$data.PageTitle

image.jpg

The funeral for the legendary automotive executive Lee Iacocca is being held today in metro Detroit.

Iacocca died at the age of 94 last week in California.

Over his 32 years in the industry Iacocca is most remembered for bringing the Ford Mustang into the Ford lineup and saving Chrysler from the brink. To many he was considered a corporate folk hero.

Iacocca was at the height of his popularity during the 1980s and was famous for his TV ad tagline: “If you can find a better car, buy it!”

He is likely best remembered for masterminding the corporate turnaround of Chrysler.

In 1979 Chrysler was $5-billion in debt. After securing government loans, Iacocca began a massive overhaul of company that saw plants close or consolidate along with painful layoffs.

The company introduced new cars and acknowledged the mistakes of its past, and just two years later was capturing 20 per cent of the compact car market.

In 1983 the company paid back its government loans with interest seven years early.

Iacocca was also active in later years in raising money to fight diabetes. His first wife, Mary, died of complications of the disease in 1983 after 27 years of marriage. The couple had two daughters, Kathryn and Lia.

(With files from the Associated Press)