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FIVE HUNDRED "ORPHANS."

FIFTY MAKES SURVIVE. Contrary to popular opinion, all American automobiles have not made fortunes (or their designers. In fact, it is only during tho last few years that the industry has bocorno really stable. Hugo pro fits havo beon mado by the survivors, but over 500 different makes of American cars havo become " orphans." Every " orphan " make is not necessarily a bad job, but tho failures are geueraily duo to the inability of tho manufacturer to offer quality at competitive prices. The English industry has not been affected in the same way. There are few " orphans " of British origin, although it is considered that tho seventy-odd makes of English cars now in production could with benefit bo weeded out. Certainly 70 makes are too many for Britain, if America has reduced its total to 50. The amalgamation of certain British car factories would givo a great impetus to tho industry. Thirty makes would be adequate, and would mean that many British firms, paying no dividends but producing a good car, would bo placed in a stable position to meet American competition overseas. Approximately 500 makes of automobiles, which have come to the American market with promises of great value, dependability aud long servico, are now all but forgotten. Twenty-five years ago practically all " manufacturers of automobiles wore nothing mora than assemblers. They purchased motors, bodies, tops, axles, eta, from parts-makers who ■wore the manufacturers in reality. Some few makers maintained shops in which they machined castings and forgings purchased outside. On this basis it was easy to become an automobile " manufacturer," and more than 500 makes of automobiles have had their day in the American market and disappeared. They are to-day represented by nearly - three-quarters of a million " orphan cars," with very low resale value, in the hands of tho public. In. 1922, tho New York national automobile show displayed 86 makes of cars. During tho following year this was reduced to 66. In 1924 a further reduction to 57 makes was noted. At the New York show in January this number had shrunk to. 50. from the standpoint of tho public, this decreasing number of automobile makers prompts more careful consideration of not only what i 3 in a maker's car, but also what is behind the product. Makers, who cannot manufacture economically because of inadequate facilities, who are forced to buy many or most parts from parts-makers, necessarily are cbnfronted with obstacles which make it difficult for them to compete with manufacturers equipped to produco cars on a one-profit basis. With several cars selling at-about the same price, obviously, the manufacturer who can give most quality of materials and workmanship is the one who includes in his costs tho least amount of profits paid out to partsinakers. To build a car complete calls for vast ; ?>lants, Which cost huge sums of money, ar beyond tho reach of tho small maker. Approximately 90 per cent, of cars sold last year in America were made by the 12 largest makers. Many of tho others wore custom-built cara of limited production at high prices, and do not enter into the picture as viewed by the great bulk of buyers. The question ia:—How many makes will be withdrawn at the end of 1926 ? What cars now on the streets will be orphaned, without service or ropair facilities 1

MOTOR TRADE ITEMS. Thcrra wera 1869 Ford cars Sold in New Zealand for the threo months December, January and February. Chevrolet came Bocond with 500 cars, followed by Buick, with 368, and Dodge, 353. Morris cars ranked fifth with a total of 281 for the three months. The sale of tha business of Gillett Motors, Ltd., was effected last month to the Dominion Motors Company; of Wellington, agents for Hudson and Essex car 3. The business will bo carried on under the name of Gillett Motors for some months at least, and Buick cars will still be serviced. In the meantime, Dominion Motors are occupying the premises in Albert Street formerly oocupied by Cars, Ltd. FRENCH MOTOR EXPORTS, French motor exports show an increase of 30 per cent last year, compared with the previous twelve months, the number of vehicles sent abroad being 56,634 passenger cars and 4782 lorries and tractors. 'Die total value of these exports is 2,108,823,000 francs, or, at pre}?ent exchange rates, £16,160,000 The volume of business was transacted with Great Britain, with 12.864 passenger cars, Belgium following with 8160, Spain 8113, Algeria 5926, Switzerland 2910, and Germany 2713. French automobile imports increased 14 per cent, during the year, the total being 16,366, of which 14,847 came from the United States and 099 from Italy. Very few British cars aro imported by Franco. DUTIES BENEFIT BRITAIN. Imports into Britain of foreign automobiles arid parts during January last, show a decrcar.o as compared with the corresponding month of the two previous years, while exports of British cars have gone up considerably. The imports are: Jan. 1924, £705,029; 1925, £777,785; 1926, £589,256, the falling-off occurring mainly in touring c.-i.rs, tho class upon which the revived McKenna duties oporato. Reexports of lorcign cars, etc., have also decreased, the figures being: Jan. 1924, £62,489;' 1925, £51,374; 1926, £48,062. Exports of British cars have been as follows: Jan. 1924, £446,797; 1925, £745,522; 1926, £804,584.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19260410.2.161.72.7

Bibliographic details

FIVE HUNDRED "ORPHANS.", New Zealand Herald, Volume LXIII, Issue 19298, 10 April 1926, Supplement

Word Count
881

FIVE HUNDRED "ORPHANS." New Zealand Herald, Volume LXIII, Issue 19298, 10 April 1926, Supplement

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