January 3, 1942

New Cars Won’t Meet Defense Needs
WASHINGTON. D.C.—Leon Henderson, chief of the Office of Price Administration (OPA), postulated yesterday “…one of the gloomy possibilities of war…” may occur if the government must buy or seize automobiles from civilians. Defense needs may outpace the stock of new cars, forcing the action by the government. Henderson said production of 200,000 passenger automobiles will be allowed in January, after which their manufacture will cease until war’s end. Sidney Hillman, Associate Director General of the Office of Price Management (OPM), stated rationing of autos will allow the production lines to shift to war matériel, which “…might shorten the war by months.” Earlier, President Roosevelt told a press conference that ceasing automobile production will cause some unemployment for approximately two months while the industry retools for war production.

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