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The Boom Which Will Follow the War.

11th February 1915
Page 10
Page 10, 11th February 1915 — The Boom Which Will Follow the War.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

By a Manchester Correspondent.

What are you going to do when the war is over ? This is becoming a daily question, especially amongst those who, owning motor vehicles before the war, are now working on short equipment owing to the War Office purchase of at least part of their normal quantity of vehicles. The question applies both to the horse and the motor vehicle owners.

In the former ease it has two chief applications. One is that horse owners who were contemplating exchange into motor carriage in place of horses will find it a proposition more worthy of consideration than ever ; the other, that those horse owners who did not contemplate such an exchange of traction will be compelled, by force of circumstances, seriously to consider it in the very near future.

Scarcity of Motors and Horses.

The scarcity of both of these necessary aids to traction is all too evident. It should hardly be necessary to advise all who are holding back, in the hope of acquiring at the end of the war good second-hand vehicles "for an old song," to "side track" the idea, as our Yankee friends would say. The same remarks will apply to horses. Whatever horseflesh (living) is not snapped up in France and Belgium (Germany will be too short of shekels and credit) which may reach these shares after the war will be bought up at famine prices. .

The scrap yards of the two victorious nations in the west will bear evidence of the hard work done by motor vehicles under the guidance of the English, French and Belgian " Tomrnies." Signs have not been wanting, since the Government presegangs swore in the undeclared thousands of motors and horses, that the problem of collection and delivery of goods, in spite of reduced trade, has become more and more acute.

The cry of "Please arrange your own carting or carrying" is becoming monotonous, and it behoves those who hear it to consider their position.

Traffic Problem Serious.

This is an attempt to review facts, present and future, without bias to traders or makers of commercial motors.

That the traffic problem of the near future will be a serious one admits of no doubt. The streets of our cities bear hourly evidence of the shortage in particular of heavy traction compared with the period immediately before the war : what will happen when the "map alterations" have been concluded? Let us assume that it is inevitable the war will be over under six months from now. Trade will immediately revive, to what extent one can only conjecture ; but the general opinion is that the " boom ' will be considerable. Four months is about the time required by most makers, in normal times, for delivery. We have, however, to remember that when the war concludes motor makers will still have various Powers' existing orders to execute, and probably more to follow. The inference is that our present predicament will be very much worse, unless some measures are taken, on both the users' and makers' sides, to meet the situation. Let us remember that high prices ruled, before the war commenced, for horses, in spite of the enormous strides in motor traction. Depleted, as the country has been, of the best of its horses, it follows that some means must be taken to fill up the ranks. Horses, five or six years of age, cannot be put together, by hand or machine, under that period, and it is quite certain that to a large extent they will have to be replaced by motor vehicles.

It follows, therefore, that the demand will be V1011110us.

(124 Remember also that those machines and horses which have been left in the country will, in six months time, be a year. older than they were when the war began.

To Motor Manufacturers.

Without the least desire to betray anything in these lines which could be construed into an attempt to teach a, particularly smart section of the community their business, the writer would venture the following points as an. advisable view to take of the subject. There has been a temporary influx of British and foreign Powers' orders. War having caused a considerable reduction in general business, normal orders have been reduced. When the war stops, makers will still be on "Powers' " orders for some time, therefore still busy.

Here the trader and carrier comes in, pressing for delivery—the pressure keeping pace with the increase in trade generally. Failure to meet these demands would certainly mean a set-back for the motor trade. Therefore, if the trade tackle the problem earnestly, now, they will be in the position of retaining both home and foreign orders. As a suggestion which has no doubt had, and is receiving, careful consideration, is it not necessary for them to advertise and circularize freely to traders and carriers, stating what they are prepared to do in regard to deliveries of orders. To enable them to effect the sales and keep their _promises, it may be necessary to extend premises, and why not? One may be too optimistic, but after a careful survey of the, portents and possibilities, it seems a. fairly safe conclusion that the termination of the war may bring to the motor trade a harvest of orders such as they, perhaps, little dream of.

To Traders and Carriers.

Traders and carriers should order now. Money paid to them by the War Office for commandeered vehicles can be employed at interest pending delivery. In view of the considered opinions expressed in this article, one is tempted to ask why ? As Englishmen, we are credited with a habit of looking ahead, and if anything like the " boom " we all hope for comes, those of us who have not done so will be sorry too late. Whatever may have appeared here as bearing an alarmist aspect may be met by an appeal, in the interests of those concerned, to at least give the question the consideration which all these who are engaged in carrying goods should admit itdeserves.


Organisations: War Office
Locations: Manchester

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