Chrysler: Design and Build Vehicles that Defy Expectations
Discover Chrysler's exciting lineup of cars, crossovers, SUVs, and trucks
In 1928, Chrysler purchased 70 acres in Walkerville and started a new 280,000 square-foot passenger car assembly plant, which would form the nucleus of today’s Windsor Assembly Plant. Chrysler also purchased Dodge Brothers and truck makers Graham Brothers. It then launched the Plymouth and DeSoto brands, with the new passenger car plant beginning to roll out cars in 1929.
The first president of the Chrysler Corporation of Canada was John D. Mansfield, who had moved to Windsor in 1924 as president of Maxwell-Chalmers. His work in the auto industry began in the 1890s with the Durant-Dort Carriage Co. By 1914, he was the general sales manager and a director of the Dort Motor Car Co., while Walter P. Chrysler was Chairman of the Board.
During the Great Depression, Chrysler realized it needed entry-level cars for Dodge and DeSoto dealers in export markets, and created the 1932 Dodge DM by swapping out the Dodge Six for a Plymouth Four (the last four-cylinder Dodge built in North America until the Omni appeared in 1977). This lowered the cost of a basic Dodge, but not by enough. Come 1933, Chrysler Canada introduced the Dodge DQ and DP. These were Plymouth's with Dodge grills and ornamentation.
Using Dodge parts and names on Plymouths to create smaller Dodges continued through to 1959. For the first time, in 1953, the Dodge front clip and front fenders were mated to the Plymouth body, to avoid matching the Dodge grille to the unique Plymouth “pontoon” fenders. Since the full-sized Dodge had a longer wheelbase, the fenders had to be modified to fit the Plymouth body. Even with massive restyling n 1957, Chrysler Canada continued the practice of producing Plymouths as Dodges, putting the full front clip onto Plymouth bodies, and leaving the rest of the car essentially unchanged.
Chrysler made a substantial contribution to the Allied cause during World War ll by developing rust-proofing, protective wrapping and packaging methods which were adopted by the Canadian Government and the British Army. They also developed, in Sorel, Quebec, the only plant in North America to produce guns and gun carriages from scrap iron to the finished weapon.
Chrysler Introduced the Minivan
During the 1980’s, Chrysler began making minivans and crossovers based on them and continued to make the highly successful Dodge Caravans until 2017. Chrysler received the JD Power most dependable award for three-year reliability in 2009. The Caravan was by far the biggest selling minivan in Canada for many years.