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American Motors facts for kids

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American Motors Corporation
Industry Automotive
Fate Discontinued
(renamed Jeep Eagle Corporation 1988, merged into Chrysler 1990)
Successor Chrysler
AM General
FCA (since 2014)
Founded May 1, 1954; 67 years ago (1954-05-01)
Defunct June 20, 1988; 33 years ago (1988-06-20)
Headquarters Southfield, Michigan, U.S.
Products
  • Automobiles
  • Military vehicles
  • Buses and delivery vehicles
  • Sport utility vehicles
  • Major home appliances
  • Commercial refrigeration
  • Lawn care products

American Motors Corporation (AMC) was an American automobile company formed by the merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company on 1 May 1954. At the time, it was the largest corporate merger in U.S. history.

AMC went on to compete with the U.S. Big Three—Ford, General Motors and Chrysler—with its small cars including the Rambler American, Hornet, Gremlin and Pacer; its intermediate and full-size cars including the AMC Ambassador, AMC Rebel, and AMC Matador; muscle cars including the Marlin, AMX and Javelin; and early four-wheel-drive variants of the Eagle, the U.S. market's first true crossover.

In an effort to stay competitive, American Motors produced a wide range of products during the 1960s and added innovations long before the "Big Three" introduced them. While the "Big Three" introduced ever-larger cars, George W. Romney's leadership focused the company on the compact car, a fuel-efficient vehicle 20 years before there was a real need for them.

1958 Rambler sedan pink and white NJ
1958 Rambler sedan

A letter to shareholders in 1959 claimed that the introduction of new compact cars by AMC's large domestic competitors (for the 1960 model year) "signals the end of big-car domination in the U.S." and that AMC predicts small-car sales in the U.S. may reach 3 million units by 1963.

American Motors was also beginning to experiment in non-gasoline powered automobiles. On April 1, 1959, AMC and Sonotone Corporation announced a joint research effort to consider producing an electric car that was to be powered by a "self-charging" battery.

AMC World Headquarters (1954–1975) was located at 14250 Plymouth Road in Detroit and was widely known as the Plymouth Road Office Center (PROC). In 1975, AMC moved its headquarters from the facility on Plymouth Road to a newly constructed building on Northwestern Highway in Southfield, Michigan, known as the American Center.

After periods of intermittent but no success, Renault acquired a major interest in AMC in 1979—and the company was ultimately acquired by Chrysler in 1987.

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