AMERICAN MOTORS CORPORATION (AMC)
LIFE SPAN: 1954-1987
RISE TO POWER: AMC did a lot during its short existence. Formed when appliance company Nash-Kelvinator bought the Hudson Motor Car Company, AMC was the fourth largest auto company in the country. Throughout the '50s and '60s, it positioned itself directly against the Big Three, introducing competitive models like the Javelin and the AMX to go against cars like the Mustang. It also introduced successful compact models like the Hornet to quell the fears of buyers during the fuel crisis, while selling gas-guzzling SUVs under the Jeep brand.
NOTABLE MODELS: Javelin, AMX, Pacer
DEATH KNELL: Let's see...we can say the end of AMC came when Renault owned a majority stake of the company after many restructuring attempts. But things really started going downhill when AMC failed to adapt to the public shifting their buying habits back to larger cars. Things really came crashing down when Renault's chairman George Besse was assassinated, reportedly for firing thousands of French factory workers right before announcing the building of a high-tech American plant. Renault subsequently sold AMC to Chrysler, who dissolved the company and turned it into the Jeep-Eagle division.