Overland's Big Deal @ Chicago

The attached article originally appeared in the February 10, 1910 Indianapolis Star. The report was generated from the Chicago Auto Show and focused on the success of Indianapolis-based automobile manufacturers most notably the Willys-Overland factory which announced a $4 million deal for 3,500 cars to an "agent" for the company in St. Louis and Dallas. Exactly what the terms were is impossible to know but it is highly unlikely that this was a straightforward sale and more something of the order of a consignment. Nonetheless the agent, Jerome Harrington, had this to say:
"I have just closed with President John N. Willys a contract to take 3,500 Overland and Marion machines for my territory, the total value of the contract being approximately $4,000,000; watch results in the great rich region west of the Mississippi River."
The future looked bright for Willys-Overland as the company had just purchased additional production capacity from the "well-known Payne shops" at Elmira, N.Y. The plant had been operated by the American Radiator Company and its use was an example of a vertical integration straegy where Overland believed that they could best secure a ready supply of parts and components by manufacturing them on their own.
Premier Motor Manufacturing Company, another Indianapolis manufacturer, was literally front and center at the show reportedly occupying one of the four central positions of the main floor. Nearby were Pierce, Haynes, Studebaker, Chalmers-Detroit and Thomas. As a side note, Premier's President H.O. Smith, who also served as the president of the American Motor Car Manufacturer's Association (AMCMA), was recognized at a meeting that apparently dissolved the organization. In addition to also recognizing Alfred Reeves and Job E. Hedges for their management contributions the group distributed a "surplus" of $60,000 to its membership of 43 companies. To quote the article it says the group "passed as a factor in motordom." If this marked their demise no reason is provided other than it had only a "five-year agreement."
Pullman Motor Cars announced an investment in the Hoosier state as it revealed plans for a factory in Evansville, Indiana. Pullman - in no way affiliated with the train car company - had reportedly been in the market for six years and was attracted to Evansville when city leaders provided incentives.
Parry cars were reported to be at the Chicago showrooms of the Manhattan Motor Car Company between Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets on Michigan Avenue. Also, F.I. Willis and George Detch attended the show and were expected at an ancillary Federation of American Motorcyclists (F.A.M.) meeting the following day.
Note, too, a sidebar article concerning the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers. This item indicates that 71 makes of American and foreign automobiles were at that time licensed under the Selden patent.
The article opens with remarks about the general atmosphere of the show which was its ninth annual meeting. The day the article was published was marked as attracting "society" (the term used for elite of society, usually people born into tremendous wealth) to the promenade space of the show venues, the Coliseum and the First Regiment Armory. The event, with decorations costing an estimated $75,000, boasted of the greatest display of automobiles ever exhibited in the midwestern United States. Interestingly the grandeur of the event was compared to horse shows of the past.

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