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by Gerard Wilson
This is the sixth article in a series. For details on production records and how these numbers were calculated, see the first article in this series, “Plymouth U.S. Production Figures 1946-2001.”
These tables are not definitive or fully accurate. They are the best I could do with the information which I was able to uncover. I would welcome correspondence with anyone who is interested in this material and can correct any errors or misinformation on my part.
— Gerard Wilson, May 2013
Chrysler bought American Motors Corporation in 1986, including two assembly plants in Canada, and dealer networks throughout Canada and the United States. Those networks were selling Eagle passenger cars and Jeep utility vehicles; Chrysler tried to use these assets to build a third dealer network, in addition to the Dodge and Chrysler-Plymouth networks, but in spite of a massive ten year investment, the Eagle franchise was phased out in 1997. Jeep franchises were offered Chrysler-Plymouth franchises or combined with existing Chrysler-Plymouth dealers, depending upon individual situations.
AMC had introduced the Eagle in 1980 by adapting the Jeep four wheel drive system to fit the Concord and Spirit passenger cars. This was a landmark first, the first domestically produced four wheel drive passenger car. However, the Eagle engine and bodyshell were outdated, and AMC did not have the resources to develop replacements. After the Chrysler acquisition, a final run of AMC “Eagle 30” sedans and wagons were built in the fall of 1987. AMC (Canada) had built 99,953 Eagle 30s between 1981 and 1987, so in total 102,192 were built.
Renault (of France) acquired a controlling interest in AMC during 1982, intending to use it as a manufacturing and sales base for the U.S. market. They had adapted the Renault 30 for North American sale and had built a new facility in Bramlea Ontario to sell it. Chrysler put the car into production as the Eagle Premier, powered by a European V6, and sold it through the Jeep-Eagle networks in both countries, adding a Dodge Monaco as well when Premier sales were insufficient. Neither was successful.
The LH cars were in great demand at Dodge and Chrysler dealers, but the Eagle Vision languished, with even fewer units built than the Premier. The Vision was priced in between the Dodge and Chrysler LH cars. All three were excellent vehicles, but the Vision did not offer much to draw customers from the more familiar brands; a planned second generation was converted at the last minute to the Chrysler 300M (some factory photos of the 300M with Eagle badging leaked out afterwards).
Model year production is compiled from monthly totals and changeover dates.
Also see: AMC Eagle • Eagle Vision and other LH cars • Eagle Premier • Eagle Talon (US)
Also by Gerard Wilson: Chrysler 1945-48 • Chrysler 1949-52 • Chrysler 1953-54 • Chrysler 1955-56
and Production numbers and histories, 1946-onwards
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