American Auto Manufacturers Quiz


About This Quiz

Think you know all about American Auto Manufacturers? Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride.

The first car was designed by French inventor, François Isaac de Rivaz, way back in 1808, but it wasn't until the 1890s that these newfangled contraptions hit the United States and started a war... an auto manufacturer's war, that is.

Many companies recognized the importance of the automobile as a way to get from here to there faster, cheaper, and, for the most part, safer. However, although hundreds of manufacturers set their sights on the new automobile economy, only a handful made it out of the auto wars unscathed. And of that handful, only three ruled the industry for generations. Those three were Ford, General Motors and Chrysler - known as The Big Three. Each of these automaker giants positioned themselves as players in the post-World War II economic boom. They survived the Great Depression, coasted through the War years, and emerged as major players that set the tone for the America auto industry.

Once truly a horseless carriage, the American automobile is now the picture of convenience and, some may say, excess. How well do you know American auto manufacturers?

Get in gear and take this quiz!

Which automaker is largely credited with revolutionizing the auto manufacturing process?

Henry Ford is widely recognized as one of the industry's biggest innovators, inventing methods that are still in use.

What brand has been General Motors' largest volume seller since the 1920s?

Chevrolet has long been GM's highest volume brand.

What famed movie car can still be bought new, nearly two decades after its manufacturer went out of business?

The DeLorean Motor Company opened shop after acquiring the old DeLorean production assets, and sells new DeLoreans from new old stock and reproduced parts.

What led to Mercury's demise?

Ford neglected Mercury until the brand was selling nothing but thinly disguised versions of Ford vehicles with little marketing support.

General Motors tried really hard to make the Saturn buying and ownership experience different. What was unique about Saturn's actual cars?

Saturn became known for its plastic body panels, which resisted dents.

Cadillac recovered during the 1950s and 1960s, and then sales began to decrease again in the 1980s. What was the cause of its decline?

Import brands became much more competitive in the luxury car market, and Cadillac couldn't keep up.

Premier Automotive Group was formed in the early 2000s, primarily to handle Ford's acquisition of European brands such as Aston Martin, Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo. Which two American brands were also rolled into this umbrella?

As a last-ditch effort to save the Mercury brand, Ford reorganized Mercury and Lincoln under Premier Automotive Group.

When was General Motors' Saturn brand first conceived?

Though Saturn didn't offer cars until 1990, Saturn was conceived in 1982 to provide a domestic alternative to Japanese compacts.

What was Plymouth named after?

Plymouth was named after Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims' landing spot, and Plymouth Binder Twine, a farm supply product.

Who is credited with saying "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses"?

Though historians are at odds over who actually said it, Henry Ford is largely credited with this quote.

Where is the Walter P. Chrysler Museum located?

The Walter P. Chrysler Museum, which is located in Auburn Hills, Michigan, opened in October of 1999.

Which two automotive brands had one of the same founders?

Henry Martyn Leland was first part of the team that founded Cadillac, and then later part of the team that formed Lincoln.

When did the new DeLorean Motor Company start selling new DeLorean vehicles?

New DeLoreans became available in 2008.

Why did GMC and Pontiac merge in 1996?

General Motors brought Pontiac and GMC together to reduce the number of low-profit, single-brand dealership franchises, although they remained separate brands.

How did Cadillac survive the Great Depression?

General Motors kept Cadillac afloat through the Great Depression thanks to its profits from more affordable brands.

What town was the home of Studebaker?

Studebaker was founded in South Bend, Indiana, in 1852.

Before Tesla Motors introduced its luxurious electric Model S, there was the Tesla Roadster, which consisted of Tesla's electric drivetrain in car bodies supplied by another manufacturer. Who did this fledgling American manufacturer partner with?

Tesla originally worked with Lotus to build the Tesla Roadster.

AM General was the auto company chosen by the U.S. Army to produce the military vehicle that became the Humvee. Which other companies submitted bids for the project?

Chrysler Defense and Teledyne Continental also submitted proposals for the Army's vehicle project in 1979.

Panoz Auto Development Company is a small American exotic car manufacturer that was founded in 1988. Where did Daniel Panoz's startup capital come from?

The Panoz family earned their wealth in the pharmaceutical industry.

Which two automotive brands sold a Model A?

Thanks to Henry Martyn Leland's involvement at Ford and GM, both Cadillac and Ford offered a vehicle called the Model A.

In what decade was the ram introduced as the Dodge brand's mascot of sorts?

Dodge rolled out the iconic ram head in 1932.

Which American car company's founder had previously started a car company in Europe?

Sir Herbert Austin's cars were already well-known in England when he decided to start another company building cars in Pennsylvania.

What brand held the third top-selling spot in America from the early 1930s into the 1950s?

Plymouth established itself as a solid rival to Ford and Chevrolet, holding the third spot in sales for more than two decades.

What was America's leading car producer for a brief time before Chevrolet and Ford took the top spots?

Oldsmobile made the most cars in America from 1903 until 1905.

What was the purpose of the very first Jeep vehicle, as built by Willys-Overland?

Jeeps were first used for military transport during World War II.

Where did Walter Percy Chrysler work before founding Chrysler?

Walter Percy Chrysler left Buick over disagreements with some of General Motors' management team.

What American luxury electric car company went defunct in 2013?

Fisker Automotive was founded in 2007 to make high-end plug-in hybrid cars, but did not achieve the same success as some rivals and went bankrupt six years later.

William C. Durant founded General Motors but was quickly removed from power. What brand did he then form as revenge (of sorts)?

Chevrolet was conceived as a way for William C. Durant to elbow his way back into the GM fold. He formed Chevrolet in 1911, and in 1918, Chevrolet came under the GM umbrella, so his plan worked.

In Buick's early days, the brand produced some truck models, but then stopped to focus on more traditional passenger vehicles. What vehicle was considered Buick's first truck in 70 years?

Although the Rendezvous was actually an early example of a crossover, it (and its Pontiac sibling, the Aztek) are both considered trucks or SUVs by GM.

What did David Dunbar Buick make before founding his car company?

David Dunbar Buick invented a process to coat steel with porcelain, which drastically improved the bathing experience.

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