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"Pick a good model and stay with it," Henry Ford once said. No, he was not talking about cars; he was talking about marriage. Was Clara Bryant Ford a "good model"? Her husband of fifty-nine years seems to have thought so. He called her "The Believer," and indeed Clara's unwavering support of Henry's pursuits and her patient tolerance of the quirks and obsessions that accompanied her husband's genius made it possible for him to change the world. In telling the story of "Clara Ford", author Ford Bryan also charts the course of the growing automobile industry and the life of the enigmatic man at its helm. But the book's heart is Clara herself-daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother; cook, gardener, and dancer; modest philanthropist and quiet role model. Clara is newly revealed in accounts and documents gleaned from personal papers, oral histories, and archival material never made public until now.
Chinese production of automobiles rose from 42,000 cars per year in 1990 to 2.3 million in 2004; the number of passenger vehicles on the road doubled every two and a half years through the 1990s and continues to grow. In China Shifts Gears, Kelly Sims Gallagher identifies an unprecedented opportunity for China to "shift gears" and avoid the usual problems associated with the automobile industry--including urban air pollution caused by tailpipe emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and high dependence on oil imports--while spurring economic development. This transformation will only take place if the Chinese government plays a leadership role in building domestic technological capacity and pushing foreign automakers to transfer cleaner and more energy-efficient technologies to China. If every new car sold in China had the cleanest and most energy-efficient of the automotive technologies already available, urban air pollution could be minimized, emissions of climate-altering greenhouse gases would be lower than projected, and the Chinese auto industry would continue to flourish and contribute to China's steady economic development. But so far, Gallagher finds, the opportunity to shift gears has been missed.Gallagher looks in detail at three U.S.-Chinese joint ventures: Beijing Jeep, Shanghai GM, and Chang'An Ford. These case studies are based on original research, including interviews with 90 government officials, industry representatives, and experts in both countries. Drawing from the case studies, Gallagher explores the larger issues of the environmental and economic effects of technology transfer in the automobile industry and the policy implications of "leapfrogging" to more advanced technology.
The production of bicycles in Britain and the United States recently suffered severe setbacks. The renowned American Schwinn brand was downgraded to the mass market by its new owners following bankruptcy, and Britain's Raleigh came close to closure because of high debts and poor returns, saved only by a last-minute management buyout. In both cases, market share and credibility were lost to newer, more innovative firms, as well as to a recentering of the global bicycle industry in the Far East.This book reflects on such changes by setting them within a sociological and historical context. It focuses on the British bicycle industry in the interwar years and in the 1980s and the 1990s--periods characterized by modernization of production and of industrial organization, by changing relations among players in the industry, by new developments in labor relations, and by changes in interactions between markets and product design. In particular, it traces the fortunes of the Raleigh Cycle Company from its beginnings as an innovative young firm, through massive expansion of its products and markets and the assimilation of many of its competitors, into further innovation amid market contraction and management inertia, and finally into a phase of global restructuring that has transformed and reduced its role within the industry.The book explores the complex ways in which product design, production methods, industrial organization, and the cultures of cycling have interacted to create a succession of sociotechnical frames for the bicycle. At the same time, on an activist level, the book promotes a participatory politics of bicycle technology and a less car-centered view of personal transportation.
In the 1950s, Brazil prohibited car imports and forced transnational auto companies either to abandon the market or manufacture vehicles within the country. Although currently contending approaches to economic development would suggest that this type of industrialization policy would fail in the political-economic context of postwar Brazil, the plan was successful according to a variety of criteria. The Brazilian auto industry would become the largest in the periphery. The book explains the economic and political motivations behind the plan, and why Brazil relied on foreign firms to do the job. It documents the bargaining process between the Brazilian government and transnational firms, estimates the cost incurred by the government as a result of the plan, and provides new archival evidence that shows that firms would not have invested without government pressure. It argues that the current, polarized debate on the role of the state in economic development must become more nuanced, as the Brazilian auto case suggests that the effectiveness of state policy can vary greatly across sectors and over time.
Drawing on primary historical material, The Struggle for Control of the Modern Corporation, provides a historical overview of decision making and political struggle within one of America's largest and most important corporations. Freeland examines the changes in the General Motors organization between the years 1924 and 1970. He takes issue with the well-known argument of business historian Alfred Chandler and economist Oliver Williamson, who contend that GM's multidivisional structure emerged and survived because it was more efficient than alternative forms of organization.
This highly topical book brings together some of the world's
leading specialists on the global car industry who discuss the ins
and outs of the faster lane of regionalism at a time that the world
is reassessing the ins and outs of globalization. It provides a
thorough and up-dated mapping of the worldwide geography of the car
industry, in the triad regions (Europe, North America and Japan),
and in the emerging countries and regions.
For decades, the auto industry has been at the heart of American manufacturing, providing jobs for countless Americans and boosting local economies. From the invention of the automobile to the rise of modern assembly lines, American carmakers have led the field for many years. However, beginning in the latter half of the 20th centuries, American carmakers faced stiff competition from foreign car manufacturers with innovative models and production techniques. After years of declining auto sales, the industry was nearly destroyed by the recession of 2008. This book analyzes how the auto industry reached this point, tracing the causes of the crisis back to their roots.
Focusing on how cities have been torn down and remade based on the needs of the automobile and wars are fought to keep fuel tanks filled, this consideration looks closely at the country's obsession with cars. The argument contends that the automobile's ascendance is inextricably linked to several factors--from capitalism and involved corporate malfeasance to political intrigue, backroom payoffs, and media manipulation. The discussion also cites the elements of racism, academic corruption, third world coups, secret armies, environmental destruction, and even war, stating that when the domination of cars is challenged, capitalism is as well. Comparing studies in more than a dozen U.S. cities, this gritty, anti-car, road-trip story provides a unique observation for all those who wish to escape the clutches of auto insanity.
Industrial Development and the Social Fabric
Originally published between 1956 and 1997, the volume in this set take the automobile industry experience as a basis for a wider view of industrial relations, trends and developments from the 1950s to the 1990s. They also analyse the emergence of new institutions and systems of labour-management relationships, examine the effects of automotion and technical change, the impact of fluctuations in the market for cars and wage trends. They discuss the car and its role in social, geographical and political change. The volumes provide: detailed surveys of some of the biggest post-war disputes and especially of trade union organization. the experience of individual firms, such as Austin, Ford and Fiat. comparative surveys of labour relationships in major car manufacturing countries such as the UK, USA, Germany and Japan. And include: material about the technology, design and production of cars and the ancillary fields of oil production, refining and road building.
An elegy--angry, funny, and powerfully detailed--about the slow
death of a Detroit auto plant and an American way of life.
"From the Hardcover edition."
"Ford R. Bryan, an indefatigable researcher and facile writer, has a wonderful knack of delving into the nooks and crannies of Henry Ford's multi-faceted life. In the process he has added immeasurably to our knowledge and understanding of one of America's most fascinating personalities. Scholarly and readable, Friends, Families & Forays, Bryan's sixth book in fifteen years, will delight both general readers and 'Fordophiles."' - Dr. David L. Lewis, University of Michigan "For those of us with an insatiable appetite for any information relating to the life of Henry Ford, Ford R. Bryan has once again written a fascinating book. We are all indebted to Mr. Bryan for the many years that he has spent documenting the many sides of Henry Ford not commonly known to the general public and in many cases never before described in written form." - Mike Skinner, President, Henry Ford Heritage Association
Recounting his three years in Korea, the highest-ranking non-Korean executive at Hyundai sheds light on a business culture very few Western journalists ever experience, in this revealing, moving, and hilarious memoir. When Frank Ahrens, a middle-aged bachelor and eighteen-year veteran at the Washington Post, fell in love with a diplomat, his life changed dramatically. Following his new bride to her first appointment in Seoul, South Korea, Frank traded the newsroom for a corporate suite, becoming director of global communications at Hyundai Motors. In a land whose population is 97 percent Korean, he was one of fewer than ten non-Koreans at a company headquarters of thousands of employees. For the next three years, Frank traveled to auto shows and press conferences around the world, pitching Hyundai to former colleagues while trying to navigate cultural differences at home and at work. While his appreciation for absurdity enabled him to laugh his way through many awkward encounters, his job began to take a toll on his marriage and family. Eventually he became a vice president-the highest-ranking non-Korean at Hundai HQ. Filled with unique insights and told in his engaging, humorous voice, Seoul Man sheds light on a culture few Westerners know, and is a delightfully funny and heartwarming adventure for anyone who has ever felt like a fish out of water-all of us.
The story of the ghostwriting of Alfred P. Sloan's best-selling memoir, General Motor's attempts to block the book's publication, and the author's eventual triumph over the corporation. Published in 1964, My Years with General Motors was an immediate best-seller and today is considered one of the few classic books on management. The book is the ghostwritten memoir of Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. (1875-1966), whose business and management strategies enabled General Motors to overtake Ford as the dominant American automobile manufacturer in the 1920s and 1930s. What has been largely unknown until now is that My Years with General Motors was almost not published. Although it was written with the permission of General Motors-and slated for publication in October 1959-at the last minute General Motors tried to suppress the book out of fears that some of the material in it could become evidence in an antitrust action against the company. This book, by John McDonald, Sloan's ghostwriter, tells the behind-the-scenes story of the book's writing, its attempted suppression, and the lawsuit that eventually led to its publication. McDonald's narrative is partly the David-and-Goliath story of a lone journalist taking on the world's then-largest corporation and partly a study of strategy in its own right. McDonald's struggle to publish the book led him to navigate a complicated course among the competing interests of General Motors, Fortune magazine (his employer), and Time, Inc. (Fortune's owner). In many ways this "book about the book" parallels the Sloan book as a tale of successful, brilliantly planned strategy.
From its origins in the Slavia bicycle company, founded by Laurin and Klement in 1895, to its present position as a vital division of the Volkswagen Group, runs an unbroken line of innovation, engineering excellence and determination in adversity that maintained it in the past and now secures its future. There are those prepared to trot out old jokes and perpetuate old prejudices; those whom reality has passed by. This work has no problem with humour, and brings a good deal to this work, designed to set the record straight. This work describes the company's singular position in the Czech republic; the unique character of its state of the art factories; and its importance in the future of the mighty Volkswagen. In the true account of the people, events and products that form its history, the Skoda company itself has the last laugh.
For many years the British motorcycle industry was the largest in the world, not counting low-powered mopeds and scooters and the like. After World War II the motorcycle industry was the third largest source of foreign exchange for the United Kingdom after motor cars and Scotch whiskey. Yet by 1975 the industry was essentially dead. What led to the fall of the motorcycle industry in Britain, after virtually defining the country for so long? Shooting Star: The Rise and Fall of the British Motorcycle Industry is the first comprehensive look at the motorcycle industry with a critical look at business and trade practices that led to its demise. The full romance, beauty and excitement of the machines and especially the top racers who rode them is captured here, but it's all blended for the first time with information about the lesser known businessmen who built the companies and then ran them into the ground, as well as a critical look at some of the engineers and designers who were brilliant and badly flawed at once. The failures of the British motorcycle industry are a painful object lesson for the badly strapped American automobile industry at the present time.
Anybody who is a dedicated Toyota driver and admirer of the Toyota Production System would be shocked to read of Ryoji Ihara's experience as a casual worker in a Toyota factory in Japan. As the Toyota Motor Company continues on its inexorable march to become the world's biggest and most profitable carmaker, workers on the factory floor are still making sacrifices under the appalling conditions so graphically described in Satoshi Kamata's 1973 account, Japan in the Passing Lane: An Insider's Account of Life in a Japanese Auto Factory. Ihara's book is both a fearless expos and a meticulous academic study firmly situated within the context of the sociology of labor. Drawing on recent theoretical debates in Japan as well as internationally, the author challenges widely held views on the respective roles of skill, supervision, and quality control in the car industry. Specialists in car industry research unable to access Japanese language sources should welcome this English translation of Ryoji Ihara's book, now with an additional chapter update. Yet, belying its academic intent, the work is written in a relaxed, entertaining style that should appeal to any reader with an interest in car making, the sociology of work, or Japanese society in general.
Originally published in 1991, this book examines the spatial implications of the changes to the automobile industry at world, national and local levels. The volume brings together the work of North American, European and Japanese geographers, economists and sociologists, and includes perspectives from the components industry, the shop floor experience and local economic policy making.
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