Plymouth is a marque of automobile based in the United States, marketed by the Chrysler Corporation and DaimlerChrysler. The Plymouth automobile was introduced on July 7, 1928. It was the Chrysler Corporation's first entry in the low-priced field, which at the time was dominated by Chevrolet and Ford. Plymouths were actually priced a little higher than the competitors, but they offered standard features such as external expanding hydraulic brakes that the competition did not provide. The origin of the first Plymouth can be traced back to the Maxwell automobile. The "Chrysler" portion of the nameplate was dropped with the introduction of the Plymouth Model U in 1929. The original purpose of the Plymouth was simply to cover a lower-end marketing niche, during the Great Depression of the 1930s the car helped significantly in ensuring the survival of the Chrysler Corporation in a decade when many other car companies failed. In 1930, Plymouths were sold by all three Chrysler divisions (Chrysler, DeSoto, and Dodge). In 1939 Plymouth produced 417,528 vehicles, of which 5,967 were roadsters, or two-door convertibles with rumble seats. The 1939 Roadster was prominently featured at Chrysler's exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair, advertised as the first mass-production convertible with a power folding top. Most Plymouth models from the late 1980s, such as the Acclaim, Laser, Neon, and Breeze, were badge-engineered versions of Chrysler, Dodge, or Mitsubishi models.
Events leading to the demise of Plymouth
1960 - Dodge introduces the smaller, lower-priced "Dart" series that competes directly with Plymouth's models.
1961 and 1962 - Rambler and then Pontiac assumes third place in industry sales for the remainder of the 1960s.
1962 - Sales drop dramatically with the introduction of a line of unpopular-styled, downsized full-size models.
1971 - Unable to afford to develop its own subcompact, the British Hillman Avenger is imported as the Plymouth Cricket, which is discontinued in mid-1973 due to quality concerns.
1974 - The Dodge Dart and Plymouth Valiant are, for the first time, different only in name and minor trim details. This similarity continues with the Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volars and all further passenger car models. The car that would ultimately become the Chrysler Cordoba is reassigned to Chrysler from Plymouth.
1976 - Last model year for the Valiant/Duster, first model year for Volare.
1977 - The large Gran Fury is discontinued.
1978 - The mid-size Fury is discontinued at the end of the model year.
1979 - Plymouth's lineup is reduced to the Horizon and Volar and three rebadged Mitsubishi imports.
1979/1980 - Chrysler made several thousand more Dodges than Plymouths for the first time.
1980 - Newport-based Gran Fury was introduced and last year for Volar
1981 - The last year of full-size Gran Fury and Trailduster SUV
1989 - The mid-size Gran Fury (Caravelle in Canada) as well as the Reliant are discontinued after this model year.
1994 - The Laser sport-compact as well as the popular Sundance and Colt compacts all end production. They are replaced by a single car, the Neon.
1995 - Plymouth's lineup is at its all time low, just 3 cars: the Acclaim, the Neon, and the Voyager/Grand Voyager.
1996 - In an attempt to move Plymouth downmarket, Chrysler makes the redesigned Voyager only available in base and mid-level SE models.
1999 - The redesigned 2000 Neon becomes the brand's last new model.
2000 - The mid-size Breeze ends production.
2001 - Plymouth's final model year. Only the Neon remains in the Plymouth line, the Prowler becomes a Chrysler. The Breeze is dropped as Chrysler issues the Chrysler Sebring sedan to replace the Chrysler Cirrus. The PT Cruiser is launched as a Chrysler, though it was originally planned to be a Plymouth. The final Plymouth, Neon, was assembled on June 28, 2001.