Literary Analysis Essay on The End of Detroit by Micheline Maynard

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Book review
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In the book The End of Detroit, the author is trying to give an impression of the business and economic aspects using the Detroit Company. It compares the performance of this company to those of the foreign companies producing the same product and brings out some of the factors entrepreneurs should consider before engaging in businesses. Though Detroit is trying to make great products they still scare away consumers of their products because of the high prices on their products. Consumers have decided to go for more affordable and reliable designs regardless of their quality. Detroit is car Designing Company and has great designs compared to other car designers. When the three automobiles companies in Detroit entered the market, they were doing great regarding their sales, and within no time, minivan and SUV were introduced into the industry which brought in competition and to the Detroit dismay, the two were riding high in sales.

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The author of this book also supposes that success in business does not only depend on the availability of the product and the consumers, but there are so many other factors to be considered for one to be assured of their success. Factors like competition, price levels and their effects on the sale of products, tastes and preferences of the consumers and lastly the reliability of the products brought to the market for consumers to purchase.

The End of Detroit: Meaning of Title

Economically, Detroit has failed the Americans because the other outside car producing industries which came in gave it a challenge. Not too long, Detroit made-cars were trending in the market and everyone loved their products. The problem happened when the Toyota and Honda companies came in, and this diminished the power of domestic car makers because they were able to introduce more attractive models and light trucks as well. These foreign companies that are Toyota and Honda with their operations within America did not have designs like those of Detroit but had strategies to win the market, therefore, lowering Detroit market. Toyota had its plants in the US and trained mostly the locals to help in their operations. The qualified personnel could then be dispersed to work in other places like South America and Mexico. By doing this, they easily expanded their operations. The economy of America did not benefit so much from car designing companies because it is the foreign enterprises that were doing well and most of their profits were repatriated back to their home countries.

From the book, Detroit company do not know its customers or what they even want something the foreign companies realized and that is the reason they beat it in the market sales. The consumers wanted reliability, and that is one of the factors even a business entrepreneur should consider first before deciding on what products to bring to the market. The consumers also wanted something good and that is made from the latest technology and of good design at the same time at a reasonable cost. Detroit produced high-quality products, but it focused itself in making high profits thus losing an opportunity in winning back the Americans car-buyers. The company did not assess the ability of the consumers to buy their products. The prices scared away consumers and decided to buy from other companies, and Detroit was making low sales each day something that almost led to its closure.

End of Detroit represent the new era of the economy because it talks about the latest technology and excellent designs. It also talks about aspects like producers and consumers and use of the currency alone in purchasing products. The traditional economy, on the other hand, was based on extraction and processing of natural resources and the agricultural products for peoples consumption. Nothing was taken to the market for one to get back some profit because people used natural resources. People did not need market because they were able to get all their needs by themselves and the economy was not thriving as it is today. It was during the colonial periods that such things were happening and mostly American exported agricultural and animal products. Cars were not heard of during this period, and the issue of competition for markets was not there as well.

The author of this book talks about todays economy which is very competitive and his conclusions and analysis are very true considering the world of today. Nothing is for free today, and there is no brotherhood when it comes to business because everyone is looking for a brighter future and could do anything to survive. One way business people are doing this by placing strategies to help them beat their opponents in their field of operation. Business is more important in the economy today, and the players are the producers and the consumers of which all have to be able to satisfy each others needs.

The author is trying to postulate that American economy depends so much on investor and all business people and they need to work extra hard because the economy is going down. The companies unlike other sectors of the economy have a great role to play in ensuring that they generate many profits to the American economy. First, the companies need to know their consumers. By doing this, they will be able to determine how much to produce and how ready are the consumers to purchase the product. The taste and preferences of consumers also need an assessment so that the quality to be produced is determined.

The second-factor companies need to know before starting their operations is the competition in place or the potentiality of it to come in. For this reason, the companies need to have strategies ready in place which will help them deal with competition. Doing this will help the company move on even when it is in the face of competition because it will still make more sales as well as keep their customers.

The biographer gives those points by the use of Detroit Company to give an impression that the economy depends on it and through it, the American economy will thrive even higher. It is the role of companies to make a record by ensuring that they give their ideas time and work perfectly to make successful transactions for the Americans economy. The author is saying it is a fact that Detroit company is killing the American economy and he further gives the reasons why so. The author does this to shade light to the Detroit company management that they can still do something to come back to its original position.

The writer is not biased in presenting the facts about the economy and gives them as needed. Competition being a major problem in every market, this fact is portrayed well by using Detroit Company and the foreign company. It is clear from this book that competition brings about failures in economies and Detroit Company is an example of the company which faced it. The unexpected competition resulted to the company losing its consumers and therefore making low sales something that greatly affected the economy of America.

The major historical and economic policy as per this book is the fact that every market must have two players and those include the seller and the buyer. The seller can be the producer of the goods, and the buyer is someone who is need of the service. The seller from this book brings to the market for the consumers to buy which they should according to their capability. Detroit Company seems to raise its prices higher as compared to those other companies which produce the same products like the Toyota and Honda. Obviously, the consumers will go the one which is a bit cheaper. The author presents these facts in a way that one will understand well and can be able to identify the failures of Detroit Company.


In conclusion, Detroit Company has the potential to make progress and success if it considers understanding its consumers and making them its priority and not focusing so much on the profit making. The foreign companies might have strategies but Detroit Company is smart, and that can make appealing models that other companies cannot. The company needs a little time to look back and think of ways to counter the competition because the economy of America depends on it.


Cabral, Luis. 2016. "Competition Policy in The Global Era." New Zealand Economic Papers, 1-9. doi:10.1080/00779954.2016.1188847.

Maynard, Micheline. 2004. The End of Detroit. 1st ed. New York: Currency/Doubleday.

Mishkin, David. 1965. "The American Colonial Vineyard: An Economic Interpretation." The Journal of Economic History 25 (04): 683-685. doi:10.1017/s0022050700058514.

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