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Lee Iacocca becomes Head of Chrysler 33 Years Ago

Thirty-three years ago this September 20, Lee Iacocca, took the helm of the floundering automaker, Chrysler.

Iacocca came to Chrysler after being fired at Ford. Chrysler at that time, 1978 and 1979, was a car maker that was losing nearly $1 billion a year. Talking about being made President of Chrysler, Iacocca said, “I knew I was in really deep trouble.” To get out of the hole the American automaker had dug for itself by building cars folks didn’t want, Iacocca did what any self-respecting American car industry executive would do. He asked for a tax-payer bailout.

Chrysler received somewhere around $1.5 billion from the U.S. government in what is now called a successful rescue and a harbinger of things to come.

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