1913 -- United States Motor
Company failed, due to conflict between two of its backers, who
also had a financial interest in General Motors. The Maxwell
assets were then purchased by Walter Flanders, who reorganized the
company as the Maxwell Motor Company, Inc., and continued to build
the popular Maxwell cars, sales of which ranked 5th in N.A.C.C.
ratings. The Maxwell facilities included plants at Newcastle,
Dayton and Highland Park, the latter consisting of a small, two
story brick office building on Oakland Avenue and three factory
buildings that had been built in 1909. One of these buildings
still survives as the Engineering Road Test Garage (Ed. Note: This
building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) .
1917 -- Maxwell Motor Company
leased the Chalmers Motor Company's Jefferson Avenue Plant, to
augment their Highland Park facilities, both of which were needed
by Maxwell to fill World War I government orders.
1920 -- Maxwell Motor
Company, Inc., owing some $43,000,000 was on the verge of
bankruptcy and Walter P. Chrysler, who had retired as President of
Buick and vice-president of General Motors, was asked to head-up a
reorganization committee, which arranged for the purchase of the
combined assets of Maxwell and Chalmers -- and formed Maxwell
Motor Corporation, effective May 1921. Mr. Chrysler became
Chairman of the Board.
1921 -- Maxwell Motor
Corporation continued to build the Chalmers car and an improved
Maxwell car, advertised as the "Good Maxwell."
1923 -- Walter Chrysler
brought Fred Zeder, Owen Skelton and Carl Breer into the
organization, as the nucleus of a new Engineering Department - and
while continuing to build the Good Maxwell at Highland Park,
commenced production of pilot models of the Chrysler Six in the
Jefferson Ave. Plant.
1924 -- The Chrysler Six was
introduced to the public in January 1924 during the National Auto
Show in New York City, where it was very favorably received,
getting off to a good start with production of 32,000 units in the
The Chrysler Corporation was
organized effective June 6, 1925, replacing the Maxwell Motor
Corporation -- and the Maxwell car was discontinued. A new four-
cylinder car, the Chrysler Four, went into production in June at
the Highland Park Plant, as a companion car to the Chrysler Six,
which was built at the Jefferson Avenue Plant.
1926 -- Chrysler introduced
its first big, luxury car - the Imperial "80" to round out its
line, along with the Chrysler "50", the "60" and the "70"
1928 -- In June, Chrysler
commenced production of the Plymouth car, at Highland Park,
replacing the 4-cylinder Chrysler. In July they also started
production on a new light six to be known as the DeSoto for
distribution though a new DeSoto dealer organization.
In July 1928, Chrysler Corp.
also purchased Dodge Brothers, INC., from the New York banking
firm of Dillon, Read & Co., for $170,000,000.00 The bankers had
purchased the company from Dodge family a few years earlier, after
the death of the two Dodge brothers. Dodge became a division of
In 1928, Chrysler Corporation
also established separate divisions for distribution of various
lines of cars: Plymouth Motor Corporation, Dodge Brothers
Corporation, DeSoto Motor Corporation and the Chrysler Sales
Corporation. The Fargo Motor Corp. was also organized to handle
national fleet business and the following year Chrysler Motors
Parts Corp was formed to merchandise parts for all of the
Corporation's lines. Chrysler Export Corp., had been organized in
1930 -- The Plymouth
Franchise, which had been handled by Chrysler Division dealers was
also given to Dodge and DeSoto dealers, as well as Chrysler
dealers, thereby providing approximately 10,000 outlets for