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Pulitzer Prize-winners Paul Ingrassia and Joseph B. White take us to the boardrooms, the executive offices, and the shop floors of the auto business to reconstruct, in riveting detail, how America's premier industry stumbled, fell, and picked itself up again. The story begins in 1982, when Honda started building cars in Marysville, Ohio, and the entire U.S. car industry seemed to be on the brink of extinction. It ends just over a decade later, with a remarkable turn of the tables, as Japan's car industry falters and America's Big Three emerge as formidable global competitors. Comeback is a story propelled by larger-than-life characters -- Lee Iacocca, Henry Ford II, Don Petersen, Roger Smith, among many others -- and their greed, pride, and sheer refusal to face facts. But it is also a story full of dedicated, unlikely heroes who struggled to make the Big Three change before it was too late.
With an updated Afterword by the author. This is the epic saga of the American automobile industry's rise and demise, a compelling story of hubris, missed opportunities, and self-inflicted wounds that culminates with the president of the United States ushering two of Detroit's Big Three car companies--once proud symbols of prosperity--through bankruptcy. With unprecedented access, Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Ingrassia takes us from factory floors to small-town dealerships to Detroit's boardrooms to the White House. Ingrassia answers the big questions: Was Detroit's self-destruction inevitable? What were the key turning points? Why did Japanese automakers manage American workers better than the American companies themselves did? Complete with a new Afterword providing fresh insights into the continuing upheaval in the auto industry--the travails of Toyota, the revolving-door management and IPO at General Motors, the unexpected progress at Chrysler, and the Obama administration's stake in Detroit's recovery--Crash Course addresses a critical question: America bailed out GM, but who will bail out America?
A narrative like no other: a cultural history that explores how cars have both propelled and reflected the American experience-- from the Model T to the Prius. From the assembly lines of Henry Ford to the open roads of Route 66, from the lore of Jack Kerouac to the sex appeal of the Hot Rod, America's history is a vehicular history--an idea brought brilliantly to life in this major work by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Ingrassia. Ingrassia offers a wondrous epic in fifteen automobiles, including the Corvette, the Beetle, and the Chevy Corvair, as well as the personalities and tales behind them: Robert McNamara's unlikely role in Lee Iacocca's Mustang, John Z. DeLorean's Pontiac GTO , Henry Ford's Model T, as well as Honda's Accord, the BMW 3 Series, and the Jeep, among others. Through these cars and these characters, Ingrassia shows how the car has expressed the particularly American tension between the lure of freedom and the obligations of utility. He also takes us through the rise of American manufacturing, the suburbanization of the country, the birth of the hippie and the yuppie, the emancipation of women, and many more fateful episodes and eras, including the car's unintended consequences: trial lawyers, energy crises, and urban sprawl. Narrative history of the highest caliber, Engines of Change is an entirely edifying new way to look at the American story.