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Billy, Alfred, and General Motors by William Pelfrey

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CHAPTER NINE

Down but Hardly Out

The Genius was not immune to either criticism or crisis. It took just one unexpected hiccup in the vehicle market to expose his baby’s cash flow problem and send Billy Durant scrambling to the despised banking community for help.

By the spring of 1910, the feared market saturation that had sparked J. P. Morgan’s first effort to put together an automotive combine seemed to have finally arrived. With Henry Ford’s Model T continuing to soar, makers of luxury cars were trying to add lower-priced models. The market for large cars suddenly dried up (a drought that would prove to be very short-lived) and General Motors was suddenly in a financial crisis.

Billy’s baby was now offering twenty-one different models, produced ...

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