What is in this article?:
- WardsAuto Flashback β November 2013
- 70 Years Ago (November 1943): Hunters Disrupt Schedules; Post-War Civilian Jeeps; 1943 Output Down 33%
- 60 Years Ago (November 1953): Cheaper Tires Bow; Ford Leads Convertibles; Briggs Body Takeover; Prep Key to Lincoln Victory
- 50 Years Ago (November 1963): Ward’s to Supply Data; Record Car Sales; Strikes Hit Car Stock; 8.0 Million Year Seen
- 25 Years Ago (November 1988): Diamond Star Opens; Light-Truck All-Wheel ABS;
Ward’s and Goodyear join forces, hunters disrupt war output, Jeep plans civilian entry andbuys Briggs in November news from the WardsAuto archives
The 1939 National Automobile Show at Grand Central Palace in New York City.
50 Years Ago (November 1963): Ward’s to Supply Data; Record Car Sales; Strikes Hit Car Stock; 8.0 Million Year Seen
WAR has been commissioned by Goodyear Tire and Rubber to supply “instant and continuous car production counts for the ‘colossal’ Goodyear sign being erected at the interchange of the Walter P.(I-75) and Edsel (I-94) freeways in Detroit.” The sign, using an electrically controlled odometer with 5-ft.-high numbers, will continuously tally car production. It will be illuminated at night by 19,000 light bulbs and is slated to be operational in mid-December, about the same time the new interchange opens. An estimated 200,000 vehicles will pass the sign daily. “It is the first time any sign in the world has been built for this purpose,” the newsletter says.
U.S. domestic-make new-car sales totaling 771,583 in October “shatters all monthly records.” The record tally bested by 5.9% the prior any-month benchmark of 728,552 units set a year earlier, in October 1962. Year-to-date 1963 sales totaled 6,045,000 units, 9.2% more than the 5,535,000 sold in like-1962 and second only to the 6,305,000 delivered in record-year 1955. If an estimated 320,000 imported cars are included, sales in the first 10 months of 1963 are slightly ahead of like-1955, when sales of import cars were estimated at 50,000 units.
October strike losses of 26,000 units coupled with record sales leave Oct. 31 domestic-make new-car stock at a weak 27.4 days’ supply, or 782,300 units. Walkouts at GM plants in Norwood, OH; Doraville, GA; and South Gate, CA; account for more than 50% of the lost production, the bulk of it Chevrolet cars and light trucks. Strikes at’s Kansas City, MO, and Metuchen, NJ, plants account for the remainder. In addition, strike votes have been taken at “over two dozen industry plants, all in protest of ’64-model production demands or standards.” Workers are seen rebelling against the demands of record-production levels mandating 9- and 10-hour shifts, with as many as 33 of the industry’s 46 plants working Saturday as well.
More than 8.0 million cars may be built in the U.S. in 1963, 500,000-plus units more than current production schedules indicate. It is noted that at least one of the Big Three is unofficially forecasting that volume and taking steps to increase output in the final months of the year. If 8.0 million cars are built, it would beat the record 7,942,000 units turned out in 1955, by 7.3%.