Lee Iacocca spent much of the 1980s bitching about import cars on TV and imploring that his K-cars were better than anything that came from Germany or Japan, let alone Ford or General Motors. "If you can find a better car, buy it," he told people. Sometimes they did.
In spite of — or often because of — his brazen style, Iacocca was probably the best CEO Chrysler ever had. He saved it from bankruptcy in the late 1970s, revolutionized the car market with the minivan, spearheaded the purchase of AMC to get the Jeep brand, and gave the world the Chrysler TC by Maserati, the butt of so many jokes that automotive journalists like myself ought to celebrate his birthday every year.
But by 1992 it was time
for the Chrysler board to boot his ass out for Iacocca to move on to different things. The old man had one last trick up his sleeve, however: cab-forward design. And it came complete with a final TV commercial jab at the Germans and the Japanese.
Did it, in fact, change the way cars were designed forever? Not quite, but it did give Chrysler some very cool-looking sedans they could sell well into the 2000s. That's got to count for something.
Advantage Chrysler, assholes.