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Car Chase

History Repeating Itself as Auto Companies Downsize

By Autosaurus Published: January 23, 2009

Tough times in the automotive industry are nothing new.  The big wave of automobile factory closings took place in the early 1920's, when the U. S. was hit by a post-World War I recession.  A number of well-known automobile companies closed their doors or were assimilated by healthier companies.  That recession was followed by a period of prosperity, which ended with the stock market crash in October 1929.  Many automobile companies enjoyed record sales in 1929 and 1930 but all too soon it was apparent the good days were over.  By the early 1930's companies were again closing their doors, including what was left of the auto industry in Cleveland-Peerless, Jordan and Chandler among them.  As the Thirties moved on some of the greatest names in the American automobile industry disappeared-Marmon, Franklin, Stutz and Pierce-Arrow.  Cadillac and Lincoln survived thanks to the deep pockets of their parent companies.  Packard survived by going down-market.  So, what's happening today is really nothing new-unless you include the dominance of the Japanese auto industry, which wasn't a factor in those early days.

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