With roots extending back to the first decade of the twentieth century, Nash Motor Company and the Hudson Motor Car Company managed to compete and even prosper as independent producers until they merged in 1954 to form the American Motors Company, which itself remained independent until it was bought in 1987 by the Chrysler Corporation. In Storied Independent Automakers, renowned automotive scholar Charles K. Hyde argues that these companies, while so far neglected by auto history scholars, made notable contributions to automotive engineering and styling and were an important part of the American automobile industry.
Hyde investigates how the relatively small corporations struggled in a postwar marketplace increasingly dominated by the giant firms of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, which benefited from economies of scale in styling, engineering, tooling, marketing, and sales. He examines the innovations that kept the independents' products distinctive from those of the Big Three and allowed them to survive and sometimes prosper against their larger competitors. Finally, Hyde analyzes the ultimate failure of the American Motors Company and the legacy it left for carmakers and consumers today.
Winner of Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award and Society of Automotive Historians Award.
"Hyde's prose flows effortlessly, and the book's readability is further enhanced by a chronological narrative..." (Michigan Historical Review)
"Storied Independent Automakers fills in a major gap in our knowledge." (David N. Lucsko, managing editor of Technology and Culture)
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Detailed and well researched, but dry.
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