The late Sergio Marchionne, former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, will be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame this summer alongside the father of the modern dealership F&I office, an Indy 500 pioneer and the co-founder of a major auto parts supplier once owned by General Motors.
The Automotive Hall of Fame said Monday that Marchionne, who died in July, will be honored for rescuing Chrysler Group after its government-led bankruptcy in 2009 and merging it with Fiat to create one of the most profitable global automakers.
The 80th anniversary Hall of Fame ceremony will also honor Richard E. Dauch, co-founder of American Axle Manufacturing, a former parts unit of GM; Pat Ryan, creator of the first auto dealership finance and insurance department; and Janet Guthrie, the first woman to qualify for and compete in the Indianapolis 500, in 1977.
Dauch, a 50-year auto industry veteran who died in 2013, is being recognized as a bold leader who transformed five GM drivetrain plants into American Axle in 1993, generating a $66 million profit in its first year. Dauch also helped revive Chrysler as the head of manufacturing by creating processes that helped the company return to profitability and repay loans guaranteed by the federal government.
Dauch joined GM in 1964 and became the youngest plant manager of its Chevrolet Division at age 30 before joining Volkswagen in 1976 as its vice president of U.S. manufacturing operations.
Ryan in 1962 pioneered the finance and insurance department at Dick Fencl Chevrolet in suburban Chicago. He told Automotive News in 2005 that he "offered customers dealership financing, whether they were going to go to a credit union or pay cash or go with the bank. I asked if I could also sell them credit insurance."
The Automotive Hall of Fame is also recognizing Guthrie as the first woman to compete in NASCAR's premiere Winston Cup race series in 1976. Overall, she competed in three Indy 500s, and placed ninth in the 1978 race.
The Automotive Hall of Fame, in Dearborn, Mich., has recognized about 800 men and women across the industry.
"Since 1939, the Automotive Hall of Fame has honored individuals who have significantly impacted the automotive industry and the world of mobility. We believe that these four individuals are incredibly worthy of this honor thanks to their outstanding achievements and innovations," said Ramzi Hermiz, chairman of Automotive Hall of Fame and CEO of Shiloh Industries.
The inductions will take place July 18 at the MGM Grand Detroit.