Walter Chrysler

Walter P. Chrysler was a self-taught, intuitive engineer with a great passion for machinery. His father Henry, a railroad engineer, wanted his son in college but young Walter began climbing the ladder in railroad engineering business instead.

After 20 years, he developed a reputation for his creative touch and enthusiastic approach towards plant efficiency. In 1908 Chrysler saw a car that he had to have - the Locomobile.

He put his life savings and loaned a substantial amount of money to gather $5,000 needed to buy the vehicle. At the time Walter didn't know how to drive, so he spent time studying the mechanics, taking it apart and putting it back together again.

After three months, when he decided to take a ride for the first time Walter Chrysler actually ran into the neighbor's ditch and garden.

Chrysler entered the automobile industry at the age of 36, through Charles Nash, president of General Motors. He was offered a job as the manager of the Buick plant in Flint, Michigan. The pay was a half of what he earned at the time, but the opportunity was motive enough. In the following years, Walter completely changed Buick's manufacturing system, introduced assembly line processes and tripled production.

At General Motors William C. Durant and Chrysler were friends, but clashed frequently over policy. They were both men of strong personalities, who had dramatically different views on over expenditures. Walter preffered to cut costs and maintain them under close watch, securing the long term production of affordable cars. On the other hand, Durant was a dreamer who believed that spending more money could lead to greater growth rates.

Finally, Chrysler left the company in 1920 which eventually led to the creation of the Chrysler Corporation. His quality engineering and a sense of style continued to produce success after success, making his name a global brand in the automobile industry.

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