The Demise of Detroit: Why the Big Three Lost?


Code : COM0016

Year :

Industry : Automobiles

Region : USA

Teaching Note:Available

Structured Assignment :Available

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Abstract: Detroit's Big Three - 'General Motors', 'Ford' and 'Chrysler' reigned supreme in the U.S. automobile market all through the 1960s and 1970s. But the Japanese, German and Korean car manufacturers, who gradually eroded the Big Three's US market in the 1980s, challenged their supremacy.

The invasion started with the small-car segment and by the end of the 1990s, the SUV and the luxury car segments had also been captured. The Big Three had underestimated their competition and failed to understand the pulse of the market. With its inflexible plants, high legacy costs and their looming labour problems, Detroit was in deep waters.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To highlight the gradual erosion of the Big Three's US market
  • To discuss the reasons for such erosion.
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    Keywords : General Motors; Ford; Industry Analysis Case Study; DaimlerChrysler; Toyota; Honda; BMW; Volkswagen; Detroit; Motown; United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers (UAW); Hyundai; Market share of Big Three; Big Three; The end of Detroit; US automobile industry

    Contents :
    The Fall of the Titans
    Detroit's Achilles Heel

    Case Introduction >>

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