Continuing the saga of Dutch East Indies Auto Market Heritage from one of site on old Bandoeng we could see what looked like a fancy Car Dealership at the turn of the century; at the background is the typical high ceiling with equally large and high windows, I bet it has also Air Vent Inlets as in our Saskava House. The old picture also shows subcompact of the era and alongside a motorbike with very elegant and rare Canoelet sidecar.
There was no record or data from our sources as what brand these two vehicles were. But judging by sketchy photo the shape might indicate a 1927/6 Brittish Sunbeam 16.9 Tourer or 1934 Morris 10/4 Tourer
Sunbeam used to make both motorcycles (BSA) and cars from the late 19th century to circa 1936. The picture I believe could not show either 1927 Oldsmobile 30E Tourer or 1926 Chevrolet Series V Superior or Packard Twin-Six Touring 1916 or Ford of the era, hence assuming my observation is correct the conclusive vehicles were both Sunbeam.
I have yet to find a reliable source on neither Dutch East Indies Auto market nor what did Braga Chevrolet showroom able to sell, but for now there is a good record on sales figures of Ford Canada. Dodge & Seymour, an American trading intermediary based in New York handled the sales of Canadian Ford models for Asia and Australia regions including Dutch East Indies.
In March 1924, Dodge & Seymour established a Singapore office. Their sales summary demonstrated the high purchasing power in Malaya; Singapore (representative of Malaya) commanded an average of 20 percent of sales (or 21.2 percent including Penang and Port Swettenham) despite the low-density population, compared with 25 percent in Dutch East Indies.
The Ford supply for Dutch East Indies was imported in semi-knocked down conditions (henceforth SKD to reduce freight charges) and assembled in Malaya’s plant from 1930. These SKD automobiles came from its parent companies, Ford Canada, and Ford England in Dagenham which was likely re-exported to Dutch East Indies.
In early 1920s, there were 60 different Car Makers on the Malayan market reflecting what was perhaps also available at Dutch East Indies, 20 representing European-made Cars (predominantly British). These included high-priced cars such as Sunbeam, Vauxhall, Wolseley, Daimler, Benz, and Crossely. There were also medium-priced cars; among others: Austin, Morris, Armstrong Siddeley, the Italian Fiat, and Bianchi, the French Citroen, Peugeot, and Alfa Romeo, including the German Opel.
By 1930 Malaya’s total registration was approximately 165, 000 cars compared with Dutch East Indies (DEI) 85,000 where the ratio of cars to people was 1:584. The Auto Market for the region had represented roughly beyond $ 85 Millions assuming average unit price at $ 1,000 per car.
The 1926 Chevrolet Series V Superior models in US had pricing range of $510-$765 where as the Landau sedan was the top model at the end of the scale, landed price in Kuala Lumpur was S$ 1,500 where as the Sunbeam being a premium car back then was S$ 5,650. Consequently the landing price in Dutch East Indies was a bit dearer, that said the year 1925 was the top Ford sales at 3,839 units, thanks to the booming tea, rubber, coffee, sugar and other exotic commodities. Thanks to the fertile soil of Java!
References & footnote:
Shakila Yacob // Beyond Borders: Ford in Malaya, 1926-1957
Pricewise in Britain by the year of 1914, Ford as compared to other British automobile manufacturers, was able to produce motor vehicles at an unbeatable price range of between £125 to £135. David G. Rhys, The Motor Industry: An Economic Survey (London, 1972), 5.
Comparison between Ford 4/5 seater that were sold at S$1,650 (non self starter) and S$1,900 (self starter) with an 8 HP Rover landed in Singapore would cost S$2,200 in 1920-1921. H.C.O. 259/22. British Representative, State Secretary to Winston Churchill, Colonial Office, 29 March 1922
Doge & Seymour Exports Shipments, Ford Canada.
There was lenient import duty amongst British Empire Region (commonwealth)
Despite of our 1945 independence, we did not get our International sovereignty until late 1949, by then the Braga chevy should had been ceased, yet the brand continued on with the famous Bel Air, Impala and lastly Chevrolet Suburban as the only shuttle services between Jakarta-Bandoeng in 1970s.