Automotive News 75th Anniversary


Published: August 28, 2000

The History of Automotive News

The origin of Automotive News is not cut and dried. The official version is that George Slocum had felt for years that the auto industry needed a trade newspaper, and in 1925 he secured the financial backing to start one....

About the author

Jack Teahen has not seen it all, but he has seen most of it. He has been a key member of the Automotive News editorial staff for 45 of its 75 years....

1920s

The decade that began in 1920 was the first Golden Age of the automobile in the United States. The noisy, smelly, horse-scaring machines weren't as noisy or as smelly as the earlier models, and there were fewer horses for them to scare....

Growing auto industry gets new editorial voice

The headline on the first editorial page told the story: 'A Daily Newspaper for the World's Greatest Industry.' The editorial in that Aug....

PERSPECTIVE 2000: Growing auto industry gets new editorial voice

You read it right: Automotive Daily News. The paper was published five times a week until 1933, when the schedule was cut to twice weekly. It became a weekly in 1938, and the Monday publication day was adopted the following year....

Sloan and Fisher introduce LaSalle

BOSTON - Alfred P. Sloan Jr., president of General Motors, and Lawrence P. Fisher, president of Cadillac, were guests of honor here last night at the introduction and christening of the LaSalle car....

Ford unveils Edsel's Model A

DETROIT - Today, the Ford Motor Co. officially announced the new Ford Model 'A' cars and issued for publication its authorized statement of mechanical details and specifications....

PERSPECTIVE 2000: Ford unveils Edsel's Model A

It was the story of the year, the story of the decade — perhaps the most important story in the history of the fledgling U.S. auto industry. The Model T — the car that symbolized the U.S....

CRASH!

DETROIT - Further statements branding the gyrations of the stock market as an unreliable index of business conditions, particularly in the automotive industry, were issued by motor executives today. Richard Scott, president of Reo Motor Car Co....

Industry unhurt by stock decline, government finds

WASHINGTON - The automotive industry surmounted every obstacle in the recent stock market upheaval....

1930s

Auto historians and senior citizens who have personal recollections of the era do not look kindly on the 1930s. It was a decade of immense suffering. But at least from an automotive viewpoint, there were highlights as well....

SALES ON TEETER-TOTTER

DETROIT - New-car sales in 1932 totaled 1,097,716, according to an estimate by R.L. Polk & Co. Polk based the estimate on 11 months plus 21 states for December. (Editor's note: Actual sales for 1932 were 1,096,399....

ENGINEERING

NEW YORK - Alfred P. Sloan Jr., president of General Motors, announced today that GM's silver anniversary cars for 1934 will embody an entirely new and revolutionary principle of design....

Hydra-Matic Drive is highlight of Oldsmobile line for 1940

LANSING, Mich. - Headlining all features of the 1940 Oldsmobile is the introduction of Hydra-Matic Drive, a combination of liquid flywheel and fully automatic transmission that reduces driving to its simplest, easiest terms....

THREE NEW PRODUCTS

DETROIT - A single glance at the new line of DeSoto Airflow models, to be introduced at the New York show, discloses that DeSoto has come out bluntly for streamlining that makes no pretense at following the line of any previous American motor car....

New Lincoln-Zephyr displays advanced style

NEW YORK - The much-discussed Lincoln-Zephyr, held under wraps for months, will make its initial bow here at the Hotel Astor tomorrow....

Ford to offer 'Mercury 8' at meduim price; sale of new car handled by Ford, Lincoln dealers

Auotomotive News 10/8/38 Dearborn, Mich - Rumors of a new Ford line, which started some time ago, were confirmed here this week by Edsel Ford, president of Ford Motor Co....

PERSPECTIVE 2000: THREE NEW PRODUCTS

Three cars. One was a flop. One was a success but lived only a few seasons. The other has held its place in the market for 62 years....

Roger Penske

Roger Penske Chairman Penske Corp. Over the years since I started reading Automotive News, the auto industry has grown enormously, not only in terms of volume but in terms of scope....

LABOR

NEW YORK - The much-discussed Lincoln-Zephyr, held under wraps for months, will make its initial bow here at the Hotel Astor tomorrow....

Knudsen ends all GM ties

NEW YORK - William Knudsen has resigned all connection with General Motors because of his work as a member of the National Defense Advisory Commission. He has been on leave of absence as GM president since June 1. No successor to Knudsen was named....

PERSPECTIVE 2000: Knudsen ends all GM ties

It's almost impossible to pinpoint the date on which the U.S. auto industry entered World War II, but May 28, 1940, is a good starting point....

N.Y. car dealers turn to service as only hope

NEW YORK - Many dealers in the New York metropolitan area are concentrating on parts and service as their only hope for survival, a cross-section survey of local dealers disclosed last week....

25 pct. mortality seen in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE, Jan....

Car, light-truck output banned after Feb. 1

WASHINGTON, Jan 26, 1942 - All production of cars and light trucks - whether for civilian, military or export purposes - must cease Feb. 1, Donald Nelson, director of the War Production Board, ordered last week....

John Noecker

John Noecker, Noecker Buick-Pontiac Inc. Hudson, N.Y. Back in the mid-1950s I was a student at General Motors Institute in Flint, Mich. Class assignments often included going to the library and looking up articles in past issues of Automotive News....

An industry at war

From the foreword to the Automotive News 1943 Almanac 8/2/43 DETROIT - This, the 10th edition of the Automotive News Almanac, records the accomplishments of America's No....

EXTRA! EXTRA!

DETROIT - In a move that startled and infuriated the industry, Chester Bowles, head of the Office of Price Administration, announced ceiling prices for all used cars, effective July 10. They are based on prices prevailing in January 1944....

OPA sets penalties to force car sales

DETROIT - Aimed at dealers who refuse to sell new cars to holders of ration certificates, the Office of Price Administration this week will provide penalties for such violations....

Dealers get relief on overtime in service charges

WASHINGTON - Two methods that service shops can use in setting charges to customers to offset increased costs resulting from overtime wages were outlined last week by the OPA....

Ford confirms new low-priced car plan Modern Model A to cost about $500

SOMMERVILLE, Mass. - Ford Motor Co. plans to build a low-priced postwar car, probably a modernized four-cylinder Model A, with a price tag around $500, company officials confirmed here last week. Both Henry Ford II and sales manager J.R....

245,449 new trucks OK'd for production in 1945

DETROIT - Realizing the acute need for new trucks, the War Production Board last week authorized the production of 245,449 trucks of all sizes in 1945. That is almost double the 126,678 authorized for 1944....

Postwar Boom

'America's love affair with the automobile' - it's a phrase that has been much overused in the last half century. It's a stereotype. It's trite. It's hackneyed. And it's true. At no time has it been more true than in the days after World War II....

Auto industry back in business

DETROIT - The new-car green light flashed July 1, and the auto industry enters a new phase this week after 31/2 years of war. DETROIT - War's end on Aug. 14 brought the signal for full speed ahead on new-car production....

Henry Ford II now president of company

DEARBORN, Mich. - Henry Ford II was named president of Ford Motor Co. Sept. 21. He succeeded his grandfather, Henry Ford, who resigned. Henry Ford II is 28. He has been executive vice president of the company since April 28, 1944....

Thos L. Bryant

Thos L. Bryant Editor-in-Chief Road & Track Congratulations! Any of us who need to follow the ins and outs of the automotive industry must read Automotive News. It is the bible of the car business....

Max Hoffman brought European cars to U.S.

From 100 Events That Made the Industry, published 6/26/96 by Automotive NewsMaximilian Hoffman, a former jewelry salesman, introduced Volkswagen, Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia to his generation in the United States....

Corvette debuts; price is $3,498

FLINT, Mich. - The American auto industry's first production sports car with a plastic laminated fiberglass body was completed here June 30 as the first Corvette came off the line at the Chevrolet assembly plant....

Ford Thunderbird priced at $2,944

DEARBORN, Mich. - The Ford Thunderbird, which went on display last Friday (Oct. 22) at Ford dealerships in principal cities, carries an advertised delivered price of $2,944....

PERSPECTIVE 2000: Corvette debuts; price is $3,498

The two cars had a strange interdependence. Had there been no Corvette, there never would have been a Thunderbird. And if there had been no Thunderbird, the Corvette would have died in infancy....

2 major mergers in 1954

DETROIT - Two old-line competitors in the auto business will become partners Saturday, May 1, when Nash-Kelvinator Corp. and Hudson Motor Car Co. formally begin joint operations as American Motors Corp. George W....

Long-awaited Edsel bows to kick off 1958 season

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. has removed the cloak of secrecy from its long-awaited Edsel. The new car will be available in four series: Ranger, Pacer, Corsair and Citation. It will appear in dealer showrooms Sept. 4....

Price pack KO'd by sticker law

WASHINGTON - The price pack, which has been called one of the worst evils ever to hit the retail auto business, was dealt a crippling blow last week as President Eisenhower signed the Monroney price-labeling bill....

The nameplate explosion

From 50 years: Automakers and the postwar era, In the 1950s, a Chevrolet was a Bel Air or an Impala; a Ford was a Custom or a Fairlane 500. Sure, Chevy had the Corvette and Ford had the Thunderbird, but they were toys - image cars....

Regulation

Ralph Nader didn't invent auto safety, but he had more to do with the present maze of federal rules and regulations on the subject than anyone else. There were safety crusaders before Nader, among them Rep. Kenneth Roberts, D-Ala., and Sens....

Industry flayed on safety attitude

WASHINGTON - A new book, Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-in Dangers of the American Automobile, is being read widely in the auto industry....

Henry Ford criticizes emphasis on safety

BLUE BELL, Pa. - 'We have so many men working on safety now that we aren't doing the forward development (on vehicles) we should be doing,' Henry Ford II, chairman of Ford Motor Co., told a national news conference here....

Senate OK's Haddon as traffic safety czar

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 1966 - The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Dr. William Haddon Jr. as traffic safety administrator....

Safety standards due this week

WASHINGTON - Proposed safety standards for 1968 models are expected to be published Thursday (Dec. 1) by the federal government. The standards will be the middle ground between the 'ideal and the practical' in terms of cost and lead time, said Dr....

GM writes `finis' to Corvair

DETROIT - General Motors killed the Corvair last week. It was a merciful demise for the spirited little rear-engine auto that has suffered mightily in the marketplace for 31/2 years. ......

Crain is named publisher of Automotive News

DETROIT, May 31, 1971 - Terms of the sale of Automotive News to Crain Communications Inc. of Chicago were finalized last week. Crain will take over June 1. Keith E....

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Consumer advocate (Note: Ralph Nader reflects on Helen Kahn, who was a Washington reporter for Automotive News for 27 years....

Safety bureau sees use of airbags on some cars in 1970

WASHINGTON - The National Highway Safety Bureau indicated last Wednesday (May 14) that vehicle makers could begin installing airbag systems on some models by the fall of 1970, and that by 1973 all vehicles could have them....

GM to offer bags on some '74s

DETROIT - General Motors is taking a giant step toward making the airbag a reality....

U.S. says 1977 models must have airbags

WASHINGTON - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given a ringing affirmation of airbags....

Big 4 oppose bags for '77

WASHINGTON - The nation's automakers have told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration they would need at least three years to meet requirements for employing passive restraint systems as now proposed for 1977 cars....

Energy Crisis

In some ways, the gasoline shortage of 1973 and 1974 was worse than the rationing during World War II. Civilian driving was curtailed severely during the war, but Americans accepted it even though they didn't like it....

Car industry on way to mammoth changes

DETROIT - Will the energy crisis usher in a golden age of automotive design? Will it lead to a rational car, engineered for function without the trappings of status? Will the fuel shortage permanently change the American motorist's taste in favor of......

Import Assault

Twice in 20 years, the U.S. auto industry faced an invasion from across an ocean. The Americans weathered the first attack - from the Europeans. European marques captured 9.6 percent of the car market in 1959....

Imports again smash records

DETROIT - Almost one new car out of every 10 sold in the United States last year was an import as foreign cars totaled an all-time high 577,116 registrations and accounted for a record 9.6 percent of the market. A year earlier, imports captured 7....

VW ranks 5th in U.S.; imports topple records

DETROIT - Volkswagen wound up in fifth place in the U.S. market in 1970 as imported vehicles locked up their best year in history. In car sales, VW trailed only Ford, Chevrolet, Plymouth and Pontiac....

Toyota tops Volkswagen in 1975 car sales

DETROIT - Volkswagen last year slipped from the No. 1 import sales slot it had held for two decades. Both Toyota and Datsun beat VW in car sales and in combined car and light-truck sales. In cars, it was Toyota, 283,909; Datsun, 253,192; VW, 246,183....

PERSPECTIVE 2000: Toyota tops Volkswagen in 1975 car sales

It couldn't happen, but it did. Volkswagen had been dethroned....

Honda to begin production of cars at its Ohio complex next month

MARYSVILLE, Ohio - Japan's Honda Motor Co. began producing motorcycles at a plant in Marysville, Ohio, in 1979. Next month it will begin turning out 1983 Accord cars at a factory adjacent to the motorcycle plant....

Honda Accord wins '89 car sales title

DETROIT - For first time ever, a foreign-badged auto is the best-selling car in the United States. The Honda Accord won the crown for 1989 with sales of 362,707. The Ford Taurus was second with 348,061....

Taurus wins sales crown

DETROIT - Ford dealers sold a record 65,324 Tauruses in December, a retail phenomenon that ousted the Honda Accord as the best-selling car in the United States. Ford sold more Tauruses in December than the 54,597 cars sold by by all of Chrysler Corp....

Frank McCarthy

Frank McCarthy President, National Automobile Dealers Association Congrat-ulations on your 75th anniversary. I have been a regular reader of Automotive News since January 1968....

1990s

No, you cannot kiss off the 1990s as a business-as-usual decade, the final gasp of an old century, a simple windup of the industry's first 100 years. The 1990s saw the end of the Big 3 when Chrysler Corp. was acquired by a German automaker....

SHOWDOWN AT GM

DETROIT - After forcing the resignation of Chairman Robert Stempel last week, some General Motors board members themselves may be asked to vacate the board as part of a continuing remake of the company....

GM's bleeding continues; loss is $753 million

DETROIT - General Motors last week reported a loss of $752.9 million for the third quarter. That was less than most forecasts and less than its $1.1 billion loss last year. The loss was the eighth for GM in the last nine quarters....

All sides hail trade pact

WASHINGTON - All parties were pleased by the settlement of the U.S-Japan trade dispute - the U.S. and Japanese governments, the Big 3, U.S. parts makers and import dealers. The settlement was reached July 28, a few hours before the deadline....

U.S., Japan gird for battle

DETROIT - The Clinton administration last week moved to slap hefty tariffs on Japanese luxury vehicles in retaliation for what it calls Japan's refusal to open its markets. U.S....

Big dealers getting bigger; Republic is biggest of all

DETROIT - Factory-engineered dealership consolidation and a trend toward publicly owned dealer groups are helping the big auto retailers get even bigger....

AutoNation's idea for used cars just didn't work

Automotive News editorial comment, 12/20/99 It was like taking candy from a baby. Americans were sick and tired of unresponsive, uncaring used-car dealers. Bring in some big-time, highly capitalized consolidators....

Ford seeks buyout of all Indianapolis dealerships

INDIANAPOLIS - Ford Motor Co., rocking the world of traditional auto dealerships in the United States, wants to acquire control of all Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealerships in Indianapolis....

U.S. consolidations on hold, Ford says

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. has made it official. In the foreseeable future, it will not create any new Auto Collections in the United States. But Ford will continue those activities overseas....

Chrysler and Daimler plan ways to share and grow

DETROIT - DaimlerChrysler AG will be a highly profitable company, poised to pounce on new niches in Europe, North America and the developing world. Chrysler Corp....

Horns, hoopla mark Day One

NEW YORK - Robert Eaton lit a cigar, leaned back in his chair and sent a cloud of pungent smoke billowing into the air. Juergen Schrempp puffed heartily on a cigarette....

The Internet: It's not `if,' it's `how fast?'

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - For car and truck dealers, the question is not whether core retail operations should be connected to the Web....

Nasser, Bill Ford get what they want

DEARBORN, Mich. - When William Clay Ford Jr. and Jac Nasser signed their first deal together, they both got what they wanted....

GM pursues global group, but managing far-flung empire is tricky

DETROIT - The agreement that gives General Motors 20 percent of Fiat Auto is merely one more step in the automaker's strategy to strengthen the 'General Motors group.'...

Trucks top 48 percent

DETROIT - Trucks captured 48.25 percent of the U.S. car and light-truck market in the first half of 1999, up a fraction from 48.12 percent last year....

The Automotive News mission

Automotive News' mission is to be the primary source of industry news, data and understanding for the industry's decision-makers interested in North America....

PERSPECTIVE 2000

Ford set out to answer the AutoNation threat with a network of company stores. It apparently never occurred to the automaker that its independent dealers might be opposed to that type of competition....
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