The global competition to dominate the world’s largest manufacturing industry—the $3 trillion automotive sector—has set off a high stakes race for money, power, and the car of tomorrow. And America has a secret weapon.
Begun in 1896 by Henry Ford, the Great Race has been a century-long battle for market share, profit, and technological dominance in the international automobile industry. Today that twentieth century behemoth is in the throes of a final revolution. Its future will include cars Ford would scarcely recognize. They will drive themselves, won’t consume oil, and will come in radical new shapes and sizes.
It is a story of American resurgence. Over half a century, America dominated the contests for mass production, weaponization, and exports. But starting in the 1970s America’s fortunes began to decline. After a close brush with extinction, America’s auto giants are again in fighting form.
This battle among industrial superpowers has been defined by audacious upstarts, visionaries, corporate titans, engineers, politicians, and luck—both good and bad. Today the hottest action is in the world’s three largest economies, China, Japan, and America. Team America has a surprising secret to success: a small group of technology activists from the state of California. The story of why and how these men and women were able to shape the future of the world’s largest manufacturing industry is one of the century’s greatest, most illuminating, and most unexpected tales of strategy, markets, and innovation.
The Great Race is a bare-knuckled fight among nations for the commanding heights of the global economy. Money, power, and the planet’s future hang in the balance as corporations and countries struggle amidst the galloping pace of change. Tillemann’s breathtaking account explains just how America bounced back in this global contest and what it will take to command the industrial future.