1954-1987: American Motors Corporation
American Motors Corporation (AMC) was formed on January 14, 1954 by the merger of the Hudson Motor Car Company and the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. Hudson’s were redesigned to become like the Nash body style and AMC was to produce both Nashes and Hudson’s and one of AMC’s first projects was to build the Nash Metropolitan. However, the names Hudson and Nash disappeared in 1957 and all models from that point on were called Rambler. During the 1960s, AMC became a strong competitor in automobile sales and in 1961 Ramblers were among the top 5. In 1963, the entire Rambler line was named the Motor Trend Car of the Year.
In the late 70s, AMC was struggling financially and to make matters worse, in 1978 around 300,000 of AMCs 1975-1976 vehicles were recalled for faulty pollution control. Damages and repairs were roughly estimated to be over $3 million. A year later, AMC was purchased by Renault, the French automaker which produced a satisfactory profit for the company who seemed to strive despite sinking industry sales.
American Motors saw another dip in the market due to the production of Japanese cars in the US. With the advent of Americans purchasing foreign cars in large numbers, AMC struggled to keep afloat causing Renault to contemplate its share in the company. On March 2, 1987 Lee Iacoca made a deal with Renault to purchase their share in AMC to give Chrysler controlling interest AMC. However, the Chrysler Corporation discontinued the AMC and Renault brand names and the American Motors Corporation became the Jeep-Eagle division of Chrysler which is still known today and became highly profitable for Chrysler.