Manufacturing Was Uniformly Low: 159 Wagons

The outcome looked fatter too, aggravated by a short, squat grille — eggcrate on Customs, bar-type on other ­models — that was far-less-elegant than the slim prow of 1941-47. All this moved auto author Tom McCahill to pronounce the ’48 Packard fit for “a dowager in a Queen Mary hat.” Many merely called it a “pregnant elephant.”

Thus far at the least, the twenty first century has been a rough time for Detroit. Despite closing plants and cutting jobs because the 1980s, General Motors and different main carmakers misplaced their as soon as-vaunted aggressive edge, burdened by enormous fixed costs and continuing losses in sales and market share to import-model rivals. Add in unexpected jumps in materials costs, plus a market whipsawing from thirsty trucks to thriftier automobiles within the face of record gas costs, and the result is a “excellent storm” that threatened to ship the big Three crashing on the rocks of bankruptcy.

Serving the reason for more energizing air was the Vue Inexperienced Line, Normal Motors’ first mainstream car with a Low Speed High Torque Motor-emissions, excessive-mileage gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain. An early 2007 addition, it employed a 2.4-liter Ecotec 4 and a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack feeding 10 kilowatts to an electric motor/generator. A 4-speed torque-converter computerized transmission channeled a most 170 net horsepower to the entrance wheels.

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