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Charles Warren Nash (January 28, 1864 — June 6, 1948) was a United States automobile entrepreneur and served as an executive in the automotive industry.

Early life

Nash was born to a farming family in Cortland, Illinois on what is now Route 38 — Lincoln Highway. His mother was Anna E. "Annie" Cadwell (b. 1829 NY - d. 1909 MI) who married David L. Nash. Other Nash siblings included Mazovia (b. 1862), George C. (b. 1866) and Laura W. (b. 1868). After Charles' parent's separation, at age 6, Charles worked as a farm-hand in Michigan as an indentured servant. He later became a shepherd to the owner of hay-bailing machinery. He then moved to Flint, Michigan where he was noticed by William C. Durant of The Flint Road Cart Company. Durant hired him in 1890, and Nash became a supervisor.

In 1897, Nash had a chance to drive an early automobile, and became very interested in the commercial potential of this newly developed contraption.

Automobile industry

Nash co-founded Buick Motor Company with David D. Buick and William C. Durant, and in 1908 became Buick's president and general manager.

In 1910, he was hired as general manager of General Motors (GM). He took over a debt-ridden company suffering losses and increased profits to US$800,000 as early as 1911 to over $12 million by 1914, as well as secured the firms financial footing.<ref name=motorbase>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref> However, his reluctance to pay dividends to shareholders resulted in Nash being voted out of his position in 1915.

Nash, who took control of General Motors in 1910 from William Durant, was now fired by him when Durant regained control in 1916.

Nash then resolved never again to work for someone else. He bought out the Jeffery Motor Company in August 1916. In 1917, re-named it as Nash Motors. The 1917 Nash Model 671 was the first vehicle produced to bear the name of the new company's founder.<ref>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref> The new company was successful, with sales totaling 31,008 trucks and cars by 1919.<ref name=motorbase/>

In addition to running Nash Motors, Charles Nash was also president of the luxury car company LaFayette Motors until that company was bought out by Nash Motors in 1924.


Charles W. Nash retired in 1936. His successor at the company was George W. Mason, who was recommended by Walter Chrysler.

He lived in retirement for twelve years later and died at the age of 84 in Beverly Hills, California. His health failed at the death of his wife in 1947.<ref>{{#if: C.W. Nash Near Death As His Wife Succumbs

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 }}|Template error: argument title is required.}}</ref> He died in 1948, and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale.


Nash is best known for responding to public demand by building a smaller, more economical and affordable cars.<ref name=ahf>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref> Nash Motors was very successful marketing cars to North America's middle class. He is also recognized for lean operations in business that included scheduling production and material orders closely, carrying a small inventory, and having flexibility in meeting the changing market needs during the economic turmoil of the 1920s and 1930s.<ref name=ahf/> Nash, is also credited with developing the straight-line conveyor belt assembly system that he first introduced at the Durant-Dort carriage factory.<ref>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>

Charles W. Nash's achievements have been summarized in the word "success":<ref>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>

Startquotationmarks.png A man who, in the short space of nine years, has built up a business on which there is not a dollar of bonded indebtedness, whose stocks have a market value approximating $137,000,000, whose profits have exceeded $56,000,000, and whose bank balance tops $30,000,000, surely must be regarded as a very practical authority on what makes for success. Endquotationmarks.png
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  • 1910 — Charles Nash takes control of General Motors from William Durant.
  • 1916 — William Durant re-gains control of General Motors and fires Charles Nash.
  • 1916 — Charles Nash buys the Thomas B. Jeffery Company.
  • 1917 — Thomas B. Jeffery Company is re-named Nash Motors.

See Also


American Motors Corporation

AM General | Chrysler | Hudson | Jeep | Kelvinator | Nash Motors | Nash-Kelvinator | Rambler | Australian Motor Industries | Vehiculos Automotores Mexicanos

1916 - 1957: 600 · Airflyte · Advanced Six · Ambassador · Nash-Healey · La Fayette · Metropolitan · Rambler · Rebel · Statesman

Ajax · American Motors · Hudson · Nash-Kelvinator · Rambler (AMC)

name of founder/s Include the marque's Corporate website here and indicate as such. indicate if marque is A brand of the (official name of parent company) or independent

External links

Preceded by:
Thomas Neal
President General Motors
1912 – 1916
Succeeded by:
William C. Durant