Labor Matters: A Tribute to Auto Workers
The Automobile The Factory The Workers The Union Patriotism Democracy Teamwork Progress

Additional Resources:
Automotive Industry Today 


Automobile, Car & Driver, Road & Track, Motor Trend
The more well-known of the enthusiast press; their strength is product evaluation.

Automotive News
Published by Crain Communications in Detroit, this weekly provides thorough reporting on the industry at a reasonable price.

Published by Crain Communications, this magazine provides product evaluations and racing news, as well as feature articles on the industry.

Published in Great Britain, this monthly provides a useful international perspective and insight into the industry outside North America.

Chilton’s Automotive Industry
A monthly published by Chilton Co., in Radnor, PA, this magazine provides timely articles, guest columns and product evaluations.  Leans toward the technical.

Consumer Reports
A monthly published by Consumers Union, this is the largest single source used by new-car buyers.  The magazine regularly provides product evaluations by its testers and collects data from owners and publishes the results in its April auto issue.  The evaluations are very practical rather than performance oriented.

Ward’s Automotive Reports
Published in Detroit by Ward’s Communications, this weekly newsletter provides a wealth of statistical data on the industry, but at a very high price.  Other newsletters include Ward’s Automotive International and Ward’s Engine and Vehicle Technology Update.

Ward’s Auto World
Published by Ward’s Communications, this monthly has good feature articles on key industry issues and a variety of guest columnists.


Babson, Steve, ed., Lean Work: Empowerment and Exploitation in the Global Auto Industry  (Wayne State University, Detroit, 1995)

A thorough critique of lean production from a variety of perspectives that asserts that lean production delivers much less to workers than it promises and is indeed less successful than its advocates claim.

Cutcher-Gershenfeld; Nichio Nitta; Betty J. Barrett; Nejib Belhedi; Simon Sai-Chung Chow; Takashi Inaba; Iwao Ishino; Wen-Jeng Lin; Michael Moore; William M. Mothersell; Jennifer Palthe; Shobha Ramanand; Mark E. Strolle and Arthur C. Wheaton, Knowledge-Driven Work: Unexpected Lessons from Japanese and United States Work Practices (Oxford University Press, 1988)

A pioneering study of the cross-cultural diffusion of ideas about the organization of work. 

Gelsanliter, David, Jump Start: Japan Comes to the Heartland  (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, New York, 1990)

A look at the transplants from the perspective of the companies, the communities and the state governments.

Halberstam, David, The Reckoning (William Morrow & Co., New York, 1986)

Using Ford and Nissan as case studies, this book is a very thorough analysis of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. and Japanese manufacturers.  One of the most important books on the industry.

Keller, Maryann, Rude Awakening: The Rise, Fall and Struggle for Recovery of General Motors (William Morrow & Co., New York, 1989)

The counterpart to the success story at Ford, this book describes the failure of GM to adapt successfully to the new competitive environment of the 1980s and the efforts of GM to reverse the slide of the company.

Kochan, Thomas, Lansbury, Russell D., and MacDuffie, John Paul, After Lean Production: Evolving Practices in the World Auto Industry (ILR Press, Ithaca, NY, 1997)

Rinehart, James, Christopher Huxley and David Robertson, Just Another Car Factory? Lean Production and Its Discontents (ILR Press, Cornell University, 1997)

Shook, Robert L., Turnaround: The New Ford Motor Company (Prentice Hall Press, New York, 1990)

This book looks at the dramatic reversal of fortunes of the company in the 1980s.  It analyzes and describes the top-to-bottom changes in the company.

Womack, James P., Daniel T. Roos and Daniel Jones, The Machine That Changed the World (Rawson and Associates, New York, 1990)

This book emerged from a study of the international automobile industry done by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  The book describes the relative competitive positions of the world’s automobile producers and analyzes lean production, the production system invented by the Japanese automobile producers and adopted by Ford and other automobile companies.

Yates, Brock, The Decline and Fall of the American Automobile Industry  (Vintage Press, New York, 1983)

A useful book on the industry in the 1970s and early 1980s, written by an auto expert who was very disappointed in the performance of the industry in that era.

World Wide Web Resources

Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, Inc. (AIAM)

Where is North American Automobile Production Headed:  Low-Wage Lean Production Carl H.A. Dassbach, Department of Social Sciences
Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931

Paper analyzes and discusses the trend in the restructuring of automobile production toward low-wage areas south of the U.S., specifically Mexico.

Websites to check out for auto industry news and data:

UAW home page


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Last Updated: 10/12/2005