By Paul Ingrassia
With an up-to-date Afterword through the author
This is the epic saga of the yankee vehicle industry’s upward thrust and dying, a compelling tale of hubris, overlooked possibilities, and self-inflicted wounds that culminates with the president of the us ushering of Detroit’s vast 3 motor vehicle companies—once proud symbols of prosperity—through financial ruin. With remarkable entry, Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Ingrassia takes us from manufacturing facility flooring to small-town dealerships to Detroit’s boardrooms to the White residence. Ingrassia solutions the massive questions: used to be Detroit’s self-destruction inevitable? What have been the main turning issues? Why did eastern automakers deal with American employees greater than the yank businesses themselves did? entire with a brand new Afterword delivering clean insights into the ongoing upheaval within the automobile industry—the travails of Toyota, the revolving-door administration and IPO at common vehicles, the unforeseen development at Chrysler, and the Obama administration’s stake in Detroit’s recovery—Crash Course addresses a severe query: the USA bailed out GM, yet who will bail out the United States?
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Additional resources for Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry's Road to Bankruptcy and Bailout-and Beyond
That same month Detroit’s automakers went to Washington to beg Congress for a bailout—in a last-ditch effort to avoid another b-word, bankruptcy. Their potential demise marked a shocking reversal of fortune for companies that had been defining forces in shaping America and indeed the world. S. economic hegemony in the postwar Pax Americana. The companies had made Detroit the Silicon Valley of the mid-twentieth century, a place of economic opportunity, where hillbillies from Appalachia and sharecroppers from the South could break out of poverty and grab a piece of America’s bounty.
Durant installed the blue-blooded Pierre S. du Pont as board chairman, giving comfort both to GM’s bankers and to the du Ponts, who were plowing their munitions profits from the war in Europe into buying GM shares. Durant took the post of president (and CEO) for himself and convinced Walter Chrysler to stay. Over the next couple of years Durant folded Chevrolet into GM along with other companies, including Hyatt Roller Bearing Company of Newark, New Jersey, which he had bought from Alfred Sloan, Jr.
But it became, improbably, the first Japanese company to build cars in the United States. Honda didn’t have to worry about UAW work rules or convoluted contracts because there wasn’t any union. The UAW’s leaders had been on the verge of cutting a deal with Honda’s executives in Japan to gain recognition for the union. But their secret negotiations were undermined by Honda’s managers and workers in Ohio, neither of whom wanted the UAW around. Virtually every other Japanese car company followed Honda in building nonunion plants in America—more than two dozen in the next twenty-five years.
Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry's Road to Bankruptcy and Bailout-and Beyond by Paul Ingrassia