The Eagle brand of cars takes its name from the last of AMC’s wholly U.S.-designed vehicles, the AMC Eagle. Some would say the Eagle was the first true SUV, since it incorporated all-wheel-drive and car-like design. Sadly, it was the last car AMC would produce before being bought out by Chrysler. Then chairman of Chrysler, Lee Iacocca, sought to integrate and re-brand the AMC legacy cars into Chrysler’s structure and the Eagle brand was born. The first two Eagle models – the Premier and Medallion – were products of an AMC partnership with Renault. The remainder of Eagle models were simply re-badged Chrysler models with the exception of some captive imports produced by a partnership with Mitsubishi called Diamond Star Motors. DSM produced Mitsubishi cars that were re-badged as Chrysler and Eagle models. The Plymouth Laser was a Mitsubishi Eclipse, as was the Eagle Talon. The Talon was Eagle’s halo car and outsold the Laser. The Eagle brand was eventually phased out and discontinued entirely in 1998. Reasons for the demise of the brand came down to competition within the Chrysler umbrella and Eagle lacked unique vehicles to set them apart from the cars Chrysler and Mitsubishi were selling.

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