Think you know all about American auto manufacturers? Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride.
The first car was designed by French inventor, François Isaac de Rivaz, way back in 1808, but it wasn't until the 1890s that these newfangled contraptions hit the United States and started a war ... an auto manufacturer's war, that is.
Many companies recognized the importance of the automobile as a way to get from here to there faster, cheaper, and, for the most part, safer. However, although hundreds of manufacturers set their sights on the new automobile economy, only a handful made it out of the auto wars unscathed. And of that handful, three would rule the industry for generations. Those three were Ford, General Motors and Chrysler - known as The Big Three. Each of these automaker giants positioned themselves as players in the post-World War II economic boom. They survived the Great Depression, coasted through the War years, and emerged as major players that eventually set the tone for the American auto industry.
Once truly a horseless carriage, the American automobile is now the picture of convenience and, some may say, excess. How well do you know American auto manufacturers?
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Henry Ford is widely recognized as one of the industry's biggest innovators, inventing methods that are still in use.
Chevrolet has long been GM's highest volume brand.
The DeLorean Motor Company opened shop after acquiring the old DeLorean production assets, and sells new DeLoreans from new old stock and reproduced parts.
Ford neglected Mercury until the brand was selling nothing but thinly disguised versions of Ford vehicles with little marketing support.
Saturn became known for its plastic body panels, which resisted dents.
Import brands became much more competitive in the luxury car market, and Cadillac couldn't keep up.
As a last-ditch effort to save the Mercury brand, Ford reorganized Mercury and Lincoln under Premier Automotive Group.
Though Saturn didn't offer cars until 1990, Saturn was conceived in 1982 to provide a domestic alternative to Japanese compacts.
Plymouth was named after Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims' landing spot, and Plymouth Binder Twine, a farm supply product.
Though historians are at odds over who actually said it, Henry Ford is largely credited with this quote.
The Walter P. Chrysler Museum, which is located in Auburn Hills, Michigan, opened in October of 1999.
Henry Martyn Leland was first part of the team that founded Cadillac, and then later part of the team that formed Lincoln.
New DeLoreans became available in 2008.
General Motors brought Pontiac and GMC together to reduce the number of low-profit, single-brand dealership franchises, although they remained separate brands.
General Motors kept Cadillac afloat through the Great Depression thanks to its profits from more affordable brands.
Studebaker was founded in South Bend, Indiana, in 1852.
Tesla originally worked with Lotus to build the Tesla Roadster.
Chrysler Defense and Teledyne Continental also submitted proposals for the Army's vehicle project in 1979.
The Panoz family earned their wealth in the pharmaceutical industry.
Thanks to Henry Martyn Leland's involvement at Ford and GM, both Cadillac and Ford offered a vehicle called the Model A.
Dodge rolled out the iconic ram head in 1932.
Sir Herbert Austin's cars were already well-known in England when he decided to start another company building cars in Pennsylvania.
Plymouth established itself as a solid rival to Ford and Chevrolet, holding the third spot in sales for more than two decades.
Oldsmobile made the most cars in America from 1903 until 1905.
Jeeps were first used for military transport during World War II.
Walter Percy Chrysler left Buick over disagreements with some of General Motors' management team.
Fisker Automotive was founded in 2007 to make high-end plug-in hybrid cars, but did not achieve the same success as some rivals and went bankrupt six years later.
Chevrolet was conceived as a way for William C. Durant to elbow his way back into the GM fold. He formed Chevrolet in 1911, and in 1918, Chevrolet came under the GM umbrella, so his plan worked.
Although the Rendezvous was actually an early example of a crossover, it (and its Pontiac sibling, the Aztek) are both considered trucks or SUVs by GM.
David Dunbar Buick invented a process to coat steel with porcelain, which drastically improved the bathing experience.