General Motors: A Photographic History

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Arcadia Publishing, 1999 - Transportation - 127 pages
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The General Motors Corporation was established in 1908 by William C. Durant, who combined the Buick, Oldsmobile, and Oakland companies and, later, Cadillac, to form GM. From the 1920s onwards, GM grew from a firm that accounted for about 10% of new car sales in the U.S. to become the largest producer of cars and trucks in the world. The peak of the company's power and market dominance came in the 1960s, which proved to be the decade of change for the U.S. auto industry. With the introduction of federal safety regulations and control tailpipe emissions, GM's position as the world's largest industrial corporation changed. Its marketing strategy was undone by competitive challenges, and the business was never to be the same again. General Motors: A Photographic History explores the growth of the company in a series of over 200 black-and-white images. From the first assembly line to post-Second World War recovery, images from the world auto shows and the consequent re-organization of GM take the reader on an intriguing visual tour of a tremendously important era in the industrialization of America.
 

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Contents

Introduction
7
Roots
9
The Assembly
19
Building the Organization
33
4 Refinement and Technology
43
Arsenal of Democracy
59
PostWar Recovery
63
Mastery of the Buyers Market
69
External Influences
89
The World Comes to Detroit
95
Reorganizing for World Competition
103
Acknowledgments
128
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About the author (1999)

Michael W.R. Davis, Yale alumnus and automotive historian, has covered the industry for 45 years as both journalist and public relations manager with the Ford Motor Company. Living in Detroit he experienced firsthand the small-town, one-industry bond, where the successes and failures of one could not help but affect the other. Mr. Davis served as corporate communications director of both the Detroit News and Evening News Association before becoming executive director of the Detroit Historical Society. General Motors: A Photographic History is to be the first in a series of three books with Arcadia Publishing documenting the rise, fall and survival of the three great American automobile manufacturers of our day.

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