Industry unhurt by stock decline, government finds
Reports received by the Federal Reserve Board and the Department of Labor indicate unmistakably that the so-called 'shakeout' in Wall Street has not disturbed the industry nor caused any unusual reduction in employment for this season of the year.
Auto leaders and government seers sucked up their courage and whistled cheerily as they walked through the economic graveyard at midnight. The Great Depression was upon them, but damned if they were going to admit it!
It was soon after the stock market crash on Oct. 29, 1929. The auto industry was enjoying its best sales year in history. Any hint of a downturn was not popular. And there was no immediate turnaround.
New-car sales in 1929 totaled 3,848,937. Imagine! Nearly 4 million in a single year! Add trucks and it was more than 4 million: 4,339,694, to be exact.
Automotive Daily News was not going to hang any crepe. The day after the stock market collapsed, our Page 1 photo was a new Marmon Big Eight sedan - not exactly an economy car at $2,695. In that Page 1 spot five weeks later was a Pierce-Arrow Town Car by Willoughby, a $6,250 beauty.
As noted, car and truck sales did not collapse immediately when the stock market buckled and broke, but collapse they did. From 1929's 4.3 million, sales plunged to ... but that's part of the next section of this history.