Re: The Sudden End of the Detroit Packards

Posted by Craig the Clipper Man on 2014/1/23 20:51:37
Very well put, Dave. I am of the belief that Nance honestly wanted to do the right thing by Packard, as evident in his comments regarding styling, advertising, and, sadly, mergers. I don't believe that it would have made a difference as far as the future of the company was concerned. And remember, Nance did not run Packard all by himself -- he had to contend with his board of directors, union bosses, suppliers, advertising agencies, dealers ...

Your Saab analogy is spot-on. By 1955, while Ford and General Motors appeared to be changing model styling each year, glutting the market with low-priced varieties being pushed in newspapers, magazines, and television; Packard and the other orphans were struggling to get existing models sold. The customer had to see the writing on the wall. Ultimately, the fate of an industry such as an automobile manufacturer depends upon the profit margin between operating costs and unit sales. Just like that poor lonely 2011 Saab languishing in a dealer's lot, the similarities would be obvious for car buyers in 1955-56 as they considered Packards, Hudsons, and Kaisers.

You know that feeling you have when you walk into a store in its last days? Moving slowly down aisles with shelves nearly bare of merchandise. Hearing the sound of your footsteps in what would otherwise be silence. It is the feeling of invading someone's personal space, of disturbing a private bereavement.

Blaming everything on James Nance is too simplistic for words.

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