AF: Historical Query on Chrysler setting up UK/European branches | Allpar Forums
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Historical Query on Chrysler setting up UK/European branches

Discussion in 'Outside North America' started by Star Car, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. Star Car

    Star Car Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Likes:
    0
    Apart from Chrysler’s pre-war efforts at selling the Star Car prototypes to interested parties in the UK and Chrysler’s later acquisition of the Rootes Group (along with Simca, Barreiros, etc), interested to know whether pre-war/post-war Chrysler tried to set-up UK branches (akin to Ford) whether from the ground up or from acquiring another carmaker (akin to GM with Vauxhall)?

    In the case of acquiring an existing carmaker for example did Chrysler ever attempt to acquire Jowett Cars, Borgward Group or perhaps even pre-war pre-Rootes Singer Motors, etc?
     
  2. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2003
    Messages:
    5,848
    Likes:
    615
  3. Star Car

    Star Car Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Likes:
    0
    The link in question does not mentioning anything new nor of any aborted plans Chrysler had to follow GM and Ford in establishing a presence in the UK/Europe (pre-Simca/Rootes).
     
  4. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
    Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    20,646
    Likes:
    3,947
    I believe that one of these small, postwar compact Plymouth concepts (the Cadet?) were on display in the basement of the Chrysler museum.
    Chrysler Small Cars that didn't make it (at https://www.allpar.com/history/mopar/small-cars.html )
    There was some factory collaboration with European, Australian and South African subsidaries. The Bristol, Jensen and Dual-Ghia used Chrysler V8 engines.
    Big cars still made big money here. Chrysler may have still been wary about jumping in with a radically different car after being stung by the Airflow. Who knows? These cars may have been embraced by other markets looking for investment. The big3 were spooked by downsizing.
    The Simca was quirky and the salesperson would rather sell you a Dart or Valiant. I liked the Plymouth Cricket when it came out, it was unsuccessful here and was dropped. The Dodge Colt caught on. Later. the Talbot Horizon changed the direction of the company to 4-cyl, FWD under Lee Iacocca.
     
  5. Star Car

    Star Car Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Likes:
    0
    The Star Car could have potentially been viable had it appeared earlier with a flat-4 engine (in place of the radial unit) to spearhead Chrysler's pre-war presence in the UK, after all there was some individual interest in the UK with the original Star Car that ultimately did not go anywhere.

    While Chrysler appearing had no interest in Jowett Cars, it is worth mentioning the A-106 project has some similarities (e.g. flat-four RWD, etc) to what Jowett themselves were producing (with the Javelin and Jupiter / R4) and in tandem with a properly developed Star Car could have allowed for an earlier Chrysler UK (sans Rootes) to evolve in a different direction prior to being integrated with Simca/etc.

    Also to recall reading of Chrysler (along with BMC) expressing interest at acquiring Borgward, which might have been a better fit with Simca as part of Chrysler Europe compared to Rootes. Especially since aspects of various Borgward projects would reputedly appear on the Glas 1700 and BMW M10 engine, the latter is particularly interesting given the engineers of what became the Simca Type 180 engine apparently drew inspiration from the BMW M10 (which itself formed the basis of the M30 and a few lost projects) during its development (along with the Fiat Twin-Cam before the bean-counters had their way).
     
  6. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
    Staff Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2001
    Messages:
    34,038
    Likes:
    18,796
    Try Rootes-Chrysler.co.uk - covering Chrysler Europe, Rootes Group, and Talbot cars (at https://www.rootes-chrysler.co.uk )

    The Star car would probably have been very successful had someone else been running the company...

    As far as I know, Chrysler’s presence in Europe was basically:
    1) Shipping Plymouths disguised as Dodges and such, often with smaller engines than in the US, and doing some local manufacturing in the Netherlands after a while
    2) Selling locally produced or imported Valiants throughout Europe - they were pretty successful
    3) Buying SIMCA and Rootes Group and Barreiros (Spain) - I think Commer was part of Rootes but I'm not sure now

    If you look on Allpar, look for an article on Plodges (A Plymouth by Any Other Name) which has some of the pre-Valiant history. The Rootes link for specific British stuff but it's Rootes, not Chrysler, focused.

    If anyone wanted to collaborate on a book on Chrysler in the UK, count me in...
     
  7. Star Car

    Star Car Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Likes:
    0
    Am aware what happened historically as far as Chrysler's presence in Europe in concerned, just interested in exploring how Chrysler could have improved their presence on the other side of the Atlantic at a roughly similar level to its rivals European operations whilst allowing for earlier and easier integration of Chrysler's European operations.

    Whilst Chrysler would still have to deal with its own financial and other issues in the US, its European operations could have been successful in the right circumstances though at best it would have depended on some combination of post-war Chrysler taking over Borgward and merging it with Simca possibly in tandem with an earlier more viable pre-war Star Car built in the UK (if not also the US) or post-war acquisition of Jowett (that is also merged with Simca).

    There was nothing inherently wrong with Chrysler acquiring Rootes (which indeed included Commer) in the right circumstances, however the latter's pre-existing issues (that could have been resolved) made it difficult to for Chrysler to integrate Rootes with Simca and ultimately contributed to the fall of Chrysler Europe and its sell off to PSA.

    Whereas even an alternate scenario where Chrysler acquires Borgward at minimum (in place of Rootes) would have allowed Chrysler to easily integrate Borgward with Simca. For example the Borgward P100 could have formed a suitable basis for a quick stop-gap replacement of the Simca Vedette, whilst the new unbuilt Borgward Isabella known as the Borgward P90 prototype was comparable to the Simca 1300/1500 (with some describing the new Isabella / P90 prototype as roughly akin to a Glas 1700 with a BMW M10-like engine similar to the later Glas-derived South African built BMW 1800SA / BMW 2000SA). At minimum the 1.6 Borgward P90 OHC could have been utilized in the Simca 1300/1500 above the Fiat-derived units of the 1300/1500.

    The stillborn Hansa 1300 prototype (which was to replace the Hansa 1100) meanwhile that was to feature a 1.3-litre fuel-injected flat-4 putting out 90 hp could have slotted above the Simca 1100, with any common replacement ditching the otherwise decent Hansa flat-4 on grounds of cost. The same also applying to the Borgward Arabella and Simca 1000 ideally being replaced by the Mini-like Simca 936 prototype.

    So an alternate Chrysler Europe's (plus Borgward sans Rootes) range in the 1960s would look like the following:

    Simca 1000 / Borgward Arabella

    Simca 1100 / Borgward Hansa 1300

    Simca 1300 & 1500 / Borgward P90 1.6 OHC

    Simca Vedette (French production ended in 1961) / Borgward P100 (would have likely used M10-like 1.6 P90 OHC-derived 2.4-litre+ inline-6 if not some additional potential to utilize Chrysler's LA V8 or an earlier LA V8-based V6, etc)
     

Share This Page

Loading...
 We are not affiliated with FCA. We make no claims regarding validity or accuracy of information or advice. Copyright © VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.