Studebaker was a U.S. company manufacturing wagons drawn by horses, cars and trucks that was incorporated February 16, 1852 in South Bend, Indiana. The company abandoned the car market in 1966.
The firm was initially specialized in the manufacture of horse-drawn vehicles until 1921. During this period she put up a mass production following the principles of Taylor.
The first automobiles were produced in 1902: it was light vehicle with electric motor. It was not until 1904 with the Garford Company that were produced in conventional vehicle cylinder engine.
In 1910, the Studebaker Corporation was founded in 1914 and produced a new series of vehicles:
* The Four 4-cylinder 3 150 cm ³ and 2.74 m wheelbase,
* The Six 6 cylinder 4 735 cm ³ and 3.07 m wheelbase.
In 1916, Studebaker production in the third automaker, had risen to 65,885 copies which was a record for the period. The range was renewed in 1918 under the leadership of the engineer Fred M. Zelder and President AR Erskine.
In 1932 Studebacker recorded a sharp fall in sales and filed for bankruptcy in 1933. The bankrupt company is managed by PGHoffman HS Vance and imposing strict manufacturing guidelines and economic. They hire as technical advisor for the style in 1936, Raymond Loewy. This creates a style more typical models 1941.
Following the war and the cessation of manufacturing between 1942 and 1946, a new model appeared. The design is far ahead of the competition, the style did not change from 1947 to 1952, apart from details like the "bullet nose". But production costs were enormous. In 1954, Ford and GM launched a fierce price war which raged among independents. Packard bought Studebaker and rejuvenates the range. The style became more square and more rigorous. The sports model, the Hawk was a good road but production was limited.
The end of Studebaker could have happened in 1959. Fortunately the new compact, the Lark, massive and compact enjoyed success. But it was only a respite, the 3 major presenting their compact in 1960. In 1961 a new stylist, Brook Stevens said a revision of models and increased sales.
The biggest event was the Avanti, a sporting character asserted designed by Raymond Loewy in style "coke bottle" and presented in 1963. Unfortunately production problems bodywork fiberglass drove away buyers.
Despite the attractions of the Avanti Studebaker sales dipped and activities were transferred to Canada. New models with a different name came out in 1964. The engines were supplied by Chevrolet, but the lack of means of research and development led to the closure of the auto industry in 1966. Thereafter, the Avanti was produced in small series for many years under its own brand, relaunched by a group of enthusiasts.
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