The Chrysler brand was first in the Baxter family with the Plymouth dealership in Benson. As we’re coming up on our 60 year anniversary, we’re taking a look at how much each of our brands have changed. Each month this year will highlight a different brand within our family.
Chrysler began in the 1920s when three former Studebaker engineers teamed up with Walter Chrysler to create the affordable luxury vehicle. The first of those vehicles was the 1924 Chrysler Six. Chrysler priced the car at $1,565 – with inflation that’s almost $22,000 today. The Chrysler Six featured two big innovations for its time: four-wheel hydraulic brakes and a light, powerful, high-compression 6-cylinder engine.
A few years later Chrysler began separating its vehicle brands based on price and functionality. Chrysler introduced the Plymouth in 1928 at the lower end of the price model. DeSoto was introduced in the mid-price area at the same time. Imperial was at the top end.
A few years later Chrysler bought the Dodge Brothers Automobile & Truck Co. and the Fargo truck brand. From the 40s through the 70s Chrysler continued to sell vehicles under quite a few different brand names. Each Chrysler brand took a slice of the market and delivered for that demographic. In order from the low end to the high end of the price market, the brands were: Valiant, Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler and Imperial.
In 1987 Chrysler bought AMC and added the Eagle marquee to sell at AMC-Jeep dealers; though Eagle only lasted about a decade.
By 2001 Chrysler simplified its brand naming system down to just three: Chrysler Dodge and Jeep. Much closer to what we know today. In 2009 Ram trucks separated from Dodge and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram was born. In 2011 Chrysler also added FIAT as the fifth brand in North America.
Baxter and Chrysler
Johnny Baxter Plymouth was the company’s first dealership in 1957. Since then the dealership group has grown to have four separate Chrysler-brand dealerships: Baxter Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Bellevue, Baxter Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram La Vista, Baxter Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Lincoln and Baxter Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram West Dodge.