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CHEVROLET AUTOMOBILES VS. FOREIGN CARS 1970s PROMOTIONAL FILM 43054

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Produced in the early 1970s as rising foreign imports caused the American auto industry to undergo a sea change, this color film touts the importance of American craftsmanship. It begins with a vitriolic assessment of how the number of foreign-made cars had increased on American roadways since the 1950s. In 1950, we are told at mark 01:20, less than one car in 1,000 came from overseas. Twenty years later the number stood at 170 out of every 1,000 vehicles. On that note, we are introduced to the Chevrolet production, “The Bug and the Beetle.” Beginning at mark 02:00, we see scenes of Volkswagen being unloaded from ships in Boston and Baltimore as the narrator says with disgust, “Just a few miles away they’re rolling right past the plant where Chevrolets are assembled, headed for our customers.”

The same “problem” exists on the West Coast, where just before mark 03:00 there are more scenes of Japanese products such Toyota, Nissan, and Datsun, and the revelation that 41 percent of all cars in Los Angeles County were foreign-made. It’s the same story in the Midwest, New England, Washington, D.C., and every other part of the country, including Flint, Michigan, the viewer is glumly informed at mark 04:05.

“But they’re not the enemy — they’re the competition,” says the narrator.

As a result, American car manufacturers are faced with a challenge and need to step it up, from the sales force that sells the product to the plant workers who make them, as we see foreign-made objects from stereos to baseball mitts to sweaters. “American motorcycles have just about disappeared,” it is said at mark 06:20. “We haven’t lost yet in the auto business … but we’ve forgotten how we made our business strong.” By coming to work, working hard, and doing the job right will make American manufacturers stronger. “Everybody has to show up and work every scheduled working day,” the narrator sternly says at mark 10:30. “Five out of five in a Chevrolet, that’s what we need. Three out of five isn’t enough to build a car to compete … If we can count on you, we won’t have to count foreign cars.”

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com

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