It comes to something when you say, as you reasonably can, that in the '70s and '80s the most mismanaged company of them all was Chrysler.
BMC, Leyland Cars, BL and Rover, in all their multifarious shapes and sizes, looked as tightly run as Porsche by comparison.
Chrysler, the US company, bought control of Simca in France and Rootes in the UK during the '60s — mainly because GM and Ford were apparently profitable in Europe. But they both had well-founded operations already decades old, which was the difference.
From there began a maelstrom of cockups and U-turns which hardly ever produced a good car. Chrysler touched France’s promising Matra, but never managed to make it fly. It killed most of the Rootes marques, but inexplicably kept clunkers like the Hillmans Avenger and Hunter going alongside one of its very good cars it made, the front-drive Chrysler Alpine, to ensure it had unhelpful in-house competition.
The first all-European Chrysler, the 180 of 1970, was typically created from independently created projects from Rootes and Simca. It shouldn’t have worked and it didn’t, though there was time for a few to roll out of the factory of Chrysler Australia, re-christened as the Centura and powered by a 4.0-litre hemi-headed pushrod straight six.