• Jun 10, 2008
Lee Iacocca is a smart man. Father of both the Mustang and the minivan, the well revered auto exec was Chrysler's savior in the '80s. As such, the current Chrysler LLC will be holding a rally to honor its former patriarch on June 26th at its headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI. The rally will be attended by employees and Iacocca himself (no word on whether his BFF Snoop Dogg will make an appearance). Today's Chrysler, of course, bears little resemblance to the strong automaker helmed by Iacocca in the '80s. During the '90s, Chrysler followed its Big 3 brothers down a path of big pickups and SUVs for which now they are all paying dearly, and Iacocca made no bones about his feelings toward Daimler after the German automaker cut and ran away from their "merger of equals", saying in an interview with BusinessWeek last year that "Daimler screwed Chrysler royally." We can't help but wonder how the 84-year-old would run his old automaker today if given the reigns, but chances are he wouldn't want them if they were offered.
[Source: The Detroit News, Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty]


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  • 22 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      A. Not the kind of rally I give a crap about.
      B. He practically invented the practice of not recalling deadly defective products unless the projected lawsuits will cost more than the recall. Honor the people that were injured or killed in Pinto fires. Not this guy.

      • 6 Years Ago
      "Lead, follow, or get out of the way". Iacocca is a legend while still alive. He is great as an American and great as an automotive genius. All the crap in the previous blogs just goes to prove that any ass***e with a computer these days, will unfortunately be read.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I say bring him back! Chrysler's problems can once again be solved with plenty of padded vinyl tops, opera lights, and fake-wire-wheel hub caps. Go, Lee!

      • 6 Years Ago
      Sorry, I don't like this man at all.
      He helped initialize the globalization of the auto industry
      by inviting Toyota and Honda to set up camp in the U.S. which destroyed the authenticity of owing a foreign made car and help hurt GM and other American brands.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Strong automaker helmed by Iacocca in the 80's ? "
      They were bailed out by the government and sold their K-car based products wrapped in the American flag.
      Today's Chrysler models are vastly superior than the K cars.
      Iacocca was a great salesman and spokesman.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thanks for showing us how misinformed you are.
        • 6 Years Ago
        20/20 hindsight.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They would've, it was just a safety net.
        • 6 Years Ago
        [It was a guarantee, not an actual loan, they didn't exactly bail them out - as for quality of the K-Cars... Well, there was a bumload of them... So, I dunno, really depends on your perception I guess.]
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not to stir the pot or anything... but by making comments like that, you are showing yourself to be a bit misinformed.

        The US Federal government did not "bail out" Chrysler, nor did they loan the company any money whatsoever. All the government did was guarantee the loans from private companies for Chrysler. Chrysler would have still gotten the capital that they needed... it just wouldn't have been on as good of terms as they got with the government as a guaranteer.

        On top of all that... Chrysler was able to pay back those loans 7 years ahead of schedule, thanks in no small part to the success of their minivan program... and the K-Car.

        As far as the K-Car goes... Of course they weren't the pinnacle of automotive design, but they were exactly what Chrysler needed at the time and more importantly - what the public wanted at the time, since they were good sellers. I'm not sure how old you are, so I have no idea if your notion of the K-Car stems from first hand accounts or merely anecdotal evidence... but taken for what it was meant to be, the K-Car was a fairly decent, reliable, fuel-efficient, and cheap (cheap to buy and cheap for Chrysler to produce) means of transportation - it was never meant to be anything else.

        Just thought I'd throw in a little perspective...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thanks AMGoff for the consideration.You point is well taken
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why am I misinformed?Had the government not stepped in Chrysler would not have been able to go on independently.
        You must be a big K car fan.Because everything He sold was K-car derivative.
        K cars weren't exactly the automotive pinnacle.
        Alot of people bought the hype and the K-cars.
        It wasn't until He left and they came out with the Viper and Ram that Chrysler saw some real legitmate resurgence in the eyes of auto enthusiasts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "We can't help but wonder how the 84-year-old would run his old automaker today if given the reigns,..."

      "REINS!"
      • 6 Years Ago
      Awesome, Lee Iacocca is an automotive hero to me.

      Do you think he has one of those K-platform LeBaron "Mark Cross" convertibles in his garage?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes.

        Lee owned the FIRST FWD LeBaron convertible which he had custom made for himself. it was only after many public comments that he decided that it should be a mass produced car.

        I understand he also has a 1992 Viper (which he had a LARGE hand in getting off the ground) and he also has an original Dodge Caravan to this day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      +1

      They built the Neon and it was VERY succesful. Why can't they at least MATCH the value of the Neon without going to an overseas builder?
      • 6 Years Ago
      "We can't help but wonder how the 84-year-old would run his old automaker today"

      On Charlie Rose, he said Chrysler should be focusing on building some good small cars. I would imagine he would be seeing to it that was done.

      And I think if he were at the helm, they wouldn't be needing to get Nissan to build the small car for them. But that's just my own personal speculation.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Iacocca FTW?

      Am I reading Digg?
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, you're reading John Neff.

        Perhaps you should start tuning in to the podcasts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Give the "SUVs + Pickups killed the US Automakers" a rest already. Toyota and Nissan cranked out a considerable number of even less efficient full size SUVs and Pickups since the 1990s.

      And, Chrysler was doing extremely well up to the point of the Diamler buyout.

      The problems Chrysler is having with its car line is directly attributable to the poor management of the Diamler executives.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Man Iacocca didn't invent the Minivan. Chrysler loves to say they did, but VW made the first mass produced minivan back in 1949. That grew to become the Microbus. Iacocca came up with the K-car which bloomed into a minivan.

      And now Chrysler's building VW's Routan minivan. How Ironic is that? It should be the otherway around.
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