AUTO INDUSTRY SEES BANNER YEAR AHEAD
Roy C. Hayes
December 31, 1922
Detroit Manufacturers Expect 1923 Business to Break All Records.
PRODUCTION NOW AT PEAK
Expansions Planned to Meet Demand-Big Merger is Rumored.
By Roy C. Hayes
DETROIT, Dec. 30.-The automotive industry is facing the most prosperous year it has ever known, according to Detroit motor-car executives. Production schedules now arranged for 1923 should make the total output of cars and trucks approximately 3,000,000, it is estimated.
A merger of three large Detroit companies is rumored, in order to afford greater working capital to meet the keen competition which the New Year promises. All local companies are bolstering their finances in preparation for a year that promises to offer the stiffest sort of competition, especially in cars of the medium-priced class.
1922 BANNER YEAR.
Detroit motor plants have enjoyed the best December in history. The New Year is expected to offer better business than was enjoyed in the two banner years to date-1920 and 1922.
A signal indication of what is to be expected next year is seen in the attitude of Detroit plants during this year.
Not one Detroit plant has stopped its wheels entirely for the customary inventory period in December. The majority have canceled the customary one-week shutdown during the twelfth month.
Ford Motor Company, for instance, now employing 80,000 people, reduced its inventory period from two weeks or ten days to three working days. The inventory affected only the Highland Park plant, which employs 50,000 workers. Ford's 80,000 employes will all be on hand Tuesday to start work on an advancing production schedule, which promises to reach 6,000 a day by April 1. The current output approximates 5,000 a day.
Ford is now making 200 aluminum body four-door sedans daily. No official announcement has been made of the new body type because of the present demand which is in excess of the supply. The new body is said to be lighter and even more durable.
Cadillac Motor Car Company has done away with the usual inventory for the first time in its history to meet the demand for cars which has resulted from the recent price reduction.
Studebaker orders have been running considerably in excess of production. The company made 110,000 cars this year but the output fell short of the demand. To keep pace with the increasing call for cars Studebaker will erect two new units in Detroit. With the new units completed the Detroit plant will have a capacity of 275 cars a day.
With the return of Capt. E. V. Rickenbacker from a business trip to the Pacific coast, the Rickenbacker Motor Company has stepped up its production schedule from the proposed 10,000 to 15,000 cars to be made next year. Five thousand Rickenbackers have already been sold.
Hudson and Essex had the most successful years in their respective histories. Hudson soles for the year totaled 26,271. Essex figures came to 34,962.
Dodge Brothers factories are running at capacity, turning out 625 cars a day. Maxwell now in full control of Chalmers, is going ahead with a schedule which will show some advance over 1922 on both Maxwell and Chalmers.
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