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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

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    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

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  3. Star Car

    Star Car Member

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    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
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    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

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    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).
     

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