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The Lamberti papers #15

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  • The Lamberti papers #15

    Richard Quinn
    Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

  • #2
    Thanks again, Dick; unbelievably interesting.

    April 15 is no time of the year in the car business for this type of report:

    Mr. Feuer asked for an explanation of the down trend in the selling rate. In view of it being the beginning of a good selling season, along with the sales promotion programs – what about the trend? Mr. Bender answered that the rate of order intake is just slightly less than what is required. Actually, we had a slight increase of straight dealer orders last week because the week before included some fleet orders. Our field people (Messrs. Kough and Pistor) say that, based on retail movement, we can expect a reaction for additional orders. In any event, on model mix, we can’t stand anymore deterioration; either we will have to build for stock, or we’ll have to shut the plant down. Mr. Whitmer asked if competitors build stock cars, and Dr. Lamberti replied that about 30% of cars sent to their dealers are to quota. Mr. Bender added that 52% of our orders are dealer stock, and 48.3% are customer orders for the month of March. He sent on that you can’t base your judgments on one 10-day period, although this is the first 10-day period in recent months that seems to have reacted to the season of the year. If the rate is indicative, it is higher than we have estimated.

    Gulp. BP
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      6. Luxury Avanti

      At Mr. Egbert’s request, we are lushing up the interior trim on an Avanti. It is solid black. We are setting up the interior appointments, and maybe by late tomorrow or Wednesday, we can show the final job as we propose it. Dr. Lamberti added that the original design of the Avanti interior was continental, and continental cars are not jazzed up. It has to be a little more luxurious looking on the inside because that is what the American public wants. In a recent survey we found that 13% of the people tested preferred a plain design while some 87% preferred a pleated design. (It is difficult to dress up the instrument panel.)
      I wonder if the car that got this trim was #4765.

      http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ghlight=husvar

      8. New Concepts

      While Mr. Isley was in Detroit, he visited the new concepts branch who is preparing the requirement for a new family of vehicles which would be put in production around 1970.
      Could they have been planning THAT far ahead??!?

      Craig

      Comment


      • #4
        Just a question, what is Kirksite? And what was the Model X pickup truck supposed to look like? Any info on that?

        Comment


        • #5
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamak

          http://www.armstrongmold.com/pages/kirksitearticle.html

          Originally posted by Chucks Stude View Post
          Just a question, what is Kirksite? And what was the Model X pickup truck supposed to look like? Any info on that?
          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

          Jeff


          Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



          Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Studebaker Wheel View Post
            trying the best we can to keep the Unions out. The forms will be ready within the next month.

            4-18-63
            eh
            How sad it is to read about this!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Welcome View Post
              How sad it is to read about this!!!
              Who could blame them, and why?

              As soon as Egbert got the ball again rolling halfway downhill in early 1962, the union struck for more clean-up time even though they were already receiving a better overall compensation package than their brethren in Detroit. That strike certainly undermined 1962 model year production and sales at a critical time in the company's history...not that the skids weren't permanently greased anyway.

              A classic case of either being part of the problem or part of the solution. Like today, many South Bend UAW types (but not all; let's be fair) were willing to selfishly be part of the problems Studebaker was having, rather than part of the solution.

              Or, better stated: The more things change, the more they stay the same. BP
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                I thank you for your hard work in making these posts happen. They are all quite interesting. They all show a dedicated group of people working hard to make things happen at Studebaker. But as a management consultant they also show how small a company Studebaker was compared to the big 3. If Studebaker's goal was to hang onto 1% of the US market share, then GM was at least 30 times their size at the time. The people at Studebaker did an amazing job with their very limited resources and had tight control over some of the smallest details of the operation.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Aw shucks, and I thought Kirksite was anywhere the the starship Enterprise landed! Thanks Jeff. What about the Model X truck. Wonder what it would have looked like.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    QUALITY CONTROL

                    1. Ross Gears

                    Mr. Capsey reported that the Ross people were here on Friday about the trouble we have had on the Avanti steering gear. Before we took them over to the plant, we let them drive some cars. We asked for specifications, and they were reluctant to give us any; but after they drove the cars, they agreed the gear was not satisfactory for the automobile. So they have set up a program to see if they can make some minor change in the gear or get their manufacturing back under control. They think part of the poor recovery is due to an imperfection in the cam itself. Tomorrow we will have something new in from them to try out, and John Nemeth will take 2 gears down that are good. They want to compare a good-handling job with a bad one. It will probably take a few weeks to get it where we want it because it won’t be an easy thing to correct. The problem is more noticeable in the power because it is more sensitive. Their production manager was in the group that was here, and he was the one who was opposed to doing anything before – but he will now. Mr. Hardig commented that it is just poor quality; we should change to Saginaw gears. Dr. Lamberti observed that Chevy just replaced 180,000 Saginaw gears.

                    Gosh, where to start? This whole section is just so telling. Each and every sentence is just worth a its weight in gold! (Last sentence also puts paid to the idea that Ross is always bad and Saginaw is always better than Ross)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "Mr. Corcoran has asked that a Cummins V6 140 engine be installed in an E40 truck. Mr. Hardig doesn’t have the whole story on it yet, but it would cost us $1,145 for the engine, and they would pay for the installation expense. Dr. Lamberti remarked that we will discuss this before going ahead with it because we already have one diesel."

                      Seems like a good idea to use a locally made diesel engine rather than have one shipped across the ocean (Perkins of England). I'd like to know more about this proposal. I did some internet searching and didnt find much info about this engine except that it was used in some large farm tractors and in some industrial/construction equipment in the 1960's and 1970's. Below are some specifications for the Cummins engine:

                      The basic specifications for the VAL and VALE series:
                      V6-140 (VAL)
                      Bore x stroke (in.): 4-5/8 x 3-1/2
                      Displacement: 352.8 cu. in. (5781 cc)
                      HP: 140 @ 3300 rpm
                      sigpic
                      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It is probably hard for us to understand , but it seems to be obvious that the
                        Hawk and Avanti were not selling at anything like the volume that was expected.
                        The Hawk caused problems because low sales did not justify low volume tooling.
                        The Avanti was only being sold by just over a third of the Dealer network , it was
                        prone to complaints because (quite rightly) customers , for their money , expect
                        a quality built car . But if you consider that it was a "Halo" car , meant to pull
                        customers into Studebaker Dealerships , except , over 1,000 Dealers didn't
                        'stock' the car . Thus , 'X' amount of Studebaker customers didn't get any
                        exposure of the Avanti as a new car on their Dealers Floor .

                        Then there is the talk of the "R3" engines where it is obvious that Studebaker
                        really did not want to promote sales of this variant . It was considered a Race
                        option . Quite rightly cars 'so' equipped would NOT get an engine Warranty
                        but this factor was a source of confusion even at Management level . It was
                        all too new for them . I'm sure most Dealers had enough to do to just cope
                        with the availability of the 'R1' and 'R2' cars .

                        When it comes to the talk of Truck Project 'X' , I think Management are
                        referring to the 'Cab Forward' vehicle which was being looked at . I also
                        wonder whether the "Small Car" Program which was around in 1962/63
                        was 'dead in the water' by then or whether there was still work ongoing.
                        Interesting that the Dealers were aware that BIG changes were on the
                        horizon for the release of the 1964 Line and this factor was promoted
                        to try to retain as many of them as they could .

                        Yes , planning through to 1970 was current at the time , but this relates
                        to Military Contracts mostly on Trucks and All Terrain vehicles .

                        Whether we like to admit it or not , the Union really took the wind out of
                        the sails (Sales) of the Corporation during 1962 , to the extent that
                        Studebaker was continually playing catch-up during most of 1963 .
                        As is often the case , your average hourly and salaried Employee was
                        not to know how desperate the situation really was , because if the 'word'
                        got out , Sales would stall . As it was , everyone in the Industry knew that
                        Studebaker was diversifying to minimise the effect of vehicle sales on the
                        bottom line result of the Corporation as a whole .

                        Thanks again Richard Quinn for providing these Minutes of Meetings .

                        CRUISER

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
                          Who could blame them, and why?
                          >>>the union struck for more clean-up time even though they were already receiving a better overall compensation package than their brethren in Detroit.
                          Can you point us to neutral & reputable sources that can factually back up the above statement?

                          The Studebaker UAW Local # 5 Union employees gained NOTHING by that 1962 Strike. The Strike was called in an effort to retain the rights the Company and the Union had already agreed to …before Mr. Egbert arrived on the scene. BP, I have that contract signed on February 7, 1962, so if you could find time to read it, I would be very happy to send it to your; 610 Jefferson St., Brownship, Ind. address.

                          In retrospect; Studebaker Corporation should have anticipated Labor problems when a new guy [Mr. Egbert] arrived there with ZERO experience working within an existing legally binding labor contract (between Studebaker-Packard Corporation and UAW, Local # 5). Mr. Egbert’s apparent indifference to the Company’s obligations under the existing contract with the UAW and his sometimes arrogant attitude towards lessers certainly points to him as the "primer" that set-off the 1962 Strike ...a Strike that did not even need to happen!!!

                          Incidentally, last week I was having lunch and none other than the current Chairman of (formerly Studebaker) UAW, Local # 5 sat at the table next to me. We had a chance to chat about the SDC International Meet being held in South Bend next July. He "offered" to open up the UAW Local # 5 Union Hall to all SDC’ers during MeetWeek 2012. As some know, "Assembly Hall" has full wall size murals depicting the UAW’s history in South Bend beginning with Studebaker up to modern times. They are a "must see" for those coming to the 2012 IM. He believes some former Studebaker employees will be available to give us tours or just for us to chat with. He also opened the "possibility" of even having a BBQ for us SDC’ers as well.

                          Oh, by the way …he owns a ’39 Studebaker Commander and now plans to have it in "running condition" for the 2012 IM!!! I did inform him of the existence of this SDC Forum as a good source of information to help get his ’39 back on the road. So please out of common courtesy, can we here try to keep our "Union Bashing" to a minimum???
                          Last edited by Welcome; 09-03-2011, 05:57 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Welcome View Post
                            Can you point us to neutral & reputable sources that can factually back up the above statement?

                            Oh, by the way …he owns a ’39 Studebaker Commander and now plans to have it in "running condition" for the 2012 IM!!! I did inform him of the existence of this SDC Forum as a good source of information to help get his ’39 back on the road. So please, out of common courtesy, can we here try to keep our "Union Bashing" to a minimum???
                            Why do I have the feeling that if I spent hours researching and documenting what I said from other sources, that those sources would immediately be dismissed as "not neutral" and/or "unreputable"?

                            It is my opinion that Sherwood Egbert did a lot more good for Studebaker's Automotive Division than did UAW Local #5 during the time Egbert was trying to save their jobs as well as the company. So please, out of common courtesy, can we here try to keep our "Egbert Bashing" to a minimum? Geeze, the guy became physically ill to the point of [ultimately, though not in South Bend] premature death in the course of trying to keep Studebaker alive, for Pete's sake.

                            Well, if you guys will excuse me, I have to go enjoy the Labor Day holiday. (I've searched the calendar in vain for an Entrepreneurs Day, Risk-Takers Day, or Those-Who-Arrive-First-and-Go-Home-Last-and-Take-Their-Problems-Home-With-Them Day, but can't find one. <GGG>) BP
                            Last edited by BobPalma; 09-03-2011, 08:51 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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Welcome View Post
                              Can you point us to neutral & reputable sources that can factually back up the above statement?

                              The Studebaker UAW Local # 5 Union employees gained NOTHING by that 1962 Strike. The Strike was called in an effort to retain the rights the Company and the Union had already agreed to …before Mr. Egbert arrived on the scene. BP, I have that contract signed on February 7, 1962, so if you could find time to read it, I would be very happy to send it to your; 610 Jefferson St., Brownship, Ind. address.

                              In retrospect; Studebaker Corporation should have anticipated Labor problems when a new guy [Mr. Egbert] arrived there with ZERO experience working within an existing legally binding labor contract (between Studebaker-Packard Corporation and UAW, Local # 5). Mr. Egbert’s apparent indifference to the Company’s obligations under the existing contract with the UAW and his sometimes arrogant attitude towards lessers certainly points to him as the "primer" that set-off the 1962 Strike ...a Strike that did not even need to happen!!!

                              Incidentally, last week I was having lunch and none other than the current Chairman of (formerly Studebaker) UAW, Local # 5 sat at the table next to me. We had a chance to chat about the SDC International Meet being held in South Bend next July. He "offered" to open up the UAW Local # 5 Union Hall to all SDC’ers during MeetWeek 2012. As some know, "Assembly Hall" has full wall size murals depicting the UAW’s history in South Bend beginning with Studebaker up to modern times. They are a "must see" for those coming to the 2012 IM. He believes some former Studebaker employees will be available to give us tours or just for us to chat with. He also opened the "possibility" of even having a BBQ for us SDC’ers as well.

                              Oh, by the way …he owns a ’39 Studebaker Commander and now plans to have it in "running condition" for the 2012 IM!!! I did inform him of the existence of this SDC Forum as a good source of information to help get his ’39 back on the road. So please out of common courtesy, can we here try to keep our "Union Bashing" to a minimum???
                              Interesting. That's the first time I've heard Mr. Egbert accused of being anything but a guy who was instrumental in prolonging Studebaker for a few more years; who might have turned it around had he not fallen ill; and would have stood up to and corrected the greedy, arrogant attitude of union management had he survived. Everything I've found in my desire to study and learn the history of the Studebaker Corp. unanimously backs this up, starting with the fact that Studebaker employees did in fact have contracts that were unsustainable if the automotive division was to survive. The Union sealed the fate of the company with a strike that killed production at the most critical time, and screwed themselves out of their own members' livelihoods. That has the ring of truth, because we see unions doing that all across the country today; and either the company moves out of the country, or simply closes down. And, the unions prefer to actually kill the company over being rational.

                              As always, I state that I'm new to the Studebaker world, having only been involved since about 2004. So I defer on the facts of the history to the better-versed.
                              Last edited by Bob Andrews; 09-03-2011, 08:52 AM.
                              Proud NON-CASO

                              I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                              If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                              GOD BLESS AMERICA

                              Ephesians 6:10-17
                              Romans 15:13
                              Deuteronomy 31:6
                              Proverbs 28:1

                              Illegitimi non carborundum

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