March 18, 1933 – Studebaker goes bankrupt

In 1920, under the leadership of Albert Erskine, Studebaker fully committed to the auto industry when it built its last horse drawn wagon, a main product of the company since it was founded. In the 1920s Erskine led Studebaker through the acquisition of luxury automaker Pierce-Arrow and the launch of two short lived, more affordable automobile lines, Erskine and Rockne. When the Great Depression hit in October 1929 it sent Studebaker into a financial tailspin. On this day in 1933 the company was forced into bankruptcy. Riddled with personal debt, ousted from his position at Studebaker and suffering from health issues Erskine killed himself on July 1, 1933. New management dropped the Rockne brand and sold Pierce-Arrow in order to get things back on track and in January 1935 the new Studebaker Corporation was incorporated. Studebaker’s doors remained open until March 1966 when the company closed after 114 years in business. Portrait of Albert ErskineAd for an Erskine automobile printed in February 1927 Country Gentleman publication

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