Merry Christmas and welcome to Packard Motor Car Information! If you're new here, please register for a free account.  
Login
Username:

Password:

Remember me



Lost Password?

Register now!
FAQ's
Main Menu
Recent Forum Topics
Who is Online
74 user(s) are online (64 user(s) are browsing Forums)

Members: 3
Guests: 71

Packard Filip, West Peterson, wjames, more...
Helping out...
PackardInfo is a free resource for Packard Owners that is completely supported by user donations. If you can help out, that would be great!

Donate via PayPal
Video Content
Visit PackardInfo.com YouTube Playlist

Donate via PayPal



« 1 (2) 3 4 5 ... 11 »

Re: New "What Ifs?"
#11
Forum Ambassador
Forum Ambassador

Owen_Dyneto
See User information
Perhaps my memory is failing me, but wasn't 200,000 cars per year George Christopher's goal, before Nance came on the scene?

Posted on: 2014/6/14 14:57
 Top  Print 
 


Re: New "What Ifs?"
#12
Home away from home
Home away from home

ECAnthony
See User information
Yes - GC promised 200,000 in 1946-47. On October 4, 1954, at the press conference announcing the S-P "merger," Nance said "Our schedules call for doubling our percentage of the automobile market in 1955." At that moment, S-P held about 2.4 percent of the market. Nance forecast total auto sales for 1955 at 5.4 million. So, that would make it around 260,000 sales for Studebaker and Packard. The headline in the New York "Herald Tribune" the next day read: "'55 Studebaker-Packard Aim: Build and Sell 300,000 Autos."

Posted on: 2014/6/14 16:52
 Top  Print 
 


Re: New "What Ifs?"
#13
Home away from home
Home away from home

Steve203
See User information
Patrick Foster by his own admission was not a fan of JJ Nance and has often misreported or left out important issues to distort the facts about both Packard/Studebaker and AMC.

The friction between Nance and Romney has been widely reported. Ward talks about a few incidents that make the friction look to be more Nance's doing than Romney's

-On the occasion of the S-P merger, Romney sent a congratulatory letter to Nance and said he looked forward to increased cooperation between their companies. According to Ward, Nance blew off the letter.

-AMC did not have a good engine for their mid market models. Between the Packard sourced V8 and the Rambler 196, they only had a choice of the big, heavy, Hudson six, and the ancient Nash 252 (4 3/8" stroke, peak of 135 HP at 3700rpm, 220ftlbs@1600) Romney contacted Nance about buying Studebaker V8s for their mid market models (Studie 259 170HP@4500, 260ftlbs@2800) . Nance blew Romney off again.

-By 56, the Studebaker Champion had grown to the point where it was hopelessly underpowered with the 186 (101hp at 4000) and Nance approched Romney about buying the Rambler 196 (120 @ 4200). Romney blew off the inquiry saying that Rambler sales were expected to be so high AMC would not have any extra capacity to make engines for Studebaker.

Romney and Nance are both gone now, so we'll never know for sure.

Posted on: 2014/6/14 17:53
 Top  Print 
 


Re: New "What Ifs?"
#14
Home away from home
Home away from home

Steve203
See User information
<i>Perhaps my memory is failing me, but wasn't 200,000 cars per year George Christopher's goal, before Nance came on the scene?</i>

Could well be that Christopher first set that bogie. My memory is pretty porus.

Posted on: 2014/6/14 17:57
 Top  Print 
 


Re: New "What Ifs?"
#15
Home away from home
Home away from home

Steve203
See User information
Spotted the August issue in the magazine rack at the store, so took a quick looksee.

At first, thought I was in an alternate universe because all I saw was Mercurys. Then found the 1 page article.

-he suggests keeping the Clipper on the 51 styling for another year? Just make sales worse as the body will look even more obsolete

-he suggests restricting the V8 to the senior Packards and keeping the straight 8 for the Clipper for a year? Keep an obsolete engine in the most popular line? Just cost sales. Additionally, senior Packards sales what they were, the V8 line might not have had enough work to run even 1 shift on a 5 day week.

Nance could not have moved any schedule up from the 55 model year. Apparently Hugh Ferry started the V8 program before Nance started, but, judging by the oil pump issues, they still did not give it adequate development time. Ditto the Twin Ultramatic. The 55my styling refresh came two years after Nance started. That is about as fast as US automakers could make that happen at that time.

Posted on: 2014/6/27 17:17
 Top  Print 
 


Re: New "What Ifs?"
#16
Home away from home
Home away from home

Tim Cole
See User information
Most of these so-called historians fixate on the post war Packard situation and blame everything on the 110 and 120 as ruining Packard.

The figures below show this was not the case. With the introduction of the low priced Packards, Cadillac did not enjoy migration benefits given the medium priced Series 60 introduced in 1936.

The real story is 1941 when Cadillac introduced the Hydramatic. Clearly this innovation was well received as was the new grille which ended the hodge podge of different styling cues since 1932.

It is easy to see why Packard paniced and ran after the Clipper. However, it took GM styling a decade to develop a premium styling theme for Cadillac. A theme robust enough to endure 1959 and continue through the 70's.


I think a better what if is - What if GM put the OHV V-8 into the 49 Chevy?


.............. Packard ............. Cadillac

1934 ........ 8,000 ................ 7,000

1936 ........ 61k ................ 13k

1938 ........ 56k ................ 9k

1940 ........ 98k ................ 13k

1941 ........ 73k ................ 66k

1949 ........ 116k ................ 93k

1954 ........ 31k ................ 97k

1955 ........ 55k ................ 141k

Posted on: 2014/6/27 18:57
 Top  Print 
 


Re: New "What Ifs?"
#17
Home away from home
Home away from home

Rusty O\'Toole
See User information
If you include junior models in the Packard totals shouldn't you include LaSalle?

I think the jump in Cadillac sales in 1941 reflects dropping the LaSalle and replacing it with a similar size and price small Cadillac.

I still don't know what happened to the plan to sell 200,000 units a year.

Packard was not only selling against Cadillac. The lower priced models of the late 40s early 50s were selling against medium priced cars like DeSoto, Chrysler Windsor, Hudson,Nash Ambassador,Lincoln, Oldsmobile 98, and Buick.

In this group the Packard looked pretty good, and was strong competition for the medium price buyer. I blame the lack of a V8, lackluster styling and the aggressive sales tactics of GM and Ford for putting Packard behind the 8 ball in the fifties.

If they had the 55 styling and V8 in 53, Packard might still be around.

Posted on: 2014/6/27 21:11
 Top  Print 
 


Re: New "What Ifs?"
#18
Home away from home
Home away from home

Steve203
See User information
If they had the 55 styling and V8 in 53, Packard might still be around.

Those are just two points in an overall lack of reinvestment in the auto line.

(my suspicion) when faced with the need to buy larger presses and build a larger building to house them, to make the larger stampings that the industry was going to to save assembly labor, Packard punted and outsourced to Briggs.

When the senior line dies were lost/given away/rusted/sold for scrap during the war, Packard punted and only made the Clipper.

When GM and Chrysler started making V8s, Packard punted and squeezed a bit more out of the straight 8.

When everyone else was bringing out new models in 49, Packard punted with a reskin of the 41.

According to Ward, build quality had always been a problem with Briggs bodies, but Packard never addressed it.

Then there is the issue of whether Cadillac and Lincoln were making a profit for their parents, or were just halo models. The Cadillac Clark Street plant looks to be just as obsolete as EGB. Caddy bought the mid 20s vintage Hudson body plant in 56, and used it, and Clark Street, until Poletown opened in the 80s.

If Caddie and Lincoln were leaching off of Chevy and Ford, there is no way that Packard could have held up, without a cheap line to subsidize it. And for the cheap line to be able to compete, the company would need to invest in state of the art facilities...which requires the capital investment that Packard repeatedly refused to make.

Posted on: 2014/6/27 21:48
 Top  Print 
 


Re: New "What Ifs?"
#19
Home away from home
Home away from home

Rusty O\'Toole
See User information
Packard outsourced to Briggs in 1940 or thereabouts. So did many other auto makers. Not just bodies but many other parts. A common sense way of getting good parts for the best price, it was often cheaper to buy from specialists than make everything yourself.

Not only Packard, but Cadillac, Lincoln and others were moving away from the big custom built cars. The senior bodies and tooling had their day, so had the juniors which dated to the mid 30s. Packard's answer was a one model or one body policy based on the Clipper. This was not satisfactory as the Clipper body was not big enough for a senior car, but they sold pretty well until 1951. They very cleverly made 2 versions of the 51 body, one for junior models and a stretched version with different roof and rear fenders for the seniors. This worked very well although, they could have used more body styles for the senior cars, than just a 4 door sedan.

I would like to hear from the experts on the straight eight, but I believe the last straight eight was all new in 1948. It was their bad luck that they put their money into a new flathead straight eight, just when the industry was about to go to the OHV V8.

They weren't the only one. Lincoln brought out a brand new flathead V8 in 1949, and Hudson a new straight six flathead in 1951.

I tend to agree about the 1948 face lift, however it was popular and up to date looking at the time, and did give them something new to sell without the expense of an all new body.

I am more disappointed by the all new 51s. It would have been a sensation in 1948, but by 1951 was just another car, that looked like the 1948 Cadillac and Futuramic Oldsmobile 98.

Even more disappointing is their reluctance to face lift the 51 body and give it a fresh appearance in 52 53 54. I know they did rework it every year but the changes were not obvious to a casual glance because they kept the same grille and front end appearance.

Packard was trying to give buyers in the medium price and high price brackets a genuine choice, by making a more conservative type of car than the tail finned V8 monstrosities featured by GM. In other words, they were willing to concede Hollywood and Broadway to Cadillac - and take the rest of the country for themselves.

This was not a bad strategy, unfortunately they overestimated the taste of the car buying public. It turned out they wanted tail fins, 3 tone paint jobs, toothy chrome grilles,gas hog V8s, and styling that resembled a Zoot Suit with neon buttons.

When they got wise (55 and 56) it was too late, the tide was already turning to smaller cars.

Posted on: 2014/6/27 22:44
 Top  Print 
 


Re: New "What Ifs?"
#20
Home away from home
Home away from home

Dave Brownell
See User information
Ditto, Rusty O. But my what ifs still include wisely pulling back body tooling back to EGB instead of leasing Conner from Chrysler, and (impossibly) doing the 55 restyle a year sooner with V8s to better compete with the all new senior GM offerings (unlike poor Ford and Chrysler in the same spot). Poor advice (Powers), the bad Studebaker audit, lack of a insurance company money infusion, loss of Defense contracts to bridge the gap, all combined to sinkhole Packard very quickly. Keeping George Mason alive might have prevented most of this angst. The opposite for Charlie Wilson.

Posted on: 2014/6/28 6:19
 Top  Print 
 




« 1 (2) 3 4 5 ... 11 »




Search
Recent Photos
Boneyard 400 close up (11/30/2022)
Boneyard 400 close up
Boneyard 400 (11/30/2022)
Boneyard 400
1937 115c Touring (11/27/2022)
1937 115c Touring
Photo of the Day
1953 Packard convertible, top folded, couple sitting in front seat, parked on street
Recent Registry
Website Comments or Questions?? Click Here Copyright 2006-2021, PackardInfo.com All Rights Reserved