The following is a list of winners of the Story of the Year designation since Automotive News inaugurated this annual feature in 1953:
1953: Fire destroys General Motors Hydra-matic plant in Livonia, Mich.
1954: Reduction of 'phantom-freight' charges.
1955: (tie) Senate hearings on auto trade practices. Attainment of supplemental unemployment compensation by the UAW.
1956: GM's five-year dealer franchise.
1957: The rise in imported-car sales.
1958: Enactment of the price-sticker law.
1959: Compact cars introduced by Ford Motor Co., GM and Chrysler Corp.
1960: Chrysler's conflict-of-interest problems.
1961: Antitrust actions filed against the Big 3. GM accused in Los Angeles discount-house rhubarb; Ford's acquisition of Electric Autolite properties questioned; Chrysler charged with pressuring dealers not to dual with Studebaker.
1962: Future of the franchise system: Los Angeles antitrust suit against GM viewed as threat to franchise.
1963: GM wins criminal antitrust suit growing out of Los Angeles discount-house situation.
1964: Record truck sales and the first 8-million-car year.
1965: 'The Year of Records': All-time highs in sales and production of domestic cars and trucks.
1966: Safety: Congress holds hearings; bills are passed; William Haddon appointed safety czar; proposed standards for 1968 models announced.
1967: Labor: 61-day strike costs Ford Motor 500,000 cars; Big 3 workers get raise of about $1 an hour in wages and fringes over three years.
1968: Semon 'Bunkie' Knudsen named president of Ford Motor a week after he quit as executive vice president of GM.
1969: Semon 'Bunkie' Knudsen fired as president of Ford Motor after holding the job for 19 months.
1970: UAW strike shuts GM for 67 days in United States, 95 days in Canada. Costs GM more than 1.5 million cars and trucks (production), more than $4.5 billion in sales.
1971: President Nixon's economic program and its effect on the auto industry. Prices and wages frozen; import duty hiked temporarily; currency revalued; excise tax repealed. Program touches off auto sales boom.
1972: Wankel engine advances. GM plans to offer Wankel-powered Chevrolet Vega in 1975 model year. Other makers watch and wait. Mazda, only Wankel-powered car in United States, has big year.
1973: The energy crisis: Becomes a major problem late in year. Arabs halt oil exports to United States. Gas rationing feared, or maybe federal tax of 40 to 50 cents a gallon. Uncertainty hurts auto industry and entire U.S. economy.
1974: The year-long sales slump: New-car sales (U.S. and import) fall to 8.6 million in 1974. The 1975 model year is off to a dismal start with high prices a big factor.
1975: U.S. makers pay cash rebates of $200 to $500 to customers to move huge inventories, mostly small cars. Chrysler started the program.
1976: Auto sales rebound after two poor years, reach 9.96 million for 1976. Major turnaround in marketplace - intermediates and big cars are hot; small cars, especially subcompacts, are hard to sell.
1977: Federal government orders airbags on new cars, to be phased in starting with 1982 models. Industry, others fail in bid to have Congress override Department of Transportation decision.
1978: The fall and rise of Lee Iacocca. Fired by Henry Ford II as president of Ford Motor in mid-July, he becomes president of Chrysler in November.
1979: Chrysler's financial anguish; federal loan guarantees sought; future of company in doubt.
1980: GM, Ford, Chrysler and American Motors suffer combined loss of $4.2 billion for the year. Even GM is in the red.
1981: Another year of recession/depression for the domestic auto industry.
1982: The DeLorean Saga: John DeLorean arrested on drug-trafficking charges; he was later found innocent. His sports-car company folds.
1983: A year of recovery for the domestic auto industry. Sales and production rise after three bad years.
1984: Record profits for each of the Big 3 and a record profit of $9.8 billion for the four domestic automakers.
1985: Big 3 on buying binge. GM, Ford and Chrysler make major acquisitions outside the automotive field. Biggest is GM's $5 billion purchase of Hughes Aircraft.
1986: A time of turmoil at GM: Market share dips; plants to close; Saturn scaled back; plastic-bodied Camaro-Firebird dropped; bus operations for sale; Volvo to run heavy-truck venture; GM has third-quarter operating loss of $338 million.
1987: Chrysler buys AMC.
1988: The sleeping giant stirs: GM's profits rise; car-market share stabilizes; new models not look-alikes; quality improves; overseas operations in high gear.
1989: After eight quiet years, Washington again becomes a major thorn in the side of the auto industry. President Bush and Congress talk about tighter emissions rules, much higher fuel-economy standards and alternative-fuel cars.
1990: GM's Saturn arrives after seven years of development. Car gets good reviews, pleases shoppers and dealers. But production problems hold output to a trickle, delaying evaluation of Saturn's sales success.
1991: The agony of the industry: Car-truck sales drop 12 percent from a mediocre 1990. GM, Ford and Chrysler deep in red. End of Persian Gulf war fails to ignite sales. GM announces massive cost-cutting program and cutbacks in personnel and facilities as year ends.
1992: The bloodbath at GM: Long-passive outside directors rise in revolt as staggering losses continue. Chairman, vice chairman, president and two executive vice presidents ousted. Jack Smith named chief executive; John Smale is first outside chairman since 1937.
1993: The adventures of J. Ignacio Lopez: He quits GM and joins Volkswagen. GM charges he stole secret documents; Lopez and VW deny it. FBI and German court investigating as year ends.
1994: The Honda scandal: 16 ex-managers and two ex-dealers indicted in U.S. probe of bribes and kickbacks in wholesale organization. All but three plead guilty. Dealer culpability examined.
1995: Kirk Kerkorian, Chrysler's second-largest shareholder, makes a takeover run at Chrysler in April. Robert Eaton beats it down. Kerkorian tries again in the fall, a better-planned bid with Jerome York running it.
1996: Airbags kill kids and small adults. Delay by the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis-tration means no action until 1997 on whether to de-power the bags or allow owners to disconnect them.
1997: In less than a year, H. Wayne Huizenga's Republic Industries Inc. becomes the nation's largest new-car dealer group, with 270 franchises and annual revenue of $10.3 billion. Acquisitions continue. Republic wins fight with Toyota.
1998: Daimler-Benz AG and Chrysler Corp. combine as DaimlerChrysler AG with Daimler as the lead pony. Headquarters are in Stuttgart. Both Juergen Schrempp and Robert Eaton are chairmen - for now.