When it comes to old news and old tales, 1920s newspaper articles on automobiles are still a treasure trove of information for car lovers. The first auto shows were held in New York in the early years of the Twentieth Century. Automobile enthusiasts of all ages got in on the action and took full advantage of these first automotive exhibits in the hopes of one day having their very own automobile.
The earliest of the many 1920s newspaper articles on automobiles discussed the benefits of purchasing an automobile from a dealership instead of from an individual seller. Dealerships were able to buy their own inventory at bargain prices and pass on the savings to their customers. It was a win-win situation for both parties and something that had lasting positive effects on both the automobile industry and the entire economy of the United States. These newspaper reports also mentioned the dangers of dealing with unsecured sellers as well as the possibility of being tricked by a fraudulent dealership.
The articles went on to say that it was very important for a person to be completely honest when buying a vehicle. They should make sure they had all the relevant information before hand and not rely on any sort of inside information such as asking the seller about the year, make and model of the automobile before making the deal. There were also several recommendations made about insuring the automobile and how to obtain it through dealerships. Many of the recommendations centered around the issue of purchasing automobiles through dealerships as opposed to going through independent sellers.
After the 1920s newspaper articles on automobiles came the onset of the Automobile Industrialists Association. This organization of businessmen, including automobile manufacturers, union members, and dealerships actively participated in discussions, seminars, and road shows to promote the economic interests of the automobile industry. The group even sponsored road shows that brought together automobile makers from all over the country so that they could display their latest and greatest products. The meetings of the Automobile Industry’s Association of Presidents were attended by all of the major automobile manufacturers in the United States, as well as by other foreign companies that had products that could benefit the automobile industry. It is estimated that the cost of automobile manufacturing in the U.S.A. was nearly $10 billion dollars in today’s dollars.
When World War II began, the automobile industry in the U.S. was more secure than ever. However, the war did bring about a drastic decline in the sales of cars and in the need for auto insurance. This decline in the automobile industry prompted many newspapers across the country to take an adversarial stance with the automobile industry and its members. The articles in the newspapers accused the automobile industry of "conspiring" to run down the economy. These articles also implied that the automobile industry was using its financial resources to "manipulate" the price of automobiles so that they would sell more. In addition, some articles suggested that the manufacturers of automobiles knew that the consumer desire for a cheaper automobile was on the rise, but that they did not realize how that desire would affect the profitability of their industry.
Many articles from the 1920s showed that the automobile manufacturers did not have a strategic plan to increase the profitability of their industry. Many of these articles also showed that consumers were not buying new cars and that a large number of people were buying used cars instead. With so much negative economic information shown about the automobile industry, it is no wonder that consumers turned away from buying new cars. Nevertheless, it was possible for the automobile industry to weather the storm during the 1920s because they were so strong in the early part of the decade.