1928 to present: Chrysler Corporation
IIn May of 1928, the Plymouth Motor Corporation was formed and the President was Walter P. Chrysler. The first car to be offered was a 1928 sedan with a price of $725.00. Just a few months later, Chrysler purchased and became president of Dodge Brothers Inc., which produced Dodge Brothers cars and trucks. By 1930, Plymouths were being sold under the Chrysler, DeSoto and Dodge marquee and quickly rose to the top 3 among all cars. With the success of each automaker, Chrysler set up individual divisions in 1935 to include the Plymouth Division, Dodge Division, DeSoto Division, and Chrysler Sales Division which would become known as the Chrysler Corporation.
Prior to World War II, Plymouth was one of the top selling automobile brands along with Chevrolet and Ford and even continued its strong presence in the market after the war into the mid 1950s. However, the design and engineering revolutions of the ‘50s prompted Plymouth’s decline to 5th place in sales for 1954. While the models of 1950-1954 were well-engineered, they were on the dull side and by 1954 fewer than 500,000 Plymouths were built. Things ramped up in 1955 and the Plymouth received all new styling, a new engine, PowerFlite automatic transmission, air conditioning power windows and power front seats. The Fury was introduced in 1956 featuring a 303-cid V8 engine with 240 bhp and would do 0 to 60mph in 10 seconds. Priced at just $600, the Fury contributed immensely to Plymouth’s success and image.
During the 50s, Plymouth saw its share of ups and downs as it would continue to do in the 60s, they would dip as low as 8th place in the industry and had a hard time regaining its stronghold at 3rd which was overtaken by Pontiac. Back up to 4th by 1965 with the help of the Fury line-up which was offered in four series: Fury I, II, III and Sport Fury. The success of 2 NASCAR wins didn’t hurt either with Richard Petty winning the 1964 Daytona 500 in a Plymouth. By the late 60’s, Plymouth was notarized for their performance cars including the GTX and Road Runner which boasted a 426 Hemi.
Plymouth reclaimed success again in the early 70’s with their compact models the Valiant and Duster, but they would never fully recover from their financial instabilities. Along with all other Chrysler subsidiaries, Plymouth merged with Daimler-Benz in 1998. By 2001, Daimler Benz decided to discontinue the Plymouth line carrying over the current models under the Chrysler Marquee.