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I saw this thread by Chrycoman at http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=22899 and it give me the "following what if?": What if Walter Chrysler had chosen Joe Frazer instead of K.T. Keller to head Chrysler?

The lack of sales success with the Airflow most certainly resulted in conservative styling at Chrysler, but I suspect K.T. Keller played a very large role in that situation. He was the man that showed famed stylist Ray Dietrich the door, the man W.P. Chrysler hired to head Chrysler styling, such as it was.

Walter P. Chrysler became a recluse after his wife died in 1937. Given lead times, styling approved in 1937 would have been for 1939-40 models. Chrysler Corporation styling definitely became bland after that point.

And no argument over K.T. Keller - he was Chrysler's one mistake, as Robert Eaton was Iacocca's.

One contender for W.P.'s job was Joseph Washington Frazer. He was the man who came up with the Plymouth name and headed the sales campaigns for Chrysler Corporation that propelled Plymouth to #3 by 1931 and Chrysler Corporation to #2 by 1936. Plymouth would come within 100,000 of Ford production for 1941 and Chrysler would hit 25.1% of the market that same year. From that point on it was all downhill.

Although a sales person, Frazer believed both styling and engineering were needed for a car to be successful. After he left Chrysler in 1938, Frazer became head of Willys. His first action was make the Willys engine reliable (it was said you could tell how fast you were going by what fell off) and then make Willys styling modern and attractive. And his push to get Willys into Jeep production enabled the company to survive after the war.

Frazer left Willys in 1943 and took over Graham-Paige. At the end of WW II, G-P was working on a new medium-priced car called the Frazer, with styling by Howard "Dutch" Darrin. Having no money to underwrite such a project, he teamed up with Henry J. Kaiser - and the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation was born.

Just as Chrysler's first postwar styling plans were more in line with what GM was planning for 1949, Frazer's first styling proposals were more flowing and modern. K-F stylists boxed up the design, flattening the sides and levelling the belt line. Chrysler stylists raised the roof on their models and removed the integrated rear fenders. Chrysler's styling changes pleased Keller, but K-F's did not please either Frazer or Darrin.

To show how knowledgeable Frazer was, when K-F was making plans for the 1949 models, which were to receiving a minor styling freshening, Frazer advised the K-F board they should cut planned production as the opposition would be selling completely new cars. Kaiser and his supporters shot down the idea. Frazer came back with the statement that K-F would sell only about 60,000 cars and lose $33 million.

When the 1949 results were in, K-F sold 80,000 cars and lost $31 million. Not too shabby for an off the cuff estimate. The photo of the board meeting showing the members viewing the financial results for 1949 have all board members save Frazer with very solemn and serious looks on their faces. Frazer is shown sitting in his chair, chin resting on his fingers, looking up to the ceiling. It's almost as if you could hear the thought running through his mind, "I told you so! I told you so!"

By this time G-P was no longer in the car business, having sold its stock in K-F to the Kaisers and its plant on Warren Avenue to Chrysler. The plant was used for DeSoto body and engine production from 1950 through 1958 and then for assembly of the 1959-61 Imperials.

Although many interviewed Frazer on his work at Willys and K-F, no one it seems got his thoughts on working at Chrysler and why he left. I firmly believe if J.W. Frazer had succeeded W.P. Chrysler instead of K.T. Keller, Chrysler Corporation would have held on to #2 position after the war with more modern styling. I also doubt Frazer would have waited until 1954 to bring out a true automatic transmission on all models. Chrysler Corporation was the last manufacturer to offer one as everyone else had one by 1951. K-F offered Hydramatic on its 1950 models.

By the way, Oakland was the GM division and Pontiac the Oakland Motor Company's companion make. Of the companion makes the GM divisions introduced, only Pontiac would be so successful its parent, Oakland, would be laid to rest. LaSalle was also successful, but making the LaSalle models Cadillacs for 1941 sealed Cadillac's destiny to beat Packard and become #1 in the luxury market. Buick's Marquette and especially Oldsmobile's Viking were dead in the water from the beginning.

Companion makes were all the rage in the 1920's, beginning with Hudson's Essex. Others were Ajax (Nash), Erskine (Studebaker), Wolverine (Reo), Falcon-Knight (Willys-Knight), Roosevelt (Marmon), Blackhawk (Stutz), Diana (Moon), Jewett (Paige), and Cleveland (Chandler). Only Essex and Diana would not be absorbed by the parent make and only Essex would survive into the 1930's.
 

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easy ^
no more Citroën
 

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What if Ford didn't acquired Willys-Overland do Brasil (the former subsdiary of Willy-Overland/Kaiser-Wilys) in 1967?

Edit: Ford inherited a car then Willys-Overland do Brasil did in cooperation with Renault, based on the upcoming R12, who'll became the Corcel. But if Ford didn't acquired Willys do Brasil, who could had inherited the Corcel?
 

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What if the Ford board had chosen Joe Oros or Elwood Engel as George Walker's successor(and there was George Walker's protégés) instead of George Bordinat at the head of Ford design? Would we might talk today of "Fuselage Ford" instead of "Fuselage Mopar" had Engel had been head of Ford design instead of Chrysler design?
 

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swiped from an XC40 thread:
HotRod @ FiN said:
...Not only did Ford take a bath on the entire PAG experiment, they set the former brands up for success (at least in the short term). In so doing, they created additional competition for Lincoln, but more importantly, they provided Geely with a pathway to the U.S. market via the Lynk & Co brand, and likely the Geely core brand eventually. By forgoing the traditional franchise dealer sales model, the Chinese-made Lynk & Co products will have a substantial cost advantage. The Chinese revolution has started, and Ford helped pave the way. One could argue that if they weren't desperate for cash, they would have been better off just shuttering the brands.

Trouble with a capital T...


 

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more FiN-spam - this time mine...

now I'm wondering what would have happened if a different solution Pre-2010, led to Lincoln going (at least STARTING to go) ALL electric ie pure-BEV...
...either BY-or-Before the Model S came out in mid-2012
.
 

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swiped from "Sevensecondsuv" @ BON

The problem was that Ford had Ranger, Explorer, and Panther spread across three independent platforms and made at three separate plants. And none of them sold in enough volume to support their platform or plant...
...I've always thought it wouldn't have been too difficult to put together a BoF Panther replacement on the Ranger/Explorer platform. The three lines together would have supported 2 plants and continued investment in the platform.
so
WHAT IF they got merged? + SportTrak? ...copcars/suvs are an obvious beneficiary... with the lead-in planning time, could MAP have been the choice location (with Chicago as SecondCity)?
and Focus never left Mexico, just moved to Cuautitlán, alongside the Fiesta plus Escape overflow...
...hmm, Escape-Hybrid-&-Energi could've prevented the C-Max
:clap:
 

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What if there was no Auto-Pact between Canada and the USA?
-Would Dusters, Scamps badged as "Valiant Duster" instead of "Plymouth Duster" since Valiant continued to be sold as a separate division a bit longer in Canada?
-Would Meteor, Acadian and Beaumont soldiered to the 1980s? (LeMans/Grand Am/GTO, Ventura still sold as Acadian and Beaumont, would the H-body Sunbird and Astre had sold as Pontiac models? Would Meteor get a countertpart of the Taurus/Sable?)
-Would Mercury still offer Mercury trucks and vans in the 1970s and 1980s? Edit: the same question could apply if Canadian Plymouth dealers still sold Fargo in the 1980s.
 

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Chrysler wanted to name their upcoming compact car the Valiant as the Falcon, after Exner's 1955 Chrysler Falcon show-car but they didn't kept the rights on the name and Ford grabbed the name.

What if Chrysler had kept the name rights to use Falcon instead of Valiant? And what name Ford could had used instead if Chrysler had kept the name rights of Falcon?
 

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Chrysler wanted to name their upcoming compact car the Valiant as the Falcon, after Exner's 1955 Chrysler Falcon show-car but they didn't kept the rights on the name and Ford grabbed the name.

What if Chrysler had kept the name rights to use Falcon instead of Valiant? And what name Ford could had used instead if Chrysler had kept the name rights of Falcon?
Btw there's also the pre-war Riley Falcon and it's a peach!

https://www.historics.co.uk/buying/auctions/2012-02-18/car/riley-falcon/
 
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