Lee Iacocca, the man who had a major role in the production of the Mustang brand has passed away aged 94 in Bel Air, California. His death follows complications related to Parkinson’s Disease.
He was born in Pennsylvania in 1924, and at the age of 22, started working for Ford Motor Company. Fourteen short years later, he was to become Vice President and General Manager of Ford Division. Some say his success was due to his famous ’56 to 56′ sales campaign, but his ability to work wonders with a small budget was celebrated, especially as this helped give rise to the Mustang.
Unfortunately, in 1978 he was fired by Henry Ford II, and in order to gain revenge, he moved to Chrysler. Here, he persuaded the United Stated Congress to bail out the car company at a price of $1.5billion in the form of a loan. It was controversial, but was successful.
In 1984, the company was seeing a $2.4billion profit.
Iacocca retired as Chrysler Chairman and Chief Executive in 1992.
Bill Ford, Ford Executive Chairman, said the following:
“Lee Iacocca was truly bigger than life and he left an indelible mark on Ford, the auto industry and our country. Lee played a central role in the creation of Mustang. On a personal note, I will always appreciate how encouraging he was to me at the beginning of my career. He was one of a kind and will be dearly missed.”
Fiat Chrysler said this:
“The Company is saddened by the news of Lee Iacocca’s passing. He played a historic role in steering Chrysler through crisis and making it a true competitive force. He was one of the great leaders of our company and the auto industry as a whole.”