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AMC (American Motors Corporation)

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AMC
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A former American manufacturer of cars.  AMC is an initialism of American Motors Corporation. Formed 14 January 1954 with the merger of Nash & Hudson.

Vehicle names used by AMC currently and throughout history include:  Ambassador, AMX, Concord, Eagle, Gremlin, Hornet, Javelin, Marlin, Matador, Pacer, Rebel, and Spirit.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's American Motors page on 16 August 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

American Motors Corporation (AMC) was an American automobile company formed by the 1954 merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company. At the time, it was the largest corporate merger in U.S. history.

AMC went on to compete with the US Big Three, Ford, GM and Chrysler — with its small cars including the Rambler American, Hornet, Gremlin and Pacer; muscle cars including the Marlin, AMX and Javelin, and early 4-wheel-drive variants of the Eagle, America's first true crossover.

The company was known as "a small company deft enough to exploit special market segments left untended by the giants," and was widely known for the design work of chief stylist, Dick Teague, who "had to make do with a much tighter budget than his counterparts at Detroit's Big Three" but "had a knack for making the most of his employer's investment."

After periods of intermittent but unsustained success, Renault acquired a major interest in AMC in 1979 — and the company was ultimately acquired by Chrysler. At its 1987 demise, The New York Times said AMC was "never a company with the power or the cost structure to compete confidently at home or abroad."

1954 Creation

The 1954 merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company, and the creation of American Motors, was led by George W. Mason to reap benefits from the strengths of the two firms to battle the much larger "Big Three" automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler).

Within a year, George W. Romney, future governor of Michigan, took over, reorganizing the company and focusing AMC's future on a new small car line. By the end of 1957 the legacy Nash and Hudson brands were completely phased out. The company struggled at first, but Rambler sales took off. A Rambler won the 1959 Mobil Economy Run and by 1960, was the third most popular brand of automobile in the United States, behind Ford and Chevrolet. After two model years (1963 and 1964) of only producing compact cars, AMC focused back to larger and more profitable cars like the Ambassador line from the perceived negative of the Rambler's economy car image. In the face of deteriorating financial and market positions, Roy D. Chapin, Jr., took charge to revitalize the company, and designer Richard A. Teague economized by developing several vehicles from common stampings. While prices and costs were cut, new and more sporty automobiles were introduced, and from 1968 AMC became known for the Javelin and AMX muscle cars.

AMC purchased Kaiser's Jeep utility vehicle operations in 1970 to complement its existing passenger car business. Beginning in the early 1970s, the company moved towards all-new compact car designs based on the Hornet, including the Hornet itself and the Gremlin. Other new models in the 1970s included the Matador and Pacer. Sagging sales and tight finances resulted in the elimination of the Matador line in the 1979 model year and the Pacer line in 1980, leaving AMC to focus almost exclusively on its Hornet platform based cars and the Jeep line. Hornet derivatives of the late 1970s included the Spirit and Concord, while the innovative 4-wheel-drive AMC Eagle introduced in 1979 was one of the first true crossovers.

From 1980, AMC partnered with France's Renault to help finance their manufacturing operations, obtain much-needed capital, and source subcompact vehicles. By 1983 Renault had a controlling interest in AMC. In the 1983 model year, the AMC brand focused entirely on AWD autos; the company stopped producing two wheel drive cars. AMC facilities were used to produce Renault Alliance and Encore compact and subcompact cars. In 1985 Chrysler entered an agreement with AMC to produce Dodge Diplomats and Plymouth Furys as well as Dodge Omnis and Plymouth Horizons in AMC's Kenosha, Wisconsin plant. At the time, AMC had excess manufacturing capacity, thus contract manufacturing for Chrysler made sense. In 1987, after further new vehicle development that included the Medallion (a re-badged Renault 21) and Giorgietto Giugiaro's Italdesign new full-size front-drive sedan that became the Eagle Premier, Renault sold its 47% ownership stake in AMC to Chrysler. Chrysler made a public offer to purchase all the remaining outstanding shares of AMC stock on the NYSE. Renault left the US market completely as a brand in 1987. The Renault Medallion was sold through the newly formed Jeep Eagle Division of Chrysler as an Eagle, not a Renault. AMC's badge would be used on the Eagle Sports Wagon through the 1988 model year, then be eliminated entirely. The Jeep/Eagle division of Chrysler Corporation was formed from the AMC Jeep Renault dealer network. The Jeep and Eagle vehicles were marketed primarily by former AMC dealers. Ultimately, the Eagle Brand of car would be phased out like Chrysler's DeSoto, Plymouth, and Imperial by 1998.

Legacy of Divisions

During its history, American Motors bought or created, then later sold and divested itself of several specialized divisions, some which continue to exist today:

Kelvinator, the subdivision of Nash-Kelvinator, was sold by American Motors in 1968 to White Consolidated Industries and subsequently became part of Electrolux. The Kelvinator Company is still in business.

Jeep is now a brand of the Chrysler Group. Many Jeep models retained the mechanical specifications and styling cues that were developed by AMC well into the 1990s or even into the first decade of the 2000s.

AM General is now owned by MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings and the Renco Group. It was organized as an LLC in August 2004.

Wheel Horse Products Division is now owned by the Toro Company.

Beijing Jeep was established by AMC in 1983 to produce Jeeps for the burgeoning Chinese market; the joint venture was inherited by Chrysler and continues under the ownership of the new Chrysler. AMC's trials with the venture were the subject of a fairly well known book on the venture, "Beijing Jeep", by James Mann.


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
8 November 1966NHTSA Recall 66V021000 1965-1966 AMC
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page
Model Year 1969AMA Specifications - Passenger Car
American Motors Corporation

PDF
- 4.8MB - 32 pages
Model Year 1970AMA Specifications - Passenger Car
American Motors Corporation

PDF
- 5.3MB - 32 pages
Model Year 19711971 AMA Specifications Form ... Passenger Car
American Motors Corporation

PDF
- 5.9MB - 36 pages
Model Year 19721971 AMA Specifications Form ... Passenger Car
American Motors Corporation

PDF
- 6.0MB - 38 pages




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