Studebaker Corporation History
Automotive manufacturer USA
Studebaker was an American brand name for, automobiles , commercial vehicles , and industrial products . The company was founded on 16 February 1852 as a blacksmith. In 1868, it was registered as Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company . From 1911 to 1954 and from 1961 to 1966 it operated as Studebaker Corporation . In the meantime, it merged with the smaller Packard Motor Car Company to Studebaker-Packard Corporation, which was formally ended in 1958 and 1961 formally. Studebaker retired from the automotive industry in 1966 and was named Studebaker-Worthington in the last few years of his existence .
The company goes back to the German -born family Staudenbecker (later Stutenbecker), which was for generations as a knife maker in Solingen, Clement Stutenbecker and her cousin Heinrich Stutenbecker emigrated in 1736 across the Netherlands and arrived in Philadelphia ( Pennsylvania ). Heinrich Stutenbecker and his wife were killed by insurgent Indians in 1756.Peter, Clement and Heinrich Studenbecker had to give up their original job as a knife maker because of their desire to emigrate and worked as a blacksmith, farriers and wheelwrights. They settled first in Huntingdon Township ( York County in Pennsylvania).
Peter Studebaker's son Peter Jr and grandson John Studebaker also practiced these professions. John married 1820.In 1830 he founded his own company in Gettysburg (Pennsylvania). Already in 1835 he sold land and estate and moved with his family in the West. He settled in Ashland County in southwest Ohio.
H. & C. Studebaker Wagon Company
A joint operation of Henry and Clem Studebaker is from 1852 in South Bend occupied. The H. & C. Studebaker Wagon Company was based at the junction of Michigan and Jefferson Streets . First, she made metal parts for freight cars and later took on the production of complete wagons . At the beginning you could also have horses studded here. John Studebaker had also moved to South Bend with his family in 1850 or 1851. The first major expansion of the business has been through the California gold rush inherently produced in 1849 demand. The company started with the production of covered wagons oftheConestoga type, which the Studebakers had not invented, but improved and helped spread it.
John M. Studebaker went to California in 1853 looking for gold . Realizing that he would not make a fortune with it, he relied on the successful production of wheelbarrows and later wagons for the prospectors and miners in the town of Dry Diggins, in those troubled times with the nickname Hangtown occupied. It's called Placerville today . Meanwhile, Peter Studebaker built wagons in Saint Joseph, Missouri . In 1857 he opened a repository called, first establishment in Goshen (Indiana), In the same year, the first Studebaker carriage was delivered for passenger transport only. The Studebaker customers belonged to US President Abraham Lincoln .
When the gold rush came to an end, John Studebaker returned to Indiana in 1858. He had about 8,000 dollars in savings. He invested this money to buy his brother Henry's shares and to become partners, and in the company itself, which urgently needed capital for expansion. Henry Studebaker retired to his farm; Because of his strong pacifist belief, he had trouble with the fact that increasingly the US Army was part of the customer base.
Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company
The next expansion was the result of delivering wagons to the Union Army during the American Civil War . True to the motto Give more than you promise , in 1868 they reorganized into the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company . Clem Studebaker became president of the company, in which three of his brothers took important positions.
At that time, the railway and steamship companies already dominated freight traffic in the East. So they focused on private customers and farmers. A total of 30 different carriages and carts were offered.
At the height of the West's development and the wagon crews, half or all of the wagons were built, in whole or in part, by Studebaker: they built a quarter themselves and delivered the metal hardware for another quarter to other manufacturers in Missouri . 1872 Studebaker himself has defined as "the largest manufacturer of carriages and wagons of the world", a title that also by the Durant-There Company in Flint ( Michigan was claimed). William C. Durant (1861-1947) was involved in this company ; she was one of the germ cells of General Motors .In 1885, 75,000 vehicles were built, two years later, sales exceeded $ 2 million for the first time and already in the 1890s, $ 3 million.
Automobile production from 1897 to 1966
Already in 1897 Studebaker dealt with motor vehicles, however, they worked with electric motors . The company entered into a sales agreement with the Everitt-Metzger-Flanders Company ; EMF manufactured the vehicles and Studebaker sold them through their coach and trailer sales network. Allegedly there have been quality problems with EMF, so that the vernacular at EMF of Every Morning Fix-it , dt. Repair every morning , spoke. JM Studebaker was dissatisfied with the poor quality at EMF and gained control of the operation in 1910. To remedy the damage caused to EMF, Studebaker reportedly paid for a millionUS dollar mechanics who came home to dissatisfied customers and replaced defective parts in the vehicles. This procedure was by no means unusual; Before nationwide dealer networks existed, delivery by train followed by an introduction by the traveling agent. The EMF Company also failed due to disputes in the leadership and was completely dependent on Studebaker for lack of own distribution.
Consequently, it came in 1911 to take over the EMF Company by the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company ; The result was the Studebaker Corporation . Studebaker received in this way the own car brand without the effort of a self-development.
Studebaker also began to produce trucks that gradually supplanted the horse-drawn wagons. In 1920, the wagon division to which was Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing Company in Louisville ( Kentucky ) sold. With this move, the company was the only one to complete the switch from coach to car manufacturer. Studebaker was in 1926 the first American automobile manufacturers, who opened a controlled test track. In 1937, the company planted 5,000 pines in a pattern that revealed the word STUDEBAKER when viewed from overhead aircraft.
Many Studebakers of the 1920s were powered by the six-cylinder engines, which helped Studebaker to good sales. From the 1920s to the 1960s, the South Bend company produced many stylistic and technical milestones, including the classic Studebaker President (1929-1932) and the 1939 Studebaker Champion. Following the American trend, a good-looking model created a new brand Studebaker launched two cheap brands: Rockne and Erskine . 1929 became the first model with a row eight-cylinder enginemarketed, which was used until the 1950s. From 1951 Studebaker also offered, following the American trend, a V8 engine . Studebaker built models that appealed to average Americans and could meet its needs for mobility.
Rising labor costs (Studebaker never had a strike by the automobile union, and wages and pension contributions were the highest in the industry), along with quality control issues and the new auto warfare between Ford and General Motors in the early 1950s, however, led to the financial situation worsened. Professional financial advisers recommend focusing on short-term revenue rather than following a longer-term vision. There were enough reserves for another ten years, but tough competition and price dumping by the three major automakers condemned the company.
Intermezzo: Studebaker-Packard Corporation
Hoping to halt the downtrend and stabilize market position , Studebaker merged with Packard in 1954 ; the new company was named Studebaker-Packard Corporation with Packard President James J. Nance as president of the new corporation. Studebaker chairman Harold Vance became vice president. In fact, it was a takeover of the Big (Studebaker) by the little one (Packard) and one of two bad solutions to choose from. The alternative "alone" would have led Studebaker in a very short time in the bankruptcy . A "big" solution made up of a network of four major independent manufacturers (Studebaker, Packard, Nashand Hudson ) was considered, but remained unfinished after the death of Nash Kelvinator chief George W. Mason . 1954 was the American Motors Corporationfrom the acquisition of Hudson by Nash; refocusing on the lower end of the market did not fit Mason's four-brand solution.
Packard merged with Studebaker due to avoidable misperceptions. So Studebaker's financial situation was much worse than had been assumed by Packard. Gentlemen, the numbers given to each other had not been questioned. Packard was from a break-even point expected at Studebaker of 168,000 units and discovered only in November 1954 that it was far worse: The breakeven point was in excess of 286,000 cars a year, the company had made in 1954 only 82,000 vehicles. Packard looked better. At a breakeven level of 80,000 units had been in the shortened model year 1955 55 247 Cars built. That was insufficient, but significant advance over the 30 965 completely outdated vehicles of correspondingly longer model year 1954th
These numbers would have broken Studebaker's neck without the merger. But they also shattered all hopes for a recovery of the Studebaker-Packard Corporation. Nance responded to the only bid to avert insolvency and resigned afterwards. The new owner was the defense contractor Curtiss-Wright , which was able to write off taxes and eliminate a rival in the defense business. Studebaker-Packard was forced to relinquish all military manufacturing facilities, including supply contracts, to Curtiss-Wright and abandon the Detroit manufacturing facility. All remaining automotive activities were relocated to South Bend (Studebaker plant).
Herein lies the existence of the Packard models, staged as Packardbakers, using Studebaker technology: these were badge-engineered versions of the Studebaker President (1957-1958) and the Studebaker Golden Hawk aka Packard Hawk . This was an emergency solution with innovative approaches such as the first facelift with plastic parts. A competitive car in the traditional luxury sector ( Cadillac , Lincoln , Imperial ) or even in the upper middle class ( Buick , Oldsmobile ,Mercury , Dodge ) was thus excluded, the money and the prospects of success were missing and the plant needed capacity for the new compact car Studebaker Lark . In 1958, the last Packard appeared. Apart from the few Packard engines in the Studebaker Golden Hawk, the real purpose of the merger, to allow rationalization through larger batch sizes , never materialized. To at least remain present in the luxury class, Studebaker-Packard sought the US representation for Mercedes-Benz , whereupon many Studebaker dealers also sold their cars.
Financial constraints dictated that the 1959 presented, for the brand extremely important compact car Studebaker Lark had to rely on old technology. Thus, the V8 engine appeared in 1952, the chassis was introduced in 1953 and shortened for the Lark only. The body structure was derived from the 1955 facelift, which in turn had already been a facelift. Nevertheless, the Lark rescued the group temporarily. As the market segment began to fill with compacts from major players, the aging Lark lost its competitiveness. After all, the Lark until 1963, the only Compact with V8 engine.
Only in 1962 did the name Packard disappear from the name of the company.
One result of the lack of funds was, strangely enough, the sports car Studebaker Avanti , which was introduced in 1963. It was easy to produce using existing technology (it was based on the Lark) and received a very light, clear body made of GRP , which reduced manufacturing costs. The design is by Raymond Loewy . The car was intended as an image carrier and with uprated V8 engines available; The manufacturer, with some justification, called it the "world's fastest production car".
Around the same time, designer Brooks Stevens worked on a revamp of the Lark, which led to new model names, and a show car in the style of the Mercedes-Benz SSK of 1928. Studebaker was not uninterested, pursued the project of a small series but not for reasons of cost , That the new Avanti no competition from their own house should arise, should also have played a role. From 1964 Stevens produced the Excalibur in its own factory in Milwaukee ago, first with Studebaker technology (Series I) and later increasingly components of the Chevrolet Corvette C3 ago.
Also starting in 1963, three prototypes were produced at a low budget at the Carrozzeria Sibona-Basano in Turin , which had provided Stevens for the model years 1964 to 1966, including the Studebaker Scepter; Loewy designed parallel body styles for Avanti , which emerged as one-off pieces from the French coachbuilder Pichon-Parat . Ultimately, however, Studebaker 1963/64 lacked the financial means to take these new models in mass production.
In December 1963, the company gave up operations in South Bend and sold the brand Avanti to Nate Altman , who continued the production of the car under the name Avanti II there. Commercial vehicle production was abandoned and automobile production relocated to its last remaining location in Hamilton , Ontario, where Studebaker produced until May 1966, before the group withdrew entirely from the sector.
Many Studebaker dealers then switched to Mercedes-Benz . The testing grounds were purchased by the former supplier Bendix Corporation , who later gave the properties away for use as a park to the park administration in St. Joseph County, Indiana . As a condition for the donation the park received the name Bendix Woods .
After 1966, Studebaker continued to exist as a closed-end investment group, whose revenues it drew from various subsidiaries, including STP , Gravely Tractor , Onan Electric Generators and Clarke Floor Machine . Studebaker was bought in 1967 by Wagner Electric . Thereafter, they merged with Worthington Corporation to form Studebaker-Worthington , before being acquired by McGraw-Edison in 1979 . McGraw-Edison was then purchased by Cooper Industries in 1985 , but it dumped all of its automobiles into Federal-Mogul a few years later .
Studebaker,was an American wagon and automobile manufacturer based in South Bend, Indiana. Founded in 1852 and incorporated in 1868 under the name of the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, the company was originally a producer of wagons for farmers, miners, and the military.
Studebaker entered the automotive business in 1902 with electric vehicles and in 1904 with gasoline vehicles, all sold under the name "Studebaker Automobile Company". Until 1911, its automotive division operated in partnership with the Garford Company of Elyria, Ohio, and after 1909 with the E-M-F Company. The first gasoline automobiles to be fully manufactured by Studebaker were marketed in August 1912.Over the next 50 years, the company established a reputation for quality and reliability. After years of financial problems, in 1954 the company merged with luxury carmaker Packard to form Studebaker-Packard Corporation. However, Studebaker's financial problems were worse than the Packard executives thought. The Packard marque was phased out and the company returned to the Studebaker Corporation name in 1962. The South Bend plant ceased production on December 20, 1963, and the last Studebaker automobile rolled off the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, assembly line on March 16, 1966.