Freedonia Motor Company

Hi folks. After a few months of waiting, I’ve finally decided to come out and showcase my very first car company I’d ever created. Introducing the Freedonia Motor Company, complete with a (hopefully!) fascinating back story.

The Freedonia Motor Company is one of the most famous of the surviving smaller American automakers today, but it’s initial beginnings were quite humble.

To get an understanding of the company’s philosophy, let’s go back for a minute all the way back to the Forties, at the company’s beginnings.

It all started with a dream. William Fulton, the original founder of F.M.C., was born in Kokomo, Indiana, in the spring of 1909. Growing up in a poor African-American family in the Midwest was a true challenge; the Fultons, though tight-knit, faced a significant amount of personal hardship, and were even forced to leave for Michigan for a time during the Twenties. But William, who had already gained a fascination for all things automotive, saw the move to Detroit as an opprotunity to fulfill his dream; a career in the automotive industry. Although initially turned down at Ford, Fulton preservered, and was eventually hired as an engine assembly worker for Chevrolet in 1927; he eventually worked up his way to the position of manager, and was well respected by most of his fellow employees. Mr. Fulton, however, had begun to save up some money during the next decade and a half: his new hope was to try his hand at starting his own car company, and one that could serve the needs of the urban poor, in particular. And that opprotunity would come sooner than he had ever thought…

After the United States entered World War II, Fulton found himself presented with widened opprotunities: he quit his job at Chevrolet and gained some work with a military contractor in Chicago. And it was during the war that he’d met James Sweeney and Matthew O’Connor, two savvy up-and-coming businessmen from Gary, Indiana, also invested in the auto business; they were both intrigued by his desire to start an auto company. Gathering some associates together, the three men pooled together as much cash as they could, and by 1946, they were ready to lay down the foundations for their new business; on April 2nd, 1946, the Freedonia Motor Company was founded in Griffith, Indiana.

Despite some initial difficulties(especially down South, where the new company faced active roadblocks to establishing dealerships up until the late '60s), FMC was able to not only survive, but even prosper, and by 1971, they had factories in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Texas, and were planning on opening new facilities all across the Southeast over the next decade; it seemed like nothing could really go wrong for them, and as the Seventies progressed, FMC was riding a rising tide of good fortune(and savvy business decisions) that never seemed to really end; Bill Fulton retired in 1979 in high spirits.

The Eighties, sadly, brought tough times for the company, due to unforeseen financial and other difficulties, and they were forced to discontinue a majority of their models(and close their only factory in Wisconsin in 1982). Even during this darkest of times, though, the company never lost it’s can-do spirit, and Freddy Rodriguez, who’d started out as a junior partner in the '60s, came to the helm in 1986, with a whole new set of fresh ideas; the sporty Ophelia hatchback was his most recognized brainchild. And under the careful guidance of Mr. Rodriguez, FMC began an amazing recovery in the late '80s, and by the mid '90s, they were again in the top 10 best-selling automakes in the U.S.; the Ophelia sold 100,000 models in 1995 alone! They also began opening facilities in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Oakland, and several other cities affected by the downturn, for the manufacture of parts, as part of a job-creation program(albeit, with some assistance from the government, of course)

Bill Fulton passed away in Gary, Indiana, in Sept. 1997, and in his honor, the FMC funded the creation and erection of the William S. Fulton Memorial Auto Museum in his old hometown of Kokomo, now home to 500 different cars, including 120 F.M.C. models-Fulton, in his will, also personally allocated $125 million to the NAACP, the Red Cross, and dozens of other non-profit organizations, and set up his own fund to assist disadvantaged youth, be they inner-city or rural. Freddy Rodriguez, meanwhile, retired in that same month, and handed the reins over to Bill Fulton’s youngest Melissa, who still runs the company in the present day.

FMC continues to produce a wide array of cars to this date, and has even provided at least one Presidential Limousine; the current President, Barack Obama, is said to have personally requested an '09 FMC Liberty to be his ride during his time in office. Truly, FMC has indeed earned it’s place in the American automotive pantheon, without a doubt.

Okay, photos coming soon! :sunglasses:

Looks like Centauri has a direct Automation competitor!