Growing auto industry gets new editorial voice
The editorial in that Aug. 27, 1925, edition said in part: 'Automotive Daily News is the first daily in the world to serve the greatest industry in the world.' The paper dedicated itself 'to the industry that in 25 years has done more toward unifying and solidifying all peoples than any other force in the 6,000 years of recorded history (and) has solved the oldest problem and supplied the oldest human want - convenient and quick transportation.'
Automotive Daily News, the mission statement continued, 'pledges its energies and its voice to faithful service, timely and continuous, asking in return only to be regarded and esteemed as an honest and dependable organ, and as such to merit the confidence of those it serves.'
You read it right: Automotive Daily News. The paper was published five times a week until 1933, when the schedule was cut to twice weekly. It became a weekly in 1938, and the Monday publication day was adopted the following year.
That first issue on Aug. 27, 1925, had 16 pages, and the banner headline on Page 1 was: 'Price-cutting war in gasoline spreads.' Other Page 1 stories were 'Europe speeds tire production'; 'Ralph B. Dort contests will' (of his father, J. Dallas Dort, founder of Dort Motor Co.); and 'New Ford cars combine 'eye' and service appeal.'
If Page 1 seems a strange place for a model-introduction story, keep in mind that the Model T accounted for 50 percent of new-car sales in 1924 and 42 percent in 1925. The story noted that 'closed bodies, for the first time in Ford history, are available in colors.' No more any color so long as it's black.
And 'interior color schemes have been designed in harmony with the paint jobs.' Did someone say 'color-keyed interiors'?
Automaker advertisers in the inaugural issue included Chevrolet, Chrysler Corp. and Apperson Automobile Co. (for the Jack Rabbit). Among the suppliers were Bendix Brake, Rotary Lift Co., New Departure Manufacturing Co. (ball bearings), Ternsdedt Division of Fisher Body (body hardware) and Continental Motors (engines).
The New York Sun was represented, and the only full-page ad was placed by Capper's Farmer.
That first Automotive Daily News was rather light on editorial help. The masthead listed Editor Alexander Johnston, Managing Editor Dan Wallace Robinson, Detroit Editor Walter Boynton and two contributing editors.
Today's editorial staff is made up of 50 editors, reporters, statisticians and researchers around the world.