In 2018, nearly half of all vehicles manufactured in North America were produced in foreign factories and the industry was on the way to dominate the market. Nevertheless, the sector has been discounted from its national counterpart, both in popular memory and in scholarship.
Timothy J. Minchin’s Other American automakers offers a new history of the foreign auto industry, the first to make exhaustive use of archival sources and articulate the human agency of participants, including recruiters, workers and managers in the industry.
Minchin confronts the perspective that the growth of the sector primarily reflected incentives, instead emphasizing human action and the complexity of individual histories. The book – deeply human in its approach – also studies the effect of the sector on grassroots communities, showing that it has had more spending than supporters have recognized.
Other American automakers draws on a plethora of primary and secondary sources and exposes significant pressures on discriminatory hiring reports, unionization and unease about the rapid growth of the industry, critically analyzing seven major assembly facilities and their effects on the communities in which they were built.