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Chrysler, Plymouth, and Dodge in Switzerland: AMAG car factory

Starting in 1948, the Swiss assembly plant run by AMAG (in coordination with Chrysler Corporation) produced Plymouth and Dodge cars, Karmann coupes, and Studebaker Larks. It was not the first Chrysler plant in Switzerland, though; local assembler Saurer-Arbon had which built around 2,000 Chrysler Corporation cars, including locally developed limousines and convertibles, from 1934 to 1939.

AMAG Valiatn final inspection

Hans Ensing, of the Chrysler Rotterdam plant, wrote:

The Swiss AMAG company started an assembly operation in 1948; cars were built like Swiss premium watches, with a corresponding retail price. The Swiss, having come rich out of the war, had no problem with these prices, but their market was closed and few were exported. This compact model plant was finally closed in 1972. Unfortunately there is no real publication about the Amag history.

chrysler switzerland - AMAG plant

A curious incident happened in the mid-60s when AMAG ordered a small series of B body four door sedans from Rotterdam. Two weeks after delivery, the cars were back in Rotterdam, having been rejected by the Swiss quality control. Rotterdam, being a low-cost Chrysler plant, argued that for their production prices, they could not build Swiss quality. After lengthy negotiations, Rotterdam put new bodies on the cars and was allowed to charge $200 more (quite some money in those days). After that, exporting from Rotterdam to AMAG was very low key.

amag plant

The Chrysler Valiant was the most popular car built in the AMAG factory; they made 14,000 cars over 13 years. The Dodge Dart only reached 4,440 cars in 12 years. A small number of Dodge Challengers were imported in the early 1970s, and only a handful are known to survive. Overall, the plant made 29,227 cars in 23 years — nearly half of which were Valiants.

The plant closed at the end of 1972, and AMAG turned to importing cars rather than building them.

Another Swiss company involved in making Chrysler Corp. designs was MOWAG. Founded in 1950 by engineer Walter Ruf, MOWAG, early in its history, made over 1,600 4x4 troop carriers for the Swiss army.

Mowag command car

The company built Dodge-based and DeSoto-based military and special purpose vehicles, including versions of the W (4x4) / B (rear drive) trucks. The 2,700-kilogram Feuerblitz fire truck, for example, was based on the Dodge W200 4x4. The basic chassis and powertrain would be adapted to whatever body style was needed. Now owned by General Dynamics, MOWAG makes cross-country and amphibious armored vehicles.

AMAG production by year

Note: In the following sales chart, Plymouth production stopped in 1959 and Valiant started in 1960. Dodge production stopped in 1959 and Dart began in 1961. Chrysler production was limited to 42 cars made in 1951. Not shown in the interest of space are 96 Demons made in 1972; Studebaker production (312 in 1959, 72 in 1960, and 72 more in 1961; or Standard production of 528 from 1950 to 1953).

& Valiant
& Dart
194966     66
1950348     518
1951456     713
1952825     938
19531085     1115
19541055 96   1151
19551199 14412  1355
1956967 12150  1129
1957587  72 138797
1958385  12 552949
1959204  24 288828
1960840    1201032
1961996  648  1716
19621140  504  1644
19631248  672  1920
19641680  240  1920
19651200  432  1632
19661320  264  1584
1967139224 192  1608
1968113072 312  1514
19691006120 240  1366
1970864  321216 1392
1971564  432264 1260
1972480  358144 1080

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