Rock River Valley Chapter Studebaker Drivers Club
Studebaker and Other Automotive Trivia
   Home      Studebaker      Studebaker Flanders Seperation
The article was copied from an old issue of "Automobile Topics"  dated 1912.  It details the seperation of Walter E. Flanders, of EMF and Flanders fame.  It has a very interesting writing style, much different then our modern day style.  The article, clearly favors the "Flanders" side of the story, but still contains interesting "Studebaker" information.  Read and enjoy...........................


Automobile Topics

Vol. XXVI. New York, AUGUST 10, 1912 No. 13


Flanders Severing Studebaker Ties

Negotiations This week to Give a Complete Separation ¾ Studebaker Drops “Flanders” and “E-M-F” Car Titles ¾ Diverse Paths in Future


Concluding steps in the formal and official separation of Walter E. Flanders and the Studebaker Corporation are now being taken, and the Studebaker Corporation has already announced the dropping of the Flanders and E-M-F designations on its cars, so that hereafter all the cars built at the Studebaker plants will be known as “Studebaker.”   The technical tie which has bound Flanders to Studebaker company is being unknotted, the process having been well advanced in negotiations this week, with the effect that Flanders will be free and will openly head the recently rejuvenated Everitt Motor Car Co. and the so-called “Flanders Group,” consisting of men who have been associated with him in the past and have taken up Everitt affairs.   He will also have more time to devote to directing the affairs of the Flanders Mfg. Co., Pontiac, Mich., of which he has been president since its formation.   Although the actual break between the Studebaker company and Flanders took definite form last January, as told at that time in Automobile Topics, the technical dissolution has been a matter that has been fraught with many obstacles and difficulties, for the proper protection of the rights of both, and it was not until this week that anything approaching a mutually satisfactory basis was reached.

Having long ago “made his pile,” so to speak, Flanders is less actuated by personal ambition in taking up the newer enterprise than he is by a desire to aid the “Flanders Group” to realize their big plans and to place them on the way to fortunes like his own.  Since Flanders himself has become known to dealers everywhere as the embodiment of the spirit of “doing things” his plans for taking charge personally where his associates have preceded him are to have the natural consequence of being put into immediate operation.   Flanders all along has had radical ideas as to the relations that should exist between the agents and the manufacturer. “passing prosperity along” and something closely approaching profit-sharing for the agents have been prominent in his conception of the proper selling policy.   Flanders is also more than alive to the existing and future field for the commercial types of vehicle, and the “Flanders Group” will market, in addition to the pleasure car, a four cylinder, one-ton worm-drive truck, at prices ranging from $1700 to $1900, according to the style of body.

The final severing of the ties between Flanders and the Studebaker Corporation was correctly predicted by Automobile Topics last January, at which time the exclusive story appearing in Automobile Topics caused a trade sensation.   It was shown that the present outcome was practically inevitable.   The situation described then, involving basic differences of attitude and policy toward the automobile business, has since undergone little change in respect to a reconciliation.

With the merging of the E-M-F Co. with Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Co., in March, 1911, to form the $45,000,000 Studebaker Corporation, Flanders and his associates of the E-M-F Co. found themselves transplanted from an atmosphere of daring aggressiveness to one of calm stability and conservatism.   In the rapid building up of the E-M-F Company, Flanders had been entirely his own master.   He was free to carry out any plan, however bold, and the men with him were warriors eager for whatever campaign lay before them.   In the Studebaker organization the consideration of immense vested interests, financial and manufacturing caution, family traditions, and a policy of keeping to time-tried methods rather then entering upon innovations, left little room for the very qualities that were characteristic of Flanders and his associates.

Finding inaction impossible, he for many months has been seeking a release in order that he might give full play to his enormous energy and great gifts of manufacturing genius.   At first his wishes inclined toward retiring from the company in order that he might leisurely enjoy the abundant fruits of his successful labors. His mind and temperament, however, refused to accept the inactivity he had planned, and pressure from his old associates, once again to become their leader, became too strong to be resisted.

Inasmuch as the Studebaker Corporation for some time had been building and conducting its manufacturing organization without active assistance from Flanders, his complete separation from the company is expected to have little, if any, effect on the Studebaker production end.   Extensive provision has been made in the designing and improving departments, to take care of the future, according to the Studebaker view.   The paths of the Flanders and Studebaker organizations are separated widely, and lead to entirely different portions of the automobile market, with Flanders practically creating a new and distinct field for himself.   In speaking of the relinquishing of the Flanders and E-M-F names, Clement Studebaker. Jr., first vice-president of the Studebaker Corporation, Said: “From some points of view we regret the passing of the old E-M-F and Flanders radiator monograms.   A desire for uniformity is, however, very strong among our dealers.   They all feel, too, that there is a market advantage in the old trade mark that has been borne by the goods made by our family for three generations.   These conditions, and the fact that the old monograms had long ago lost their personal significance, are the real reasons for the change, according to which every car we make and have made will bear the Studebaker name, henceforth.”