Markets, Networks, and the Rise of Chrysler in Old Detroit, 1920-1940
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
Date Written: March 2000
During the two decades before World War II, as this article demonstrates, the relationship between the Big Three American automakers and their parts suppliers was remarkably similar to the celebrated cooperation of Japanese auto assemblers and their trading partners after 1980. Unlike the arms-length multisourcing that characterized American firms after 1960, the prewar Detroit production culture featured collaborative development, cost sharing, and long-term innovative relationships. This system nurtured the rise of Chrysler, which not only grew from a standing start in 1920 to convert the General Motors-Ford duopoly into the `Big Three` by 1930, but also established itself as the industry`s leader in innovation and profitability.
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