The Fate of the Edsel
RISE AND FLOWERING
IN the calendar of American economic life, 1955 was the Year of the Automobile. That year, American automobile makers sold over seven million passenger cars, or over a million more than they had sold in any previous year. That year, General Motors easily sold the public $325 million worth of new common stock, and the stock market as a whole, led by the motors, gyrated upward so frantically that Congress investigated it. And that year, too, the Ford Motor Company decided to produce a new automobile in what was quaintly called the medium-price range—roughly, from $2,400 to $4,000—and went ahead and designed it more or less in conformity with the fashion of the day, which was for cars that were long, wide, ...