Auto Industry Giant Lee Iacocca, Dead at 94

Iacocca was the last giant of the S. auto industry CEOs, recognized as the leader of the American auto industry for two decades until he was forced out of Chrysler.

Auto Industry Giant Lee Iacocca, Dead at 94

Curated via Twitter from Forbes Tech’s twitter account….

Iacocca went from a spectacular fall at Ford to a spectacular rise at Chrysler just 11 miles away in Highland Park, Michigan before moving the company to a modern headquarters in Auburn Hills.

Iacocca went from a spectacular fall at Ford to a spectacular rise at Chrysler just 11 miles away in Highland Park, Michigan before moving the company to a modern headquarters in Auburn Hills.

Under Iacocca and a savvy product-man, named Bob Lutz, Chrysler turned Jeep into a perennial cash-cow with suburban families scooping up Cherokee utility vehicles, and later a Grand Cherokee, as well as the classic Wrangler that was inspired the Jeep Willys developed for World War Two.

Under Iacocca and a savvy product-man, named Bob Lutz, Chrysler turned Jeep into a perennial cash-cow with suburban families scooping up Cherokee utility vehicles, and later a Grand Cherokee, as well as the classic Wrangler that was inspired the Jeep Willys developed for World War Two.

Iacocca was the last giant of the U. S. auto industry CEOs, recognized as the leader of the American auto industry for two decades until he was forced out of Chrysler.

Iacocca was the last giant of the U. S. auto industry CEOs, recognized as the leader of the American auto industry for two decades until he was forced out of Chrysler.

Iacocca convinced Congress and President Carter to let Chrysler have a very controversial $1. 5 billion federal loan guarantee.

Iacocca convinced Congress and President Carter to let Chrysler have a very controversial $1. 5 billion federal loan guarantee.

Lee Iacocca, who ran both Ford and Chrysler at different times in his storied career and fathered the Mustang and minivan, died today.

Lee Iacocca, who ran both Ford and Chrysler at different times in his storied career and fathered the Mustang and minivan, died today.

He became President at Ford Motor Co. at age 46 in 1970, though he was fired in 1978 by Henry Ford II who came to despise the ego of Iacocca who seemed to have forgotten that the Ford family controlled the company, not him.

He became President at Ford Motor Co. at age 46 in 1970, though he was fired in 1978 by Henry Ford II who came to despise the ego of Iacocca who seemed to have forgotten that the Ford family controlled the company, not him.

The headline-grabbing Italian-American Iacocca would make an attempt to comeback to Chrysler a few years later, in 1995, attempting a takeover of Chrysler with billionaire Kirk Kerkorian.

The headline-grabbing Italian-American Iacocca would make an attempt to comeback to Chrysler a few years later, in 1995, attempting a takeover of Chrysler with billionaire Kirk Kerkorian.

Iacocca in 1987 made one of the shrewdest deals in corporate history, buying American Motors Corp in 1987 for the specific purpose of getting his hands on the Jeep brand.

Iacocca in 1987 made one of the shrewdest deals in corporate history, buying American Motors Corp in 1987 for the specific purpose of getting his hands on the Jeep brand.

Even today, the company that is descendent from Chrysler, Fiat Chrysler, markets Jeep all over the world and the brand is worth more than the company as a whole, according to analysts who value the company.

Even today, the company that is descendent from Chrysler, Fiat Chrysler, markets Jeep all over the world and the brand is worth more than the company as a whole, according to analysts who value the company.

But the effort fell flat, and Iacocca was pretty much persona non-grata at Chrysler after that.

But the effort fell flat, and Iacocca was pretty much persona non-grata at Chrysler after that.

And it was at Ford that he passed up a minivan design that he would green-light at Chrysler to enormous success and profit.

And it was at Ford that he passed up a minivan design that he would green-light at Chrysler to enormous success and profit.

The loan, backed by the taxpayers, was paid back seven years early as the economy recovered and people started buying new cars again–and Chryslers, Dodges and Plymouths. The company’s $1. 7 billion loss in 1980 had become a $2. 4 billion profit by 1984.

The loan, backed by the taxpayers, was paid back seven years early as the economy recovered and people started buying new cars again–and Chryslers, Dodges and Plymouths. The company’s $1. 7 billion loss in 1980 had become a $2. 4 billion profit by 1984.

Iacocca was forced out of the company in 1992, giving way to GM Europe executive Robert Eaton, an unassuming avuncular executive who did not possess Iacocca’s flair.

Iacocca was forced out of the company in 1992, giving way to GM Europe executive Robert Eaton, an unassuming avuncular executive who did not possess Iacocca’s flair.

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