Chrysler Australia

Chrysler Australia is the importer of the car Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge for the Australian market. Previously, there was, however, a Chrysler Australia Ltd. , Which until 1980 worked as an Australian car manufacturer by 1951.

Foundation of Chrysler Australia

The Chrysler Australia Ltd.. Founded in June 1951, when the Chrysler Corporation Chrysler Dodge DeSoto Distributors ( Australia) took over a company that was founded in 1935 by 18 independent dealers.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Chrysler invested heavily in its Australian manufacturing facilities, including 1964 also included a new assembly plant in Tonsley Park and in 1968 a foundry for engine blocks in Lonsdale (South Australia ). At the time, Chrysler has established itself as one of the Big Three at the Australian automotive manufacturers, which included Holden and Ford.

Initially criticized Chrysler Australia U.S. Chrysler cars and trucks. Your most popular cars of the 1950s were Jahe with Chrysler emblems provided Plymouth Cranbrook, Dodge Kingsway and DeSoto Diplomat, which based all three on the U.S. Plymouth from 1954. A Ute was also developed by Chrysler Australia and available in nine different variants: The Plymouth Cranbrook, Sayoy and Belvedere, the Dodge Kingsway Custom, Kingsway and Kingsway Coronet Crusader and the DeSoto Diplomat Custom, Diplomat Diplomat Plaza and Regent. The Plymouth sedan was often purchased as a taxi, but the increasing success of Holden in the 1950s led to the decline of these cars.

1957 Chrysler Australia made ​​from the three brand models, a model - the Chrysler Royal. This was a facelift version of the Plymouth from 1954 to 1963 and remained in the program. The Royal was an automotive curiosity: first, he had a side-valve six-cylinder in-line engine and a manual-shift three-speed transmission with column shift. Then he gradually received from the United States imported equipment details, such as power steering, a controllable with buttons in the steering wheel Powerflite automatic transmission and an overhead- V8 engine. The design showed tail fins and forward stacked twin headlights. However, the changes did not stop slipping sales figures, as Holden dominated the Australian market and the Royal was regarded as old-fashioned and expensive. In 1963, the production was discontinued.

The rescue of Chrysler was then the French Simca Aronde, a popular midsize car with four-cylinder engine, Chrysler assembled from CKD kits at its plant in Keswick. Australian engineers constructed a Aronde station wagon, which was built only in Australia. The car had the then new crank window in the tailgate. The U.S. parent company Chrysler had purchased Simca in 1958, which constituted the basis for this contract. Assembly and marketing of Simca Simca Vedette Aronde and were announced on 1 July 1959.

In August 1959 Chrysler Australia introduced the new models of Plymouth Belvedere, Dodge Custom Royal and DeSoto sweep, which were introduced as CKD kits from the USA and assembled in the Chrysler factory in Adelaide. The Plymouth had a 5.2 -liter V8 engine, while the Dodge and DeSoto possessed 5.9 -liter V8 engines.

Chrysler Australia sold 1960-1973 also those imported from the USA Dodge Phoenix ago.

The Valiant Years


Starting in 1962, Chrysler Australia assembled the U.S. model Plymouth Valiant and sold it as the Chrysler Valiant. In 1963, an Australian version of the Valiant AP5, has been developed, whose different design of the car was its own identity, different from the Plymouth and Dodge models from the USA. The reason for the other design was that the Australian manufacturers did not have the necessary funds to follow successful annual design changes to the U.S. models. The changed appearance leaned against the accusation that Chrysler Australia would offer " the model from last year ."

In the course of the 1960s Chrysler expanded the Valiant model range. A two-door hardtop model, a model with a long wheelbase (VIP) and a sports model ( Pacer ) were added.

With the takeover of the British Rootes Group by Chrysler USA 1966 took over Rootes and Chrysler Australia Australia, including its factory in Port Melbourne. The most important Rootes model in Australia was the Hillman Hunter. This car sold as a Chrysler well until 1973.


1970 was the only manufactured in Australia Hemi -245 six-cylinder in-line engine, which had been brought out with the help of Stirling Moss introduced. The engine was a " Right - for all the Right Reasons " (Eng.: Right - from all the right reasons ) markets and became the strongest built in Australia six-cylinder engine equipped with three Weber carburettors. The construction of the motor based on a motor used to drive trucks in the United States; itself it was never built in the United States.

The Valiant sold well, but never reached the sales of its main competitor, the Holden and the Ford Falcon.

In 1971, Chrysler Australia his most famous car in front: the Valiant Charger. This was a version of the Valiant with a short wheelbase ( 2667 mm), two doors and hardtop. The car had a striking, sporty design and a rear spoiler.

The base model of the Charger cost AU $ 2,750 - but it was also more expensive models with higher engine power or luxury equipment.

The Charger was established in 1971 by the magazine Wheels with the title " Car of the Year ". Also, the car sold very well and was for Australians what the Ford Mustang was for the Americans or the Ford Capri for the British or Germans.

Mid -1970s, stagnated the sale of Valiant models, since a number of factors had a negative impact on Chrysler Australia:

  • The 1973 oil crisis led to growing popularity of small, fuel efficient cars with four-cylinder engines.
  • Japanese manufacturers were considered to be in the Australian market and four-cylinder models were among their strengths.
  • The Valiant was increasingly seen as old-fashioned - in spite of a facelift in 1971, which was sold as a " completely new model ", was in fact only a new body to the old mechanics. The new design saw earlier than the other cars old from 1973 and 1975 and received the body only two small facelifts. A major facelift in 1976 could stop the fall in sales, and so the Valiant could be built until 1981.

In 1975, Chrysler Centura the one, the 2.0 -liter R4, R6 3.5 -liter or 4.0 -liter R6 engines and two trim levels - was available - XL and GL. He was Chrysler's competitors in the midsize class for the Holden Torana and Ford Cortina.

The Centura based on the European Chrysler 180, which was introduced in Europe in 1970, but had a modified front and a modified rear. Probably should be a Sunbeam from originally, but never reached the production stage.

The introduction of the Centura was delayed by several years because of the ban on imports from France, the disabled, the parts supply strong. ( The embargo was imposed for France's nuclear tests in French Polynesia).

As the new model finally arrived in Australia, it looked a bit old-fashioned. Thus, the Centura could not prevail on the market. In 1978 he disappeared quietly from the market.

Chrysler Australia and Mitsubishi Motors Australia

The parent company of Chrysler Australia increasingly worked together with Mitsubishi Motors, after they had in 1971, 15 % of the shares. As a result, Chrysler Australia built the Chrysler Valiant Galant constructed at Mitsubishi. The collaboration with Mitsubishi gave Chrysler Australia also another successful model. Chrysler Sigma 1977 With its four-cylinder engines with balance shafts, reasonable prices, " Japanese " style and the additional available, luxurious SE version with leather upholstery on request (at that time in Australia brand new equipment detail ) attended the Sigma back for increased sales at Chrysler Australia. Soon the Sigma was the market leader in its class.

1979 acquired the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation, a sixth share of the shares of Chrysler Australia and in April 1980 the two companies bought also the remaining shares of the U.S. Chrysler Corporation. The company's name was changed to Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd on 1 October 1980. changed. By August 1981, Valiant were built with Chrysler emblem and the construction of the Sigma was continued as the Mitsubishi Sigma until 1987. Subsequently, the Mitsubishi Colt models, Magna, Verada and 380 were produced until the construction of passenger cars was discontinued in March 2008. The company exists as Australia's largest importer of road vehicles on.

Chrysler returns to Australia

Chrysler came back in 1994 on the Australian market, where initially the Jeep Cherokee was offered. Later, the Neon was available (until 2002), the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Commander, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Crossfire, Chrysler 300 C, the Chrysler Voyager and the Dodge Caliber. Initially, the Jeep model range was very reasonably priced, when the first cars also the reputation of inferior quality earn.

In the 2000s, the vehicles from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Austria were introduced ( As of 2009, in addition to the Voyager also the models C and Grand Cherokee manufactured in Austria 300). The Chrysler 300 C has a successful market niche as an alternative to the Australian luxury cars - usually cars of the upper middle class with an extended wheelbase, such as the Holden Statesman / Caprice and the Ford Fairlane / LTD - found.