Chrysler etymology: Who is named after? What does its name mean?

Chrysler is one of the core marques in Fiat Chrysler’s vast portfolio of brands, but who is it named after? Hint: It’s the same guy who commissioned the Chrysler Building.

Like many car brands, Chrysler is named after its founder, Walter Percy Chrysler, commonly referred to Walter P. Chrysler. Chrysler incorporated Chrysler Corporation when he took over the Maxwell Motor Company in 1925.

The Maxwell name was soon dropped in favour of Chrysler’s. In time, the company created several new marques, including DeSoto and Plymouth, to help it combat GM’s lineup. In 1928, Chrysler took control of Dodge.

Chrysler made his fortune running GM’s Buick brand. When he left the company in 1919, he was reportedly paid out $10 million for his GM stock.

In addition to starting up his own rival car conglomerate, Walter Chrysler paid for the world famous Chrysler Building out of his own pocket. As such, the building was owned by his family not the car company. His family sold the building in 1953.

Walter P. Chrysler passed away in 1940, just four years after stepping down as head of the his car company and two year after the death of his wife.