Hot Wheels Amy saves Shelby Automobiles, Inc

After ten years at the helm of Mattel, "Hot Wheels Amy" Boylan was beginning to feel penned in. More of an entrepreneur than a corporate manager, she wanted something more challenging and exciting. And boy did she find it, as the new President of Shelby Automobiles, Inc.

She had met Carroll Shelby in 2003 when he approached her to produce 1,000 Hot Wheels Cobras to give to guests at his 80th birthday party. Shelby was so impressed by the way she hastily handled the request, that when she left Mattel in 2005, he immediately sought her out.

You see, Shelby Automobiles was in a bit of a mess. Even with Carroll's legendary name, there had been some problems with manufacturing and the Series 1 debacle had drained $38 million from the company coffers. Orders for 170 Cobras, even with their $10,000 deposits in hand, couldn't be filled because the company couldn't afford the necessary parts. Although Boylan thought the company was $3 million in debt, it turned out to be closer to $6 mil. The huge Las Vegas facility was practically at a standstill. Perhaps this was too big of a challenge. Well, to most people maybe. To Amy, she saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

Follow the jump for the rest of the story.

[Source: Automotive News, sub req]

Boylan was dedicated to ensuring the legacy of Carroll Shelby. She knew that she had been put in charge of keeping his good name preserved. She talked to the 170 customers and every single one of them said they would rather wait for their Cobras than get back their deposits. She knew there were good people at the factory and she wanted to keep them on to preserve morale as well. She recognized that production contracts were the key to saving jobs at Shelby's plant.

Shelby had been hired as a consultant on the Ford Shelby GT500, but they didn't get a contract to build the car. A month after taking over at Shelby, Boylan visited Ford Motor Co. and walked away with a contract to build Shelby Mustangs in Las Vegas. And it hasn't ended there.

The Shelby Hertz GT-H Mustang, a 40th anniversary package for the GT500, and a contract to produce at least 6,000 more Shelby Mustang GTs were all accomplished under Amy's helm. And the best news yet is that all 170 customers have their Cobras, the debt has been almost wiped out thanks to licensing deals like the MacTools Shelby toolboxes, and the staff that had been cut from 52 to 21, is back up to 70 now. And they are busy and have the parts they need to do their jobs.

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