The Chrysler company was founded by Walter Chrysler on June 6, 1925 when the Maxwell Motor Company (est. 1904) was re-organized into the Chrysler Corporation.
In 1928, the Chrysler Corporation began dividing its vehicle offerings by price class and function. The Plymouth brand was introduced at the low-priced end of the market. At the same time, the DeSoto brand was introduced in the medium-price field. Also in 1928, Chrysler bought the Dodge Brothers automobile and truck company and continued the successful Dodge line of automobiles and Fargo range of trucks. By the mid-1930s, the DeSoto and Dodge divisions would trade places in the corporate hierarchy.
1955 Imperial car model, in its first year as a separate make, apart from Chrysler, shown on display at January 1955 Chicago Auto Show. The Imperial name had been used since 1926 but was never a separate make, just the top-of-the-line Chrysler.
However, in 1955, the company decided to offer it as its own make/brand and division to better compete with its rivals, Lincoln and Cadillac. This addition changed the company's traditional four-make lineup to five (in order of price from bottom to top): Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler, and the now-separate Imperial.
The Plymouth Valiant was made a model in the Plymouth line for 1961 and the DeSoto make was discontinued in 1961. With those exceptions per applicable year and market, Chrysler's range from lowest to highest price from the 1940s through the 1970s was Valiant, Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler, and Imperial.