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Automotive News, 12/7/64 - McKinnon Engines, Engineering, and October Registrations

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  • Automotive News, 12/7/64 - McKinnon Engines, Engineering, and October Registrations

    Well, I am still digging through boxes of old Automtive News in the basement; here are some gems from the December 7, 1964 issue.

    page 15, under the heading Engineering Report:

    25,000 is Break
    STUDEBAKER CORP, now operating largely from Hamilton, Ont. Canada, is seeking to prove this thesis: A consumer-oriented auto company can operate with a break-even point of 25,000 units or less.
    A question that immediately comes to mind and one put by this reporter to Gordon E. Grundy, president of Studebaker's Automotive Division is "What are you going to do about engineering and styling?"
    He replied "We have a staff of about 20 engineers, and we can call on outside engineering and styling specialists, when necessary. However, we feel that our styling is something that will remain functional and beautiful for some time to come. We can stay in business indenfinitely with the help of outside specialists"
    Grundy was also asked if the new six and eight-cylinder engines, which are being produced by McKinnon Industries in St.. Catherines, Ont. actually were Chevolet engines. McKinnon is a GM subsidiary.
    He replied that "We do not call them Chevrolet engines." So, it's hoped that Automotive News readers will remember that these Chevrolet engines are not - repeat NOT -Chevrolet engines, even if they have the horsepower, displacement, compression ratio, and torque curve of Chevrolet engines.

    The above is the entire article. Elsewhere in the issue are some sales numbers. For example, new car registrations for the month of October, '64 totaled 1,495 for Studebaker, which put them in 14th (last) place in US registrations. This compared to 7,065 in October of '63, when they were in 12th place, ahead of Lincoln and Imperial.
    The numbers are also broken down by state, for both cars and trucks. I am to lazy to retype everything, but there are some interesting numbers:
    Illinois - 84
    Colorado - 28
    Alaska - 1

    For trucks, there were 1,473 new Studebaker trucks registered to date through October '64 (obviously, all from dealer stock)

    As far as production, Studebaker produced 480 cars for the week ending 12/5/64, and 2,239 for the entire month of November, and a total of 15,994 from January 1 to December 5, 1964.

    I'm done typing!
    Eric DeRosa

    \'63 R2 Lark
    \'60 Lark Convertible

  • #2
    The then current Studebaker styling would have looked extremely out of date had they continued into 1968 and beyond. I believe it would have required an all new body design to achieve anywhere near 25,000 units, but new tooling for so few cars would have been unprofitable. Perhaps had they specialized in a sports car, taxi cab or a law enforcement car, then low production may have been profitable for a long time.
    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


    • #3
      Thanks for these very interesting tidbits; they are great reads.

      Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain !