He never ran a car company – though he wanted to – but Kirk Kerkorian had a significant impact on the Detroit auto industry. And not just on one of the domestic Big Three. At various times, the gadfly investor shook things up at each of the Detroit manufacturers.
Kerkorian, who died in Beverly Hills over the weekend at the age of 98, was best known for his investments in the film and gambling industries. But through Tracinda, his private holding company, this one-time amateur boxer made several runs at getting into the automotive industry, as well.
Perhaps his longest-lasting legacy can be seen at Chrysler, where he attempted a hostile takeover that, according to industry observers, eventually led the smallest of the Detroit makers to seek a seemingly friendlier alliance with Germany’s Daimler-Benz. (more…)