People from across the auto industry, politicians, executives, family, and friends gathered today at St. Hugo of the Hills in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan to celebrate the life of legendary automotive executive, Lee Iacocca. Iacocca passed away at the age of 94 in California on July 2nd. As the only man to run two of the big three automakers in the modern era, Iacocca became a household name in the 1970s and 1980s when he led the resurgence of the Chrysler Corporation from near death.
Upon news of his death, both the Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) released statements of Iacocca’s passing…
“Lee Iacocca was truly bigger than life and he left an indelible mark on Ford, the auto industry and our country. Lee played a central role in the creation of Mustang. On a personal note, I will always appreciate how encouraging he was to me at the beginning of my career. He was one of a kind and will be dearly missed” stated, Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company.
FCA released the following statement soon after the news of Iacocca’s passing. “The Company is saddened by the news of Lee Iacocca’s passing. He played a historic role in steering Chrysler through a crisis and making it a (truly) competitive force. He was one of the great leaders of our company and the auto industry as a whole. He also played a profound and tireless role on the national stage as a business statesman and philanthropist.
Lee gave us a mindset that still drives us today – one that is characterized by hard work, dedication and grit. We are committed to ensuring that Chrysler, now FCA, is such a company, an example of commitment and respect, known for excellence as well as for its contribution to society. His legacy is the resiliency and unshakeable faith in the future that (lives) on in the men and women of FCA who strive every day to live up to the high standards he set.”
For those who were unable to attend the funeral, The Detroit News live-streamed the event this morning and can be seen (below) thanks to their YouTube channel.
Iacocca will be laid to rest at White Chapel Cemetery in Troy, Michigan. FCA Head of Design, Ralph Gilles posted a picture of the Chrysler Pacifica hearse on his Instagram earlier today. A touching tribute to the man who saved Chrysler and brought the world the minivan, 35 years ago.
FCA will continue to keep its two-story “Pentastar” window atop the Auburn Hills, Michigan, headquarters tower lit till midnight tonight, in tribute to Iacocca who lead the construction of the building starting in 1986 with it’s groundbreaking. FCA has kept the tower lit since his passing on the 2nd.