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February '59, Studebaker Cracks Top Ten (Trucks for the Month Too)

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  • February '59, Studebaker Cracks Top Ten (Trucks for the Month Too)

    I thought I would provide another exciting update on the sales race back in ’59 – I think this is the first time Studebaker cracked the top ten for quite awhile, thanks to the Lark of course. Registrations for the MONTH of February 1959 (from the April 20, 1959 issue of Automotive News)

    Feb ’59 Position
    Feb ’59 Registrations
    Make
    Feb ’58 Registrations
    Feb ’58 Position
    1
    106,506
    Chevrolet
    92,401
    1
    2
    103,498
    Ford
    71,865
    2
    3
    27,732
    Olds
    24,789
    4
    4
    27,349
    Pontiac
    18,556
    6
    5
    21,856
    Rambler
    9,062
    10
    6
    20,828
    Buick
    21,357
    5
    7
    20,600
    Plymouth
    27,091
    3
    8
    11,906
    Cad.
    9,789
    7
    9
    11,084
    Mercury
    9,699
    8
    10
    9,808
    STUDEBAKER
    2,913
    14
    11
    7,655
    Dodge
    9,805
    9
    12
    3,936
    Edsel
    3,565
    13
    13
    3,812
    Chrysler
    4,565
    11
    14
    2,841
    DeSoto
    3,919
    12
    15
    2,503
    Lincoln
    2,718
    15
    16
    1,228
    Imperial
    1,245
    16
    Studebaker and Rambler where both gainers, while it looks like all Chrysler products were sliding.

    For comparison, here are the top ten imports, also for the Month of February ’59:

    Feb ’59 Position
    Feb ’59 Registrations
    Make
    Feb ’58 Registrations
    Feb ’58 Position
    1
    7,428
    VW
    5,807
    1
    2
    5,390
    Renault
    2,218
    2
    3
    3,330
    English Ford
    1,516
    3
    4
    2,856
    Simca
    908
    5
    5
    2,755
    Opel
    726
    8
    6
    2,619
    Fiat
    878
    6
    7
    2,011
    Hillman
    936
    4
    8
    1,610
    Vauxhall
    9
    1,477
    Triumph
    716
    9
    10
    1,359
    Volvo
    Finally, for you truck lovers out there, here are the February (one month) 1959 new truck registration numbers: (from the May 4, 1959 Automotive News)

    Make
    February 1959 New Truck Registrations
    Chevrolet
    23,753
    Ford
    19,498
    GMC
    5,249
    International
    5,109
    Dodge
    3,674
    Willys
    1,751
    White
    1,100
    Mack
    937
    STUDEBAKER
    476
    Diamond T
    179
    Brockway
    58
    Last edited by 2R2; 01-13-2013, 12:42 PM.
    Eric DeRosa

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

  • #2
    Thanks, Eric; that is encouraging. Especially to be above Dodge! 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
      I agree that the company must've been pleased to see the sales results from the Lark. But the truck data are dismal. Being beaten 2-to-1 by Mack and White, who only built heavy-duty units, could not have been a good sign. It would be interesting to see truck data from the comparable period one year later, when the new Champ had been on the market for a while.
      Skip Lackie

      Comment


      • #4
        I was surprized that International beat out Dodge in the truck list.
        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


        • #5
          The truck statistics are interesting. As for why Studebaker truck sales are so low, think of what the competitors had to offer. GM, Ford, International and Dodge had redesigned their cabs in 1955-57 leaving the Studebaker to look outdated plus they all offered smooth-sided pickup beds and they had big-block engines for their large trucks. Willys Jeep had the FC (forward control) trucks available at this time plus their regular pickup, wagon and CJ's. I too would be interested to see what the Champ did for Studebaker's truck sales.
          sigpic
          In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

          Comment


          • #6
            Is the Olds number for Feb. '59 wrong? It's number 3, but a good bit less sales than number 4 that month.
            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bill Pressler View Post
              Is the Olds number for Feb. '59 wrong? It's number 3, but a good bit less sales than number 4 that month.
              Bill, the Olds number is correct, the Pontiac figure is wrong - it should be 27,349.

              Also, you might be interested to know that the June 29, 1959 edition has an article that Stanley Pressler (a distant relative?) who was a Bloomington IN Olds-Studebaker dealer, was elected president of the Automotive Dealers Association of Indiana.
              Eric DeRosa

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Skip Lackie View Post
                I agree that the company must've been pleased to see the sales results from the Lark. But the truck data are dismal. Being beaten 2-to-1 by Mack and White, who only built heavy-duty units, could not have been a good sign. It would be interesting to see truck data from the comparable period one year later, when the new Champ had been on the market for a while.
                Skip, I'll be happy to post some figures from a later issue after the Champ was released.
                Eric DeRosa

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 2R2 View Post
                  Bill, you might be interested to know that the June 29, 1959 edition has an article that Stanley Pressler (a distant relative?) who was a Bloomington IN Olds-Studebaker dealer, was elected president of the Automotive Dealers Association of Indiana.
                  The Bloomington IN Studebaker dealer should have done quite well in 1959. It's a liberal college town (Indiana Univeristy: Liberal Arts, Sciences, Music, Education, etc.), a good demographic / market for small, economy cars. Only the Volkswagon and Rambler dealers would have given Stanley Pressler's Lark sales much competition.

                  I bet he sold a higher percentage of Larks against his GM "dual" (Oldsmobile) than most Studebaker dealers dualed with a General Motors make. 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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