After graduating from Lehigh, he won the Wallace Memorial Fellowship and went to Princeton University , where he took his electives in politics and plastics. He then began a career at the Ford Motor Company as an engineer. Career at Ford[ edit ] Iacocca was instrumental in the introduction of the Ford Mustang. Pictured here is a Mustang convertible.
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After graduating from Lehigh, he won the Wallace Memorial Fellowship and went to Princeton University , where he took his electives in politics and plastics.
He then began a career at the Ford Motor Company as an engineer. Career at Ford[ edit ] Iacocca was instrumental in the introduction of the Ford Mustang. Pictured here is a Mustang convertible. Iacocca joined Ford Motor Company in August After a brief stint in engineering, he asked to be moved to sales and marketing, where his career flourished. Iacocca participated in the design of several successful Ford automobiles, most notably the Ford Mustang , the Continental Mark III , the Ford Escort and the revival of the Mercury brand in the late s, including the introduction of the Mercury Cougar and Mercury Marquis.
He promoted other ideas which did not reach the marketplace as Ford products. These included cars ultimately introduced by Chrysler — the K car and the minivan. The Pinto entered production beginning with the model year.
Iacocca was described as the "moving force" behind the Ford Pinto. Henry Ford II had wanted nothing to do with the Mini-Max, a restyled version of the minivan, which Toyota was selling in huge numbers in Asia and Latin America, and his opinion doomed the project at Ford.
Hal Sperlich, the driving force behind the Mini-Max at Ford, had been fired a few months before Iacocca. He had been hired by Chrysler, where the two would make automotive history together. Bearing a strong resemblance to the Volkswagen Rabbit , the front-wheel drive Omni and Horizon became instant hits, selling over , units each in their debut year, showing what was to come for Chrysler.
However, underneath remarkably similar-looking sheetmetal, engines, transmissions, suspensions, bumpers and interior design were quite different. Initially the U. Ironically, some later year base model U. Omnis used a French Peugeot -based 1. In order to obtain the guarantee, Chrysler was required to reduce costs and abandon some longstanding projects, such as the turbine engine , which had been ready for consumer production in after nearly 20 years of development.
Released in the middle of the major recession, the small, efficient, and inexpensive front-wheel drive cars sold rapidly. The new model had all of the newest technologies of the time, including fully electronic fuel injection and all-digital dashboard. It led the automobile industry in sales for 25 years. Iacocca desperately wanted it. It created the short-lived Eagle division. The Grand Cherokee would not be released until for the model year, the same year that Iacocca retired.
He also voiced what was to become his trademark phrase: "If you can find a better car, buy it. The next year, Kerkorian and Chrysler made a five-year agreement which included a gag order preventing Iacocca from speaking publicly about Chrysler. He said:  This is a sad day for me. It pains me to see my old company, which has meant so much to America, on the ropes. But Chrysler has been in trouble before, and we got through it, and I believe they can do it again.
Every day I talk to dealers and managers, who are passionate and full of ideas. No one wants Chrysler to survive more than they do. Put their passion and ideas to work. Because of the Chrysler bankruptcy, Iacocca was set to lose part of his pension from a supplemental executive retirement plan, and a guaranteed company car during his lifetime.
The losses were scheduled to take place once the bankruptcy court approved the sale of Chrysler to Chrysler Group LLC , with ownership of the new company by the United Auto Workers , the Italian carmaker Fiat and the governments of the United States and Canada.
Iacocca: An Autobiography
Apr 06, Rohit Sharma rated it really liked it February , I completed 20 years of my driving career : and I realized that as my first drivers license finally expired. It has been February , I completed 20 years of my driving career : and I realized that as my first drivers license finally expired. It has been my favorite for last three decades, loved Mustang in so many western movies that I must have seen in last as many years. Unfortunately it is so steeply priced in India that it happens to be way more expensive than the price of the house I live in currently. Throughout the day, the only thing we did was talk about Cars, Bikes and Movies. We spoke so much about Cars mostly Mustang and after they moved to US of A, we totally lost contact for a decade or more. But, one fine day I got a call from my Sister in Law on the first day of his college, she asked me a simple question to guess which car he picked up for his big day : and I replied without blinking an eye within a fraction of a second "Mustang?
Iacocca By Lee Iacocca, William Novak
Quintessentially, this book recalls the rise of Iacocca through the various positions at the Ford Corporation to the peak as president of the company. The book displays the hustle and bustle of American business enterprises and career developments as viewed in the eyes of an immigrant. Iacocca offers the readers a glimpse, revealing the larger business world in a self- deprecating and open manner. This book is adequate to be read by the least business savvy person, set and authored in a simplistic way to understand as well as empathize.