News from 1931: New York Auto Show special

This comes from the up until New Year’s aptly-titled “News from 1930” website.  It’s now really News from 1931 as it chronicles news during the Great Depression from exactly 79 years ago to the day.

US car and truck exhibitors at the annual New York Show include:

GM – Buick (20 models, sees long hold-off in buying leading to greater rebound), Chevrolet (sees 1931 as return-to-normal year), Oldsmobile (over 40 new features including beautiful bodies), Oakland/Pontiac, La Salle, Cadillac.

FordLincoln (new low-slung chassis and 120hp engine), Ford trucks (23 new body types for specialized commercial needs).

Others – Chrysler, Dodge (latest models are lower and longer), Plymouth, De Soto (nine-stage rustproofing process), Auburn (new features include silent-mesh synchronized transmission and "free-wheeling"), Peerless (new de luxe line, wide variety of colors, only existing co. that exhibited in 1900 NY show), Pierce-Arrow (extended line now featuring "free-wheeling"), Reo (now in 26th year), Hudson/Essex (in 23rd year), Franklin (advanced airplane inspired design), Stutz (new 20th anniversary models, up to 145 inch wheelbase), Studebaker (set new world record last year by climbing Mt. Washington in 14 minutes 23 seconds), Hupp (adds noise eliminators and "free-wheeling"), Marmon (three entirely new lines), Duesenberg, Packard, Graham-Paige, De Vaux-Hall, Mack Truck, Checker Cab, Nash, Willys-Overland.

Auto industry slowed substantially in 1930, with production down about 38% to 3.5M, and the downtrend worsening later in the year. However, auto executives including A. Sloan (GM), W. Chrysler, C. Nash, and L. Miller (Willys-Overland) are more optimistic on 1931. Sales in 1930 are seen below replacement demand, so should increase. Auto companies have adjusted well to changed conditions; their financial condition is strong, with low inventories, high cash on hand, and almost no bank debt; efficiency has increased and prices have been lowered on new models; overhead has been cut to allow profitability at lower production levels.


Monday, January 5, 1931: Dow 172.12 +2.28 (1.3%) – News from 1930

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