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From tail fins to hybrids: How Detroit lost its dominance of the U.S. auto market

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  • Thomas H. Klier

Abstract

This article explores the decline of the Detroit Three (Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors). The author identifies three distinct phases of the decline—the mid-1950s to 1980, 1980 to 1996, and 1996 to 2008—culminating in the bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors in 2009. In showing how the U.S. auto industry has evolved since the mid-1950s, this article provides a historical frame of reference for the ongoing debate about the future of this industry.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its journal Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): Q II ()
Pages: 2-17

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhep:y:2009:i:qii:p:2-17:n:v.33no.2

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  1. Thomas H. Klier & Joshua Linn, 2009. "The price of gasoline and the demand for fuel economy: evidence from monthly new vehicles sales data," Working Paper Series WP-09-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Thomas H. Klier, 1994. "The impact of lean manufacturing on sourcing relationships," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jul, pages 8-18.
  3. Kwoka, John E, Jr, 1984. "Market Power and Market Change in the U.S. Automobile Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 509-22, June.
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