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Studebaker - Sales Per Dealer for Calendar Year 1958

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  • Studebaker - Sales Per Dealer for Calendar Year 1958

    (from the March 2, 1959 issue of Automotive News):

    Make
    1958 Sales Per Dealer
    1957
    Sales Per Dealer
    1956 Sales Per Dealer
    1955 Sales Per Dealer
    1
    Chev
    170
    195
    2
    206
    1
    216
    2
    2
    Ford
    149
    213
    1
    195
    2
    224
    1
    3
    Olds
    83
    99
    4
    114
    4
    153
    4
    4
    Buick
    82
    112
    3
    148
    3
    206
    3
    5
    Cad
    69
    79
    7
    74
    7
    80
    7
    6
    Rambler
    68
    42
    11
    32
    13
    7
    Pontiac
    62
    84
    6
    90
    5
    133
    5
    8
    Plym.
    57
    77
    8
    55
    9
    72
    9
    9
    Mercury
    49
    85
    5
    87
    6
    122
    6
    10
    Dodge
    42
    74
    9
    61
    8
    75
    8
    11
    Edsel
    25
    23
    15
    12
    Lincoln
    23
    29
    14
    31
    14
    25
    16
    12
    DeSoto
    23
    46
    10
    41
    10
    45
    12
    12
    Chrysler
    23
    39
    12
    37
    11
    48
    11
    15
    Stude
    19
    32
    13
    36
    12
    45
    12
    16
    Imperial
    11
    21
    16
    6
    18
    4
    17
    17
    Packard
    2
    3
    19
    12
    17
    41
    14
    Nash
    7
    17
    19
    15
    59
    10
    Hudson
    5
    18
    13
    16
    33
    15


    Eric DeRosa

    \'49 2R-5 (original Survivor)
    \'63 R2 Lark (the money-pit-mobile)
    \'60 Lark Convertible (project in waiting)

  • #2
    Eric, your post reminds me of the most memorable words of advice given to my Dad and Uncle Milton when they moved to Paris IL in 1953 and assumed the Packard dealership.

    The DeSoto-Plymouth dealer in Paris, D.R. Noonan, was friendly and helpful in welcoming Dad and Uncle Milt to the community. Here is Mr. Noonan's DeSoto-Plymouth dealership building circa 2009. Obviously, the showroom windows weren't mostly covered when the place was a car dealership:




    Shortly after they arrived, he took them to lunch. He was probably 20-25 years older than they, and his advice was this:

    "Just remember, boys; you are used car dealers first and foremost; that's where you'll make your money.

    But you have a leg up on other used car dealers because you have a new-car franchise. People will automatically think more of you and be inclined to buy your used cars....but you are still used-car dealers!"

    So, Eric; that explains how most of those Studebaker dealers stayed in business selling so few new cars per year; they listened to D. R. Noonan! (And, no, I never did learn what the initials "D.R." stood for!) 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
      Our International dealer where I grew up was named "D.R. Thompson". I never heard a bad thing about him. The place is slowly being turned into a restaurant called "The Bent Fork", including some I-H signage left behind.

      Man, those sales units per dealer numbers were certainly dismal. My Stude dealer friend was doing considerably better than that in the '64 model year in a town of under 9,000 people.
      Bill Pressler
      Kent, OH
      (formerly Greenville, PA)
      Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
      Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
      1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
      1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
      All are in Australia now

      Comment


      • #4
        Maybe they were all (many) a bunch of lazy buggers and we would have been better to have concentrated on better dealers a long time before the arrival of Sherwood Egbert.
        John Clements
        Christchurch, New Zealand

        Comment


        • #5
          Good grief, Eric; I just spent more time analyzing those numbers. If Studebaker dealers averaged 19 cars per dealer for all of calendar year 1958, just imagine how horrible it would have been without early Lark sales...maybe 10 per dealer....or less? Ouch! 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


          • #6
            Hi

            Thanks for posting these revealing statistics, yields a very clear picture of the dire circumstances the independent make dealers found themselves by the latter part of the 1950's. Those fellows who had had moderate success now could barely keep the doors open depending on new car sales. Doubtless used cars were their primary source of income if they persevered.

            Nothing like bad business news in the press to drain the vitality from what had been a better year in 1955, especially for the Packard end of the corporation. Not just a few of those dealers had sold Packards for decades only to have the corporate debacle bring that to a abrupt end, what a shame.

            Steve

            Comment


            • #7
              Keep in mind, many of those dealers sold parts, provided service, and in most cases, were dualed up with another brand like Mercedes or VW. Also keep in mind, those numbers are averages. Dealerships in larger cities did a lot more business. Dealers in the sticks probably only sold 5 or 6 cars.
              Tom - Bradenton, FL

              1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
              1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

              Comment


              • #8
                I guess these numbers are exactly why so many Studebaker dealers in this area took on a myraid of other makes. At least two that I know of took on Simca, of all things. The dealer here in Fayetteville actually sold grey market VW's with some success (A large military presence helped as many were familiar with VW from their travels in Europe). He also took on Amphicar again of all things. Although he did not become a Mercedes dealer his service shop specialized in repairing them. He also, at least for a time, had a successful used car operation. This dealer was in operation from 1939 until the end. Hard work being a Studebaker dealer that's for sure, especially in the south.
                Joe Roberts
                '61 R1 Champ
                '65 Cruiser
                Eastern North Carolina Chapter

                Comment


                • #9
                  Boy!, you can really tell 1958 was a recession year! I think they called it "The Eisenhower Recession"
                  Our local Studebaker dealer in Pitman NJ was John S. Stratton, he sold Jeep, Pontiac, and Studebakers, what a combo!
                  Thanks
                  Bill
                  sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

                  "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
                  Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
                  "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Studebaker dealers sold Studebaker trucks too, but I suppose they only averaged one truck sold per dealership.
                    sigpic
                    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I should add that starting with the introduction of the Lark, Studebaker was agressively trying to add new dealers - nearly every-other issue of Automotive News during this timeframe has a full page ad trying to recruit new dealers. In fact the March 16, 1959 issue annouced 45 new Stude outlets. The list is much to long for me to re-produce, but Milica, you might
                      like to know that one of the new dealers was North Star Garage, at 125 S. Central, in Milica, MN!
                      Eric DeRosa

                      \'49 2R-5 (original Survivor)
                      \'63 R2 Lark (the money-pit-mobile)
                      \'60 Lark Convertible (project in waiting)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for that information Eric. North Star Garage of Milaca, MN began as a Chrysler dealership in 1927 (if I recall correctly) and remained as such until Chrysler revoked it's franchise in 2009. The co-dealership with Studebaker was very short lived however, as early 1962 was the end of their Studebaker franchise. The building/business is still in the same family but is now a used car dealership/service center.
                        sigpic
                        In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've always been amazed to hear stories of a dealer recalling a certain vehicle as having been sold being new at their dealership decades earlier. Now I see why. For some, each sale was a major event!
                          KURTRUK
                          (read it backwards)




                          Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The owners of two very successful, long-time Studebaker dealerships, Capital Garage in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and Maccan Garage of Maccan, Nova Scotia both told me, "Studebaker was the only car maker who never pressured us to sell cars." Capital Garage was in business from 1912 to 1977, and Maccan Garage from about 1922 to 1999. Both had other successful franchises before and after Studebaker. (Capital Garage started with Stanley Steamer, and ended with Volkswagen-Porsche-Mercedes.) Probably if Studebaker had put more pressure on their dealers, there would have been fewer with inadequate sales.
                            Bill Jarvis

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kurtruk View Post
                              I've always been amazed to hear stories of a dealer recalling a certain vehicle as having been sold being new at their dealership decades earlier. Now I see why. For some, each sale was a major event!
                              I sold a lot more cars than these averages. Most I do not remember, but some cars and/or buyers I do remember.
                              Gary L.
                              Wappinger, NY

                              SDC member since 1968
                              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                              Comment

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