he Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company entered the automobile market with an electric car in 1902. Thomas Edison purchased the second electric car produced by Studebaker. Gasoline powered models arrived in 1904 as Studebaker offered a full line of horse drawn and self-propelled vehicles until 1920. During this era, Studebaker automobiles were produced in Detroit, while the South Bend plant remained devoted to horse drawn vehicles. The company’s name changed once again in 1911 to The Studebaker Corporation.
Horse drawn production ended in 1920, and during this decade Studebaker began shifting automobile production from Detroit to South Bend. Although the 1920s were very profitable years for Studebaker, the effects of the Great Depression saw Studebaker enter receivership in 1933. Company Vice Presidents Paul Hoffman and Harold Vance were appointed receivers and led Studebaker back to solvency by 1935.