Is it possible that the great General Motors Corporation is fated to join the list of failed auto makers? Will GM become another vague familiar company name like Willys-Knight, Essex, and Stutz?
It hardly seems fair to put GM among America’s 500 former car manufacturers. The Piggins Brothers of Kenosha, Wisconsin, for example, only produced cars for one year. General Motors is still operating cars in 140 countries and employing a quarter million people. In 2008 alone, GM sold 8.5 million vehicles.
Still, bankruptcy will be a major upheaval. No one expects General Motors to emerge unchanged from the experience. The most optimistic forecast says that General Motors will turn around their operations and become profitable again within one to two years. The most pessimistic prediction is even less probable: American auto manufacturing is dead.
But rather than focus on the predictions or lessons regarding the current crises, we thought we’d offer some Post advertisements from past automakers—beautifully illustrated pieces from the day when America built its first automobile dynasty.