In 1954, Kaiser Industries decided to set up a plant in Argentina so to start local mass production of cars. This marked the beginning of IKA (Industrias Kaiser Argentina), a pioneer in Argentine car industry and, from a historical point of view, one of the most important companies in local car sector.
Throughout this book, the head of Kaiser’s operations in Argentina, James F. McCloud, narrates thirteen years of history.
Written in pleasant and engaging style, McCloud’s memoirs examine the intricacies of negotiations with Perón’s Administration, the state of industrial art in Argentina, and the country’s capabilities to develop its car industry. He also offers his impressions on Argentine culture, and details his relationship with workers and his commitment to fostering links between Company and Córdoba’s community.
McCloud’s captivating historical and personal account –which features figures as political leader Juan Domingo Perón, five-time F1 World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, prestigious car designer Gian Battista Pininfarina and expert in car ingenieering innovation Oreste Berta– rides us readers from the manufacturing of the first argentine Jeep, to legendary vehicles production like Estanciera, Carabela, Bergantín, Rambler, and, of course, IKA’s masterpiece: Torino.
Published on the tenth anniversary of McCloud’s passing, this new special edition seeks to make available his memoirs for a wider English-speaking public. As such, we have endeavored to provide a text as faithful as possible to the one McCloud self-published in 1995.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter I | 1954
International House of New Orleans — original concept. Preparations for H.J. Kaiser tour of South America. Development
of Definitive Proposal to Argentina. Survey of vendor potential in Argentina. October Agreement in Principle. Mixed Valuation
Commission activities. New York agreement on final equipment valuations.
Chapter II | 1955
Córdoba plant site finalized. Articles of Incorporation and Presidential Decree of Approval. IKA public share issue
— IMIM. Initial organization. Construction start-up. 1000 imported Kaiser Manhattans. Industrial Bank problems.
General Matthew B. Ridgway. June aborted revolution. September overthrow of Peron government. Investigation of
IKA. Initial vertical integration studies — gears. Academia Argüello. Bruzzone Commission.
Chapter III | 1956
Interdiction of IKA. Renegotiation of original IAME-Kaiser contract. Construction progress. April 27 — First Jeep. Initial
quality problems. JA2 — Jeep pickup developed. Retail credit problems and other sales restrictions.
Chapter IV | 1957
Vianini acquisition — transmission gear equipment. Set-up of differential axle manufacturing. January — IKA first profitable
month. First Dealer Convention. Estanciera production. Advertising — Telenoches IKA. Second public share issue. Small car planning.
Chapter V | 1958
Kaiser Carabela production. Vendor quality and pricing problems. Investigations into tractor production. Labor conflicts.
Chapter VI | 1959
Forge plant start up. Frondizi Automotive Decree. Ken Flood’s passing. Organization changes. Plant expansion —
tool and die making. IKACOR organized. Industrial Products Division organized. Baqueano pickup and Furgon panel
Chapter VII | 1960
First full year production under Automotive Decree. Permanente S. A. organized. Bergantin production. Adlai
Stevenson. Renault Dauphine production. President Charles de Gaulle. ICKSA organized. Sesquicentennial celebration.
IKA Art Salons — Bienal Americana de Arte.
Chapter VIII | 1961
100,000 vehicle produced. Aviones Lockheed Kaiser — First CL402 production. H. J. Kaiser, Jr., passing. “Power Plant for
Peace” — Uruguay. ADEFA organized.
Chapter IX | 1962
Rambler line production. George Havas passing. IKA Technical Institute. Gordini production. Chrome plating plant
production start. September 2, Industry Day Celebrations.
Chapter X | 1963
Transax organized. ILASA organized. Metalúrgica Tandil investment. New Rambler line production. Renault R4L and
Gladiator Pickup production.
Chapter XI | 1964
Inflation — market drop. Commercial Division. Volvo study. Peugeot potential merger.
Chapter XII | 1965
Tornado engine production. Operation Di Tella — SIAM Automotores. Tool and Die Division organization (DPM).
Chapter XIII | 1966
IKA and Subsidiaries — consolidated statistics. Torino — development and production.
Chapter XIV | 1967
Industries divestment decision. Ford Motor Co. negotiations. Renault — TRANSAX divestment decision. General Motors
— tool order and interest in IKA. Position paper to General Motors. Excerpts from Commonwealth Club address.
About the Author