Culled from Contemporaries.
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A Collection of Topical Paragraphs from the British and American Press.
A Few About Ourselves.
SO1110 interesting figures are given in last week's COMMERCIAL MOTOR as to the output of British-built commercial motor vehicles. . . . We are only on the threshold of developments.—" The Car Illustrated."
The motor lorry, so long the ugly duckling among its graceful sisters of the road, has been brought into public interest by the valuable service rendered during the railway strike. TLIE COMMERCIAL Moioa states, in a leading article, that this accession of approval has immediately accentuated the demand for the investment, of further capital in the business side of the motor industry. —" Daily Express."
Our contemporary THE COMM.RRCIAL MOTOR is satisfied that carrying interests generally, inclusive of railway com panies, old-established forwarding agents and the controllers of recentlyformed undertakings are well aware that average competitive conditions admit the road-motor to the category of permanent successes under all normal or probable circumstances, but that no frills" are wanted.—" Cork Examiner."
In view of the general public interest which has been aroused in the value of independent commercial motors for use during periods of transport dislocation and stress, THE COMMERCIAL 'MOTOR of this week comments upon the undoubtedly good opinions for capital which the commercial motor industry offers at the present time. Manufacturers and motor-carriers, says the journal, who have been " through the mill," are now showing net profits at rates varying between 10 per cent. and 20 per cent. upon their invested capital ; in two rather exceptional cases the profits upon the invested capital are considerably in excess of the latter figure.—" Liverpool Daily Post and Mercury."
The recent troubles have emphasized above all the triumph of the commercial motor, and the trade prospects for the future are ever brighter than the retrospect of the immediate past. Mr. SIrapnell Smith, the well-known authority on commercial motor vehicles, attributes much of the advance which has been made in the past year or two to improvements in rubber tires. Rubber tires, he says, which cost as much as 6d. a mile on a one-ton van in the year 1902, and 4d. for like service in 1903, have had an enormous influence on this progress. They have mitigated the hostility of road authorities, which counts for much ; they have rendered motorbus extensions feasible, and have struck consternation into the camp of electric-traction prophets; they have permitted great increases of point-to-point speed, and at the same time have reduced maintenance charges ; they have allowed dead-weight to be cut down by more than 25 per cent.. and have thereby increased the percentage of paying load; they have got rid of the old nuisance of noise, which threatened to create widespread opposi tion throughout the country—especially s. in respect of running during the night ; they have given the N-ton steamer a new lease of life.—" Daily Telegraph."
The Editor Of THE Comatracfai. Mona deals with the growth of the heavy motor industry, and particularly with the development in this country since the Heavy Motor Car Order of 1904 became operative. He also touches informingly en other matters connected with the use of commercial motors in times of strikes. —“ Financier and Bullionist," In its principal article this week, THE COMMERCIAL Moron draws attention to the openings for capital in the commercial ear industry. . . . The article is of especial interest at the present time, owing to the public attention drawn to the use of commercial motors in cases of transport, dislocation, such as that recently experienced.—" Financial Times."
We stated a fortnight ago that the recent dock strike had been a means of proving the great utility of the mechanically-propelled commercial vehicle, thereby benefitting the industry to no small extent, Mr. Shrapnell Smith, a member of the Committee of the Club, and a recognized authority on heavy traction, sa Us a great deal of useful information in his editorial leader in last week's COMMERCIAL MOTOR. It is headed " Openings for Capital: a Corollary to Strike Experiences." A table showing the ratio of increase, and dealing with the relative annual output of British. built commercial motors (passenger carrying vehicles excluded) is especially instructive.--" The Royal Automobile Club Journal."
There is, of course, no reason for connecting the interests of the motorist per se with the aims of the commercial motor user or maker, but the recent dislocation of rail traffic has for the moment made all motorists' conversation turn on the economic virtues of railless mechanical transport. It would be interesting to
know just how much the possession of a pleasure ear influences one's mind towards the motor industry—commercial or sitherwise—as an investment. Probably a good deal, because the motorist who is not also an enthusiast, is rare. Therefore the leading article in the current issue of THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR dealing with the industrial self -propelled vehicle as an opening for capital is opportune, and it is as interesting as the articles in that journal usually are.—" Manchester Guardian,"
Commer Finishes Run.
The 3i-ton Commer truck with which Wyckoff, Church and Partridge of New York have been visiting the cities and towns of the north central states recently arrived in New York. The trip started at Chicago and included the important. cities of Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvanii, and New York states. The total distance travelled was 2,536 miles. The Comrner truck's total lubricating oil consumption was 63 pints, making the average of 40i miles per pint. of oil. The gasoline consumption was 3541 gallons.—" Motor Age," Chicago.
Taxicabs Not Included.
That the police have no power to arrest a man for refusing to pay his taxicab bill was the judgment rendered in Montreal by Judge Lanctot when Thomas Davis was arraigned on a charge of being drunk and refusing to pay for a taxicab. Judge Lanctot explained that while the man was compelled to pay for cab hire as a consequence of a civic by-law, there was nothing in either the city by-laws or the criminal code referring to taxicabs, and as a cc,nseauence allowed Davis Ms liberty, although recommending that he settle for the taxicab at olice.—" Motor Age," Chicago.
The American Invasion Again.
Yet, although the motor mania descended upon the people like an epidemic, there is hardly a sign that the demand was, or is, transient. America, of course, is a vast proposition, and its motor market must, even under what would to us seem normal conditions, naturally assume enormous dimensions. But a consumption of two hundred thousand cars suggests an incredible appetite. Of course, the American manufacturer is operating within a tariff fence that practically shuts out foreign competition entirely. He has the field to himself, and covers it with a vehicle much more suited to local conditions than European cars, built for real roads, could be. But he has this advantage, that his 1,ehicles, constructed for bad roads, cannot be less efficient on good roads, and, being produced in such quantities, are cheaper. If, therefore, he has over-estimated the size of his own market, he can enter any foreign market open to him with his surplus. The British market is open to him among others ; and he is, apparently, quite willing to operate in it.— " The Bystander."