Kaiser - Kaiser Manhattan 1953
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Super originele kaiser Manhattan
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Bijzondere auto
Joseph Frazer remained as a sales consultant and vice-chairman of the Kaiser-Frazer board until 1953. At the 1953 annual stockholders' meeting, Kaiser-Frazer Corporation's name was changed by stockholder vote to Kaiser Motors Corporation.[13] Shortly before meeting, Kaiser-Frazer's Kaiser Manufacturing Corporation division worked out a deal to purchase certain assets (and assume certain liabilities) of the Willys-Overland Corporation, makers of Willys cars and Jeep vehicles.[14] The purchase was made by Kaiser-Frazer's wholly owned subsidiary company, Kaiser Manufacturing Corporation. After completing the acquisition, Kaiser Manufacturing Corporation changed its name to Willys Motors, Incorporated.[15] During late 1953 and 1954, Kaiser Motors operations at Willow Run Michigan were closed down or moved to the Willys facility in Toledo, Ohio.[16]
While sales were initially strong because of a car-starved public, the company did not have the resources to survive long-term competition with GM, Ford, and Chrysler. The original Kaiser-Frazer design was distinctive and fresh but the company was unable to maintain the price point it needed for long-term success. Kaiser-Frazer was able to work out deals with General Motors not only to get the GM Hydra-Matic automatic transmissions but had a signed deal for detuned Rocket 88 engines from Oldsmobile with deliveries starting in the 1952 model year. The deal was contingent on Olds being able to expand its Lansing, MI engine production facility; that expansion was cancelled due to factory expansion restrictions put in place by the government due to military needs during the Korean War.[17] K-F had their own V-8 engine development program that ran through 1949 but, as the lead engineers on the team stated to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) they found their work was leading down a "blind alley" and would not work as a production motor.[18] Frazer cars ended up suffering as a luxury and upper medium price make due to changing market conditions, as Hudson and Studebaker found out during the 1950s when similar situations befell them. The Henry J, while a well-meaning idea, but was hamstrung by various government requirements stemming from a re-capitalization loan the government made to the company in the fall of 1949.[19] Kaiser-Frazer labor agreements resulted in the company paying the highest wages of any American automaker and getting a productivity rate of only 60–65% in return.[20] Kaiser tried to get around its deficiencies with schemes like elaborate designer interiors with fancy dashboards and upholstery. A line of "Traveler" sedans with the trunk connected to the interior of the car were an improvised attempt at a station wagon.
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