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    Thread: This day in automotive history: March 23

    1. Senior Member VarianceVQ's Avatar
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      03-23-2009 04:08 PM #1
      1956: Studebaker-Packard looks for a merger

      Quote, originally posted by History »
      The Studebaker-Packard Corporation halted merger talks with the Ford Motor Company to pursue talks with the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. Studebaker-Packard itself was the result of a merger in which the large Studebaker firm merged with the small and successful Packard line. After World War II the independent car manufacturers had a difficult time keeping pace with the production capabilities of the Big Three, who were able to produce more cars at lower prices to meet the demands of a population starved for cars. Independents began to merge with one another to remain competitive. Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson Motors merged successfully to become American Motors (AMC). Paul Hoffman, the manager of Studebaker, realized his company would have to merge or perish. He negotiated an arduous merger between his company and Detroit-based Packard Motors. The merger took over five months to come through, as unionized labor on both sides balked at the proposal. Finally, in October of 1954, Studebaker and Packard merged to become the country's fourth largest car company. Hoffman chose Packard President James Nance to lead the new operation. Nance, spiteful of the inefficiency that Studebaker brought to his company, generally ignored the input of his colleagues, instituting his own policies in an attempt to turn around the fortune of his new company. His policies failed, and renewed labor problems brought Studebaker-Packard to its knees. In 1956, Curtiss-Wright purchased Studebaker-Packard. The failed merger between Studebaker, which had been in operation since the 1890s, and Packard was emblematic of the post-war independent manufacturers' scramble to consolidate. While Studebaker-Packard failed, AMC was able to stay alive into the 1970s, when it was bought by French giant Renault.

      ---

      Quote »
      In 1956, Curtiss-Wright agreed to loan $35 million to financially troubled Studebaker-Packard and provide management services for the automaker. In return, Studebaker-Packard sold Curtiss-Wright its subsidiary, Aerophysics Development Corporation, and leased the aviation concern its facilities in Utica, Michigan, and South Bend, Indiana, where Curtiss-Wright began producing the army's new Dart anti-tank missile, which Aerophysics Development had helped to develop.

      The following year, Studebaker-Packard received the rights to manufacture the Daimler-Benz engine from Germany's Mercedes-Benz in exchange for allowing the German automaker to produce a Curtiss-Wright plane. After two years of managing Studebaker-Packard, Curtiss-Wright terminated its management contract with the automaker and acquired the South Bend and Utica plants it had been leasing as well as the rights to manufacture and sell Daimler-Benz's diesel and multifuel engines, fuel injection systems, military vehicles, and buses.

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    2. Get Off My Lawn!!! vwlarry's Avatar
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      03-23-2009 04:19 PM #2
      "...Like watching two drunks trying to help each other across a busy street." - comment in the press at the time of the S-P "merger", which was really the purchase of Studebaker by Packard.

      The sad thing that many forget about the loss of Studebaker (to say nothing of Packard) is that this company was sewn into our country's history and heritage in a way that no other automaker of the 20th century could approach. After all, Studebaker wagons carried Union Armies to the battlefields of the Civil War. President Lincoln rode in a Studebaker-built carriage. Pioneers crossing the continent to settle the West traveled in Studebaker-built conestoga wagons, etc etc.

      Do you enjoy old cars and long-winded stories about them? If your answer is "yes", then you might enjoy my blogpage. Try it here: http://vwlarry.blogspot.com . Leave a comment, too; I love feedback! Thanx for reading.

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    3. Member onebadbug's Avatar
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      03-23-2009 04:37 PM #3
      Studebaker and Packard were in the original plans for AMC.

      Too bad it didn't happen that way.

      Next edit by onebadbug; tomorrow at 10:13 AM.

      What you get isn't always what you see.

    4. 03-24-2009 03:31 AM #4
      and 50 years later, the Big 3 are in the same boat!

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