The Auburn Automobile Company grew out of the Eckhart Carriage Company, founded in Auburn, Indiana, in 1875 by Charles Eckhart. Eckhart's sons, Frank and Morris, began making automobiles, absorbing two other local carmakers and moving into a larger plant in 1909. The enterprise was modestly successful until materials shortages during World War I forced the plant to close. In 1919, the Eckhart brothers sold out to a group of Chicago investors, but new owners revived the business but failed to realize their hoped for profits. In 1924, they approached by Errett Lobban Cord, a highly successful automobile salesman, with an offer to run the company. But styling and engineering failed to overcome the fact that Cord's vehicles were too expensive for the Depression-era market and Cord's stock manipulations that would force him to give up control of his car companies. In 1937, production of Auburns, along with that of Cords and Duisenberg’s, ended.