Comeback: The Fall & Rise of the American Automobile Industry
In Comeback, Pulitzer Prize-winners Paul Ingrassia and Joseph B. White take us to the boardrooms, the executive offices, and the shop floors of the auto business to reconstruct, in riveting detail, how America's premier industry stumbled, fell, and picked itself up again. The story begins in 1982, when Honda started building cars in Marysville, Ohio, and the entire U.S. car industry seemed to be on the brink of extinction. It ends just over a decade later, with a remarkable turn of the tables, as Japan's car industry falters and America's Big Three emerge as formidable global competitors. Comeback is a story propelled by larger-than-life characters -- Lee Iacocca, Henry Ford II, Don Petersen, Roger Smith, among many others -- and their greed, pride, and sheer refusal to face facts. But it is also a story full of dedicated, unlikely heroes who struggled to make the Big Three change before it was too late.
By A Customer - March 30, 2002
This book is excellent. It reads like a novel -- managers and executives are described in terms of their personalities and their accomplishments/failures. The "plot" progresses from the early 1980s when Honda entered the American automobile market to the mid-1990s when the Big Three finally got their stuff together and cameback from near failure to become true competitors again. I would recommend this book as a must-read to anyone interested in the automobile industry and a good read for anyone else.
Pretty good, but tedious at times
By A Customer - October 19, 1998
This book is pretty good, but it spends too much time, I think, describing everything that the auto companies did wrong, and not enough about what they did right. An interesting feature of this book is that in the portion about what went wrong the book details almost exclusively the foibles of the CEO and Vice Presidents of the car companies, while the section on the "comeback" details the activities of lower rank managers and engineers. Coincidence or intentional? The message seems to be that when CEO's get out of the way, the workers can succeed. Overall, this book was good, but I thought that Mary Walton's "CAR" was a better car book.
By John Mccarrier - January 26, 2012
This book is a well written record of many key events in the history of the major domestic auto manufacturer in the period from 1984-1994. These events include the hiring and firing of CEO's at all three companies. The authors also tell the stories of the development of the Fiero, Neon, and 1994 Mustang as well as the establishment and impact of the Nummi manufacturing plant.
The unfortunate message of the book is that the domestic auto manufacturers had learned many painful lessons in the late 1980's and early 1990's and by 1994 had made sufficient strides in labor relations, new product development, product quality, use of automation, lean manufacturing, and organizational flexibility to successfully meet the challenge posed by Japanese auto manufacturers. Clearly their victory lap was premature.
The authors noted in their epilogue that during this period the domestic manufacturers blamed their problems on the government, unfair trade, blockheaded workers,... read more
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