Sunday, April 21, 2013

1970 and lee Iacocca as a Prophet -- a critical Point in American Automobile Industry History

Hi folks -- now that the Stealing Cars book is in the hands of the publisher I am turning to the first stages of a new study, this time dealing with the end of the Golden Age. Drawing from a statement taken from John Jerome's The Death of the Automobile, I am looking at the years 1969-1972. Recently I found an interview of Lee Iacocca in 1970 that proved to be quite prophetic. The major point of the article was that the Auto industry had reached a point in its history and that how it responded in the months that would follow "could affect the business health of the nation for years to come."

Iacocca would remark that "Ten years from now, if we do this wrong...."

He saw potential mistakes coming from the manufacturers, labor and federal government that would increase inflationary pressures and open the door to foreign competition.

From Iacocca "that the new American minicars [the Pinto and Vega] coming on the market would be Detroit's one chance to defend its home market against the foreigners....If we don't win them [consumers] back now, we never will."

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