American Motors Corporation (AMC) was an American automobile company formed by the 1954 merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company. At the time, it was the largest corporate merger in U.S. history.
AMC went on to compete with the US Big Three, Ford, GM and Chrysler – with its small cars including the Rambler American, Hornet, Gremlin and Pacer; muscle cars including the Marlin, AMX and Javelin, and early 4-wheel-drive variants of the Eagle, America’s first true crossover.
The company was known as “a small company deft enough to exploit special market segments left untended by the giants,” and was widely known for the design work of chief stylist, Dick Teague, who “had to make do with a much tighter budget than his counterparts at Detroit’s Big Three” but “had a knack for making the most of his employer’s investment.”
After periods of intermittent but unsustained success, Renault acquired a major interest in AMC in 1979 — and the company was ultimately acquired by Chrysler. At its 1987 demise, The New York Times said AMC was “never a company with the power or the cost structure to compete confidently at home or abroad.”
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