Journal Article

The all-steel body as a cornerstone to the foundations of the mass production car industry

Paul Nieuwenhuis and Peter Wells

in Industrial and Corporate Change

Volume 16, issue 2, pages 183-211
Published in print April 2007 | ISSN: 0960-6491
Published online April 2007 | e-ISSN: 1464-3650 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icc/dtm001
The all-steel body as a cornerstone to the foundations of the mass production car industry

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This article provides a novel account of the development of the mass production car industry. The usual primacy given to Henry Ford, the moving assembly line and the organisation of labour is counter-balanced by a focus on production technology. Using historical sources, emphasis is placed on the all-steel body technology pioneered by Edward Budd, whose importance to modern mass car production has only become evident in the light of later, post-Ford developments in the automotive industry. The diffusion of this technology is shown to have transformed the economic structure of the US car industry, providing the structural template for contemporary car manufacturing around the world.

Journal Article.  11425 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Industrial History ; Business History ; Innovation ; Technological Change; Research and Development ; Industry Studies

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