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Making and Selling Cars

Innovation and Change in the U.S. Automotive Industry

James M. Rubenstein

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From the creation of fast food, to the design of cities, to the character of our landscape, the automobile has shaped nearly every aspect of modern American life. In fact, the U.S. motor vehicle industry is the largest manufacturing industry in the world.

James Rubenstein documents the story of the automotive industry... which despite its power, is an industry constantly struggling to redefine itself and assure its success. Making and Selling Cars: Innovation and Change in the U.S. Automotive Industry shows how this industry made adjustments and fostered innovations in both production and…

From the creation of fast food, to the design of cities, to the character of our landscape, the automobile has shaped nearly every aspect of modern American life. In fact, the U.S. motor vehicle industry is the largest manufacturing industry in the world.

James Rubenstein documents the story of the automotive industry... which despite its power, is an industry constantly struggling to redefine itself and assure its success. Making and Selling Cars: Innovation and Change in the U.S. Automotive Industry shows how this industry made adjustments and fostered innovations in both production and marketing in order to remain a viable force throughout the twentieth-century.

Rubenstein builds his study of the American auto industry with care, taking the reader through this quintessentially modern history of production and consumption. Avoiding jargon while never over simplifying, Rubenstein gives a detailed and straightforward account of both the production and merchandising of cars. We learn how the industry began and about its methods for building cars and the modern American marketplace. Along the way there were many missteps and challenges—the Edsel, the fuel crisis, and the ascendancy of Japanese cars in the 1980s. The industry met these types of problems with new techniques and approaches. To demonstrate this, Rubenstein gives the reader examples of how the auto industry used to work, which he alternates with chapters showing how the industry has reinvented itself. Making and Selling Cars explains why the U.S. automotive industry has been and remains a vigorous shaper of the American economy.

Reviews

Reviews

The strengths of the work lie in its discussions of the early entrepreneurs and dealerships and of recent market trends. Rubenstein, who is a geographer, presents an excellent examination of regional sales and production trends... [Making and Selling Cars] would serve as a fine text for undergraduate courses on the motor industry.

Rubenstein has written a very useful book for those of us interested in the evolution of the American automobile industry... Rubenstein manages to make sense of the evolution of key factors, at the same time as isolating elements that remain central to the success (and occasional failure) of the U.S. automotive industry.

The analysis within the book moves understandings of the [automobile] industry in a number of new directions... The length of the perspective taken (over 100 years), the breadth of disciplines that the author draws on, and the attractive writing and visual presentation of the book all combine to provide readers with a valuable source text.

This is a comprehensive history of the automobile industry with much data on production and the market... Rubenstein obviously loves cars... The book is fascinating.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
416
ISBN
9780801888533
Illustration Description
33 halftones, 19 line drawings
Table of Contents

Chapter 1. From Mass Production
Chapter 2. To Lean Production
Chapter 3. From Making Parts
Chapter 4. To Buying Parts
Chapter 5. From Deskilling the Workforce
Chapter 6. To Reskilling Labor
Chapter 7. From

Chapter 1. From Mass Production
Chapter 2. To Lean Production
Chapter 3. From Making Parts
Chapter 4. To Buying Parts
Chapter 5. From Deskilling the Workforce
Chapter 6. To Reskilling Labor
Chapter 7. From a Class-based Market
Chapter 8. To a Personal Market
Chapter 9. From Dealing with Customers
Chapter 10. To Serving Customers
Chapter 11. From a National Market
Chapter 12. To an International Market

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

James M. Rubenstein

James M. Rubenstein is a professor of Geography at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. His previous publications include The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography, An Introduction to Geography: People Places and Environment, and The Changing U.S. Auto Industry: A Geographical Analysis.