While Henry Ford was producing vehicles that sold for $440, the Packard's instead concentrated on more upscale cars that started at $2,600. Their automobile developed a following and reputation not only in the U.S., but also abroad. The Packard's built vehicles that were consistently considered the elite in luxury automobiles. On October 2, 1902, the Ohio Automobile Company became Packard Motor Car Company. The automobile operation soon moved to Detroit. Production was quickly placed ahead of General Motors Cadillac automobiles.
By 1925, Packard was considered the indisputable leader in the field of prestige automobiles. The exclusive Senior Eights were the Packard models that signified a prestige that went back to 1923. It was these models that were so successful through 1929 that the profit that they generated was almost enough to weather the Great Depression.
In one model year, an amazing 43,130 Standards were sold, plus another 11,930 Custom/Deluxe and Speedster models. 2,061 Packard Model 645s were produced. High demands and waiting lists began in the 1929 model year, but unfortunately due to the economic crisis, the sales tailed off to approximately 35,000 units for the year. The depression of the 1930's hurt Packard, and by 1934 their production dropped from more 50,000 in 1928 to below 7,000 units per year.
As the depth of the Depression intensified, there was a curious delayed reaction for Packard, as they still managed to sell approximately 18,000 units as late as 1931. For 1933-34, the Standard Eight became the Eight, and the Custom/Deluxe series became the Super Eight. Meanwhile, fine car sales along with the rest of the Industry continued to plunge, reaching the horrifying bottom of 7,040 units in 1934.