Friendly reminder that, 41 years ago, Peugeot bought Chrysler.
You see, in 1967 Chrysler brought the troubled Rootes Group of car manufacturers, consisting of Hillman, Sunbeam, Singer, Commer, Humber and Karrier. Rootes then became a division of Chrysler Europe. Then, in 1969, Chrysler bought Barreiros of Spain, who had been making Chrysler products for some time and had been partially owned by Chrysler for a few years. Then, finally, they bought Simca fully in 1970, which had also been owned partially by Chrysler for a few years.
Rootes’ marques were gradually phased out until 1976, when the last remaining marque, Hillman, officially became known as Chrysler. Commercial vehicles would be badged as Dodges, replacing the old Karrier and Commer marques.
And then, three years later, Peugeot bought all of Chrysler Europe for the exorbitant sum of $1. Yes. That’s not a typo. One whole dollar. This was mostly because Chrysler Europe was massively in debt and struggling to compete with such titans as Fiat and British Leyland.
Really though, Chrysler’s struggles in America and also the advent of cars like the Golf and a smattering Japanese imports had taken a toll on Chrysler Europe’s fortunes quite significantly. If Chrysler kept Chrysler Europe around, they very likely wouldn’t exist anymore. So, they had to get rid of them, and Peugeot offered them a dollar. Now, they didn’t really buy Chrysler Europe for a dollar. Instead, they bought the company for a dollar and agreed to assume all their debts. Which ended up being quite a lot, and Peugeot struggled through the early eighties because of it.
The Chrysler and Simca brands were pulled from European showrooms in 1979, being replaced by the newly revived Talbot brand. Talbot always played second fiddle to Peugeot and Citroen, and the brand was ultimately axed from passenger cars in 1987, though production of the Talbot Express van (a rebadged Peugeot J5, aka the Fiat Ducato) would continue until 1994, when the brand officially met it’s maker.
And now, fourty one years later, Peugeot and Chrysler are together again. Funny how that works.