This rather small brochure shows the complete 1967 AMC / Rambler line.
The Ambassador had moved up from competing against the Chevelle to going against the BelAir, and the Rebel made a similar move up from the Chevy II to the Chevelle. The Marlin was now roughly the same size as its main competition, the Dodge Charger. The American did not move up. It remained smaller than anything Detroit made except the Corvette.
Roy Abernathy had taken over the company in 1962 and vowed to move the company away from its economy car reputation and put their cars in direct competition with the Big Three. He succeeded in his move upmarket and increased the size of every car to match up more closely with the intended targets. In doing so, he ran up big costs, and his efforts didn't pay off as big as he had hoped. The Marlin had been a complete failure and he had completely ignored muscle and pony cars despite having the necessary tools at hand. He was pushed out of the chairman's role in early 1966 and forced into retirement in January 1967. Roy Chapin Jr. would take the helm and hold it until 1977. It is impossible to tell what AMC's fate would have been without Abernethy. The company had been profitable before he took over and became much more innovative (mostly out of desperation) after he left. He seems to have had the right idea but just didn't execute it well enough.
During the previous ten years as Rambler, Studebaker went under and Chrysler played around the edges of insolvency. General Motors was a mighty opponent in the Sixties and if Ford hadn't hit on the Mustang, they might have struggled more as well. The next ten years as under Chapin as AMC would be the last ten that American Motors would have any significance in the market. They would soldier on for ten years beyond that as AMC-Renault, a largely irrelevant operation.