© Dave Immel
Walter P. Chrysler
Walter Percy Chrysler (April 2, 1875 – August 18, 1940)
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Walter Percy Chrysler was born April 2, 1875 in Wamego, Kansas, the son of Anna Maria (née Breymann) and Henry Chrysler. Chrysler grew up in Ellis, Kansas where he became a Freemason and began his career as a machinist and railroad mechanic. Chrysler's automotive career began in 1911 when he received a summons to meet with James J. Storrow, a banker who was a director of ALCO and also an executive at General Motors.  General Motors had been taken over by creditors at that time and was managed by the bankers.  Storrow asked Chrysler if he had given any thought to automobile manufacture. Chrysler had been an auto enthusiast for over 5 years by then, and was very interested. Storrow arranged a meeting with Charles W. Nash, then president of the Buick Motor Company, who was looking for a smart production chief.  Chrysler, who had resigned from many railroading jobs over the years, made his final resignation from railroading to become works manager (in charge of production) at Buick in Flint, Michigan.  He found many ways to reduce the costs of production, such as putting an end to finishing automobile undercarriages with the same luxurious quality of finish that the body warranted. In 1916, William C. Durant, who founded General Motors in 1908, had retaken GM from the bankers.  Chrysler, who was closely tied to the bankers, submitted his resignation to Durant, then based in New York City. Durant took the first train to Flint to make an attempt to keep Chrysler at the helm of Buick.  Durant made the then-unheard of salary offer of $10,000 ($165,000 in today's dollars) a month for 3 years, with a $500,000 bonus at the end of each year, or $500,000 in stock.  Additionally, Chrysler would report directly to Durant, and would have full run of Buick without interference from anyone.  Apparently in shock, Chrysler asked Durant to repeat the offer, which he did. Chrysler immediately accepted. Chrysler ran Buick successfully for several more years. Not long after his three year contract was up, he resigned from his job as president of Buick in 1919. He did not agree with Durant's vision for the future of General Motors.  Durant paid Chrysler $10 million for his GM stock. Chrysler had started at Buick in 1911 for $6,000 a year, and left one of the richest men in America. Chrysler was then again hired by bankers.  This time his mission was to attempt a turnaround of the ailing Willys-Overland Motor Company in Toledo, Ohio.  He demanded, and got, a salary of $1 million a year for 2 years, an astonishing amount at that time. When Chrysler left Willys in 1921 after an unsuccessful attempt to take control from John Willys, he acquired a controlling interest in the ailing Maxwell Motor Company.  Chrysler phased out Maxwell and absorbed it into his new firm, the Chrysler Corporation, in 1925. In addition to his namesake car company, Plymouth and DeSoto marques were created, and in 1928 Chrysler purchased Dodge. The same year he financed the construction of the Chrysler Building in New York City, which was completed in 1930. Chrysler was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year for 1928.
YourCarSalesman.com Dave Immel’s website
In association with The Lynch Automotive Group 282 E. Wolf Run, Mukwonago WI 53149 | 262-378-3595
© Dave Immel
Dave Immel’s website In association with The Lynch  Automotive Group 282 E. Wolf Run, Mukwonago WI 53149 262-378-3595
Walter P. Chrysler
Walter Percy Chrysler (April 2, 1875 – August 18, 1940)
Back to main news page
Walter Percy Chrysler was born April 2, 1875 in Wamego, Kansas, the son of Anna Maria (née Breymann) and Henry Chrysler. Chrysler grew up in Ellis, Kansas where he became a Freemason and began his career as a machinist and railroad mechanic. Chrysler's automotive career began in 1911 when he received a summons to meet with James J. Storrow, a banker who was a director of ALCO and also an executive at General Motors.  General Motors had been taken over by creditors at that time and was managed by the bankers.  Storrow asked Chrysler if he had given any thought to automobile manufacture. Chrysler had been an auto enthusiast for over 5 years by then, and was very interested. Storrow arranged a meeting with Charles W. Nash, then president of the Company, who was looking for a smart production chief.  Chrysler, who had resigned from many railroading jobs over the years, made his final resignation from railroading to become works manager (in charge of production) at Buick in Flint, Michigan.  He found many ways to reduce the costs of production, such as putting an end to finishing automobile undercarriages with the same luxurious quality of finish that the body warranted. In 1916, William C. Durant, who founded General Motors in 1908, had retaken GM from the bankers.  Chrysler, who was closely tied to the bankers, submitted his resignation to Durant, then based in New York City. Durant took the first train to Flint to make an attempt to keep Chrysler at the helm of Buick.  Durant made the then-unheard of salary offer of $10,000 ($165,000 in today's dollars) a month for 3 years, with a $500,000 bonus at the end of each year, or $500,000 in stock.  Additionally, Chrysler would report directly to Durant, and would have full run of Buick without interference from anyone.  Apparently in shock, Chrysler asked Durant to repeat the offer, which he did. Chrysler immediately accepted. Chrysler ran Buick successfully for several more years. Not long after his three year contract was up, he resigned from his job as president of Buick in 1919. He did not agree with Durant's vision for the future of General Motors.  Durant paid Chrysler $10 million for his GM stock. Chrysler had started at Buick in 1911 for $6,000 a year, and left one of the richest men in America. Chrysler was then again hired by bankers.  This time his mission was to attempt a turnaround of the ailing Ohio.  He demanded, and got, a salary of $1 million a year for 2 years, an astonishing amount at that time. When Chrysler left Willys in 1921 after an unsuccessful attempt to take control from John Willys, he acquired a controlling interest in the ailing Maxwell Motor Company.  Chrysler phased out Maxwell and absorbed it into his new firm, the Chrysler Corporation, in 1925. In addition to his namesake car company, Plymouth and DeSoto marques were created, and in 1928 Chrysler purchased Dodge. The same year he financed the construction of the Chrysler Building in New York City, which was completed in 1930. Chrysler was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year for 1928.
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