Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The NMS Interview: Walter Chrysler

Walter Chrysler's Long Island home

Reporting to you from Kings Point NY, I'm sitting here talking to the ghost of Walter Chrysler on the grounds of what was his lovely home on the north shore of Long Island. Walter hasn't exactly been keeping up with the auto industry since he left us in the 1940s, but with his experience as one of the founders of the modern automotive industry, we thought we'd have a little chat on the state of the business today. 

NMS: Walter, how's it going
WC: Well, I don't know, you tell me, it's 2021 you say?

NMS: Yes, and we'd like to ask your thoughts on the FCA merger with PSA. 
WC: FCA?  PSA? What is that? A disease I died from?

NMS: No Walter, PSA, now that's the French firm Peugeot, that includes Citroen. 
WC: Oh, French cars, they're nice enough I suppose. 

NMS: Well specifically, they just merged with FCA. 
WC: You're going to have to throw me a bone here, what exactly is FCA again? Did you run out of real names and words in the future and have to call everything by it's initials?

NMS: Oh, sorry. FCA is the FIAT-Chrysler-Automobile company formed when FIAT bought your old business during a world wide economic problem.
WC: (coughs, shakes his head) Some Italians bought MY company? They used to have a FIAT factory just north of New York City, but I thought they closed?  An American company bought by Europeans. Did the owner lose a bet, or lose it in a poker game or something?

NMS: Well Walter, it's a long story, but car companies around the world have combined, merged, and combined again. Don't ask about Mercedes-Chrysler, it's a long story. 
WC: What? Wait? Mercedes? The Germans? I knew it, we lost a bet with someone for sure! Darn it, one day you've just built the world's tallest building, my Chrysler building, and then a month or two later, BAM! Someone comes along with an Empire State Building! Well, anyway, you say the Germans merged with my company too? What other crazy things have been going on? I suppose they make cars in Japan now too! 

NMS: Moving on, we now have a newly named company Stellantis that is made up of your firm Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, FIAT, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Citroen, DS, and Lancia.
WC: OK, look, I get it, things change. Now that I look around my house here, just why are all these people in uniform here? Are they the groundskeepers?

NMS: No Mr. Chrysler, your house is now part of the US Merchant Marine Academy. 
WC: Really? Wow. Can I get on one of their ships and sail out of here now? 

NMS: Now Mr. Chrysler, we've barely gotten started, and we haven't even talked about Stellantis yet. 
WC: You're asking the questions mister, go ahead. 
NMS: So, what do you think about it? 
WC: About WHAT? Is this one of those "who's on first" things? Those Abbot and Costello fellows really make me laugh!

NMS: What we're trying to explain is that a group of French auto makers have just combined with the FIAT and Chrysler group of US and Italian car makers to form a very large company, and instead of picking the name Chrysler, or FIAT, or Peugeot, they used a new name, Stellantis. 
WC: That is amazing, so many brands combined together, it's kind of crazy when things you are so used to change. It's as if the Brooklyn Dodgers weren't in Brooklyn!  Just unimaginable. 

NMS: Look, we can update you on baseball later, what are your thoughts about this new giant car company?
WC: OK, look, if we're going to talk about something, you could at least come up with something new! I mean, for Pete's sake, I started my own company after running Buick for GM, and then turning around Willys-Overland, and all of that was just a warm-up act! I bought Maxwell-Chalmers and turned them into Chrysler, and then joined with the Dodge Brothers. Did you forget that I started Plymouth and DeSoto too? Look sonny-boy, if you think I'm going to be impressed with a couple of car companies working together, you've got another think coming! I said good-day sir!

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