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  • Sherwood Egbert

    Here is info on where Sherwood Egbert is buried:

    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...&GRid=61201529

    The memorial has good information.
    Last edited by StudeMichael; 07-07-2011, 07:39 PM.

  • #2
    Interesting reading. Had Mr. Egbert not pushed to diversify Studebaker, I wonder if the board members would have continued to support automotive production. Also, without having spent money to buy other companies, they may have used that money to update their automotive designs. Something to think about.
    sigpic
    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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    • #3
      Mr. Egbert was inspiring, yet tragic. If those who've passed on can hear us, I for one would like to thank him for fighting so hard to save this company.
      My Cruiser was built during his time as President, and I often think of him as I sit behind the wheel.

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      • #4
        Just think of how possible it would have been for him to be alive today if the cancer hadn't gotten him. He'd only be 91! I know lots of people who have made it to that age.
        "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Milaca View Post
          Interesting reading. Had Mr. Egbert not pushed to diversify Studebaker, I wonder if the board members would have continued to support automotive production. Also, without having spent money to buy other companies, they may have used that money to update their automotive designs. Something to think about.
          Diversifcation had already started before Egbert was hired, but accelerated under his leadership. The board was already leanng toward dumping car production, but agreed to hire Egbert to give the automobile division one more chance. Several board members disagreed with the decision to hire Egbert because they knew what he wanted to do, and resigned from the board in protest.

          Our interest in Studebaker is focused on the cars and trucks, but the board had a greater responsibility to maintain the equity of the stockholders. The money siphoned off to buy non-automotive subsidiaries was small change compared to the amounts the automotive division was losing. Since most subsidiaries turned a profit, a case can be made that the diversification actually prolonged automotive production by a year or so. When Egbert resigned in November 1963, the automotive division was losing almost $2M a month, and was expected to end the year with only $8M in cash. The banks had already loaned the company more the $16M, and were unwilling to loan any more without more collateral, which the board was unwilling to do.
          Skip Lackie

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Skip Lackie View Post
            Diversifcation had already started before Egbert was hired, but accelerated under his leadership. The board was already leanng toward dumping car production, but agreed to hire Egbert to give the automobile division one more chance. Several board members disagreed with the decision to hire Egbert because they knew what he wanted to do, and resigned from the board in protest.

            Our interest in Studebaker is focused on the cars and trucks, but the board had a greater responsibility to maintain the equity of the stockholders. The money siphoned off to buy non-automotive subsidiaries was small change compared to the amounts the automotive division was losing. Since most subsidiaries turned a profit, a case can be made that the diversification actually prolonged automotive production by a year or so. When Egbert resigned in November 1963, the automotive division was losing almost $2M a month, and was expected to end the year with only $8M in cash. The banks had already loaned the company more the $16M, and were unwilling to loan any more without more collateral, which the board was unwilling to do.
            What Skip said; spot on all the way. A good summary of the conditions.

            I had the highest regard for Sherwood Egbert and still do.

            (Skip the following story if you remember it from a previous recollection; it is not new.)

            Of all the "things" cousin George Krem and I regret not doing while playing in South Bend during the summers of 1961, 1962, and 1963, the biggest regret I have (and I believe it is George's, too) was that we were too timid to approach Mr. Egbert at The Toasty Shop's lunch counter one summer morning in 1963. There we saw him having his morning cup of coffee and smoking what was probably well into his second pack of cigarettes for the day. (He was a regular contributor to the blue haze that hung in The Toasty Shop's air that time of day.)

            George and I had eaten a late breakfast there, just a short half-block east of Studebaker's Administration Building, and were paying our tab at the counter cash register. We looked down the counter across the cash register and there HE was, our Hero de Jour, Mr. Egbert! He wasn't even "with" or talking to anyone! All we would have had to do was walk 30 feet and shake his hand and say "Hello, Mr. Egbert; 'good job you are doing" and been on our way...unless he had invited us for more conversation.

            Truly a forfeited opportunity we will always regret. But, hey; George was 21 and I was 17, so we have to cut ourselves a little slack in the sack-cloth haberdashery. BP
            Last edited by BobPalma; 07-08-2011, 06:43 AM.
            We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

            Ayn Rand:
            "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

            G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Skip Lackie View Post
              When Egbert resigned in November 1963, the automotive division was losing almost $2M a month, and was expected to end the year with only $8M in cash. The banks had already loaned the company more the $16M, and were unwilling to loan any more without more collateral, which the board was unwilling to do.
              Another factor was Egbert also made a couple of poor non-automotive acquistions towards the end. Domowatt in Italy was a money loser and Franklin wasn't in the best of shape, either. And if I'm not mistaken, the r.o.i. on Trans International Airlines was far too low for it to be of any value to stockholders.

              Craig

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              • #8
                That is to say nothing about the HUGE tax implications. Skimming this subject will lead to no understanding.
                Financial factors involved in the decision making for the corporation had nothing to do with manufacturing automobiles.
                Remember the corporation's stock tripled in value for shareholders immediately after vehicle production ceased.
                Mr. Egbert did what he could. He was a very interesting and dynamic personality.

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                • #9
                  Good point, Art. There is no way that we can do more here than offer opinions, plus whatever isolated facts we can find in support of our opinions.

                  For those who don't have them, there are at least two books that cover the business side of the Stude decision-making process in some detail:
                  1. Critchlow; "Studebaker: The Life and Death of an American Corporation"
                  2. Bonsall; "More Than They Promised: The Studebaker Story"
                  Last edited by Skip Lackie; 07-08-2011, 01:06 PM. Reason: typo
                  Skip Lackie

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                  • #10
                    I would like to also add the book, "Less Than They Promised" by Lauren Pennington.

                    Craig

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                    • #11
                      Gee Bob , thats some memory to have !
                      I can almost picture it .
                      sigpic

                      Home of the Fried Green Tomato

                      "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

                      1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

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                      • #12
                        We've got to remember the mission of a corporation is to make money for shareholders...
                        by that I take it by any means possible.
                        Studebaker made its original money by building cars that doesn't mean that it can/should only make money by building cars.

                        Years ago, Republic Steel bought Mooney aircraft. Flying magazine interviewed Mooney's new boss, a long-time Republic executive (and private pilot) without aviation business experience who found himself building 4-seat planes in Kerrville, Texas.
                        He said "My job is create wealth for my employers.."

                        That says it all.

                        I'll give Egbert a lot of slack...
                        1. His diversifications were designed to make money to help the corporation survive.
                        No money, no cars.
                        2. He had to go along with the board to keep his job, he couldn't champion car production if he pissed off the board by not diversifying and getting himself fired.
                        Last edited by JBOYLE; 07-08-2011, 10:49 AM.
                        63 Avanti R1 2788
                        1914 Stutz Bearcat
                        (George Barris replica)

                        Washington State

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
                          ....Of all the "things" cousin George Krem and I regret not doing while playing in South Bend during the summers of 1961, 1962, and 1963, the biggest regret I have (and I believe it is George's, too) was that we were too timid to approach Mr. Egbert at The Toasty Shop's lunch counter one summer morning in 1963. There we saw him having his morning cup of coffee and smoking what was probably well into his second pack of cigarettes for the day. (He was a regular contributor to the blue haze that hung in The Toasty Shop's air that time of day.)

                          George and I had eaten a late breakfast there, just a short half-block east of Studebaker's Administration Building, and were paying our tab at the counter cash register. We looked down the counter across the cash register and there HE was, our Hero de Jour, Mr. Egbert! He wasn't even "with" or talking to anyone! All we would have had to do was walk 30 feet and shake his hand and say "Hello, Mr. Egbert; 'good job you are doing" and been on our way...unless he had invited us for more conversation.

                          Truly a forfeited opportunity we will always regret. But, hey; George was 21 and I was 17, so we have to cut ourselves a little slack in the sack-cloth haberdashery. BP
                          In 1963 I wrote to Mr Egbert suggesting a sportier station wagon (Nomad type) and I told him how much I liked our '61 Cruiser. I was most surprised to receive a prompt reply from him explaining that the market wasn't there for two-door wagons. Then he thanked me for my comments re the Cruiser. Needless to say, I keep that letter in my more treasured archives.
                          Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                          '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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                          • #14
                            What type of cancer did he have?
                            I see that his wife only lived to be 65.
                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

                            SDC member since 1968
                            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                            • #15
                              When you read the memorial, you realize what a mover and shaker he was long before he arrived at Studebaker.

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