In 1900, an automotive vehicle manufacturing company opened in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. It was one of the first such companies to be established locally, and one its earliest models is housed in the Smithsonian Institute’s car collection.
What is the company’s name?
Answer: Autocar Company
The Autocar Company was founded as the Pittsburgh Motor Vehicle Company in 1897 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It initially produced horseless carriages. Not too long after the company’s founding, its named was changed to the Autocar Company and moved to Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The town of Ardmore was chosen as the site of their new factory. By 1901, the company was producing vehicles for consumers.
The factory’s output consisted of cars until 1907 when trucks were added to the roster. In 1911, the company eliminated the production of cars and focused solely on commercial trucks in particular, which set it apart from other vehicle manufacturers. The company offered several innovations that are still used in vehicles today, such as porcelain-insulated spark plugs and the shaft-driven system. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Autocar vehicles were being used by businesses from Sunoco and Wanamakers to local fire departments. During WorldWar II, the Autocar factory was converted to assist the war effort.
In the 1950s, Autocar became a division of White Motor Company and moved to Exton, Pennsylvania. White Motor Company, including the Autocar name, was acquired by Volvo in the 1980s. Autocar was revived independently in the early 2000s as Autocar, LLC. It continues to manufacture commercial trucks at its facilities in Birmingham, Alabama, and Hagerstown, Indiana.