The Studebaker-Packard Corporation was the entity created in 1954 by the purchase of the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana, by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan. While Studebaker was the larger of the two companies, Packard's balance sheet and executive team were stronger than that of the South Bend company.
In the spring of 1962, Studebaker-Packard reverted its name to "Studebaker Corporation". The following year, the South Bend plant was closed, while its Canadian plant in Hamilton, Ontario, continued to produce Studebaker cars until 1966.
It was hoped that Packard would benefit from Studebaker's larger dealer network. Studebaker hoped to gain through the additional strength that Packard's cash position could provide. Once both companies stabilized their balance sheets and strengthened their product line, the original plan devised by Packard president James J. Nance and Nash-Kelvinator Corporation president George W. Mason was that the combined Studebaker-Packard company would join a combined Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company in an all-new four-marque American Motors Corporation.
Had the complicated set of combinations gone through as planned, the new company would have immediately surpassed the Chrysler Corporation to become the third of America's "Big Three" automobile manufacturers. However, the sudden death of Mason in 1954 (succeeded by George W. Romney) and disputes over parts-sharing arrangements between the companies doomed any chance of completing the proposed merger. This failure to combine the companies effectively sealed the fates of all four.
Packard executives soon discovered that Studebaker had been less than forthcoming in all of its financial and sales records. The situation was considerably more dire than Nance and his team were led to believe; Studebaker's break-even point was an unreachable 282,000 cars at a time when the company had barely sold 82,000 cars in 1954. Furthering the new company's problems was the loss of about 30% of Studebaker's dealer network by 1956.[ citation needed ]
Studebaker-Packard tried a company reorganization in which Studebaker took the part of the volume and commercial car and truck seller from South Bend while Packard was to re-occupy the luxury market - one of Nance's targets since he took over Packard's presidency in 1952. The gap in between was filled by a new make, the Clipper. Technically, it was a lighter Packard, built in Detroit alongside the senior cars. The next generation of cars would have to be concentrated on one location, and there was a detailed program for sharing as much sheet metal as possible. Although Nance was presumably right, dealer resistance against the Clipper as a new entry in the intermediate field was big. [ citation needed ] Dealers complained that the only thing that allowed them to sell Clippers was the prestige, though declining, of the Packard name on the car itself.
Following a disastrous sales year in 1956, Nance resigned and Studebaker-Packard entered a management agreement with the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. p255 Curtiss, led by Roy T. Hurley, insisted on major changes. All of Studebaker-Packard's defense contracts and plants where defense work was carried out were picked up by Curtiss, Packard production in Detroit was stopped and all remaining automotive efforts were shifted to South Bend.:
The Packards (for 1957 and 1958) were essentially Studebaker Presidents with large amounts of bright work. The vehicles were referred to as "Packardbakers" by comedians.[ citation needed ] The final Packard rolled off the assembly line in July 1958. That year, Studebaker instructed company personnel to sell their Packards and use only Studebakers. :p255
The one bright spot to come of the company's troubles was a distribution agreement, brokered by Hurley, with Daimler Benz. The agreement was looked on as a necessity both for the income that Mercedes-Benz could add to the company's bottom line and as another product that the Studebaker dealer network could sell in the event that the company quit building its own cars.
Studebaker-Packard Corporation made one final attempt at resurrecting the Packard nameplate. The Franco-American Facel-Vega four-door sedan, which was powered by a Chrysler V8 engine, would have been rebadged as a Packard. The plans fell through when Daimler Benz demanded that Studebaker-Packard drop the plans or risk termination of its sales agreement to sell Mercedes-Benz cars.[ citation needed ]
In 1960, the company began diversification efforts by buying:[ citation needed ]
In 1961 Sherwood Egbert was appointed company president. He was expected to help diversify the company. In the spring of 1962, four years after the last Packard car rolled off the assembly line, and eight years following the merger between Packard and Studebaker, the company dropped 'Packard' from its legal name, which returned to being 'Studebaker Corporation'.
Daimler AG, commonly known and referred to as Mercedes-Benz, or simply as Daimler, is a German multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. It is one of the world's leading car and truck manufacturers. Daimler-Benz was formed with the merger of Benz & Cie. and Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft in 1926. The company was renamed DaimlerChrysler upon acquiring the American automobile manufacturer Chrysler Corporation in 1998, and was again renamed Daimler AG upon divestment of Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management in 2007.
American Motors Corporation was an American automobile manufacturing company formed by the merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company on May 1, 1954. At the time, it was the largest corporate merger in U.S. history.
Packard was an American luxury automobile marque built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, United States. The first Packard automobiles were produced in 1899, and the last Detroit-built Packard in 1956, when they built the Packard Predictor, their last concept car.
Studebaker was an American wagon and automobile manufacturer based in South Bend, Indiana. Founded in 1852 and incorporated in 1868 as the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, the firm was originally a coachbuilder, manufacturing wagons, buggies, carriages and harnesses.
Nash Motors Company was an American automobile manufacturer based in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the United States from 1916 to 1937. From 1937 to 1954, Nash Motors was the automotive division of the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. Nash production continued from 1954 to 1957 after the creation of American Motors Corporation.
The Hudson Motor Car Company made Hudson and other brand automobiles in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., from 1909 to 1954. In 1954, Hudson merged with Nash-Kelvinator to form American Motors Corporation (AMC). The Hudson name was continued through the 1957 model year, after which it was discontinued.
The 1957 and 1958Packard lineup of automobiles were based on Studebaker models: restyled, rebadged, and given more luxurious interiors. After 1956 production, the Packard engine and transmission factory was leased to the Curtiss-Wright Corporation while the assembly plant on Detroit's East Grand Boulevard was sold, ending the line of Packard-built cars. However, Studebaker-Packard executives hoped to keep the Packard name alive until a fully restyled model could be funded, developed, and produced. These cars were built in hopes that enough would be sold to enable the company to design and build a completely new luxury Packard.
The Studebaker Lark is a compact car that was produced by Studebaker from 1959 to 1966.
Studebaker of Canada Ltd. was the name given to Studebaker Corporation's Canadian manufacturing arm.
The Packard Clipper is an automobile which was built by the Packard Motor Car Company for models years 1941–1942, 1946–1947 and 1953–1957. For 1956 only, Clipper was classified as a stand-alone marque. The Clipper was introduced in April, 1941, as a mid-model year entry. It was available only as a four-door sedan. The Clipper name was reintroduced in 1953, for the automaker's lowest-priced lineup. By 1955, the Clipper models were seen as diluting Packard's marketing as a luxury automobile marque. It was named for a type of sailing ship, called a clipper.
The Packard Executive was an automobile produced by the Packard-Clipper Division of the Studebaker-Packard Corporation in 1956.
The Excellence is a luxury saloon automobile that was unveiled by Facel-Vega of Paris, France, at the Paris Auto Show in October 1956 to rave reviews by the motoring press.
The Studebaker Electric was an automobile produced by the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company of South Bend, Indiana, a forerunner of the Studebaker Corporation. The battery-powered cars were sold from 1902 to 1912.
The Packard Patrician is an automobile which was built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, from model years 1951 through the 1956. During its six years in production, the Patrician was built in Packard's Detroit facilities on East Grand Boulevard. The word "patrician" is Latin for a ruling class in Ancient Rome.
George Walter Mason was an American industrialist. During his career Mason served as the Chairman and CEO of the Kelvinator Corporation (1928-1937), Chairman and CEO of the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation (1937-1954), and Chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation (1954).
James John Nance was an American industrialist who became president of the Studebaker-Packard Corporation. Later, he was Chief Executive of the Central National Bank of Cleveland, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Montgomery Ward and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland State University and a major property investor.
The Packard Proving Grounds, was a proving ground established in Shelby Charter Township, Michigan in 1927 by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Chrysler, a large automobile manufacturer, was founded in the 1920s and continues today under the name Stellantis North America. The history of Chrysler involves engineering innovations, high finance, wide alternations of profits and losses, various mergers and acquisitions, and multinationalization.
Theodore Wells Pietsch II was an American automobile stylist and industrial designer who, with little formal education, managed to launch a career in automobile design that took him over a period of 38 years to nearly every major automobile company in the nation.
Owen Ray Skelton was an American automotive industry engineer and member of the Automotive Hall of Fame. Along with Fred M. Zeder and Carl Breer, he was one of the core engineering people that formed the present day Chrysler Corporation. He made material contributions to Tourist Automobile Company, Allis-Chalmers, Studebaker, and was the moving engineer behind the Chrysler Airflow automobile.