One of the modern-day icons of the auto industry has sadly passed away.
Lee Iacocca died at his Bel Air, California home early Tuesday morning. Iacocca suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was 94 at the time of his passing.
Savior of Chrysler
Back in the 1980s, Chrysler seemed destined for failure. The car manufacturer was on the brink of bankruptcy when Iacocca stepped in to salvage the brand.
With extinction facing Chrysler, Iacocca somehow managed to get Congress to approve a $1.5 billion federal loan. He then proceeded to streamline the company, shuttering factories and cutting tens of thousands of jobs in the process.
Needless to say, many Americans were not happy federal money was being used to take jobs away from Americans.
Regular jobs were not the only jobs cut, though, as the executive staff was trimmed, as were their salaries, including Iacocca’s. As proof of his commitment, he reduced his own salary to $1 per year.
The tack worked and Iacocca was able to save the company.
While Chrysler solidified Iacocca’s legacy, it was far from his only accomplishment.
He started his career in the industry working for the Ford Motor Company. Initially, he was brought aboard as an engineer, but Iacocca would quickly transition into sales.
One of his noteworthy accomplishments at Ford happened when Iacocca helped produce the first Mustang.
In 1970, Iacocca was named president of Ford in 1970 and would serve in that role for almost a decade.
Rest in peace, Lee.