The Ford Fairmont is a compact car, produced by Ford for the US and Canada markets for the 1978 to 1983 model years. The debut of the Fairmont and its Mercury Zephyr counterpart marked the launch of the long-running Ford Fox platform that would underpin twelve additional models and stay in production until 1993. Offered in a variety of body styles, the Fairmont succeeded the Ford Maverick, was replaced by the front-wheel drive Ford Tempo for the 1984 model year. In April 1973 the American EPA released its comprehensive list of fuel economy results. In October of the same year the 1973 oil crisis started. At the time Ford's North American product line included the subcompact Pinto and Mustang II, the compact Maverick, but replacements for all of these models would soon be needed. At the same time Ford of England's Cortina line was in need of refreshing, as was the Taunus model built by Ford of Germany. Changes were happening at Ford's executive level, as William O. Bourke, ex-chairman of Ford of Europe and one-time managing director of Ford of Australia, was made executive vice president of North American Operations and Robert Alexander with Ford of Europe as vice president in charge of car development, moved to same position in the States.
Hal Sperlich was vice-president of Product Research at Ford. A proponent of downsizing, Sperlich conceived of a "World Car" that could be sold in both Europe and North America as a solution to the needs of the various divisions. In December 1973 Ford President Lee Iacocca formally approved development of Fox platform; the name of the platform was borrowed from the Audi 80, sold in the US and Australia as the Audi Fox. Ford's European executives, many now back in the States, considered the 80 their class-leading subcompact competitor and made it the baseline reference for the new platform. Although the Fairmont would be the first Fox-based car to reach the market, development was guided by an anticipated sport coupe to be based on the new platform. Development started in early 1973 on both a short-wheel base version to replace the Pinto/Cortina/Taunus lines and a long-wheelbase version that would become the Fairmont. By 1974 the difficulties faced in meeting the conflicting regulatory requirements in different markets and differing production methods used by the various divisions had killed the world car idea.
In 1975 North American Automobile Operations took over development of the Fox platform from Sperlich's Product Planning and Research group. The first running Fox/Fairmont prototype was a modified Cortina with a MacPherson strut and torsion bar front suspension. A Fairmont Futura coupe built on 15 November 1977 at the Mahwah, New Jersey factory was the one-hundred millionth vehicle produced by Ford. A 1980 Fairmont station wagon converted to an electric vehicle by Electric Vehicles Associates Inc. and renamed the EVA Current Fare Wagon was evaluated by the US Department of Energy from March 1980 to November 1981. The Ford Fairmont was launched in August 1977 as a 1978 model; the name was first used by Ford in 1965 for the Australian Fairmont, an upscale trim level model of the Ford Falcon, had been used in the South African market in 1969. The Fairmont is based on the rear-wheel drive Ford Fox platform; the independent front suspension comprised lower lateral arms, MacPherson struts, helical-wound coil springs.
In what Ford called a modified or hybrid MacPherson strut system, the coil springs were mounted separately from the struts rather than concentrically, being located between the lower arm and front cross-member. A front anti-roll bar was standard equipment; the rear suspension vertically mounted dampers. The axle was located by four links; the Fairmont has power-assisted brakes, with 10.0 inch vented front discs and 9.0 x 1.8 inch rear drums. Standard wheels and tires were 14x5 DR78-14 respectively. Steering was by a pinion system with 3.2 turns lock-to-lock. For its entire production run, the standard engine for the Fairmont was a 140 cu in inline-4. Producing 88 hp, following several revisions, output rose to 90 hp to 1983; the 2.3L engine was paired with a 3-speed manual, with a 3-speed automatic offered as an option. For 1980 only, a 120 hp turbocharged version of the 2.3L engine was available in Fairmont sedans and coupes. Examples with the turbocharged engine were distinguished by a center-mounted hood "power bulge".
As an option, a 200 cu in inline-6 was offered from 1978 to 1983 model years. While offering less horsepower than the 2.3L inline-4, the 3.3L inline-6 produced more torque. For 1978, the standard transmission was a 3-speed manual. For 1978 to 1981 model years, the Fairmont was offered with two different Windsor V8 engines. For 1978 and 1979, a 139 hp 302 cu in V8 was offered, replaced by a 115 hp 255 cu in V8 for 1980 and 1981. Both engines were paired with a 3-speed automatic transmission; the Fairmont debuted for 1978 with three body configurations. Late in the 1978 model year, a two-door coupe was introduced; the Fairmont Futura was developed from a Fairmont-based Thunderbird design proposal from March 1976. The Futura was a two-door coupe distinguished by a model-specific roofline that featured a wrapove
The Studebaker Lark is a compact car, produced by Studebaker from 1959 to 1966. From its introduction in early 1959 until 1962, the Lark was a product of the Studebaker-Packard Corporation. In mid-1962, the company dropped "Packard" from its name and reverted to its pre-1954 name, the Studebaker Corporation. In addition to being built in Studebaker's South Bend, home plant, the Lark and its descendants were built in Hamilton, Canada, from 1959 to 1966 by Studebaker of Canada Limited; the cars were exported to a number of countries around the world as completed units and knocked down kits which were assembled at a local factory. Lark-based variants represented the bulk of the range produced by Studebaker after 1958 and sold in far greater volume than the contemporary Hawk and Avanti models. Beginning with the 1963 Cruiser, the Lark name was phased out of the company catalog and by early 1964, Lark-based models were being marketed under Commander and Cruiser nameplates only; the Studebaker company, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1952, ceased automobile production in 1966.
At the time the Lark was conceived, Studebaker-Packard Corporation was under a management contract with Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Company. Studebaker-Packard had been losing money for a few years when company president Harold E. Churchill came up with the idea of abandoning the full-size car market in favor of building a new compact car that he hoped would save the company; the Lark was ingeniously designed around the core bodyshell of the full-sized 1953–1958 Studebakers. By reducing the front and rear overhangs and shortening the wheelbase ahead of the firewall, the car could still seat six people comfortably and hold a surprising amount of luggage, it was hoped that the new model would save America's oldest vehicle manufacturer when it was launched in the fall of 1958 as a 1959 model, much like the 1939 Studebaker Champion had saved the company in the years prior to World War II. In fact, it was the Champion which Churchill took as his inspiration for the Lark. Two series of Larks were available, the Lark VI and the Lark VIII, both designations indicated engine type of the cars.
Both series were available in "Deluxe" and "Regal" trim levels. With its simple grille and tasteful use of chrome and clean lines, the Lark "flew" in the face of most of the established "longer and wider" styling norms fostered by Detroit's "Big Three" automakers. Studebaker's 1957-58 Scotsman had proved the existence of a demand for a less-flashy automobile, while the Lark was not nearly so undecorated as the Scotsman, it was unmistakably purer of line than anything Detroit would offer for 1959, save the Rambler American. Sales of the Lark were good for the 1959 and 1960 model year, thanks to the fact that Studebaker had obtained "dual" dealerships with dealers of the Big Three manufacturers that did not as yet have their own compacts to sell. Initial models included two- and four-door sedans, a two-door hardtop coupe and a two-door station wagon, with two levels of trim offered on most. Aside from American Motors Corporation's Rambler line, the Lark offered the broadest line of compacts on the U.
S. market. Indeed, the Lark was the first car of its size to offer a V8 engine — the smaller Rambler American offered only an inline six, though the larger Rambler Rebel did offer a V8 close to the same size as Studebaker's, had since 1957; the lineup grew for 1960, when the company introduced a four-door station wagon. Two-door wagons were fast falling from favor throughout the industry, despite a minor redesign which made the two-door Lark wagon's tailgate and rear side windows more user-friendly, indeed the four-door proved the more popular of the two available wagons from Studebaker. A taxicab version of the Lark called the "Econ-O-Miler," was built on the station wagon's longer 113 in wheelbase; the extra 4.5 in of wheelbase translated into extra rear seat legroom, important in the taxi trade. For 1959 and 1960, Larks were available with either an L-head 170 cu in six-cylinder engine or the company's 259 cu in V8. Testers at the time gave high marks to the V8's performance. A V8 Lark could turn out a 0 to 60 mph time of around 10 seconds, on par with much larger cars.
By comparison, among the early Big Three compacts that arrived on the scene in 1960, only the Valiant could break the 20-second mark from 0-60 mph. None of the Big Three compacts offered a V8 until the second wave of such cars — the so-called "senior compacts" — arrived for 1961. To meet the challenge of those new cars head-on, for 1961 Studebaker created a new four-door sedan, the Cruiser, using the Econ-O-Miler taxicab body with an upgraded, more luxurious interior; the resulting car harked back to the long-wheelbase Studebaker Land Cruiser sedans of the late Forties and early Fifties. These cars can be distinguished from their lesser four-door counterparts by the 1959-60-style roofline and operational vent windows in the rear doors, while other sedans used one-piece glass in the rear doors. A new option, a canvas-covered folding sunroof dubbed the "Skytop" was introduced as an extra-cost feature for sedans and the two-door hardtop. A mild restyling, was carried out. Non-Cruiser sedans and the two-door hardtop received a squared-off roofline, a new front end design gave the Lark a broader grille and the availability of quad headlamps.
Although the styling was modified, engineering enhancements were t
Ford Escort (North America)
The North American variant of the Ford Escort is a small family/compact car introduced by Ford in 1980 for the 1981 model year. Adopting the "Escort" name used by Ford of Europe since 1968 along with the general design and layout of the third-generation European Escort, it was the successor of the Ford Pinto, which had a tarnished reputation for quality and safety after a publicized fuel tank defect; the Escort was one of Ford's most successful models in the 1980s, earning a much better reputation than the Pinto. The Escort was the single best-selling car in its second year in the United States and during most of that decade; the Escort was Ford's first front-wheel-drive car built in North America, a design popularized by the Honda Civic and the Volkswagen Rabbit. It effectively replaced the smaller Ford Fiesta, imported from Europe from 1978 to 1980. For 1991, the North American Escort switched to a Mazda-derived platform and became a twin of the Ford Laser, a compact car sold in Asia and Oceania that has always shared a platform and some powertrain options with the Mazda 323, whose progenitor was available in North America as the 1988 Mercury Tracer.
Redesigned on the same platform for the 1997 model year, the Escort was succeeded by the Ford Focus in 1999 for the 2000 model year in North America, although Escort production continued until 2002. The first North American Escort went on sale on October 3, 1980 for the 1981 model year, along with its corporate twin, the Mercury Lynx, it was intended to share common components with the European Mk III Escort. It was launched with a 65 hp, 1.6-liter hemi overhead cam inline-four. It was available as a three-door hatchback and as a five-door station wagon, with a four-speed manual or a three-speed automatic; the five-door hatchback was first shown in May 1981. The North American Escort had more chrome than Escorts sold elsewhere. 1981 models never had the blue oval logo. The car was freshened in 1982, added Ford's blue oval logo for the first time along with a new grille. For 1982 models, the base price of the Escort 3-door was $5,518; the engine was uprated, to 70 hp. In March 1982 a HO version of the engine was added only in the EXP and with an automatic transmission, but soon thereafter available with a manual and in the sporting Escort GT.
This unit produces 80 hp, thanks to a higher compression ratio, a new exhaust system, larger venturis in the carburator. In addition to the HO engine, the GT featured cosmetic changes such as "GT" emblems and stripes, while under the shell there were uprated brakes and a close-ratio four-speed gearbox. Included were metric TR sport wheels with Michelin TRX tires. For 1984, the GLX model was dropped and replaced with a fuel injected LX model, available as a five-door hatchback or wagon, with a GT engine, blackout trim, "Butterfly" styled cast aluminum wheels; the interior received a new dashboard, a new rubber shift boot for manual models. Flush headlamps, revised taillamps and restyled steel wheels appeared when the Escort was revised and introduced as the 1985½ Ford Escort. There was the Ford EXP, sister version Mercury LN7, targeting the sports car market a two-seat hatch with lower roofline, not as successful as other body styles. Although the basic silhouette was the same, it was completely different from the European version, apart from the Ford CVH engine.
There was a 1.6 L engine, a 4-speed MTX-2 and a 5-speed MTX-3 manual transmission as standard options, an optional 3-speed ATX/FLC automatic transmission. A 1.3 L engine was designed and prototyped but did not see production due to lack of power, an inability to get it certified. Beginning in 1983, a GT model offered a multi-port EFI version of the 1.6 L four-cylinder that increased power by 20 hp over the base carbureted version. It came with a 5-speed transmission, TRX handling package and rear spoilers, metric-sized alloy wheels and fog lights. Beginning with the 1984 model year, the Ford EXP received the option of the turbocharged 1.6 L four-cylinder rated at 120 hp and matching torque. The turbo engine found its way into the Escort GT as well during the 1984 model year. 1984 was the year that Mazda's 2-liter diesel engine became available in the Escort and Lynx. 1981–1985 1.6 L CVH I4, 65–70 hp 1982–1985 1.6 L CVH High Output I4, 80 hp 1984–1985 1.6 L turbocharged CVH I4, 120 hp 1984–1985 2.0 L RF diesel I4, 52 hp The 1985½ model received a facelift, the 1.6 L engine was replaced with a 1.9 L. GT models featured a high output engine with revised intake manifold, cylinder head and a real header available only with a manual transmission.
The Lynx was replaced by the Mazda 323-derived Tracer model. The Escort saw another minor facelift in mid-1988, which smoothed out rear fascias. New plastic bumpers, larger rear side windows, a more rounded rear-end design and larger wheels modernized the look of the cars. Three-door hatchback models had a curving windowline along the side towards the rear
The AMC Gremlin is an American subcompact automobile introduced in 1970, manufactured and marketed in a single, two-door body style in America by American Motors Corporation — as well as in Mexico by AMC's Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos subsidiary. Featuring a shortened Hornet platform and bodywork with a pronounced vertical tail, the Gremlin was classified as an economy car by 1970s U. S. standards and competed with the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto, as well as imported cars that included the Volkswagen Beetle and Toyota Corolla. The small domestic automaker marketed the Gremlin as "the first American-built import"; the Gremlin reached a total production of 671,475 over a single generation — and was superseded by a restyled variant, the AMC Spirit. The idea for the Gremlin began in 1966 when design chief at American Motors, Richard A. Teague, stylist Bob Nixon discussed the possibility of a shortened version of AMC's compact car. On an airline flight, Teague's solution, which he said he sketched on an air sickness bag, was to truncate the tail of a Javelin.
Bob Nixon joined AMC as a 23-year-old and did the first formal design sketches in 1967 for the car, to be the Gremlin. Ford and General Motors were to launch new subcompact cars for 1971, but AMC did not have the financial resources to compete with an new design. Teague's idea of using the pony car Javelin resulted in the AMX-GT concept, first shown at the New York International Auto Show in April 1968; this version did not go into production, but the AMX name was used from 1968 to 1970 on a shortened, two-seat sports car built from the Javelin. Instead, Bob Nixon, AMC's future Chief of Design, designed the new subcompact based on the automaker's Hornet model, a compact car; the design reduced the wheelbase from 108 to 96 inches and the overall length from 179 to 161 in, making the Gremlin two inches longer than the Volkswagen Beetle and shorter than the Ford Pinto and Chevrolet Vega. Capitalizing on AMC's advantage as a small car producer, the Gremlin was introduced on April 1, 1970, was rated a good buy at an economical price.
The April 6, 1970, cover of Newsweek magazine featured a red Gremlin for its article, "Detroit Fights Back: The Gremlin". The car was available as a "base" two-passenger version with no rear seat and a fixed rear window, at a suggested retail price of $1,879, as a four-seat hatchback with an opening rear window, at $1,959. From the front of the car to the B-pillars, the Gremlin was the same as the AMC Hornet. Although it was only fractionally longer than the contemporary Volkswagen Beetle, Time said the length of its hood over the front-mounted engine made "the difference seem more", adding that the car "resembles a sawed-off station wagon, with a long, low hood and swept-up rear, is faintly reminiscent of the original Studebaker Avanti." As with the Volkswagen, the Gremlin's styling set it apart from other cars. Time said, "like some other cars of less than standard size, the back seat is designed for small children only." The Gremlin's wider stance gave it "a stable and comfortable ride—for the two front passengers”, for whom, by small-car standards, there was more than average interior width, seat room and leg room.
The six cubic feet of luggage space behind the back seat was less than in the rear-engined Volkswagen Beetle, but with the seat folded the cargo area tripled to 18 cubic feet. The upright design of the tail, which enlarged interior space, was aerodynamically efficient. European and Japanese manufacturers created different body styles on one compact car chassis by extending or curtailing the trunk. Designed and named by Teague to look either "cute or controversial - depending on one's viewpoint... for many, it seemed perfect for the free-thinking early 1970s." American Motors executives felt confident enough to not worry that the Gremlin name might have negative connotations. Time magazine noted two definitions for gremlin: "Defined by Webster's as'a small gnome held to be responsible for malfunction of equipment.' American Motors' definition:'a pal to its friends and an ogre to its enemies.'" The car's cartoon-inspired mascot was marketed for product differentiation and was intended to be memorable to consumers.
The Gremlin's unorthodox hatchback design was needed to make the car stand out in the competitive marketplace, according to Teague: "Nobody would have paid it any attention if it had looked like one of the Big Three" automobiles. AMC promoted the Gremlin as "America's first subcompact"; this description overlooks the earlier Crosley. The Metropolitan—a subcompact-sized captive import, American-conceived and American-designed for the American market, built in the UK with a British engine—has a claim to be "America's first subcompact."American Motors promoted the Gremlin as "cute and different" and the marketing strategy was successful with more than 60 percent of the purchasers were under 35 years old. The Gremlin debuted in April 1970 with AMC's 199 cu in I6, a seven main bearing design which produced 128 hp as standard equipment, with AMC's 232 cu in I6 - producing 145 hp - as an option. AMC said the Gremlin offered "the best gas mileage of any production car made in America". According to the auto editors of Consumer Guide it had "an unusually long option list for the era" so owners could have luxury and conveniences found in more expensive cars, these options "came with a much higher profit margin" for the automaker.
As the first of the new domestic subcompact cars, "the
Ford Maverick (Americas)
The Ford Maverick is a compact car manufactured and marketed by Ford for model years 1970–1977 in the United States as a two-door sedan employing a rear-wheel drive platform original to the 1960 Falcon — and subsequently as a four-door sedan on the same platform. The Maverick was manufactured in Venezuela, Mexico, from 1970 to 1979, in Brazil; the name "maverick" was derived from the word for unbranded range animals, the car's nameplate was stylized to resemble a longhorned cow head. The Maverick was introduced on April 1969 as a 1970 model; the Maverick was conceived and marketed as a subcompact "import fighter", intended to do battle with the Volkswagen Beetle and newer Japanese rivals for North America from Honda and Toyota. The Falcon, Ford's compact offering since 1960 and main rival to the Chevrolet Nova and Dodge Dart, had seen its sales decimated by the introduction of the Mustang in 1964, despite a redesign in 1966, was unable to meet the forthcoming U. S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration motor vehicle standards that would come into effect on January 1, 1970.
The Falcon was discontinued midway through the 1970 model year, the Maverick repositioned as Ford's compact entry, giving the Nova and Dart a new rival. A bigger Falcon was a rebranded low-trim version of the Fairlane for the second half of the model year went away; the Maverick's styling featured the long hood, fastback roof, short deck popularized by the Mustang, on a 103-inch wheelbase — and featured pop-out rear side windows. Nearly 579,000 Mavericks were produced in its first year, approaching the record-setting first year of Mustang sales, outpaced the Mustang's sales of fewer than 200,000 in 1970. Available only as a 2-door sedan, early models lacked a glove compartment, added for model year 1973. A 4-door sedan on a 109.9-inch wheelbase was introduced in 1971. At introduction, exterior paint colors were named with puns, including Anti-Establish Mint, Hulla Blue, Original Cinnamon, Freudian Gilt, Thanks Vermillion — along with more typical names including Black Jade, Champagne Gold, Gulfstream Aqua, Meadowlark Yellow, Brittany Blue, Lime Gold, Dresden Blue, Raven Black, Wimbledon White, Candyapple Red.
In the first half of production for the 1970 model, two engine options were available, a 105 hp 170 cu in straight 6 and a 120 hp 200 cu in straight 6. A 250 cu in straight 6 was added mid-year. Commercials and advertsing compared the Maverick at $1995 to the smaller Volkswagen Beetle, about $500 less in price; the Pinto was Ford's primary competitor to the Beetle in the subcompact class, while competing in that segment with the Chevrolet Vega and AMC Gremlin subcompacts new to the market at that time. The earliest Mavericks featured a two-spoke steering wheel with a partial horn ring found on other 1969 Fords, while late 1969 production was changed to a revised steering wheel with no horn ring; the early models located the ignition switch in the instrument panel while the cars built after September 1, 1969 had the ignition switch mounted on a locking steering column, as did all other 1970 Fords in compliance with a new federal safety mandate that took effect with the 1970 model year. A four-door model was introduced in 1971, available was a vinyl roof.
Mercury revived the Mercury Comet as a rebadged variant of the Maverick. A 210 hp 302 CID V8 was introduced for both the Comet and the Maverick; the Comet was distinguished from the Maverick using a different grille, taillights and hood. The Maverick Grabber trim package was introduced in mid-1970; the package included trim, including a spoiler. It was offered from 1970 to 1975. In 1971 and 1972, the Grabber came with a special "Dual Dome" hood. A Sprint package offered for 1972 featured white and blue two-toned paint with red pinstripes and a special color coordinated interior; the rear quarter panels included a stylized U. S. A. flag sheild. This trim package was available for only one year. A "Luxury Decor Option" trim level introduced late in the 1972 model year included reclining bucket seats in a soft vinyl material, plush carpeting, woodgrained instrument panel trim, radial tires with body-color deluxe wheel covers, a vinyl roof; the Maverick LDO option was one of the first American compacts to be marketed as a lower-priced alternative to the more expensive European luxury/touring sedans from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, other makes.
Minor changes were made from 1973 to 1975. For 1973, the 170 CID engine was dropped. Additionally, improved brakes and a optional chrome grille became standard. An AM/FM stereo, aluminum wheels, a new larger front bumper to comply with federal 5 MPH regulations. In 1974, the Maverick was unchanged except for new larger federally required 5 MPH bumpers for both front and rear which required new rear quarter panel end caps. Jumping gas prices and increasing demand for smaller cars resulting from the Arab oil embargo did cause the Maverick to grow in popularity, selling 10,000 more units than the year before. Production of the Maverick dropped in 1975 with the release of the Granada as a more European-style luxury compact; the Maverick received minor trim changes for 1975 that included new grilles and the replacement of nameplates on the hood and trunklid with FORD nameplates, in block letters. In 1976, the Grabber was dropped, a Stallion package was introduced; the Stallion option trim. Standard Mavericks received another new grille and gained front disc brakes as standard equip
1973 oil crisis
The 1973 oil crisis began in October 1973 when the members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo. The embargo was targeted at nations perceived as supporting Israel during the Yom Kippur War; the initial nations targeted were Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States with the embargo later extended to Portugal and South Africa. By the end of the embargo in March 1974, the price of oil had risen from US$3 per barrel to nearly $12 globally; the embargo caused an oil crisis, or "shock", with many short- and long-term effects on global politics and the global economy. It was called the "first oil shock", followed by the 1979 oil crisis, termed the "second oil shock." By 1969, American domestic output of oil could not keep pace with increasing demand. Oil started to replace coal as a preferred fuel source — it was used to heat homes and generate electricity, it was the only fuel that could be used for air transport. In 1920, American oilfields accounted for nearly two-thirds of global oil production.
In 1945, US production had increased to just over two-thirds. The US had been able to meet its own energy needs independently in the decade between 1945 and 1955, but was importing 350 million barrels per year by the late 1950s from Venezuela and Canada. In 1973, US production had declined to 16.5% of global output. The costs of producing oil in the Middle East were low enough that companies could turn a profit despite the US tariff on oil imports; this hurt domestic oil producers in places like Texas and Oklahoma, selling oil at tariff-supported prices and now had to compete with cheap oil from the Persian Gulf region. The first American firms to take advantage of low production costs in the Middle East were Getty, Standard Oil of Indiana, Continental Oil and Atlantic Richfield. In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said "As long as Middle Eastern oil continues to be as cheap as it is, there is little we can do to reduce the dependence of Western Europe on the Middle East." At the behest of independent American producers, Eisenhower imposed quotas on foreign oil that would stay in place between 1959 and 1973.
Critics called it the "drain America first" policy. Some scholars believe the policy contributed to the decline of domestic US oil production in the early 1970s. While US oil production declined, domestic demand was increasing at the same time leading to inflation and a rising consumer price index between 1964 and 1970. US surplus production capacity had declined from 4 million bpd to around 1 million bpd between 1963 and 1970, increasing American dependence on foreign oil imports; when Richard Nixon took office in 1969, he assigned George Shultz to head a committee to review the Eisenhower-era quota program — Shultz's committee recommended that the quotas be abolished and replaced with tariffs but Nixon decided to keep the quotas due to vigorous political opposition. Nixon imposed a price ceiling on oil in 1971 as demand for oil was increasing and production was declining, which increased dependence on foreign oil imports as consumption was bolstered by low prices. In 1973 Nixon announced the end of the quota system.
Between 1970 and 1973 US imports of crude oil had nearly doubled, reaching 6.2 million barrels per day in 1973. Until 1973, an abundance of oil supply had kept the market price of oil lower; the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, was founded by five oil producing countries at a Baghdad conference on September 14, 1960. The five founding members of OPEC were Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. OPEC was organized after the oil companies slashed the posted price of oil, but the posted price of oil remained higher than the market price of oil between 1961 and 1972. In 1963, the Seven Sisters controlled 86% of the oil produced by OPEC countries, but by 1970 the rise of "independent oil companies" had decreased their share to 77%; the entry of three new oil producers—Algeria and Nigeria—meant that by 1970 eighty-one oil companies were doing business in the Middle East. In the early 1960s Libya and Qatar joined OPEC. OPEC was regarded as ineffective until political turbulence in Libya and Iraq strengthened their position in 1970.
Additionally, increasing Soviet influence provided oil producing countries with alternative means of transporting oil to markets. Under the Tehran Price Agreement of 1971 the posted price of oil was increased and, due to a decline in the value of the US dollar relative to gold, certain anti-inflationary measures were enacted. In September 1973 Richard Nixon said, "Oil without a market, as Mr. Mossagedh learned many, many years ago, does not do a country much good," referring to the 1951 nationalization of the Iranian oil industry, but between October 1973 and February 1974 the OPEC countries raised by posted price fourfold to nearly $12. On August 15, 1971, the United States unilaterally pulled out of the Bretton Woods Accord; the US abandoned the Gold Exchange Standard whereby the value of the dollar had been pegged to the price of gold and all other currencies were pegged to the dollar, whose value was left to "float". Shortly thereafter, Britain followed; the other industrialized nations followed suit with their respective currencies.
Anticipating that currency values would fluctuate unpredictably for a time, the industrialized nations increased their reserves in amounts far greater than before. The result was a depreciation
The Chevrolet Cruze is a compact car, made by the Chevrolet division of General Motors since 2008. The nameplate has been used in Japan, for a version of a subcompact hatchback car produced under a joint venture with Suzuki from 2001 to 2007, was based on the Suzuki Ignis. Since 2009, the Cruze nameplate has designated a globally developed and manufactured four-door compact sedan—complemented by a five-door hatchback body variant from 2011, a station wagon in 2012; the Cruze was released earlier in 2008 to the South Korean market under the name Daewoo Lacetti Premiere until the phasing out of the Daewoo brand in favor of Chevrolet in 2011. In Australia, the model has been on sale since 2009 as the Holden Cruze; this new generation Cruze does not serve as a replacement for the Suzuki-derived Japanese market predecessor. Instead, it replaces three other compact models: the Chevrolet Optra sold internationally under various names, the Chevrolet Cobalt, sold in North America, the Opel-sourced, Australia-market Holden Cruze.
Production of the Cruze in the United States and Mexico ended in 2019, while the car is still produced and sold in other markets worldwide. Before the release of the global Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan in 2008, General Motors made use of the name "Cruze" between 2001 and 2008 in Japan. Announced as the Chevrolet YGM1 concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1999, the original Cruze was derived from the subcompact Suzuki Ignis five-door hatchback. Despite the Chevrolet branding, the YGM1, like the production car, was the work of GM's Australian arm, Holden. Along with the styling, Holden executed most of the engineering work and were responsible for devising the "Cruze" nameplate; the Cruze came either with a 1.3- or 1.5-liter engine coupled to either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions. Manufactured by Suzuki in Japan, GM revealed the production Chevrolet Cruze in October 2001, with Japanese sales commencing the following month. From 2002 through to 2006 this generation of Cruze was sold in New Zealand.
In New Zealand this generation Cruze was sold as the Chevrolet Cruze. The production Cruze had standard front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive optional. Chevrolet pursued a marketing strategy that positioned the high-riding Cruze as a light-duty sport utility vehicle; this contrasted with Suzuki's approach with the Ignis marketed as a conventional passenger model. From 2003, Suzuki of Europe began manufacturing the Cruze as the Suzuki Ignis—representing a facelift of the original Ignis, but only for European markets. In 2008, GM introduced the Cruze compact car; this J300 iteration serves as a replacement for the Chevrolet Cobalt, Daewoo Lacetti and Holden Astra—all unrelated cars. GM phased out production of the Cobalt and its badge engineered counterpart, the Pontiac G5 in 2010, just prior to the manufacturing of the Chevrolet Cruze was to commence; the first renderings of the Cruze were revealed by GM at a press conference on July 15, 2008, with the first official images released on August 21, 2008.
Cruze production sites include Gunsan, South Korea. Holden's localized hatchback version of the Cruze built at the Elizabeth, South Australia factory from late 2011 joined the Cruze sedan manufactured there since March 2011. GM in the United States has upgraded the existing plant in Lordstown, Ohio to manufacture the Cruze, investing more than US$350 million. At the ceremony of the start of production of Cruze at Ohio, Mark Reuss, the president of GM's North American operations said, "This is everything for us", it is described as GM's most significant new vehicle introduction into North America since the Chapter 11 reorganization in 2009, is GM's latest attempt to build a small size car that North American consumers would "buy because they like it – not because it is cheap". Underpinned by the front-wheel drive GM Delta II platform, GM has confirmed the Cruze development program occurred under a global design and engineering team. GM Daewoo in South Korea played a leading role in the design and engineering of the Cruze, along with GM's German-based Opel division.
This development program spanned over 27 months at a cost of US$4 billion. A total of 221 prototypes were tested in Australia, China, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. According to GM, the Cruze's body structure is 65 percent high-strength steel. MacPherson struts are utilized in the front suspension with a solid torsion beam axle for the rear, avoiding the cost and complexity needed for a modern multi-link independent rear suspension used by some more expensive rivals. According to GM's global product development chief Mark Reuss, the North America version Cruze is modified from the global platform as it requires reinforcements to the engine compartment because it offers a bigger engine than in other markets and uses torsion beam suspension. Hydraulically-assisted rack and pinion steering gives for a 10.9-meter turning circle. Braking-wise, ventilated front, solid rear disc brakes are employed, both using piston steel calipers. To counteract noise and harshness, engineers have designed the Cruze with an isolate