Biographical profile of one of America's iconic automobile pioneers, Walter Chrysler, a man Time magazine described as a "doctor of sick automobile companies." The Chrysler Building in New York, topped by its world-famous art deco tower, an enduring symbol of America's industrial evolution, is also a standing tribute to its namesake. Walter Chrysler was a monumental pioneer in the automobile industry, helping Buick, General Motors, Willys and Maxwell survive before starting his own company with his innovative car, the Chrysler Six. Historian Mark Howell called it "second only to the Model T Ford in its revolutionary impact on the industry. Beyond a doubt, this car stands alone as the dividing line between what may be termed 'old' and 'modern' cars." Chrysler's services were so highly sought after by corporate executives and those financing the nascent automobile industry, they were willing to pay him a salary of $1 million a year, an unprecedented but well deserved tribute to man equally respected by management, labor and the public. He earned a fortune, acquired massive estates, yachts and all the accouterments of great wealth, but never seemed to succumb to his own success or to the excess of such success. In 1928 Time named Chrysler "man of the year." Perhaps more than ever, the American automobile industry needs the service of a man such as Walter Chrysler. His story is inspirational and instructive; America's current automobile executives would do well to study Walter Chrysler and what made him so successful--even during the Great Depression. [1,787-word Titans of Fortune article]
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Meta4 Press LLC
May 05, 2010
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