How Much Did a New Car Cost in 1933?
How much did a new car cost in 1933? Today, the average new car costs about $35,000, a massive jump in price, especially in relation to inflation and the increasing complexity of modern cars. The average car today is more expensive than its predecessors thanks to the addition of parking sensors, screens, computer controls, and many other amenities. But prices were still quite affordable back then. These are some comparisons to help you understand the cost of a new car in 1933.
First, let’s talk about the technology of the time. The 1930s were marked by several technological advances, which have helped modernize cars. GM introduced no-draft ventilation on all their cars. Later, GM added Knee-Action to their Chevys and developed independent front-wheel suspension. All GM automobiles, except the Buick Y Job in 1937, had steel bodies and optional windshield-defrosters. Buick even had its first concept car, the Y Job. It was the first car to predict the style of cars in 1940s.
Many car manufacturers began offering more sophisticated vehicles, including sports cars. The American automobile industry was in severe economic depression at this time. Sales of new cars fell significantly compared to the 1920s. To attract new buyers, manufacturers turned to styling and design. They began to use chrome, and streamlined designs, which increased the volume of the engine and cut down on fuel costs. In the 1930s, Harley Earl was one of the most prominent automotive stylists.
The Depression hit the automobile industry, but GM continued to show profits every year. The company was able restructure its structure and reorganize itself through ruthless cost-cutting. Buick, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile were all merged into one division to cut down managerial overhead. Cadillac was losing money so much that executives debated whether to kill the brand outright.