08:17 AM