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Unformatted text preview: Andrew Rapaport 5/4/09 Econ 367 The Failing Auto Industry The “Detroit Big Three” are the largest automakers in North America. The big three include General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. For quite a while they were known as the largest automakers in the world, but in recent years they have began to fall. Ford had held the title of being the second largest automaker for 56 years, and ranked third in North American for sales. In 2007 Toyota overtook Ford in amount of sales and also produced more cars than GM, although GM still outsold Toyota that year. In the first quarter of 2008 however Toyota overtook GM in sales. In North America the big three retain their spots as the largest automakers on the continent but their market share has been dwindling. The auto industry as we know it was born in the early 1900’s. Several small manufacturers were making automobiles at the time but it was Henry Ford who popularized that idea that anyone could own a car. Ford achieved initial success by manufacturing cars in mass quantities to reduce cost and make them simple enough so that many consumers could easily operate them. Ford streamlined production and standardized parts to maximize efficiency. Ford was well known for its first model, the Model T, which was mass produced in one color allowing for low cost of production in turn making the car affordable for everyday consumers. While Ford perfected the Model T, William Durant founded the General Motors Corporation in 1908. Durant combined Buick, Oldsmobile, Oakland, and Cadillac to form GM, then in 1918 Chevrolet was added. The GM Company weathered many financial crises in the beginning, but in 1920 the du Pont family bought a large share of GM stock which finally brought financial stability to the company. In the years that followed came many industry innovations and eventually a new car company, the Chrysler Corporation, formed by Walter Chrysler. Ford, GM, and Chrysler would then become to be known as the Big Three....
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- Spring '09
- auto industry, largest automakers