Automobiles in the Postwar Economy

Archive Report

Pace of Reconversion in Automobile Industry

Pressure for Quick Mass Production of Automoblies

The Whirlwind close of World War II on August 14, 1945, suddenly freed American industry for full reconversion to peacetime production. National attention has since been centered on the automobile industry. A rapid resumption of civilian production there would give direct and indirect employment to millions of workers, would stimulate activity in a host of subordinate lines, and would measurably accelerate the transition of the whole economy from war to peace.

War production cutbacks of $2.5 billion monthly ($30 billion annual rate) were announced, Aug. 16, by the War Production Board. More than one-third of the total cancellations were of orders for fighting equipment turned out by the country's automotive plants. Employment in the ...

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