The recession, which devastated auto sales, brought the company to the brink of financial ruin. Chrysler and its financing arm needed $12.5 billion from U.S. taxpayers to survive. When a government auto task force deadlocked on whether to save the collapsing company, the tie was broken by President Barack Obama.
Then things turned around. Chrysler got the bailout, cut costs in bankruptcy and saw sales improve with the economy. It worked overtime to revamp 16 of its models to make them more appealing to consumers. The results have paid off. Sales have increased steadily through 2011 and into 2012.