1916: The Launch of an Automotive Enterprise

July 29, 1916

A new automotive enterprise took shape when the Nash Motors Company was incorporated in Baltimore, Maryland. The incorporation occurred after Charles W. Nash, who had recently stepped down as president of General Motors (GM) Corporation, bought the automobile manufacturer Thomas B. Jeffery Company to revamp it into his own enterprise for making vehicles.   

As a major part of that transition, Nash took over Jeffery’s huge plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and vigorously put his own distinctive stamp on the place. His many changes there during the first year included moving around, rebuilding, or replacing every piece of machinery in the factory. Nash Motors made more than two million dollars in its first 15 months of operation. The Nash Model 671, a two-door sedan that was the first vehicle bearing the name of the company and its founder, came out in 1917.

One of Nash Motors’ other notable products had first been developed by Jeffery in 1913: a four-wheel drive truck known as the Quad (also called the Jeffery Quad or Nash Quad). The Quad was one of the world’s first successful four-wheel drive vehicles and came equipped with several engineering innovations that allowed it to effectively negotiate rough and often unpaved roads. 

By 1919, Nash Motors had produced and sold a total of 31,008 vehicles. The company continued to thrive during the 1920s despite increasingly formidable competition from the “Big Three” automotive giants GM, Ford, and Chrysler. (The above photo features a 1925 Nash automobile.)

As the result of its merger with the Kelvinator Appliance Company in 1937, Nash Motors became the automotive division of the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. In 1954, that corporation merged with the Hudson Motor Car Company to form American Motors Corporation (AMC). The production of Nash vehicles continued as part of AMC until 1957.

Photo Credit: CZmarlin (File:1925 Nash automobile.JPG – Wikimedia Commons)

For more information on the Nash Motors Company (also called the Nash Motor Company), please check out 100 years ago: The creation of Nash Motors Co. | News | kenoshanews.com and Charles W. Nash and the Nash Motor Company | Wisconsin Historical Society (wisconsinhistory.org)

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