The American Motors Corporation (AMC) was a U.S. automaker founded in 1954 from the merger of two pioneering automakers, the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation (successor to Nash Motors, founded in 1916) and the Hudson Motor Car Company (founded in 1909).
AMC went on to compete with the United States Big Three
, Ford, GM and Chrysler, with its small cars including Rambler American, Hornet, Gremlin and Pacer; muscle cars including the Marlin, AMX and Javelin; and the first 4-wheel drive variants of the Eagle, America’s first true crossover. The company was known as “a small company skillful enough to exploit special market segments neglected by the giants,” and was widely known for the design work of chief stylist Dick Teague, who “had to make do on a much tighter budget than his counterparts in Detroit’s Big Three,” but “had the ability to make the most of his employer’s investment. “After periods of intermittent but unsustainable success, Renault acquired a keen interest in AMC in 1979, and the company was eventually acquired by Chrysler. At his death in 1987, The New York Times said that AMC was “never a company with the power or cost structure to compete with confidence at home or abroad.
Soon after, all-terrain cars became part of its product line, after AMC acquired the Kaiser Jeep (established in 1903) in 1970. From the 1960s to the 1980s, it had a builder through Dina in Mexico, the VAM (Mexican Motor Vehicles) who manufactured all its models under other names.
The merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company in 1954, and the creation of American Motors, was led by George W. Masonto and benefits from the strengths of the two firms to fight against the much larger “Big Three” automakers (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler). Within a year, George W. Romney, the future governor of Michigan, took over, reorganized the company and focused AMC’s future on a new line of small cars.
By the end of 1957, the legacy of Nash and The Hudson Brands were completely eliminated. The company had problems at first, but Rambler’s sales took off.
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