The Studebaker Brother's Manufacturing Company made metal parts for freight wagons and then manufactured wagons, built around the motto of "Always give more than you promise".  The company entered into a distribution agreement with Everett-Metzger-Flanders (EMF) of Detroit who manufactured vehicles and the Studebakers distributed them through their wagon dealers.  Problems with EMF made the cars unreliable leading the public to say that EMF stood for "Every Morning Fix-it".  Studebaker, gained control of the assets and plant facilities in 1910 and began putting its name on new automobiles produced at the former EMF facilities.
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In 1911 the company reorganized as the Studebaker Corporation. From the 1920s to the 1960s, the South Bend company originated many style and engineering milestones, including the classic 1929-1932 Studebaker President and the 1939 Studebaker Champion.  Studebaker continued to build models that appealed to the average American and their need for transportation and mobility.

However, ballooning labor costs, quality control issues and the new car war between Ford and General Motors in the early 1950s wreaked havoc on Studebaker's balance sheet.  Professional financial managers stressed short term earnings rather than long term vision. There was enough momentum to keep going for another ten years, but stiff competition and price cutting by the Big Three doomed the enterprise.

Hoping to stem the tide of losses and bolster its market position, Studebaker allowed itself to be acquired by Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit.  The merged entity was called the Studebaker Packard Corporation through 1962.  Studebaker's cash position was far worse than it led Packard to believe and in 1958 the nearly bankrupt automaker brought in a management team from aircraft maker Curtiss-Wright to help get it back on its feet.  In 1958, Packard was discontinued.  The company became the American agent for Mercedes-Benz and many Studebaker dealers sold that brand as well.

Financial constraints dictated that new models, including the compact Lark(1959) and "Avanti" sports car (1963) be based on old chassis and engine designs, and were not enough to stop the financial bleeding. The company closed its operations in South Bend in December 1963, selling its Avanti brand to Nate Altman who continued to produce the car in South Bend under the brand name Avanti II.  Automotive production was shifted to the company's last remaining production facility in Hamilton, Ontario, where Studebaker produced cars until May, 1966.

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