Saturday, December 20, 2008

The lessons of American Motors

American Motors Corporation was the 1954 product of a merger between Hudson Motors and Nash-Kelvinator. In the late seventies, declining sales and competition forced AMC to seek a partner. It formed an unsuccessful alliance with Renault. Eventually the company was purchased for pennies on the dollar by Chrysler in what was, essentially, an orderly bankruptcy.

What caused the meltdown of AMC? Consider its legacy of automotive immortals:

The 1969 AMX.

The 1972 Gremlin.

The 1972 Hornet.

The 1974 Matador.

The 1975 Pacer.

The 1977 Hornet AMX.

The 1979 Spirit GT.

The meltdown of AMC didn't destroy the auto industry. And today's restructuring of America's auto companies under existing bankruptcy law won't mean the end of America's auto manufacturers.

But it will mean a return to rational, free-market principles. If they're given a chance.

Hat tip: AdClassix.

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