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06/22/1954

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  • 06/22/1954

    According to Hemmings, on 06/22/1954 officials from Studebaker and Packard signed the merger agreement. Was that the right move for both companies?
    sigpic[SIGPIC]

  • #2
    For Studebaker, yes. Packard, no.

    Which is not to say Studebaker sunk Packard, although it helped.

    In reality, the skids were greased heavily for all the independents by that time: Their composite market share had dwindled to 6.77% by the end of 1953, versus 13% for 1952. BP
    Last edited by BobPalma; 06-22-2012, 10:19 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


    • #3
      Some wag (I forget who) described the merger as "two drunks helping each other cross the street." The paring gave Studebaker perhaps a little more time but may have hastened Packard's demise.

      Comment


      • #4
        And to confuse the matter even more Packard bought Studebaker. It was actually not a merger.

        Comment


        • #5
          I never could understand how a Co. that only built Luxury Cars, had such a small market share, had no sport models, no Station Wagons and no Trucks could have had more money than Studebaker only Nine years after the war.

          I understand that Studebaker did way more Government (War) business than Packard, but they did build the Merlin/Packard Aircraft Engines. They must have had better manangement and been very frugal to have kept what they had, all very interesting.

          Was that the right move? Well the owners of '58 Packard Hawks probably think so!
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

          Comment


          • #6
            Packard did well with it's smaller cars after the war. They also had the largest factory in the world at over a mile long in size. I often wondered why they needed such a huge factory.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't understand why Packard bought Studebaker. Did they buy Studebaker just because they could buy them?? There had been and are European car companies that specialize in one type of car as their soul product so why didnt Packard just stick with luxury cars? Packard was just about to unveil the new V8, Ultramatic transmission and updated design of the 1955 cars so why did they feel it necessary to buy an entire car company at that time? After only two years of "merger" why did they shut down the Packard plant? Was it not a more modern factory than Studebaker?
              sigpic
              In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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              • #8
                Milaca, it was even worse than that! The Packard plant where cars had been produced was shut down & all production went to their "new" Connor Avenue plant. Then it was found to be way too small for all their tooling, production tumbled & quality suffered. It was so bad that I read a report that it wasnt unusual for trucks to sit for up to 2 days before they could unload. Imagine the costs of just those drivers on "standby". Either Packard failed to do a proper "due dilligence" or it was put together so fast it didnt matter. Perhaps if they had kept production on East Grand & built Studebakers alongside the Packards things might have been different. Yes the Packard plant was newer than South Bend (remember some of the buildings in S.B. were from the 1800's) but was still getting long in the tooth by automotive standards of the time.
                59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                64 Zip Van
                66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                66 Cruiser V-8 auto

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't know much about this (but that never stops me) but didn't Packard lose their body supplier about this time as well?
                  Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

                  40 Champion 4 door*
                  50 Champion 2 door*
                  53 Commander K Auto*
                  53 Commander K overdrive*
                  55 President Speedster
                  62 GT 4Speed*
                  63 Avanti R1*
                  64 Champ 1/2 ton

                  * Formerly owned

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ddub View Post
                    I don't know much about this (but that never stops me) but didn't Packard lose their body supplier about this time as well?

                    Yes, Don; that is correct. Briggs had been supplying Packard with bodies as an independent body fabrication company.

                    However, Chrysler bought Briggs in 1954 to have more control over Chrysler bodies and would no longer produce for Packard. That forced Packard into making their own bodies, adding to the mounting production woes that terribly hampered and delayed the 1955 model year launch at a time when the market was red hot with new product and poised for a record year, which it became.

                    'Too bad Packard could not have had a bigger share of it. My father has long said he could have sold twice as many new 1955 Packard products as he did (4 Packards and 12 Clippers, by the way) if he just could have gotten them.

                    So sad in that the 1955 model year held such promise for Packard. BP
                    Last edited by BobPalma; 06-23-2012, 08:44 PM.
                    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


                    • #11
                      By 1952 it had become obvious that the only way to stay in the car business in North America was to be big enough to develop and build your own drive train components, and straddle the market, model-wise. Only Stude and Packard were able to develop their own OHV V8s -- Kaiser, Hudson, and Nash simply couldn’t afford it. And while Packard developed Ultramatic, Stude ended up buying automatic transmissions from Borg-Warner. Most of the rest ended up buying Hydramatics from competitor GM. The S-P purchase/merger wasn’t in and of itself a bad idea, but neither management team really knew enough about the other’s finances and prospects, nor did they have a plan for really MERGING production facilities and operations and rationalizing their product lines. The AMC merger was much better planned and executed, as evidenced by the fact that the merged company lasted another 30 years. Had Stude, Packard, Nash, and Hudson (and Kaiser Jeep?) all merged in 1954/55 as Nash president George Mason envisioned, we might still be driving their cars today.
                      Skip Lackie

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                      • #12
                        Oh Well, after the two companies 'got together' at least one exec had the nerve to approve the 56J for production. (He was later fired)........................................................................
                        ..........................................................................JUST KIDDING!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When I am asked that question at shows by people still wondering about it all I say is that
                          "All good things come to an end" Studebaker was building things with wheels lone before Henry Ford was even thought of.
                          Candbstudebakers
                          Castro Valley,
                          California


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                          • #14
                            Just a small question: didn't Chrysler buy Briggs? I think Budd supplied bodies to Studebaker right up until the end, and is still in the business of producing automotive parts and passenger rail cars.

                            (Sorry about the correction, Bob....I'm sure it was just a typo!)

                            ~Tim

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tj1852 View Post
                              Just a small question: didn't Chrysler buy Briggs? I think Budd supplied bodies to Studebaker right up until the end, and is still in the business of producing automotive parts and passenger rail cars.

                              (Sorry about the correction, Bob....I'm sure it was just a typo!) Tim
                              No problem, Tim; it was a genuine mistake. Duly noted and corrected in the OP. Thanks. 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

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