Sunday 9th December 1951
Hudson announced their intent to produce a ‘light car’, the Jet. The Jet was the automaker’s response to the popular Nash Rambler and the costs of developing and marketing the Jet ultimately led to Hudson’s merger with Nash.
The Hudson Motor Car Company was one of several independent firms competing with the much larger Big Three U.S. automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler) that produced mainly “standard” large-sized models. Hudson had limited financial resources, and management decided to develop a compact-sized model instead of refurbishing its line of full-size cars and developing a V8 engine. The Hudson Jet had exclusive engineering that included a roomy, comfortable, and solid welded unibody, as well as featuring excellent performance for the era along with good fuel economy and low cost maintenance.
The Jet was introduced in the middle of the 1953 model year and achieved some success in the crowded compact segment. However, Hudson was unable to foresee the dramatic decline in overall compact car sales during the 1952-1954 period which already included three other makes. As a result, they were only able to produce a little more than 20,000 units for the 1953 model year. It was a car with no real vices, but it effectively destroyed the Hudson Motor Car Company. Consequently, the company was forced to merge with Nash-Kelvinator (forming American Motors Corporation) because of the losses resulting from the Jet project and the falling sales of Hudson’s senior line.