Charles William Nas, a Successful automotive entrepreneur.

Charles William Nas, a Successful automotive entrepreneur.

Charles William Nash was elected as the fifth president of General Motors in November 19, 1912. Under his leadership, General Motors made immense gains in profits earned and vehicles produced.  Nash was born on January 28, 1964 on a farm in DeKalb Country, Illinois. His parents separated with him when, he was six years old and his future shaped by the courts. Under a guard hips court, Nash was sent to live and work for a farmer named Robert Lap worth near Flushing, Michigan. Nash Was totally bound to work for Lap worth until he was 21 years age. Nash was earning only one room and board during that time. He worked for about 50 cents a month under this arrangement. Within Six years, Nash had enough of his to Lap worth and he left the farm to make a new start.

Nash Was an Industrious an Industrious Youngman. He was able to make a living and accumulate a modest savings working on various farms in Michigan.  Nash purchased a herd of sheep that continues to grow and provided him a bit of financial security.  Nash Married with a young woman named Jessie Halleck and Six years later in 1980, the couple moved to flint to be closer to medical aid when the Jessie took ill. It was in flint that Nash’s destiny would become the interlinked with Billy Durant and the Fledging Automobile Industry.

Nash was quick to secure employment after moving in Flint. Nash went to work as a clerk at W.C Pierce grocery and hardware store, he also did the Sunday job on a farm owned by carriage maker J. Dallas Dort. It was the Pierce grocery and hardware store that Dort’s partner William C. Durant noticed the hard working Nash.  Soon William C. Durant offered to Nash to join their Business, the Flint Road Cart Company.   Nash begins as a simple upholstery stuffer, but within six months, Nash work ethic earned him the position of plant superintendent. Within ten years, Nash  had become the  vice president and  General Manager of Durant – Dort during  which time he had developed the Straight – line belt conveyor system of assembly that would later become standard practice within the  automobile industry. His successes in the carriage business would eventually lead him to General Motors.

Billy Durant founded the General Motors in 1910 and the same year he was dismissed from the power of the controlling banking trust. Nash was asked to take charge as a president of Buick Motor Company. It was at the Durant’s Suggestion that the offer was tendered to him. Nash impressed by the Bankers with his Managerial Style as he was the yin to Durant’s yang. Alfred P. Sloan, Jar, future GM president and chairman, notices in his autobiography  that Nash “ Was as st4eady and careful  as Mr. Durant was Brilliant and daring- reckless, as you can choose to call it”. During Nash time at Buick, he and his handpicked works manager Walter O. Chrysler returned glory to Billy Durant’s first prominent automobile Venture with nerd profits increasing from $500,000 in 1911 to $ 14, 000, and 00 by 1914. As a stabilizing force within General Motors, Nash Had earned the trust of the bankers to control the board of directors. Charles Nash Was Elected as a president of the General Motors Company in 1912, with the idea that his leadership would allow the company to regain the financial position it lost during Durant’s period of rapid acquisitions.  Within three years from 1914 to 1916, under the presidency of Nash General Motors saw a dramatic increase in profits, annual profits doubled each year and production had tripled.

In the beginning of 1916 it was a thunderous time for General Motors as Billy Durant attempted to reassert his control over the company. Nash founded himself caught in the power struggle between Durant and Bankers.  When Durant announced he had once again controlled the majority voting in General Motors in May 1916. Nash made a decision to move from the company. He resigned from his position on June 1916 despite offers made by Durant. About his resignation Nash is quoted as saying “when Durant reasserts control, his policies and mine was so varied that I resigned and started my own company. I hate to tell you the salary that was the offer made by Durant if I would say. It was more than a man’s worth. But I wanted to for years to build my own car.”

Nash Purchased the Thomas B. Jeffery Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin and Charged it name Nash Motors Company in July 1916.   Nash Motors would outlast the majority of its Contemporaries and would eventually be rolled into the American Motors Corporation. Charles Nash retired from his namesake company in 1936, He lived a life quiet retirement until the death of his wife in 1947. He died shortly in June 6, 1948, in Beverly Hills, California leaving a long legacy of automotive successes. He was awarded with “Automobile Hall of Fame.”

 


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