Allentown Used Chrysler

Allentown Used Chrysler

Be a sales dreamer and a sales achiever. I once heard an audio autobiography of a great man by the name of Lee Iacocca. Lee Iacocca is one of America's premiere business leaders of all time. Why? Was he lucky? Of course we know the answer to these questions is no. Lee Iacocca is a champion who had the courage to stare adversity in the face until the victory was secure.

Lee grew up during the Great Depression in Allentown, Pennsylvania. At age fifteen, Lee caught the deadly sickness, rheumatic fever. Since the cure included lots of rest, Lee found he had tremendous amounts of time on his hands. To pass the time, Lee began reading books and he developed a passion for excellence. This is a quality Lee would soon discover would pay off nicely in his future.

After Lee had graduated high school, he attended a tough engineering school. He loved it. It was a disciplined atmosphere in which Lee thrived.

During his college years, Lee drove a 1938 Ford automobile. It was a car that had seen better days. Lee joked with his friends, "Those guys need me. Anybody who builds a car this bad can use some help."

Lee received his masters degree from Princeton and in 1946 entered Ford's extensive training program. This program covered the entire making of a car from beginning to end.

After a short time, Lee discovered his love was for people and not machines. He decided to start over again in a low level sales position at Ford's district office in Pennsylvania. Lee's enthusiasm shot him up the ranks in a hurry. Lee learned the fine art of listening. He found that one must compromise to hack out a solution. Great listening skills were a great asset for Lee in every area of his life from personal to professional. The key was to listen and really hear what people were saying even if he disagreed with them.

In 1956, sales at Ford Motor Company were dismal and Lee's district in Philadelphia was the poorest of the poor. But Lee stubbornly looked for the positive light at the end of the tunnel. He found that light with an idea. Lee came up with a plan for long-term financing. It was a huge success. It was a 36-month payment plan of $56 a month. The plan was christened 56 ($) for 56 (1956). Their sales district went from worst in the nation to number one in a month's time. Ford was so impressed they made Lee's idea a national program.

Lee was offered a job at the company headquarters and within four years he became vice president and general manager of Ford Division. Lee then helped develop a car known as "the Mustang." It was a hard sell but Lee and his team pushed it through and on Friday, April 17, 1964, the Mustang hit the market. The Mustang was a HUGE success! In its first two years, the Mustang netted profits over one billion dollars. Lee became a national hero. He and the Mustang appeared on the covers of both Time and Newsweek.

On December 10, 1970, 45-year-old Lee Iacocca became president of Ford Motor Company. This was an exciting time for the Iacocca family. Little did they know that less then eight years in the future Lee would be out of a job.

On July 13, 1978, an insecure second grandson of the founder of the company, by the same name of Henry Ford, fired Lee. The firing came as a complete surprise and with no seeable reason. To this day, Lee doesn't know why he was fired. The humiliation for Lee was overbearing. Lee said the toughest part for him was the embarrassment he felt towards his family. He also felt very abandoned. Not one of his friends from Ford dropped a note or gave him a call. Lee never did understand that.

It didn't take long for the offers to pour in. Lee was a great leader and many, many companies wanted him. But the only industry Lee was interested in was automobiles. It was in his blood.

Chrysler Corporation was in bad shape and they wanted Lee. Lee took the challenge and immediately set about a massive reconstruction of the company. He did it quickly and effectively.

At this time, the nation was in a great recession that cut business in half. This made Lee's job much tougher than it already was but as Dr. Robert Schuller has said, "Tough times never last but tough people do." Lee did exactly that. He got tough!

He went to the United States government and asked them for a loan of one billion two hundred million dollars. Lee convinced the Congress to back his loan. He told them that if Chrysler were to fail the American taxpayer would have to pay $2.7 billion in taxes to fulfill the Chrysler pension payments. Lee told them that they could either loan him $1.2 billion now and hope he paid it back or pay $2.7 billion later with no reimbursement. The vote in the Congress was a landslide in Chrysler's favor.

Next, Lee went to the company. The workers would have to be convinced to take a cut in pay. Lee shocked everybody when he cut his own salary to only one dollar a year. Now that's a champion example! Chrysler then had to gain the public's confidence. Lee instituted an advertisement campaign to accomplish just that. It worked! Lee promised the consumer excellence and that is what they got. The excellence that brought Chrysler back was called "the K car." It was a phenomenal success. Chrysler was back!

On July 13, 1983, Chrysler shocked the nation when they paid back their government loan SEVEN YEARS EARLY! WOW! Chrysler is strong because of championship leadership of a man named Lee Iacocca.

You are a sales champion too. BE A DREAMER AND AN ACHIEVER! Will there be tough times? Yes! Will there be failures? Yes! But if you keep on dreaming and striving for sales success, then like Lee your dreams will come true. Just follow the words of Walt Disney when he said, "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."


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